Time management advice for digital marketers from digital marketers
Managing your time wisely is one of the most important skills for successful people in any industry. If you work at a marketing agency, it’s the difference between gaining and losing clients.
We submitted a small survey asking agencies in our Agency Partner Program for insights they’ve gained while working in an agency’s fast pace setting. From auditing and optimizing campaigns to creating and sending out reports to dozens of clients, our agency partners offer up their best time management tips and tools for thriving in the daily grind and pivoting from project to project.
To the fifty respondents, the following questions were asked:
- How many clients/accounts have you managed at the same time?
- What time management advice can you give other digital marketers?
- How often do you report to clients and how long does reporting take?
- What are the best marketing tools you would recommend?
How many clients/individual accounts have you managed at the same time?
What time management tips can you give other digital marketers?
1. Multitaskers beware: You can’t do it all
“Determine which client or assignment is a priority each day and focus on deep work without distraction to accomplish the priority.”
Josh Gill, Inbound Authority
“I’ll schedule my SEM days on Tuesday, SEO days on Thursdays. Then I’ll reserve consulting for Monday & Wednesday afternoons and Friday mornings, etc. That helps significantly with knowing what I’m doing at any given time.”
Rob Hole, Octopus Creative Inc
“It can be easy to get caught up in the newest client or the latest project to hit your desk, but taking care of our existing clients has to be a huge priority, too.”
Ashley Hite, Cougar Marketing
“Focus on blocks of work for different areas of your work efforts. Client review, reporting, managing client relations, account management, etc. By jumping around into too many areas in too short of time, your mind cannot focus on certain tasks as well and you end up taking more time.”
Mark Subel, Two Wheels Marketing
“Delegate, subcontract, and hire virtual assistants – these make it possible to scale.”
Chris Barlow, Beeline Inc.
2. Lose the distractions (Unnecessary meetings included)
“I decided about a year ago to turn off my computer and phone notifications it was one of the best decisions I’ve made to improve my work efficiency. Emails, phone calls, texts, and social media will kill your productivity and quality of work.”
Andrew Peluso, Bananas Marketing Agency
“We keep texting and real time chat to a minimum – we do not use Slack for example. We also do not join any client’s project management tools or standing meetings.”
Gary Spagnoli, Zen Anchor
“TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS! I’ve found that almost nothing that pops up on my phone requires my immediate attention.”
Scott Hicks, Ballyhoo Digital
3. Creating processes is key
“Try to eliminate unnecessary tasks. If you can’t eliminate them, automate them. If you can’t automate them, delegate them.” – Click to tweet
Robert Portillo, Nimbus
“Organization and preparation are key. It is absolutely true that 30 minutes of organization at the beginning of the month or project can save you 30 hours down the road. Do the extra work up front to make sure that when trouble arises, and it will, you are organized and are able to react quickly and efficiently.”
Jake Elizondo, Mark Thomas Media
“When I first started my business, I was told the only way to scale an agency is to create processes and delegate. Of course, I didn’t follow and wanted to do everything myself and all processes lived in my head. I learned the hard way that documenting every detail is well worth the time when hiring a team member. I will often video my workflow or make an audio recording so that I can clearly lay our expectations with my team.”
Lauren Edvalson, Edvalson Marketing
“If you have to do something more than once, turn it into a process. The great thing about having a well-thought-out process is you can observe it and optimize it, just like you do your marketing campaigns.” – Click to Tweet
Benjamin Collins, Laughing Samurai
4. Software and marketing automation can help
“The greatest project management or CRM tool is as good as the worst one if you don’t use it. So making sure I use the systems in place to organize and do the work needed, will always be the key to proper management.” – Click to Tweet
JR Griggs, Red Wall Marketing
“Utilizing a good project management system and planning out your week ahead on your preferred calendar has been the best thing I’ve done from managing the day-to-day, not missing anything, and still having time for my family.”
Blake Denman, RicketyRoo Inc.
5. Setting real expectations with clients
“Have a signed contract that outlines deliverables, workflow processes, business availability, and timelines. After contract and payment, set on-boarding calls for the following week reinforcing all your policies, procedures, and timelines. Set the tone and take control or your client will.”
Christopher August, Christopher August LLC.
“Under promise and over deliver. Promising the bare minimum (with outcomes that are still acceptable) gives you and your team confidence knowing that you can easily meet or surpass the expectations, often allowing you to over deliver, therefore surprising and delighting.” – Click to tweet
Client reporting: How often to do it and how long it should take
Client reporting is an integral part of the relationship between an agency and its customers. While it’s critical to communicate the work that your team has accomplished, it’s also an opportunity to educate your client on what’s driving their business and successes.
When asked how often marketers produced client reporting, the answers varied from weekly to monthly to quarterly, due to client needs. Time spent creating reports also varied, taking anywhere from several minutes to several hours per report, depending on the amount of automation and amount of detail necessary.
Average reporting frequency? Monthly.
“I’ll never forget one client who had a home-service business. Once, I got excited looking at the numbers and was showing him a big dashboard that I spent hours putting together. I was pointing to a conversion chart broken down by lead source, when he politely interrupted me and said, “Yeah, okay, Ron, I get the point. It’s going up and to the right, and that’s what we want. Looks like you’re staying on top of it.”
That was a critical lesson in knowing my audience and giving them the info they expect and understand, and no more. To this day, I’ll sometimes tell myself “up and to the right” when preparing client presentations to make sure I’m not going overkill in my reports.”
Ron Stauffer, Lieder Digital
“Since getting the Data Studio reports dialed in, generating client reports is a breeze! We have monthly calls with clients to go over results, work completed, and the deliverables for the upcoming month.”
Blake Denman, RicketyRoo Inc.
“We typically report to clients once a month, but have one or two conversations within the month so we’re always on the same page. We use screencasts to walk through performance metrics, elaborating what each means for a client’s business. It takes about half an hour per client to prepare and record, but these performance recaps drive deep dialogue, which saves time in the long run.”
Chris Aziz, Alleyoop
What marketing tools have helped out your team the most?
There are hundreds of different software out there for marketers and businesses to use. Whether it’s collecting data, analyzing, researching, or reporting, something’s got you covered. Here are the top 7 tools our agency partners have found most useful in the daily grind:
While analytics and reporting are necessary tools of the trade when presenting findings to clients, the other half of the picture is internal organization and communication with team members.
Google Data Studio is a free reporting tool for all your digital marketing efforts that transforms your data into visuals that helps clients visualize the progress that’s being made. CallRail’s software integrates with Google Data Studio.
Slack brings team communication into one customizable, searchable interface that speeds up your team’s collaboration. CallRail offers instant notifications of call and form data through our Slack integration.
Thank you for the shout out, marketers. CallRail is an attribution software built to help businesses track their leads back to their marketing efforts through call and form tracking.
Asana is a project management tool to help teams and individuals lay out long term projects and tasks to streamline workflow more effectively.
Agency Analytics is a reporting platform for digital marketing agencies to build out in-depth reports for clients by monitoring multiple campaigns from various channels. See how CallRail integrates with Agency Analytics.
Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process.
Teamwork is another project management tool that provides businesses functionalities to manage different operations of a project and communicate progress.