O ne of the biggest reasons I hear that business owners don’t spend a lot of time on building their brand when they’re first getting started is because they feel they don’t have the time. As a business owner myself, I can definitely see how that could be the case, when you have a million different things on the go. But the thing about branding is, whether you think you’ve been actively building a brand or not, a brand is still being built, because it really comes down to how your customers perceive you at every brand touchpoint. This could be how consistently you’re on social media, how quickly you’re responding to an email, or the experience a customer has with you when talking to you on the phone. So your brand isn’t some far-off place in the future to think about “one day.” It’s based on what you’re doing RIGHT NOW – and if you haven’t put any thought into it, you could be creating a brand that isn’t at all aligned with what you want to be known for.
Your brand is your most valuable asset and it’s what will make people buy from you – so it’s definitely worth it to MAKE time for it. With that said, I know there’s only so much time in the day, so here are some of my best tips for making the most of your limited time!
1. Plan your week
At the end of every week, I like to run through the list of tasks I’d set out the week before to complete, and check off everything I got done (nothing more satisfying then seeing those checkmarks!) I then plan ahead for the following week. I focus on my top three “move the needle” priorities that I want to maintain my focus on. I then add my administrative tasks and personal fun stuff! I use the 90-day planner by Classy Career Girl and it’s helped me stay focused on the bigger picture! (and at the end of 90 days you can see how far you’ve come!:))
You need to leave time for all of it – it’s so important that you maintain focus on the bigger picture items, as well as the administrative things that NEED to get done, but you also need to leave time for fun! After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup, and I find that whenever I get too caught up in work, work, work and not enough time for fun and self-care, tasks end up taking way longer as I’m unable to focus!
Once you’ve figured out your top tasks for the week, schedule it in your calendar. Pick the tasks you want to focus on in a day and the chunks of time you’ll work on it, and commit to focusing on those tasks in that time slot.
2. Stick to your list
One of the biggest challenges to getting sh*t done is maintaining focus! Now that you’ve scheduled out your daily tasks, you need to make sure you aren’t getting distracted by the million other things that pop up when you’re an entrepreneur.
If you set aside an hour to work on a blog – use that hour to work on your blog. Don’t try to multi-task. Turn off your email, put your phone on silent or even airplane mode, and remember your goal is to move smoothly from one task to the next.
Now don’t get me wrong – responding to emails and social media messages is important too, especially when you’re working to grow your brand, so I’d suggest you schedule 15-30 minute blocks of time throughout your day to get caught up on that.
3. Plan your content
When it comes to making the most of limited time, I find that planning out your content in advance one of the best ways to ensure you’re being consistent in your branding and conscious of your time.
I like to do what I call a “brain dump,” and every month or so I spend some time brainstorming possible topics I want to use for my blog, social media content, etc. This way, when it comes time to actually CREATE the content, I’m not sitting there staring at a blank page trying to come up with something. I have a plan in place, I know what I want to talk about, and it just becomes a matter of actually creating it.
4. Plan for interruptions
As much of an effort as you can make to plan and schedule your day, there always tends to be things that come up. Give yourself a cushion and leave some open time in your calendar to deal with these as they come up!
There you have it – my top tips that I use to manage my time! As you’re building your brand, if you’re finding yourself needing some more help, then consider joining the Brand Foundation Bootcamp. This program is the step-by-step roadmap to creating a strong brand without overwhelm, confusion or impostor syndrome. I break down the branding puzzle into bite-sized actionable chunks of information that will help you create a stand-out brand to share your message with the world, attract your dream clients, and live your dream life in just 30 days.
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