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Are You Making These E-Commerce Excuses? (part 2)
Last time, we started to take a look at the most common reasons why most people don't make progress on their e-commerce and Internet marketing goals. Today, we continue the discussion. [See part 1 of this article at http://www.ecommercediva.com/articles/excuses2.html]
Excuse #5: " I just don't have time. I'm too busy dealing with [customers, clients, day job, family, etc.] to deal with my web site."
Isn't it interesting that the folks who have the fewest orders to fill or have the fewest clients to serve are usually the same people who say they don't have time to market their products or services?
That's because the most successful entrepreneurs - the ones with all the orders and clients they can handle - know how important marketing is to establishing and growing their business. They don't put marketing at the bottom of their to-do lists, waiting until everything else is done before they get to it. The successful ones make the time; they schedule it in on an ongoing basis. It's a winning habit.
You can do the same! It's a matter of priority. Try this: Block out some time on your schedule to do your marketing tasks. Make this appointment with yourself, and keep it! Treat it as if it were a hot date with the man or woman of your dreams, or an important meeting with your biggest client. In other words, be on time, be prepared when you get there, and be adamant about not allowing interruptions or distractions.
Actually, I started doing this myself. I call it "Marketing Mondays" and I block out a minimum of four hours each and every Monday to work on my web site, write new articles, create marketing materials, and the like. I've been doing it for several months now, and the results have been phenomenal! I'm blazing through all of the marketing stuff that got put on the back burner last year, including my new web site, http://www.EcommerceDiva.com, which launched earlier this year.
If you're looking at your Palm Pilot or DayPlanner and you're still convinced you don't have enough time for marketing, check out Suzanne Falter-Barns' list of "30 Guaranteed Time Wasters" from her book, "Living Your Joy: A Practical Guide to Happiness." You can download a "Time Wasters" excerpt here (PDF): http://www.howmuchjoy.com/11GuaranteedTimeSavers.pdf
Excuse #6: "Every time I sit down to work on my marketing, I just can't seem to stay focused."
This one goes hand in hand with procrastination. You sit down to work on your web site, all full of gusto and good intentions. But the next thing you know, you're rearranging items on your desk, sharpening pencils (which you probably don't even use!), checking email, doodling, and everything else. Sound familiar?
Let me tell you, I'm great at finding little meaningless things to do when I'm dreading a particular task! But I'm going to share three tricks that have really worked for me. Maybe they'll work for you, too.
1. TIME IT. If you know that a four-hour "Marketing Monday"-type block of time is just not going to work for you, try it in one-hour increments, four days a week. The shorter time frame will leave a smaller opportunity for you to get distracted. Schedule the date and time for it, then get yourself a timer. (My friend Janet Hall, "The Organizing Wizard," [http://www.overhall.com] gave me this tip.) Set the timer for 60 minutes, and work like crazy for those 60 minutes with total focus. When the timer goes off, put the marketing away and work on something else. For best results, skip the timer on your digital watch and get a regular old kitchen timer. There's something about the ticking noise that really gets me going, and when I hear that "ding!" at the end, I just feel like celebrating because I know it's over!
2. PICTURE IT. Sometimes we get too bogged down with tasks that we lose sight of the big picture. What do you really want from your business? What is it that you're working for? And what will your life look like if you have a thriving, successful business? A certain house or car? More time with your family? A tropical vacation? What does success look like for you? Find a picture that represents your "success" -- cut it out of a magazine or print it off the Internet if you don't have an actual photograph -- and post it at your desk, tape it to your computer, or place it wherever you do your marketing work. And every time you feel like you're losing focus on your marketing efforts, look at the image and think about how completing the task will being you one step closer to achieving your dream.
3. SMELL IT! (Say what??) No, seriously. Try aromatherapy. Aside from all the anecdotal evidence, scientific research now shows that really is something to ancient art of using essential oils to heal the mind, body and spirit. Specifically, oils of basil, geranium, frankincense, lemon, peppermint, and rosemary can be used to improve your ability to focus and concentrate. Be sure to use the pure essential oils and not just "fragrance oils." Just add a few drops to a tissue, and inhale. (NOTE: If you're pregnant, avoid basil, peppermint, and rosemary altogether; and avoid frankincense and geranium during the first trimester.)
For me, a combination of frankincense and geranium works best. I've Been studying aromatherapy and creating all-natural products for the past 21/2 years, so I create my own blends. But you can find all kinds of pure oils, spritzes for the room and the body, and plug-in diffusers for your home, office, and car at your local health food store, retailers like The Body Shop, or online shops like Indigo Wild (http://www.IndigoWild.com -- check out their "Zum Body Mist" in Rosemary-Mint.) When I feel my mind wandering, I just get a good whiff of frankincense and geranium, and I'm immediately good to go!
If you're too much of a skeptic to try aromatherapy, just pull out a freshly minted $20 bill and inhale the scent of fresh money!
So there you have it...
You have no more excuses not to turn your web site into the fabulous, cash-generating marketing vehicle that it can be. What are you waiting for? GET TO WORK!!
(c) Copyright 2005 Jamila White. All rights reserved.
[NOTE: You are welcome to "reprint" this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the "about the author" info at the end and the copyright notice), and you send a copy of your reprint to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jamila White, "The E-Commerce Diva", is an Internet Strategist, Web Designer, and E-Commerce instructor in the Washington D.C. area. For a FREE subscription to her "Sell More Online" e-newsletter, go to http://www.ecommercediva.com.
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