21 Marketing Productivity Tips and the Helpful People We Stole Them From

21 Ways Marketers Can Boost Productivity This Year

January 24, 2017

global content marketing

Not stealing is immoral. Clearly I’m not talking about grand theft auto here. And I’m not saying you should steal other people’s ideas and call them yours. That’s not cool.

What I am saying, though, is that you are doing yourself a gigantic disservice when you fail to ransack websites and bookstores for specialised knowledge. You can add years of productivity – yes, years – by pilfering the wisdom of those who already did what you’re about to do.

But immoral? Yeah, I think so. Your loved ones want to see you succeed and they want to see you more often. When you stubbornly insist on starting from square one, both of these outcomes are less likely. You’re cheating everyone, especially yourself. Besides, nearly every renowned artist openly admits to stealing.

So grab your best balaclava and join us as we swipe marketing productivity tips from 21 “helpful victims.” Not all of them are marketers, but all of them have advice that can help us do our jobs better. 

1. Schedule Fake Meetings

The Helpful Victim: Pamela Vaughan

Never have enough time to get meaningful work done? Block off big chunks of time in the name of meetings. Call it a meeting of the mind if you want.

2. Ease Writing Pressure

The Helpful Victim: Tim Ferris

Sometimes self-expectations of excellent prose leave us with nothing to show for our time. By shooting for “two crappy pages per day,” we’re more likely to leave work satisfied, with more content in the bank. We can always refine it later.

3. Easy Sales-Marketing Alignment Win

The Helpful Victim: Marcus Sheridan

Ask sales reps to BCC you whenever they answer customer questions. Everyone saves time executing a high-value, yet often-overlooked activity. Relevant content is the result.

4. Stop Reacting to Urgent Matters

The Helpful Victim: Steven Covey

Distractions are inevitable. Lost productivity doesn’t have to be. Schedule what’s most important (your “big rocks”) and make everything else secondary. After all, if you didn’t accomplish your most important agenda item today, were you actually productive?

5. Work Sunday Night

The Helpful Victim: Bharath Kumar Mohan

We have a new frontrunner for least popular tip. It’s tough to argue with Kumar’s logic, though – especially if you’re a notorious slow starter. “When you get work done on a Sunday night, your Monday is awesome,” he says.

6. Write in Blocks

The Helpful Victim: Carol Roth

Most of us need to find our “flow” when writing. Multi-tasking makes it almost impossible. Set yourself up for success by carving out blocks of time (at least an hour) dedicated to writing only. When the scheduled time comes, put yourself in a comfortable place, and in a good mode, and just write until the clock dings.

7. Separate Research and Writing

The Helpful Victim: Robert Greene

Have you ever been helplessly stuck mid-blog post? Chances are you tried to “find where you’re going” while you were actually going. Separating research and writing enables you to get to your destination sooner.

8. Make Your 404 Page a Landing page

The Helpful Victim: Kevin Ho

This tip falls into the lemons into lemonade category. The 404 error is an unproductive experience for both site visitors and marketers. But if you include your most broadly applicable offer on the 404 page – a free eBook, checklist, etc. – errors can still lead to an all-around win.

9. Take Advantage of Do-It-Later Services

The Helpful Victim: Gokil Nath Sridhar

We marketers are on the web more than most. Don’t let it lead to wasted desk time. Use services like Pocket and notetaking apps to reduce the time you lose to compelling, yet distracting websites that capture your attention. 

10. Know When to Quit

The Helpful Victim: Steven Levitt

Levitt maintains that he owes most of his success to quitting. Generate lots of ideas. Test them. Fail quickly on the not-so-good ones and passionately pursue ideas with potential.

11. Don’t Get Caught Up in Pesky Details When Writing

The Helpful Victim: Ryan Holiday

You need a stat for your blog post so you turn to the search engine. Thirty minutes later, you’ve read three articles, know which muppet you are, and still need that stat. Sound familiar? Keep your momentum by inserting placeholders – an example Holiday gives is “INSERT UNIVERSITY found that XX% of businesses fail in the first FIVE/SIX? months.” – and then just keep writing.

12. Make Bad Habits Difficult

The Helpful Victim: Larry Kim

Watch too much TV? Keep the remote in a “remote” corner of your house. If you keep getting tangled in the web, disconnect from Wi-Fi while you work. Drastically unproductive habits call for drastic measures.

13. Read Each Email Once

The Helpful Victim: Nataly Kogan

How nice would it be to tame your inbox once and for all? Do away with those lingering emails that still require action by taking the action immediately, whether it’s deleting, forwarding, replying, archiving, or creating a follow-up task.

14. Stick to a Two-Minute Rule

The Helpful Victim: David Allen

Author of the popular “Getting Things Done,” Allen has dozens of list-worthy tips. But perhaps his most adopted advice is the two-minute rule. It’s a simple rule. If you need to do something, and it can be done in two minutes, do it now. It’s a great way to keep tedious incoming requests from piling up while putting bigger asks of your time in their proper place.

15. Whiteboard Your Challenges

The Helpful Victim: Bryan Mattimore

Surely you have organizational challenges. Why not post them in a public place. (Think “Good Will Hunting.”) Invite your team to add suggestions and ideas. After a week, document and pursue the best idea.

16. Keep a Productivity Log for a Week

The Helpful Victim: Lauren Edvalson

Here’s another one for you marketing leaders. Document everything you do. At the end of the week, highlight everything you can delegate for $50 per hour or less.

17. Focus on Social Networks That Work for You

The Helpful Victim: Ian Cleary

Start by checking your conversation rates across channels. Which social network yields the best results? Chances are there’s more success to be had on that network once you stop spreading yourself too thin.

18. Contribute to the Community First

The Helpful Victim: Seth Godin

Struggling to connect with your audience? Seth Godin says that in a connection-based economy, real connection comes from people who seek to contribute to the community first.

19. Use a Dedicated Browser for Social

The Helpful Victim: Neal Schaffer

Social media distractions affect every industry. A job description that includes social media only makes it harder for marketers. By using separate browsers for social activities and everything else, you are setting clearer boundaries between tasks. 

20. Eat Your Frog

The Helpful Victim: Brian Tracy

What’s your least desirable task today? Why let it fester in the back of your mind, draining your mental energy? Get it done already and move on to tastier work.

21. Be Grateful Often

The Helpful Victim: Tony Robbins

We work in a fast-paced industry, and we’re not going to like everything that flies our way. But we’re too busy to let anger derail us. As Robbins says, you can’t be grateful and angry simultaneously. We have plenty to be grateful for.

Tune in tomorrow for more productivity tools, hacks, and tips from extraordinarily productive people. Subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions EMEA blog and never miss a post.