When your agency is busy with a full slate of clients, it’s all too easy to put your business’s long-term projects on the back-burner, be that a website overhaul or a new marketing strategy. Delaying internal improvements, however, can hurt your business in the long run. It’s pretty tough to sell a comprehensive content marketing program centered on industry thought leadership to a potential client when your own company blog hasn’t been updated in the last 12 months.
I know what you’re thinking, “I’m barely keeping up with my current workload; how will I find time to get all these side projects done?” I feel your pain: juggling multiple clients and growing your own business is a serious challenge! Learning to be your own best client takes time. My secret: using web project management to not only track big client projects, but also the internal projects that are critical for my business’s growth. Here’s how to get started with project management software:
#1: Make business growth a priority.
Since your clients are the ones paying the bills, it’s natural to prioritize their work over a new marketing case study or website overhaul. It’s easy to justify the delay by saying, “Once this big project for Client X is done, I’ll have more time and can get started.” Let’s be honest: after Client X is finished, Client Y and Client Z are both going to need things, too. You have to make your business an equal priority. Do this by breaking up a major goal, like a new website, into smaller, actionable pieces. Schedule these using your project management software just like you would any deliverable for a client. Break them down into manageable pieces, put each deliverable on the calendar and set up task reminders.
#2: Assign ownership.
Let’s tackle one of the most challenging but important tasks that always gets sidelined: the company blog. Keeping your agency blog up to date is absolutely vital for building your agency’s reputation as an industry thought leader. But when you’re busing running content marketing programs for everyone else, who has time to update the blog? Your solution: put it on the schedule! Delegate a monthly blog assignment to key team members, set up milestones (e.g., topic submitted to marketing for approval, draft due, etc.) and use project management software to hold folks accountable.
#3: Build case studies into every project.
Just scored a major success for a client? Now’s the time to turn that success into a great case study and tap into a new business vertical – not a year from now when the client’s testimonial about your stellar work will be lukewarm at best. Rather than making case studies and other marketing materials a separate exercise, build them into an existing project timeline. After the final deliverable, add an extra task a few weeks down the line to touch base with your client for a testimonial and pass that information along to the marketing department to complete a case study about the project’s success.
Erin M is a freelance writer available for projects at WriterAccess.