The other day I was in a near panic mode when I was talking to my husband. I was on day five of staying home with a sick child, our second round of sickness in this house.
We were standing in the kitchen and I said to him “How can I get up early and do my devotions and work on my blog? Right now I am running on fumes because I am staying up late working. Then I am in full time mom mode during the day. How am I supposed to get ahead in my blog? How can I try to go out there and meet new coaching clients? And on top of this how am I even supposed to keep this house clean?”
It’s pretty safe to say I was in complete freak out mode.
Then my husband looked at me and said something that he has said to me thousands of times. “Honey you can’t do it all. It’s just not possible.”
Yes he has said this to me thousands of times over the course of our marriage. I have no idea why this time it actually registered with me. No I can’t do it all.
I can try to do it all and completely lose my mind in the process. Or I can choose to do some things really well and stop the panic attacks.
Case of the Shoulds
As bloggers you are reminded daily of things you “should” be doing. You should be updating your blog. You should be posting on Facebook everyday, 5 times a day. You should be sending out an email marketing campaign to your list every week. You should be pinning on Pinterest multiple times a day. You should be networking with bloggers and posting comments on their blogs.
Does reading that make your head want to explode? Or does it make you want to go back to bed and hide under the covers?
I’m going to say to you what my husband said to me. You can’t do it all. You simply cannot.
Then add in the fact that every time you turn around someone is telling you there is a new marketing tactic you need to do for your blog. Some shiny new product or service that is sure to help you get more followers and make more money. These shiny new objects always promise you that you will get your money back “in no time.”
Between what you “should be” doing and what people are trying to sell you, you find yourself stuck. And who can blame you? What are you supposed to be doing to grow your blog?
I call this situation marketing overwhelm.
One of two things happens when you are in marketing overwhelm:
1. You throw money at every marketing idea because you think it will make you successful.
2. You ignore all the pitches, all the advice and go back to blogging the best way you know how.
Yet neither of those two options are really great choices. If you follow option one you will find yourself chasing your tail and you will go broke. If you choose option two you aren’t’ giving yourself the opportunity to grow. To try new ideas or to make your blog better. You are missing the opportunity to help more people. You are shorting yourself the chance to earn more money from your blog.
So what’s the solution? I think there are five steps to avoid marketing overwhelm in the future. Or at the very least shorten its cycle in your head.
Like me you have to accept that you can’t do it all. No one is expecting you to so stop putting that pressure on yourself. You are only one person, there are only so many hours in the day and you can’t do all the things. Even if you have a massive team working for you, you still cannot do all the things you want to in a day.
Pressure can weigh you down and make it so you are unable to do anything. The sooner you release the pressure the better you will feel. Plus I think you will get more things done once you do it! Accept that you have limitations. Know that if you try to push yourself past your limitations you will go crazy.
2. Make a List
Make a list of all the marketing ideas you want to try. Then prioritize that list. I think an issue that I have is that I want to do it all. I worry that if I don’t I will miss out on something. Or that I will forget an idea that I want to try.
By keeping a list in Trello I know that an idea won’t get lost in the everyday busyness of life. This list helps keep me on track and calms the panic in my head when I feel like I need to do more.
3. Create a plan
Next pick your first marketing idea that you want to try and create a plan around it. List out the tasks to implement the marketing idea and then do it! For example, let’s say you want to create a landing page to drive more subscribers to your email list.
A sample plan might look like this:
1. Determine one niche market you want to do a landing page for. Use a niche topic that you blog about.
2. Brainstorm problems that your niche has and issues they face.
3. Write an opt-in offer that solves their problems.
4. Use a system like Thrive Themes to create your landing page.
5. Set up email list and autoresponder
6. Create 3 Facebook ads to target your niche
7. Setup a target market in Facebook.
8. Decide on daily budget and how long you want to run the ads.
9. Deploy landing page and Facebook ads
By breaking down the marketing idea piece by piece it will feel less overwhelming. You are more likely to implement the idea too. Fine tuning this strategy until the idea is running smoothly and is producing results. Don’t move onto the next marketing idea until this idea is firmly in place.
4. Rinse, recycle, repeat.
Take the next item and attack it the same way you did the first one. Rinse, recycle, repeat. I know this seems like a lot of work up front. But by taking the time to do it right you will increase the chance that the marketing idea will work. Continue this process for each idea that you want to try.
I will caution you not to do too many new ideas in a 12 month period. Try to stick to 4-6 new ideas at most every year. If you try to do everything on your list you will once again get overwhelmed. This feeling will make you go back to what’s comfortable or not do anything at all.
5. Avoid shiny objects
When another blogger or marketing guru says “You have to try this idea. It will bring you in a ton of new followers.” Politely smile and say, “Thank you. I will add that idea to my list.” Then do just that.
Don’t learn more about the idea. Don’t think about how you could implement it right now. Don’t give it the time of day. Take a look at your marketing list and add this idea to it. Do you want to move this new idea ahead of other ideas? Go for it. Just don’t get distracted by shiny objects.
Every idea on your marketing list was once a new, great idea. You won’t get ahead if you stop in the middle of implementing one idea to start another one. Finish what you start and then move onto the next thing on your list. You will feel less frustrated and more accomplished if you do it this way. And I bet you that you will have more followers if you do it this way too.
As a blogger it is easy to feel pressured to do everything. I think bloggers worry that if they aren’t doing it all they won’t be successful. That if they don’t do all the marketing ideas they will lose followers. But I think the secret to success lies in self-discipline. To have the discipline to implement one marketing idea at a time and to do it well. To not get thrown off track by new shiny objects. It will be easier to say no to shiny objects when you realize this plan works. You will realize when you aren’t doing it all you are happier and more successful. Remember this is not a race, it is a marathon. Take it one step at a time and you will get further than you did when you were trying to do it all.
Do you feel overloaded with marketing ideas? When you look at all that you “should” be doing do you feel panicked? Or do you have a good system to stay on track? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments below. Thank you for commenting!