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5 Ways To Improve Your Marketing Efforts

5 Ways To Improve Your Marketing Efforts

Marketing is the heart of every company, and is needed in order for a business to be successful today. Without successful marketing there is no successful business. Being that marketing is such a broad term, it encompasses so many things, such as online advertising, print advertising, public relations, promotions, and sales. The marketing process is a means by which any product or service is introduced and promoted to individuals. Without marketing, your business may provide products and services, but in the end your business could possibly fail. That’s why it is my solemn duty as an entrepreneur to provide you with 5 simple solutions to improve your marketing efforts.

1. Prepare A Budget And Plan

This will be the key element in understanding what you want your marketing efforts to look like. Having a solid budget will give you accountability as you begin brainstorming your marketing schematics. Remember you don’t have to spend tons of money to show you are professional. Whether you are a small business, or Fortune 500 company, I can guarantee that with proper financial preparation you will be successful. If available, and their time permits, bring in an accountant during this process to assist you.

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2. Find Your Marketing Niche

Often times after we prepare a budget and plan it can seem overwhelming. With so many options that are available to help you, which one is right for you? You have online marketing (social media, websites, banner ads), print, billboards, radio, television, mobile advertising, public relations, etc. The problem occurs in finding which marketing niche you want to commit to. When you can successfully focus on the option of choice, that’s already half of the work completed.

3. Research

When you find your marketing niche, research and speak with other businesses to see what they did and how they became successful through it. Research is a crucial part in the process; it allows you brainstorm and focus on the details that will help your marketing campaigns standout. There are also many government agencies nationally, by state, and locally that can provide many resources to help you.

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4. Relax And Stay Organized

I don’t know how many times I have spoken to individuals who have gotten so overwhelmed during this process. Most people forget that organization is everything in your marketing efforts. Several reasons why campaigns don’t succeed is because people become exhausted and frustrated through this process. Always keep calm and relaxed; if it ever feels as if it is becoming an overwhelming task, take some time to walk away and come back. Do something that will allow you to detox from it all; you don’t want stress to show through your marketing efforts.

5. When In Doubt, Hire Someone

If you still feel as if this is too daunting, maybe sourcing your marketing project out is your best option. Sometimes the best solutions are when you can bring a team, like Twiisted Media, in to help you. There are so many platforms out now that can offer you tons of quality services you are looking for, while working within your budget. At times this can be the best way to avoid all the other steps and stress behind it all.

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Verdict

I understand that this all can seem very daunting, but I truly believe if you follow these tips they can work for you. Sure, it’s not going to be easy, but what in life is? Remember to prepare a budget. During this process find your marketing niche and research. Lastly, relax and stay organized, because you can always bring somebody else in to help you. You can be successful with these tips; just be patient and stay the course.

Featured photo credit: LifeHack/www.lifehack.org via media.lifehack.org

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Christopher Alston

Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

If you spend any time at all researching life hacks, you’ve probably heard of the famous Pomodoro Technique.

Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is one of the more popular time management life hacks used today. But this method isn’t for everyone, and for every person who is a passionate adherent of the system, there is another person who is critical of the results.

Is the Pomodoro Technique right for you? It’s a matter of personal preference. But if you are curious about the benefits of using the technique, this article will break down the basic information you will need to decide if this technique is worth trying out.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management philosophy that aims to provide the user with maximum focus and creative freshness, thereby allowing them to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.

The process is simple:

For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically.

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You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes.

Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, named after the Italian word for tomato. Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer, and thus the method’s name.

After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a 15-20 minute break.

Every time you finish a pomodoro, you mark your progress with an “X”, and note the number of times you had the impulse to procrastinate or switch gears to work on another task for each 25-minute chunk of time.

How the Pomodoro Technique boosts your productivity

Frequent breaks keep your mind fresh and focused. According to the official Pomodoro website, the system is easy to use and you will see results very quickly:

“You will probably begin to notice a difference in your work or study process within a day or two. True mastery of the technique takes from seven to twenty days of constant use.”

If you have a large and varied to-do list, using the Pomodoro Technique can help you crank through projects faster by forcing you to adhere to strict timing.

Watching the timer wind down can spur you to wrap up your current task more quickly, and spreading a task over two or three pomodoros can keep you from getting frustrated.

The constant timing of your activities makes you more accountable for your tasks and minimizes the time you spend procrastinating.

You’ll grow to “respect the tomato”, and that can help you to better handle your workload.

Successful people who love it

Steven Sande of The Unofficial Apple Weblog is a fan of the system, and has compiled a great list of Apple-compatible Pomodoro tools.

Before he started using the technique, he said,

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“Sometimes I couldn’t figure out how to organize a single day in my calendar, simply because I would jump around to all sorts of projects and never get even one of them accomplished.”

Another proponent of the Pomodoro Technique is Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal. Shellenbarger tried out this system along with several other similar methods for time management, and said,

“It eased my anxiety over the passing of time and also made me more efficient; refreshed by breaks, for example, I halved the total time required to fact-check a column.”

Any cons for the Pomodoro Technique?

Despite the number of Pomodoro-heads out there, the system isn’t without its critics. Colin T. Miller, a Yahoo! employee and blogger, tried using the Pomodoro Technique and had some issues:[1]

“Pomodoros are an all or nothing affair. Either you work for 25 minutes straight to mark your X or you don’t complete a pomodoro. Since marking that X is the measurable sign of progress, you start to shy away from engaging in an activity if it won’t result in an X. For instance…meetings get in the way of pomodoros. Say I have a meeting set for 4:30pm. It is currently 4:10pm, meaning I only have 20 minutes between now and the meeting…In these instances I tend to not start a pomodoro because I won’t have enough time to complete it anyway.”

Another critic is Mario Fusco, who argues that the Pomodoro Technique is…well…sort of ridiculous:[2]

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“Aren’t we really able to keep ourselves concentrated without a timer ticketing on our desk?… Have you ever seen a civil engineer using a timer to keep his concentration while working on his projects?… I think that, like any other serious professional, I can stay concentrated on what I am doing for hours… Bring back your timer to your kitchen and start working in a more professional and effective way.”

Conclusion

One of the best things about the Pomodoro Technique is that it’s free. Yeah, you can fork over some bills to get a tomato-shaped timer if you want… or you can use any timer program on your computer or phone. So even if you try it and hate it, you haven’t lost any cash.

The process isn’t ideal for every person, or in any line of work. But if you need a systematic way to tackle your daily to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique may fit your needs.

If you want to learn more about the Pomodoro Technique, check out this article: How to Make the Pomodoro Technique More Productive

Reference

[1] Aspirations of a Software Developer: A Month of the Pomodoro Technique
[2] InfoQ: A Critique of the Pomodoro Technique

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