10 Minutes to Better B2B Marketing

I was attending a fitness class at my health club this past weekend and the instructor was talking about how full the club was in early January and how many of the people were “New Year’s resolution” exercisers who would probably be absent within a month.  He said that many people have noble intentions and set major goals, but they take an approach bound for failure, by overdoing it in the early stages – for example, exercising every day for an hour or running six miles. This is an unpleasant way to start on the path to fitness, and many drop out.

In fact, most of us in this situation are better off with a slower and more reasoned approach — starting our program by exercising for 20 minutes or jogging around the block for 10 minutes.  It is easier to build success by starting small and increasing effort over time.

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So what does this experience have to do with marketing?  Simply this: a small investment in time and energy, repeated consistently, can lead to impressive results over time.  In this spirit, I suggest you simply spend an extra 10 minutes each day on concentrated effort in one or more key areas.  This 10 minutes should not replace any work you are doing now – the point is to make it incremental, either by coming in 10 minutes early, staying an extra 10 minutes, or knocking this time off your lunch break.

So what types of incremental activities can you undertake in 10 minutes that can lead to big results?   Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Make these 10 minutes “smart work,” not “hard work”.  In other words, don’t just do the same stuff you did the rest of the workday.  Speaking of hard work, I like what Robert Half said: “Hard work without talent is a shame, but talent without hard work is a tragedy.”
  2. Use your 10 minutes to do something unpleasant. Let’s face it, most of us (especially me) put off doing that which we find uncomfortable, especially if there is possible conflict involved. But the truth is, the thing you dread doing the most may be the one thing than contributes most to your success.  Let’s say that you have a problem with a client. You could spend hours or weeks agonizing, brooding and feeling afraid, or you can confront the issue, come to a resolution (hopefully) and move on. More often than not, the pain of procrastination is worse than the pain of addressing the issue.
  3. Make two more calls or send out two more emails.  Assuming you are at the office or in a place to do these things 220 days per year, this will give you 440 more touch points with your customers, prospects, partners, colleagues, etc.  And a lot of good things will come from 440 more personal touch points.
  4. Get in touch with an important person.  10 minutes is plenty of time to initiate contact with someone who is in a position to help you. The most personal way to do this is with a telephone call, followed by an email. The least personal, but still effective, method is to connect with the individual via LinkedIn.
  5. Make an existing marketing campaign more effective.  Tweak the copy one more time.  Look for a better offer. Scrub the list. Come up with a better headline.
  6. Start that big project or attack the big issue you have been putting off. As the noted author Brian Tracy has said, “If you have to eat two live frogs every day, it is best to start with the biggest and ugliest one.”  Likewise, resist the temptation to spend your extra 10 minutes on the mundane or trivial. Make it count by tackling something that contributes to an important objective.

It’s only 10 minutes, but this small investment of time can reap rich rewards for you and your organization in terms of discipline and results.  Why not get started today?

Christopher Ryan
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