Having just launched my new online course, Marketing Mastery for Creative Entrepreneurs, I’ve been reaching out to some of my connections on LinkedIn to let them know about its release.
I’ve appreciated the positive response to the course, but one common reply to my message is that they are too busy right now to think about their marketing. I totally get that, but I’ve also been a creative entrepreneur long enough to know that when a creative is having time trouble, they are almost always also having money trouble.
Time Trouble = Money Trouble
That might sound counter intuitive. If a creative is super busy they must also be making lots of money right? Perhaps. But if your pricing is not affording you a generous profit margin, then any increase in work might start crushing your time resources. Additionally, if your profit margin is not high enough, the capacity to bring on additional resources (not to mention your capacity to manage that process) will likewise be undermined.
So while your revenues might be relatively improved when you’re busy, if you are so busy that you can’t find any extra time (for managing others, or for marketing) then you have an even bigger problem to solve. My article, “I don’t have time to market,” is not an excuse. It’s a symptom.” further connects the dots between being busy yet never having quite enough time to fix the underlying problems with your overall business model. The bottom line is that time, money, and marketing are all inextricably connected. A deficiency in one leads to deficiencies in the others. Neglecting one only perpetuates problems in the others.
If you’d like to explore the interrelationships between these facets of creative entrepreneurship my book Blazing the Freelance Trail is a great place to start. Of course, if you’re stuck in this cycle, you probably don’t have time to read a book either! Never fear—there’s an audio version!
The symptom of structural business problems always includes time pressure. But, of course, it takes time to fix those problems. Somehow you have to break this cycle.
The Secret to Finding Time
You have to start somewhere. The problem will not go away by itself. So how do you tackle this problem? As the adage says, “There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.”
You’d be surprised at what you can accomplish if you set aside just 15-30 minutes each day to work on a major goal. It took me over a hundred hours to create my course. And I did it while managing my other company, Cuberis, which was extremely busy working on a couple of major projects. But every morning, before I tackled my inbox, and started the rest of my day, I spent 15-30 minutes making steady progress. It took over nine months, but each day I’d get one or two more pages of the script written. Then five or ten minutes of audio recorded.Then five minutes of video produced. Once the videos were created, I spent a little time each morning getting the website ready to launch.
A Little Time, Everyday, Adds Up to a Lot
Making progress like this takes patience. But if I can produce a course like this, by steady daily progress, one half hour at a time—then you can start gaining control of your marketing, one bite at a time.
Start by setting aside time to take the course. Watch 15 minutes each day, and you will get through in about three weeks. Once you’ve learned how to build an effective marketing campaign, you will have some bigger projects to tackle in order to apply everything you’ve learned. But you can get them all done by laying one brick at a time.
One of the things you’ll learn in the course is that marketing is a marathon, and it’s accomplished not only through adopting new practices, but also, more fundamentally, by building new habits. And one of those habits is spending a little time each day on your marketing. You might as well start practicing that discipline now, and lay the foundation for a profitable, sustainable, and enjoyable creative practice in the not too distant future.