So you want to be a world-class marketer.
But do you really know what it takes to master the art of marketing?Because marketing is now as much intuition as it is data. Modern marketing it is a balance between speed and quality - the art of marketing truly is an art.
The 10,000 hour rule, which is typically associated with Malcom Galdwell - who features Bill Gates as a showcase of the power of 10,000 hours of deliberate practice in one of his books, "Outliers" - doesn't universally apply to everyone in every role. Different fields require varying amounts of dedication to perfect.
In fact, a study by Princeton may debunk the entire thing.
The point being, that to be a master of anything you need to be passionate enough about to sustain years, even decades, perfecting the craft.
You can master anything, with focus and patience.
Productivity, in a nutshell, is the act of getting shit done.
Great companies and people obsess over productivity, trying to get as much done as possible.
And inbound marketers are no different.
Inbound marketing requires marketers to produce and promote a lot of high quality content to drive short term results.
The result is marketers are now producing a higher volume of content than ever before but getting lower engagement.
Inbound marketers struggle with this balance of creating quality content thats engaging and getting traction for the content. This kind of content takes significant time to produce then promote, making it difficult to consistently produce - balancing quality versus speed.
This struggle puts the breaks on productivity because it creates a lack of focus.
To master inbound marketing and achieve ultimate productivity you have to remain not only focused, this is what keeps you motivated over long periods of time bust also patient; mastering any craft isn't going to happen overnight.
Lucky for us, we are wired to automatically satisfy our cravings and this is where habits can be the key to building success.
Charles Duhigg's book "The Power Of Habit" reveals how powerful habits can and what you can achive when tapping into that power.
The Habit Loop
Habits form a craving around an activity because a sense of satisfaction follows completion of the target activity.
Habits are run by a loop, starting with a trigger, then a routine, and finally a reward.
First there is a cue that sets off a trigger to do something, then a sequence of actions are executed, ending with a reward for completing the actions.
The secret sauce to the habit loop is the craving. When you begin to crave the reward before you complete the sequence of actions, you've developed a habit.
Bill Gates didn't have to force himself to use a computer when he was young, it was a habit. He craved the statisfaction of problem solving while working with computers.
This is why you have to pay special attention to how you're currently being rewarded and what new rewards to introduce. If you don't get excited about or look forward to your reward, reevaluate the reward or habit will never take shape.
Habits with strong rewards are powerful and sticky. Building habits around your focus will actually save time by making effort automatic rather than draining precious willpower to complete tasks. If you take the time to develop the right habits now you will have a dramatic impact on future productivity and results.
Hacking The Growth Loop to Achieve Speed
To achieve predictable results, scalability and speed, we are going to need to combine the science of habits with the art of growth hacking.
Growth hacking, according to wikipedia, is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most effective, efficient ways to grow a business.
Growth hacking refers to a set of both conventional and unconventional marketing experiments that lead to growth of a business.
The first stage of the growth hacking loop is ideate. Create hypotheses for new experiments that you can test under specific criteria.
Now prioritize your hypotheses to determine which experiment is best to run next. You want your prioritization process to be rigorous, otherwise you'll end up testing too many ideas. Surface only the tests with the most potential low effort and high impact.
Next is testing of the hypotheses through experiments. Some experiments are going to lead to big results and others, not so much but that's okay. Learning what doesn't work is as powerful as learning what does.
Finally, it's time to measure results/progress and analyze trends to quickly validate learning. Through quantitative and qualitative data dives, determine not only what what experiments to keep running but also new growth opportunities.
The idea is to always be testing which growth hacks are working best and then to establish a strong habit around the ones that do.
Some of these growth hacks are designed to improve actual work, others are to improve general productivity.
Gary Vaynerchuck likes to talk about macro patience and micro speed. You have to have both.
You need to remain keyed in on a single course/objective and have patience to see it through while also deploying speed on a micro level, in your day-to-day operations.
12 Powerful Growth Hacks
Below you'll find a list of 12 growth hacking routines that you should focus on building into habits to be a more productive inbound marketer.
With each routine you'll find best practices and suggestions around building a strong habit out of the routine.
1. Morning Planning
Having completed just a few things before most people are awake is a gratifying feeling.
This isn't a productivity hack only for marketers, rather a habit for productivity.
The early morning can be your most productive hours, putting you in the driver's seat to start the day.
Every morning, take the time to plan out your day. Many Executives write down the three most important targets each day. [ Betty Liu ]
Know where you are going through detailed SMART goals and Stretch goals, and how you plan to get there with your strategy.
Then each morning, plan out three actions to complete that day that will move the needle closer to your targets.
Not only does this create focus for your day but it also builds knowledge. Consistently looking at which action have the most impact keeps you in tune to what works and what doesn't.
Just remember that productivity is a mindset, a habit that is developed.
2. Eat a live frog
"Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day." - Mark Twain
Another general productivity hack to consider building a habit around is doing your most dreaded tasks in the morning. This doesn't mean the hardest work first, it means getting the least enjoyable work out of the way early to focus on what you do enjoy.
There are studies that your willpower diminishes throughout the day. It's a lot easier to skip your workout after work then if you get up and go first thing in the morning.
Email is still one of the most effective marketing techniques, and when done right, can produce some pretty amazing results.
But it can also be one of the most annoying things to deal with on a individual level.
To become more productive and efficient with your emails focus on building a habit. A workflow designed to produce emails that work.
The goal, respond to and write emails with extreme focus. Simple to the point. Win-win for everyone.
Start by defining your hypothesis and create outline.
- Choose your audience
- Define objective, stage, content.
- Choose subject type
Then define how to manage and operate.
- Auto categorize
- Instant Response
- Build Templates
- Source links
4. Social Media
Like any other marketing channel, social media takes planning and discipline itself. Knowing your goals and what exactly it is you're promoting/talking about helps to align everyones approach.
Your social media should run ahead at all times, meaning you want to have posts scheduled weeks in advance so you have enough room to react the social behavior (clicks and engagement) and adjust future messages on the fly.
Schedule an editorial calendar out in advance and create a daily routine to monitor published messages, and tweak future posts.
Each day you should focus on what messages are doing well and which ones aren't in regards to your specific efforts.
- Source Links:
No one really wants to eat lunch at their desk yet so many do - I know I am guilty of this.
But did you know that it's actually good for you to leave your work space for lunch. While eating lunch, giving yourself new scenery and putting your brain on pause for a few minutes helps you to refuel.
As I mentioned above, your willpower diminishes throughout the day. When you don't change it up for lunch you're will power will dissipate faster and you'll have an easier time procrastinating.
6. To-do list
We briefly touched on the power of the to-do list in number one and how they can help you plan your day. But to-do lists can be equally as powerful as software because it's about the workflow not the tool.
There are a surprising number of ways to think about and design your to-do lists. HubSpot's [name] does a great job of explaining a 7 of them. I want to focus on two in particular.
- Source Links:
Set daily goals, daily, and review monthly goal progress, daily.
Get in the habit of writing down your goals and reviewing your goals. This is one of the most powerful things you can do, not only as a marketer, but as any professional.
The more you see your goals, the more you remember your goals, the more you can picture your goals the more real your goals become.
When setting your goals, follow this simple routine to bake in goal setting best practices.
Define your annual goals
Work backwards to define monthly targets
Set SMART goals each month to find your focus
Track your results daily
Review them daily
- Source Links:
8. Time Tracking
Tracking your time for about two weeks can be one of the most powerful things you can do. Not only does it provide insight into how you're spending your time, but it also allows you to consciously see where time is wasted.
750 words. Simple yet effective tool for building a strong habit around writing. The idea of the tool is simple. Each day you log in and write 750 words but any and everything.
It shows you all kinds of data that acts as your reward and drives you to want to come back the next day and beat your score.
Software has added new levels of what is possible for achieving better productivity.
- Google Keep
- Google Analytics
- Source Links:
11. Brand Alignment
This habit has an emotional level to it. To be a truly productive marketer you need to be passionate about what it is you're marketing.
Inbound marketing is driven by inspiration and connection. Creating a message that attracts people to you and inspires them to take action.
Without passion and excitement behind marketing, your results will suffer.
Your attitude is actual a habit. There are some people who are in the habit of thinking the world is out to get them and tend to look at everything through a half empty glass, while other look through a half full glass.
Attitude is contagious.
Get in the habit of thinking positive and you will find yourself searching for answers more often than complaining.
Facebook Messenger Ads
Facebook messenger is a popular platform that is used by a big chunk of Facebook users. It's continuing to grow in popularity so marketers have started to take notice.
Facebook Messenger Ads appear in a users newsfeed.
Details: Facebook Messenger has become popular over the past couple of years, and it's going to continue to grow. Messenger ads provide marketers another avenue to start a conversation with potential customers. Your ad will simply appear in the News Feed with a call-to-action button that begins a personalized Messenger conversation.
For example, Nordstrom's Messenger chatbot asks a series of questions about user preferences, which can be answered right in the Messenger app. Based on the user's input, Nordstrom then suggests specific products, gift ideas, etc.
Optimizing your day can be a difficult task to take on but will pay dividends in the future.
Building the right habits around your goals can be a productivity miracle. Habits are difficult to break because of how automatic they are.
The good news, developing focused and meaningful habits will be just as difficult to break once they've truly become automatic.
To be a more productive inbound marketer you have to be able to manage and respond to a lot of moving parts while also keeping everything organized and simple.
With the right goals and the right routines you can develop habits that propel you forward.
What habits have completely changed your daily workflow? How much control did you have over it?
Our Growth-Driven Design services are built and delivered around the above habits. If you want to learn more about applying continuous improvement processes to your website to drive results, schedule time with us here.