You wake up, get that cup of caffeine, go through your morning ritual, then work through your daily ritual of writing. Marketing? Yea, that doesn't happen because you're busy. Yet if you have fifteen minutes to play Facebook games, you have plenty of time to locate new clients and more projects.
Just fifteen minutes – that's less time than it takes to run to the bank, get your mother off the phone, eat lunch, or exercise. With such a minimal investment in your career, why wouldn't you make time for it?
Here are just a few ways in which you can spend that fifteen minutes:
Send a letter of introduction.
There's at least one client you've always wanted to work with, right? That Holy Grail client, the one you think of as unattainable, is the first one your introduction should go to. Spend fifteen minutes writing a four-paragraph note.
The first tells that client why you're writing – to inquire about using you for freelance writing/editing project. The second is your background (briefly—and make it relevant to that client's business when you can). The third mentions something specific about that client's business, website, communications, whatever. The fourth asks for the job.
Fifteen minutes later, you have the bones of some ongoing communications.
Find potential clients on Twitter and LinkedIn.
You're spending time there anyway. Why not put that time to the best use? Use hash tags (#) in Twitter to find clients in your area of expertise. Join LinkedIn groups where those clients hang out.
Use something like a 15/2 rule – for every 15 messages you send, only two should be promotional. The rest should be interacting, retweeting others' good news, and getting to know your potential clients.
Follow up on your most recent sales.
This takes less time – five minutes perhaps. Go back to those clients whose invoices were just sent and ask if there was anything else you can help with. You might even suggest projects, such as "Have you ever considered a blog to get the word out to your customers?"
Send a "thank you" note.
If you've finished a client's project within the last month, mail them a handwritten thank-you note. Have your business anniversary coming up? Send a thank-you note to your regular clients and those with whom you'd like to work regularly. If you want to increase business, include a one-time discount in that note.
Add a signature line to your email.
How simple is this, yet how many of us include even the most basic contact information? Create a signature and add your slogan to it. One company I work with has their slogan as part of their email signature: "Enhancing your brand from every angle."
How would you spend your fifteen minutes of marketing?