You’ve had a long day and are getting ready to close your eyes. You suddenly wake up startled. You forgot to email a client that their product is going to be a day late because of inclement weather. You hurry to your laptop or smartphone and send the client a rushed email. Now you’re never going to get that much-needed sleep because you can’t help thinking about what else you forgot to accomplish the previous day.
While there are numerous ways to increase your productivity, you may often overlook the smaller daily online tasks – like sending out that one email to a client – that will spread brand awareness and keep your audience in the loop. That may sound like a lot of work, but you can become successful online by doing the following small tasks.
Go Over Your To-Do Lists
Have you ever woken up in the morning and had no idea what you’re doing for the day? Unless it’s during the weekend, you probably have your work days planned out in advance. Larger tasks, such as business meetings, have already been scheduled and imported into your calendar. Other smaller tasks, like reaching out to influencers, may have just been added to your to-do-list the night before. While both are important to the overall success of your online business, certain tasks trump others based on their urgency. And, that’s when to-do-lists come in handy. They can keep you organized by prioritizing your tasks for the day.
As you’re sipping your morning cup of coffee first thing in the morning, take a couple of minutes to go over your to-do-list. Even though you have that Skype call in your calendar, you won’t receive a reminder until an half an hour or so prior to the call. If you forgot about that call, because you’re doing other tasks, you may not have enough time to prepare for it. If you were reminded about the call in the morning, you wouldn’t’ be got off guard.
When creating your to-do-lists, try and prioritize it so that the most important tasks come first.
Communicate With Clients
Whether you’re a consultant or running an eCommerce site, the relationship with your clients is the backbone of your business. As you’re checking your inbox every morning, you definitely can’t ignore an email from a concerned client. Even though you may be swamped, you at least have to timely respond to the client and inform them then you’ve received their email and you’ll look into the matter. The client, or customer, may have a question about the status of a project or when their product will arrive. Ignoring these concerns isn’t going to help your reputation. So, set aside the time each day to go through your inbox instead of letting those emails pile up.
Communication with your clients and customers doesn’t just involve problem solving. You also should be in frequent contact with them to keep them updated on the progress of a project or if a product has shipped. You can also send out newsletters to your subscribers that share your latest piece of content. You can even ask your clients or customers questions that will improve your business, like which type of content would be most valuable to them. Heck, you could even personally thank or wish a client a happy birthday with a an email or quick email. Building those personal relationships through communication will convert a customer or client into a loyal advocate.
While in some circumstances, like responding to a question, you should respond personally, you can automate many of your emails though services like MailChimp.
Build Your Brand
In a perfect world, you could publish a blog post everyday – either on your site as a guest blogger. The problem with that is you may either get burnout or just don’t have the time to produce content every single day. That doesn’t mean though that you still can’t build your brand on a daily basis.
While there are more than enough social media management tools, such SproutSocial, HootSuite, Social Oomph, that can be used to schedule and manage your social media accounts, you shouldn’t completely automate your brand’s social media voice. You should be engaging and interacting with your audience and influencers daily – even if it’s a retweet or Facebook like. You should also share content from influencers or any other relevant industry news to your customers. Just remember that the content is or high quality and provides value.
Another way to build your brand is to interact and engage with authority figures and customers on niche message forums, LinkedIn groups, Quora, or Reddit. Just answering a question on one these forums can increase your online visibility and help establish you as an authority figure – which both will help to continue to build your brand.
While you don’t want to overload yourself with information successful online business owners should always try to learn something new everyday. For example, they could learn how to code by watching an instructional video on Lynda or practicing to write code via Codecademy. You don’t have to become an expert, but understanding the basics of coding could help propel your business to the next level since you can quickly diagnose a problem.
Knowledge, however, just doesn’t mean that you’re learning a new skill. You could conduct quick market research, like keyword research with Wordstream, or staying on top of industry trends by setting up a Google Alert or reading articles through your Feedly news feed. Keeping on top of the latest trends and news in your industry will maintain a competitive edge by helping you discover the latest techniques.
Try all you might, the reality is that you’re no Superman. There’s only so many hours in a day to accomplish all of the tasks and goals that you have set in place. That’s why you need to delegate certain tasks to team members. Whether it’s managing a team of content writers for your blog or outsourcing tax preparation to an account, you should surround yourself with talented individuals who can help lessen your workload and capitalize on your weaknesses.
Make Sure Everything is in Order
Finally, you need to make sure that every aspect of your business is running like a well-oiled machine. For example, you can check to see if there any errors on your website by visiting Google’s Webmaster tools. You may discover that there is a dead link on your landing page which prevents visitors from continuing to a product page. Another example is logging into your bank account to review your finances or following-up with a client who hasn’t paid their invoice. Both of those ensure that you have a positive cash flow.
Even if you don’t have the time to accomplish all of these tasks everyday, you should set aside the time to focus on at least one of these tasks daily, like check your website on Mondays and going through unpaid invoices on Thursdays.