Digital Marketers, Here’s How to Manage Your Time Better
We can tell you from experience: digital marketers often wish they could clone. The number of tasks we need to handle in a day can feel overwhelming. Our guest today, Denise Langenegger of Instasize, is here to share some of her time management and productivity tips.
Being a digital marketer is a tough job. You have to research constantly, gather data, and take action. The process is labor-intensive, and managing every task can be difficult.
Content marketing, email marketing, on-page optimization, link building, social media promotion, Google Search Console and Analytics review – these are just a few of the things we work on.
How can we better manage our time so that we can cover every aspect of our job?
If you’re working with a company, then you already know that company restructuring is a reality. The truth is that if you don’t produce profits for the company, your chances of firing increase.
5 time-saving hacks for digital marketers
Over the years, I’ve learned several ways to make the most of my time and improve my work productivity. From creating a plan to learning how to be more organized, these are things you could easily implement in the way you work.
Here are my five tips every digital marketer can use.
#1. Create a daily schedule and set a time limit for each task
I always prepare a schedule, and guess what? It keeps on changing every month!
It isn’t easy to come up with a schedule that stays the same every month because projects keep changing. Still, having a schedule is critical.
When you list down the tasks you need to finish in a day, you can devote your time to completing them efficiently. The most significant advantage of working with a timetable is that it helps to improve your productivity.
I use Google Sheets to prepare my daily commitments in advance. For instance, I have a June calendar that lists the tasks divided by days. Here is the pattern that I follow:
|June 1||On-page optimization for example.com||20 minutes|
|Call with Joe||15 minutes|
|Content writing for Mark||3 hours|
|Content writing for Peter||2 hours|
|Google Search Console and Analytics review for example.com||30 minutes|
|Guest post outreach for example.com||30 minutes|
|Blog post updating for example.com||30 minutes|
|Email marketing||30 minutes|
|New project analysis – example.com||60 minutes|
Listing all my tasks on a sheet and adding a timestamp to each one helps me prioritize them. I already know the amount of time I should be spending on each task and do my best to stay in that timeframe.
To ensure you complete your tasks on time, you can use time tracking software or set a Google timer.
#2. Learn to stay organized
You are 50% organized the moment you set a timetable for work. Still, several things need your attention.
For instance, when you’re working on an assignment, avoid checking your emails. This could distract you, and you won’t be able to finish your task on time.
Better organization skills help you to save time. If you can spare some extra time by winding up your work early, you can use it to spend some quality moments with your family.
Here are some of the tips I follow to stay organized:
- Mornings are the most productive time of my daily schedule. Hence, I keep the content writing work for the first part of the day. Other tasks, such as project analysis and analytics review, I keep for the afternoon. I reserve the evening for low-effort tasks such as email checking and preparing the following day’s schedule.
- I always keep my desk clean and tidy. A clean workplace helps me to stay focused and improves my productivity.
- I am a goal-oriented person. So I always set goals because if you don’t have plans, you won’t be able to prioritize tasks.
- Breaks are one of my necessities. You should take frequent breaks in between your work according to your needs. Breaks help you improve your concentration, relax your mind, get new ideas, and renew your energy. I aim to take a break every hour. During the break, I do not distract myself entirely from the task. I walk a bit, drink some water, chat with my friends, and then come back to work. A 10-to-15-minute break does wonders, and I come back to my desk with more energy.
- I eliminate all distractions such as email, social media, text messages. Also, I turn off notifications. This helps me to stay focused.
#3. Learn to say “no”
If you are working as a freelance digital marketer, then managing your time is even more difficult. Being a freelancer, you also have to manage client communication to get regular work. Working as an online marketing manager means that you are also a business development manager.
To make your life easier, learn to say ‘no’ to clients. I find it hard to get SEO clients because most of them don’t like to pay well for the service. Often, I receive SEO management requests from entrepreneurs expecting miracles on their project and they want to pay peanuts. Obviously, I don’t accept them.
Most of us feel guilty saying “no” to a client, but you have to if you want to be productive. Think about the time you invest in the work and then compare the compensation you receive. Say yes if it’s worth it. However, don’t think twice about saying “no” to a project that requires a lot of effort, but pays poorly.
#4. Use tools to speed up your work
Savvy digital marketers use a combination of tools (including content tools) to work faster.
In the early stages of my career, I used to manually check the website’s rankings, which was time-consuming. Now, I use rank-checking tools to prepare reports quickly.
Similarly, there are lots of different tasks that you can perform accurately and faster using various tools, such as:
- SEMrush: One of the most powerful digital marketing tools that make the life of a digital marketer easier. I use the full marketing suite consisting of a powerful keyword research tool, on-page SEO checker, a competitor analysis tool, a rank tracker, a social media manager, PR monitoring, a PPC competitor analysis tool, etc. SEMrush helps me gather quick data for my projects, take immediate actions, and present reports to my clients.
- ZeroBounce: Invalid email addresses can ruin email marketing campaigns. ZeroBounce checks every email in your database to improve your email campaign performance. It’s important that your list remains clean. Thankfully, this tool is fast and accurate and saves lots of time. You can use ZeroBounce to clean email lists in bulk and to verify email addresses in real time, as they’re subscribing to your list.
- Teamwork: With Teamwork, you can see everything in one place so you can effortlessly manage your team, projects, clients, and freelancers. It gives you the tools and reports you need to maximize resources and never miss a billable minute again. Get a bird’s eye view of every project, from milestones to project planning, budgeting, time tracking, and more. Collaborate in real-time with your team and clients to get your questions answered and projects delivered on time and on budget.
- Buffer: With Buffer, you can automate your social media marketing efforts. There is no need to log in to different social profiles daily to post an update. You can schedule all your posts on the leading social channels, in advance. This tool saves time and makes social media management a breeze. In addition, the software also offers reports measuring the performance of your social campaigns.
- Trello: Easy management of different campaigns is crucial to every digital marketing project. Trello makes it easier to coordinate with your team. You can create boards, add your team members to the boards, and share all the important stuff with your colleagues directly on the board. Instead of searching for emails for different projects, you can find all the information neatly sorted in the boards.
- Xero: An accounting software tool that saves tons of your time on managing and issuing invoices. It’s the ideal tool for small businesses and freelancers, and has integrations with more than 1,000 apps. On top of that, Xero is way more affordable compared to Quickbooks and similar solutions. Finally, Xero provides extensive guidance on how to make tax digital when you’re self-employed.
#5. Plan ahead
A good habit to have is to plan your work for the next day. Thus you’ll avoid getting up and thinking about what you have to do, instead of starting on it right away.
After my work is completed for the day, I prepare my to-do list for the next day. By doing so, I can start my work early in the morning and finish it on time. Working ahead gives me extra time if something urgent comes up for which I had not planned for.
To become a great digital marketer, you need to hit the deadlines. Always plan and finish your work on time. You will see a noticeable difference in your productivity once you follow the habit of finishing your work early.
Smart work is the key to digital marketing success. Proper time management helps to maximize the effectiveness of your work. Always set a timetable for your work, stay organized and don’t pick up clients who don’t play well.
Also, use the best tools that improve your productivity, and finish your work on time. All of us have 24 hours in a day, but it’s up to you to make the most of it. Manage your time effectively and get more work done in less time.
Better task management leads to higher productivity and decreases stress levels. When you’re productive, you can make room for more projects that lead to higher monthly income. Excellent time management skills enable you to complete work accurately and on time, which will keep your employers happy.
Author: Denise Langenegger is part of the team at Instasize – a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile.