Guest post by Michelle Shaeffer
Sometimes we’ve only got a few minutes here and there to work on our home-based businesses. Don’t let this stop you from marketing and building your business network!
If you’ve got just 10 minutes, you can take positive actions that will help you move forward.
If I had to write a 50-page marketing plan and spend 4 hours a day implementing it… well, either it’d never happen… or I’d never get anything else done and never have time to complete the services I need to for my clients and create the products I offer. Or, I’d never get to play with my kiddos and my house would look like a hurricane hit it. There just aren’t that many hours in the day.
Always remember the reason you started your business – I’m pretty sure that “So I can test out how much stress a human body can handle, then end up in therapy!” wasn’t on your top ten list of reasons, right? Yeah, it wasn’t on mine either.
My strategy is more of a one-page style marketing plan. Beyond the big things on the plan, the rest of my marketing revolves around QUICK things I can do in between everything else that’s going on in my world. So I’ve made it a point to know what I get done in 5 or 10 minutes.
Anyone can squeeze in 10 minutes at least a few times a day, right?
Remember that done is better than perfect! To get these done in 10 minutes each you need to focus on fast action and getting it great, but not perfect, or any of them can easily end up taking an hour instead of 10 minutes.
Here are some ideas:
1. Write a quick blog post and promote it.
Jot down some random thoughts about something helpful for your readers. Try a top 10 list or top 5 list. You can polish it later and use it as an article, in your newsletter, for a podcast, in a video, etc. Take time to tweet your post and add it to your Facebook status. If you’re using Networked Blogs or a similar plugin or service, it will tweet/update for you.If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of posting in 10 minutes, here are some tips to help you blog better, faster.
2. Write a few thank you cards or emails.
It only takes a few minutes to write out a card, but it’s so nice to receive a thank you in the mail. If you don’t have thank you cards or aren’t a handwritten card person, try Send Out Cards, which lets you pick a card to send and personalize it, and then they mail it snail mail for you. Or, send out a couple of quick emails or ecards.
3. Pick 2 or 3 blogs to comment on and leave a thoughtful comment.
Choose blogs that either you want to connect with and get known by the authors, or that reach your target market. Leave a comment to let them know you appreciate their content, or that it sparked ideas for you or helped you in some way.
4. Hop on Facebook and do a super fast like/comment spree and update your status.
In 10 minutes you can hit like and leave short comments on a lot of posts. Update your status, and your fan page status while you’re there.
5. Use HootSuite to schedule tweets and status updates for the next couple of days.
With HootSuite you can schedule your tweets and status updates and set what time you want them to post. Very cool way to stay visible on the social networks without being chained to your computer.
6. Send a short note to your email list recommending a great resource.
What have you found lately (especially free or low-cost) that would be helpful to your mailing list? Write up a quick review with how it’s saved you time, money, frustration or energy and share it with them. People love being connected to helpful tools and services.
7. Pick one person you’d like to get to know and send a short, professional email introducing yourself.
No need to ask for anything or have a specific project in mind. Just a note to let them know you appreciate their information, blog, articles, whatever you like, and send it.
8. Connect people.
Think of someone you know who could help someone else you know and introduce them to each other. In 10 minutes you could come up with several sets of people to connect.
9. Go answer questions on a niche forum or a website.
There are always people looking for help on forums or sites like Yahoo! Answers and Quora. Go find some that have questions you can answer and help with. Save those answers – you can re-purpose them into articles, blog posts, etc. later.
10. Take action on something to build your business.
Find a blog post, article, ezine or something else you’ve got filed or bookmarked that had a great idea you meant to implement but kept forgetting. Implement it! Most little tweaks and action steps take very little time, we’ve just got to focus and get them done. Fast action!
Ready… set… go! Take 10 minutes and go implement one of these ideas, then come comment and tell us which you did. You’ll feel great when it’s done — positive action in our businesses always feels fantastic!
P.S. Don’t forget to bookmark this blog post so next time you’ve got a few minutes you can use that time to take smart action to move your business forward.
Michelle Shaeffer’s Twitter profile describes her as: “Caffeine powered, Libertarian gal enjoying life with my kids and husband. Empowering entrepreneurs.” That sums it up nicely. You can find her helping to simplify online business at MichelleShaeffer or serving up ideas for bloggers at DailyBloggingIdeas.com.