I love checklists and use them in my daily life for both business and personal use.
For example, I created a travel checklist after forgetting my neck pillow on the last plane trip I took. It was a 5-hour cross-country flight and I paid dearly for that oversight. I also have a grocery shopping checklist, a speaking engagement checklist, a cat sitter checklist (this pairs nicely with my travel checklist), and, they’re helpful for the courses I teach too.
Call me insanely organized but it works for me.
More often than not, the tasks that need doing to keep your marketing on point are repetitive and can be systematized. The content or project may be different, but the specific tasks are the same. By creating a checklist that’s all-encompassing, you’ll:
✓ save time
✓ never forget another important task
✓ easily hand over tasks to a VA, intern, or new hire
✓ lower stress levels
✓ get more done
In The Checklist Manifesto, surgeon and author Dr. Atul Gawande recounts how the humble checklist has saved lives around the globe in the most harrowing life-and-death situations. Marketing may not be life and death (then again without it, your business will die a slow death), but it is an investment and deserves the time and respect it needs to be successful.
Here are examples of how to use checklists that support your marketing:
Social Media Posting – Whether you love being active on social media or not, it’s become a necessary task, but it doesn’t have to be torturous. You can’t post once a month and expect results, so to do it right, you must do it often. Having a checklist makes it faster, easier, and a lot more pleasant. And a consistent effort can pay off in the long run. Some items to include on this checklist are:
___tag people / organization
___cross post (if use)
Bonus: This can easily be applied to Blog Posts as well, by replacing hashtags with category tags.
On-Site Speaking Engagement Checklist – Forget your PPT backup one time and you’ll never do it again. Sometimes in the rush to prepare for speaking engagements, I’m so focused on creating, practicing, and delivering just the right content, that other important items can fall through the cracks. After years of doing speaking engagements, I’ve created a system that works for me. Of course, each situation is different. For example, sometimes there’s a videographer, and sometimes I’m responsible for my own videos. When that’s the case, I have to have my equipment with me to do it (and all said equipment has to be fully charged — no small matter to overlook, again learned the hard way).
This checklist has a before, during, and after component because to make the most of speaking engagements there are important follow-up items such as thanking the organizer, posting photos/videos to social, etc.
Items included on this checklist are:
___equipment on-site or need mine?
___charge all electronics
___customized and pack email sign-up sheets
___send PPT to myself and the organizer
___pack handouts / giveaways, etc.
___send post-event thank yous
And other important items I don’t want to forget.
Checklists are key to my sanity and productivity. Give them a try and see how they can make your life easier too. Have a look at the ones I use to get some inspiration and create ones that work for your organization.
If you’re a busy solopreneur or micro-business owner who wears too many hats, I promise you checklists will save your sanity and make marketing fun again.
Photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters