In any marketing setting, whether you are working for an internal department or an external agency, you are probably all too familiar with expanding your job role outside of its normal function. You feel pressured to meet tight deadlines, and there never seems to be enough hours in a day. If you’re anything like us, you also want to put your stamp on the role you’re in, becoming known for what you do and the way you do it. However, the downside to this scenario is that you are often derailed by your internal processes, in terms of efficiency and structure. While it might seem like things have to stay this way, we want to empower you to challenge the status quo and find new ways of working that truly move the needle forward and propel you into an innovative mindset.
It's Always the Little Things That Take the Most Time
How often do you find yourself getting hung up on small tasks and asks? Whether it’s hunting down a document in your shared drive for a coworker, being asked by other team members to review something that you might not necessarily need to review, or being caught in an email chain of finding a time that works for all parties. While these “small” tasks don’t appear to be large in the time they steal from your day, added up they can become huge black holes of lost hours.
So try this: document these small tasks and the time they take for 1-2 weeks, then find solvable patterns such as batching tasks, shifting to another teammate, or improving with automation. In the meantime, here are four roadblocks you might regularly encounter with solutions to make your life easier.
ROADBLOCK #1: You are Constantly Being Hit Up for Resources
“Hey Amanda, can you find and send me the final presentation for…?” “Quick q for you Jason, can you send me the brand guidelines for this client?” These are all questions that we will encounter at some point in our routine. While the asker might think they will be quick tasks that won’t really derail your day, the truth is that the asker could probably find this resource just as fast as you can.
SOLUTION #1: Keep Everything in a Community Drive That Is Well Organized
It’s time to hand over the keys to the kingdom and empower your team to do their own scavenger hunts for resources. With a well-organized drive that is accessible to everyone, there is no excuse for people to ping you about finding one document. If you’re new to a shared drive experience, we recommend holding a training session, recording the training experience, and then keeping the training within the drive for quick reference. The next time someone asks you to find them something, you can send them the link to the drive or the recording.
ROADBLOCK #2: It's Nearly Impossible to Set a Meeting Time in One Email
When you’re trying to meet with individuals, especially when they are outside of your organization, it can become quite the challenge to find a meeting time that works for everyone. How many times have you been stuck sending numerous back and forth communication about setting a meeting time? Don’t get us wrong, it is extremely important to have your meetings and make sure the time works for everyone, but there has to be a better way!
SOLUTION #2: Use a Calendar Link in Your Email Signature
If you’re sending an email, why wouldn’t you put your meeting link right there for your clients and team members to use? Applications such as Calendly, HubSpot, and Simplybook make this process easy to sync your calendar, allow individuals to see your available time slots, book their meeting with the time they need, and allow you to set your preferences to avoid over or double booking. Then refer the individual(s) you are meeting with to this link to see your open slots and book time that works for both sides! Just be sure to block out your meal times, deep focus time, and other breaks you might need to stay on track.
ROADBLOCK #3: Your Sales Team Needs Something and They Need It Now
While one would think that sales and marketing are in constant communication with each other, the reality is that these two departments can become extremely siloed. This instance is to blame when sales comes to you with a request for a new tool or asset that needs to be created immediately. Not only can this seriously mess up your schedule and add another thing to your plate, it is not efficient communication and can lead to more questions.
SOLUTION #3: Be the Driving Force in Connectivity
Sales and marketing are almost always working towards the same goal: revenue. There are very few instances where these two departments do not align in that regard. This is the place where you can set a standing meeting on a somewhat regular basis with the individuals who are normally hitting you up for requests to ensure you are up to date with what they need, any details required for completing the job, etc. Additionally, having a project management tool such as Trello, Monday, Asana, or even a comprehensive spreadsheet can help prioritize tasks and assets they need completed with space to add details you might need.
ROADBLOCK #4: You Can Never Get the Big Stuff Done
Morning stand up meeting, sync with team members about special projects, meeting with client 1, meeting with web developer, meeting with client 2, sync up with the graphic designer, it never ends. Not to mention the hundreds of chat notifications you get with simple questions throughout the day, you have responsibilities and tasks you have to get done!
SOLUTION #4: Gatekeep Your Time and Eliminate Distractions
We know, easier said than done, but if you get in the practice of booking off focus time and turning off your notifications, you’ll learn to work efficiently. Plus, if you have shared calendars through your company, anyone that would like to meet with you or needs your help can see that you’ve blocked your deep work time and will be available later. Also, try to get in the habit of knocking out the big things first. If you start your day with a list of three major tasks to accomplish, you’ll have a clear sense of where your destination is. This in mind, your work week will hopefully get easier as you move forward!
Keep On Marching!
At the end of the day, you know yourself and your team better than anyone else. If things are not working internally but no one is finding solutions, empower yourself to make those changes, even if you get some pushback, and stick with them for a couple of weeks! As you learn these new processes and get out of old habits, things will come easier for everyone. Not to mention, if it truly does not work out, you can always revert to what was. Being an innovator and crushing your role means being agile and taking the waves as they come. Be sure to check out our resource library for other templates, guides, eBooks, and checklists that can help you on your journey to becoming a top-tier marketer.