This is a sneak peak of my upcoming book: #GrowthHackathon: Digital Marketing on a Budget – Which is about how to chunk your top marketing tasks and create an “unfair” advantage for yourself by becoming famous in your niche.
No matter what you do – it will never measure up to how ridiculously fast pace the internet is moving culture now. I will probably write this book faster than 90% of books are written, and publish it myself quicker than most people would feel comfortable with. Even so, there will STILL be things that are out of date, that feel a little wrong – just because that is how quickly anything marketing, social media, or search traffic related changes.
What does that fast paced nature of the digital marketing landscape mean for you?
It means your business should move quickly.
The premise of this book is that you should chunk a ton of effort in spurts I call a #growthackathon.
When you bundle a ton of work related to your company or organization’s marketing and do it all at once – you create efficiencies in your time that just don’t happen two hours on Tuesday and two hours on Wednesday and four hours on Saturday.
The other thing about a #growthhackathon is it can help you to start seeing your company’s marketing as fun. A delightful challenge you’ve dedicated a serious chunk of time to.
I have a #growthhackathon scheduled in the next couple days – and I can’t wait. We’re planning on ordering some Papa John’s pizza and overdosing on coffee. We’re planning to hole up and literally work til midnight. You call it workaholism, but I say it’s not unhealthy if you love what you do.
Can you sustain that kind of enthusiasm for months on end?
That’s why chunking is so beautiful…by no means is a #growthhackathon the only concept that might reinvigorate your marketing efforts in this book, but it might be the one that you can include a like-minded, ambitious friend to take part.
When you have fun with your marketing efforts, they’re more likely to succeed
Obnoxious YouTube advertiser Tai Lopez said something on a podcast recently that struck me as extremely relevant.
Most people focus on the marketing that serves to educate – more than entertain. Say you are educating with 80% of your content and 20% of your marketing and the things you tweet about and share are entertaining, his challenge was to push that entertaining content up another 10%.
When asked why he always talks about the opportunities of his courses in front of nice cars, and big pools, and giant houses – he essentially said it’s a hack, more people will want to watch a couple seconds longer and naturally fixate on these elements. I’m not sure how much I believe him, but he said he simply strives to live a more interesting life, and then it makes creating an attractive setting for his content easier.
“Chunking” is grouping like tasks, and plenty of productivity gurus swear by it
From Tony Robbins’s ‘Rapid Planning Method’ to Tim Ferriss, amazing and productive people appreciate this general idea and suggest it to great effect.
The overall problem with multi-tasking is that ‘startup time’ kills productivity and efficiency, so if you are juggling or switching from task to task all of the time you can lower the amount of time getting the meat of the work done.
First get a couple of goals as your guiding principle. For a #growthhackathon you might have a long term goal of 10 qualified prospects added to your sales pipeline, and a short-term goal of creating 20 pieces of interesting original content on your blog, YouTube channel, and social accounts and vigorously promoting them. Continue by capturing, move to grouping like items together, then prioritize your absolute most important thing.
I find this question from the book “The One Thing” to be extremely helpful in this process “What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
Continue this process down the line, to line up the absolute highest value items you can do, and then follow these three steps with massive action. Unless a meeting, phone call, or e-mail is directly related and going to help you get to your ultimate #growthhackathon goal – try to remove those from the chunk of time you’re going to dedicate to it.
So let’s go through the phases of a #growthhackathon one by one.
One: Your guiding goals
Your guiding goals should be S.M.A.R.T. goals:
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
- Achievable (agreed, attainable)
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)
Ideally, you’d put your guiding goals at the top of your brainstorm. You can modify them later but start with a ‘long-term goal’ that’s ideal for you and is the number one thing that would move your business in the right direction. Also, assess if it’s actually possible for the work you do during your #growthhackathon – make it specific, measurable, and throw a date next to it. Perhaps a month out from the #growthhackathon.
Then set a ‘short term goal’ that directly relates to your long-term goal – but this one should be completed at the end of the #growthhackathon, so it should be something you have absolute control over.
You can add sub-points to this at the end of your brainstorm, but try to make this main goal the absolute highest value set of things you’ll do, and can accomplish in the amount of time you have set aside for your #growthhackathon.
What’s an appropriate amount of time for a #growthackathon? I’m going to say at least one business day of the large variety, around 10 hours. For my #growthhackathon coming up in a week and a half, I’m going to do 32 hours (with a 7-hour sleep in their somewhere so 39 total). I want to test out this concept in a concentrated/dramatic way and I’ll report back a little later in the book how it worked and ways to get the most out of a more extreme version of this.
You want every single item to get down on paper that will help you get to your two main goals. So use your experience of what’s worked before for your marketing and consult the later chapters of this book in identifying the highest value action items you can think of that will help you get to your two primary #growthhackathon goals.
Spill everything and anything first, but if it doesn’t feed one of the two goals, we’re going to try to discard things that are simply time wasters.
Three: Move like items together
Your next step will be to create clusters of tasks that could be done more efficiently in a group. All e-mails that should be sent can be in one list, all ad creation in another, content writing could be another list, and social media engagement could be grouped, as well as any other types of activities that are similar.
Four: Prioritize highest value tasks first
Take these groupings and identify the absolute most critical first – and put a big one next to it and circle it.
Continue down the line for the second most critical grouping, and for the third. If one higher in the list is contingent on one lower in the priority scale, you may need to re-arrange the order of execution, but avoid pushing up lower value tasks/groupings just to have something lower effort to do when you’re in the ‘massive action’ phase.
Five: Take massive action to knock out the list starting with highest value chunks first
Now it’s time to have at it. Don’t hold back, but prepare for the long day – get your coffee or energy drinks ready, plenty of water, block the time off on your calendar, and have food on hand or order it in.
This is powerhouse time. If you have a gap in this time at all, it doesn’t mean to move to ‘client work’ or to help customers or to call a busy-work meeting. It means to get back to your list of only the highest value items and add to it. If you’re at a loss for what those high-value items are, beyond a couple things that have been tried and true for you, that is what much of the rest of this book will help you with – keep reading.
Thank you for reading this sneak peek of my upcoming book: #GrowthHackathon: Digital Marketing on a Budget – Which is about how to chunk your top marketing tasks and create an “unfair” advantage for yourself by becoming famous in your niche.