There’s one universal thing shared by all content marketers: We don’t have enough time to get everything done, though I’m sure many of us try daily.
One solution, of course, is to work more. Lots of people are doing this. I routinely trade emails with my colleagues at 10:00 at night or 6:00 in the morning. This works to a point or until my office is littered with Starbucks.
You can also prioritize what you need to do. I’m a big fan of focus, but oftentimes my to-do list is still overflowing, and I begin feeling the anxious consequences of drinking too much caffeine. Trust me, I don’t recommend this option.
Here’s a better idea: Get some help. Hey, now and then even Superman needed help.
If you are in a mid-to-large company, this help can come from an intern or an administrative assistant. If you’re in a small company, you may want to consider a virtual assistant.
You may be wondering what kind of work you can offload. Here’s the question I ask myself, “Is this something where I can add value?”
If yes, these are the things I want to focus on such as developing strategy and creating content. However, a lot of tasks take time and are important, but they aren’t specific to my skill set. These are great things to hand off to someone else. Here are some examples from my experience with the Content Marketing Institute as well as my days in product marketing a few years ago.
One of the first reasons I hired my assistant was to get her help with web updates when we were redesigning the site. Having someone enter blog posts and make other updates has saved me hours of time. Additionally, it’s been very useful to have another set of eyes for everything we are doing to catch mistakes and test.
I’m sure we have all been to those websites where they have an announcement for an “upcoming” event that happened weeks or months ago. If you have time-sensitive data on your website, work with your assistant to send you reminders to update the data as appropriate. Better yet, assign the task to that person!
I’m a huge fan of including transcripts for all audio and video. Transcripts are also nice when more than one person in the organization can benefit from a conversation, such as a user story interview. Transcribing can be time-consuming, and it is a task that is very easy to hand off.
Do you monitor your name and other keywords via Google Alerts or Social Mention? Or maybe you have signed up for HARO to see what kinds of questions journalists and other writers are asking? If you are like me, you have the best intentions but not always the time. This is a great task for your assistant.
I think everyone can benefit from having a proofreader. Some assistants can help with this as well. As a note, many writers can also benefit from a copy editor who takes a closer look at sentence structure, logic/flow, etc.
When we were updating the website, I worked with my assistant to help me inventory all of our blog posts for some content we are working on. This kind of data is invaluable, but it’s time consuming to collect so it’s a perfect task to hand off.
Hat tip to Joe Chernov for this idea: He has his intern collect and enter into a spreadsheet all of the Twitter comments they receive. Now he can re-engage with people who have commented on their content.
Finding the right person to help can be a huge time-saver. (And, a huge thanks to to Crystal Berg, our editorial assistant, who saves my time and sanity every day.)
Share your ideas on how you’ve recruited administrative assistants and interns to help you cross off tasks on your long to do list. And, don’t forget to dump that extra cup of coffee.
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