Seriously. I was reading Get Seen, Steve Garfield’s book on using video for marketing. He had a suggestion for eliminating distracting sounds when you’re shooting video that actually makes a lot of sense, and that has far-reaching implications to marketing success.
Some of my clients need a plan to develop their marketing systems. They need to know what to do next to make the best use of their time and money. Many of them KNOW what to do next, or at least know how to find out what to do next. But that next step often gets put off. Weeks or months later, it’s still not done.
Marketing gets pushed to the bottom of the to-do list for lots of reasons. It’s important but not noisily urgent.
We know that the biggest difference between success and failure in marketing is regular focus and attention. To put it very simply, our clients that invest in marketing and make it a priority, succeed.
It’s very easy to get distracted by the shiny objects on the Internet. It’s very easy to get sidetracked by salespeople when you call to ask questions or to purchase advertising – and to buy something that doesn’t fit into your plan. It’s very easy to push your marketing plan off the bottom of your to-do list today because there are other things that need attention.
Like your cell phone.
Back to the story. (Apologies for the, ahem, distraction.) What Garfield discovered while shooting video was that he could eliminate the noise made by the refrigerator by turning it off or unplugging it temporarily during a video shoot. He put his car keys in the fridge so that he wouldn’t leave without remembering to turn it back on again.
Asking all of the participants (cast and staff in a video he was shooting) to put their cell phones in the fridge also brought renewed focus and presence of mind to the photo shoot. Most people’s cell phones are full of “helpful” information and distracting little alerts, even when you put them on silent. Actually being physically parted from the device for some short amount of time is good for you. Seriously. And finding out how difficult it is to put your cell phone in the fridge and leave it there for an hour might be surprising.
If you’re in the Aviation Marketing Master Class, or even if you’re not, you know that spending at least an hour a week on developing and implementing your marketing plan is important. You know the benefits that an effective a system to attract and engage new customers would bring your business. But does it get done? If not, here are a few suggestions.
- Pick a regular block of time each week. Mine is Monday mornings. No meetings, no phone calls.
- Put it on your calendar as a regular item and make it a practice to defend this time against all obstacles. (Even your boss.)
- If you work in an office, put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign.
- If you work at home, put out the cat. Buy the dog an enormous new chew toy. Send the spouse and kids to run errands or to a movie.
- Unplug anything you don’t need. Unplug the Internet if you’re just using your word processor. Unplug the whole computer if you write (or think) better on paper.
Tim Ferris’ book The Four Hour Workweek has a wonderful chapter on “Interrupting Interruptions and the Art of Refusal” which is excellent reading for those of us who have a problem with this.
Oh look, a butterfly!
Seriously, being able to create a plan and execute that plan seems to be something that very few people are capable of. I worked for Franklin Covey for a number of years and taught time management classes. That method works for many people. Whatever system, method or tricks you employ to keep yourself on track, it boils down to importance. Is your business and your career important enough to invest in? If it is, find the time and find a way.
Just like exercise, your coach can’t do it for you. We can provide guidance to help you decide what to do, but as the business owner, but you set the priorities and the tone for setting up your system, executing your plan, and communicating with your customers.