By Cheyanne Flerx
As a former veterinary marketing manager, I know how busy the practice can get and how easily marketing can get placed on the back burner with other things in the practice taking priority. As a result, you are pressed for time to complete other tasks necessary to keep the practice running, like marketing. Sound familiar?
So how are you supposed to maintain excellent and efficient marketing if you only have an hour or two a week to focus on marketing? Try the following tips!
As simple as it sounds, I get that is it easier said than done. You need to set aside time to work on marketing. Put it on the calendar and treat it like an appointment. Even if you are only able to dedicate 30 minutes to an hour, block it off. I know how easy it is to get pulled away to help on the floor or with another task in the clinic, but you have to protect the time you’ve scheduled for marketing work.
If you aren’t able to schedule a dedicated time for marketing, then it’s time to chat with your supervisor(s). If they want you to work on the clinic’s social media or promotional materials, they need to give you ample time to do so. I promise that even though it is uncomfortable, it will help your overall job performance. If your management team won’t allow you the time, then it’s time to have a different conversation.
Now that you’ve scheduled time, it’s time to get to work, but how? Your time is precious, so you’ll want to intentional with your efforts and maximize your time. Set the tone and create boundaries. It’s hard to work with constant interrupts, so do yourself a favor and set boundaries that discourage your co-workers from interrupting you. Even if that means you close the door to your office with a “do not disturb” sign on the outside or no human contact whatsoever, find what works for you. Then clearly communicate your intentions and boundaries with your team.
Set up channels where your team members can communicate with you without busting in and breaking your concentration, where they can still reach you when you’re available. My favorite tools are Slack or email. I can easily mute or turn off these channels whenever I need to focus on work.
Bonus tip: utilize methods like time blocking and time batching to supercharge your productivity and work more efficiently during your dedicated work sessions.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not too fond of scrambling to get a post out. Mistakes are made, and your work’s overall quality decreases drastically; thus, the post looks thrown together. To avoid that feeling, I plan out my content for at least two weeks in advance, if not four weeks. By doing this, I not only feel more prepared, but I save time and energy trying to think of something to post.
Plus, it allows me to add value to my posts that will actually convert business and add to the overall brand image where funny cat videos and posts from other pages won’t. With that said, in your plan, make sure you leave room for changes to your social media posts.
In other words, plan to publish posts ahead of time, but make your plan flexible to allow for random patient stories or updates that need to be published sooner than your preplanned content.
I personally love to use Milanote to help me brainstorm my marketing and social media plans. If you need some inspiration, I love the new Snout School marketing planners because they help to speed up your planning time while keeping you hyper-focus on your marketing goals.
Create a backup plan
Things change, life happens, but that doesn’t mean you should let that totally derail your plan for your marketing. Create a library of content where you can continuously visit and draw ideas from.
Include your favorite resources, great bits of information, or random ideas for you to consult when you need a creative spark or lack content. This alone will reduce the time it takes for you to do research and gather ideas in the moment of content creation. Google Drive, Airtable, or Trello are great places to host your content library.
Automate where you can
Do you find yourself repeating the same tasks again and again, like the same version of an email or social media post? Create a template where you can make a copy and tweak to fit the moment. Set up systems and checklists for repeating tasks where you can master the process, speed up your productivity, and remind you of important tasks that may easily get forgotten. Reminders are another great tool to improve your consistency in completing tasks regularly. I like to use a project management tool like ClickUp or Trello to automate specific tasks and track others.
Hopefully, these five tips help you set boundaries, be more productive, and help feel more confident in your marketing.
If you love marketing your veterinary practice and want to nerd out with like-minded people, then join the Veterinary Social Media: A Community by Snout School Facebook Group. We’d love to have you!