Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
June 13, 2010 5:02 PM

Marketing In Twenty Minutes (Or Less)

Let's face it, when it comes to getting things done, most people want to do it either quick or easy (ok, sometimes both).

If you have a strategy in place and take the time to build some semblance of (loyalty) - and yes, that can be either online, offline or both - you can push your marketing to be cheap and easy (sort of). The truth is (and there's no big insight here) that the best brands have built up enough equity within their audience that a lot of the tactical execution can become cheap, easy and effective to boot. Remember, cheap and easy doesn't mean annoying and bad.

A Blog does this very well.

No, you can't build your entire Marketing portfolio by simply starting a Blog, but Blogging and many of the other Social Media tools, channels and platforms do allow you to market on-the-fly. I recently sat down with some fairly senior marketing executives and when the topic of Blogs and Blogging came up, many of them reverted back to the old, "I simply don't have enough time in the day to get to Blogging," chestnut. Many of the other Marketing folks who were still updating their Blogs on a fairly frequent basis complained that they still need to allocate a chunk of time to get the Blogging done.

A good strategy should never trump some fast tactics, but...

Whenever you think to yourself, that you need X amount of time to do something (like Blog, create a presentation, whatever...), why not simply allocate twenty minutes (maybe even fifteen) and see how far that road will take you? Odds are you will surprise and impress yourself. The amazing thing about trying (or doing your best) to bang out a Blog post in fifteen minutes is that your thought might not be complete. It might not be one hundred percent ready for "prime time," and because of that, it just might spark an unusual amount of comments or conversation. Plus, by simply mixing things up, you may be creating a new tempo, pulse and flow that ignites some never kinds of innovation or creativity.

You can do some marketing in twenty minutes or less.

Why not try? Why not try to publish a Blog post in fifteen minutes and then point to it via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or whatever online social network you're connected to? You may be both surprised and impressed by the level of conversation, engagement and connections that tiny piece of speedy content can do.

What do you have to lose? Why not give it a try?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Eric Pratum
    Mitch Joel

    I'm curious...did you write this post in 20 minutes or less?

    I'm not that prolofic of a blogger nor that great of a writer, so I can't say what might be best for most people. For my own uses though, I can often write, edit, promote, cross-post, etc, etc, etc in less than an hour when I have some spark of imagination behind the post. If I'm just going off of a list of potential future blog ideas though, it can take me forever. It's that spark and motivation that really drives inspired (and quick) writing for me.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    LOL, I was going to ask the same question as you Eric.

    Oddly enough I was trying to do this exact same exercise this week - publishing my blogs in under 30 minutes (mainly because I was short on time). And I failed miserably.

    It might be a personal thing, but I find when I'm short on time, my creativity gets zapped. My mind focuses on the need to get it done under the deadline, and not on producing great work.

    On the contrary, when I limit my time on items that are non-creative (like sales calls, networking, meetings, regular proposals, etc.), I find my productivity goes up.

    I've learned on every day, non-creative items, I could do a lot more with less. Seth Godin blogged last week about limiting yourself to 5 hours per day as an exercise. Tim Ferriss also wrote about a similar concept in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek.

    I agree with the theory behind your thought Mitch, but it doesn't work for my life (yet).

    I'm curious to know though if anyone else has trouble being creative under a time line.

    Anyone?

    Reply
  • I didn't want to brag, but part of this was me stuck in an airport lounge thinking to myself that I only have 20 minutes to Blog. It was the back and forth of, "should I?" or "shouldn't I?" So yes, it was both an experiment and an expression of creativity.

    Reply
  • Posted by Eric Pratum
    Mitch Joel

    Thanks, Andrew, and Mitch too for filling us in. I know how that is. I attempted and ultimately abandoned a project last year where I wrote, recorded, and posted online a new song every week. There were weeks where it got down to the last few hours before midnight, and I had yet to start. There were a few gems that came out of that time crunch, but overall, I believe the great things about some of those songs were overshadowed by them being too rough, not having enough time to edit, etc. However, to your point above about that time limit sometimes making for the best material, I think my project showed that a little as well because I had quite a few comments that effectively said "This is your best song so far," when I was thinking "That?! I rushed it through in 2 hours, and last week's that you didn't like took me two days."

    Reply
  • Posted by Mike Brewer
    Mitch Joel

    I think the best material sometimes comes out of a crunch for time - grammar and spelling may suffer but the gist gets out there. Another thought is to bust out the fifteen to twenty and then leave it in draft for 24 hours, proof it and let it fly.

    Great post Mitch - some good nuggets to chew on today.

    Reply
  • Posted by Darius Bashar
    Mitch Joel

    I'm game. I will give it a try this week and let you know how it goes. Just to be clear, that is a hard stop at 20mins right? Whatever I have done at that point I am posting up?

    Anyone else willing to give it a try? If so send me a link to your post. Would love to see how it goes. Send me a link on twitter @DariusBashar.

    D

    Reply
  • Posted by Jon Lim
    Mitch Joel

    Great post - I have done this pretty much from the start on my personal blog.

    However, it may have been for different reasons: I'm lazy, I want to be efficient, and I can't write when I overthink.

    Lazy and efficient are self explanatory, but I found that when I spent a large chunk of time writing posts so that they are very well thought-out, and give a good vibe, and all that, that the end result never seemed to have the same personality as a post driven by passion and inspiration.

    At the same time, my posts never seem to have a level of depth that most people would probably prefer, so it can be a double edged sword.

    Regardless, laziness and efficiency will always come out on top for me. Thanks for giving me something to think about!

    Reply
  • Posted by Roger Overall
    Mitch Joel

    Interesting post, Mitch.

    It's true, you can get a lot done in 20 minutes.

    One thing struck me. If an unpolished post leads to a healthy comment stream, wouldn't that put more pressure on people's time?

    I find that producing blog posts isn't half as time consuming sometimes as managing the comments afterwards.

    Reply
  • Very good point and echoes what I heard CC Chapman say recently about perfection. If I strove to make my blog post perfect, I might never publish.

    Reply
  • Posted by Amy Jackson
    Mitch Joel

    To blog or not to blog, is that really the question? How can I assess if keeping up on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter isn't enough and that I need to blog? That is the discussion right, the NEED to blog, not the desire. I need to maximize my time and marketing efforts. I need to get information out to people as quickly as possible, to as many people as possible. But what social media is best/enough? When are you just falling down the rabbit hole...

    Reply
  • Posted by Jackie Cameron
    Mitch Joel

    I am catching up on this blog backwards so read the post about "thin skin" first...and remembered that when I first started blogging I spent ages refining - and then thinking about the potential impact - then changing and well - you get the picture. Now -almost 4 years later 20 minutes is all it takes. I coach people in using social media. I ask them to start by thinking what they are trying to acheive and then how much time they want ( have) to spend. I will point them to this post...a little can go a long way!

    Reply
  • Posted by Jason Ulsrud
    Mitch Joel

    First time to this blog and it looks rather cool. As for me and my articles, there are times I write posts in 15 to 20 minutes, but the majority of the time I take about 45 minutes to upwards of an hour and a half. My articles have to be better than others in my niche and I need to make sure I deliver on my promise of RockStar Branding and Marketing for Chiropractors.

    I also spend on average 15 - 20 minutes finding and editing images as I feel the journey through a post is as much visual as informational. I want to stimulate emotions and want my readers to stay because I have something they're not seeing anywhere else in Chiropractic. And that can be downright difficult.

    Look forward to following the blog...

    Reply
  • Posted by Stacy
    Mitch Joel

    20 minutes is probably enough if you pick the right20 minutes. I like to blog first thing in the morning while my thoughts are clear and before the phone starts ringing.

    Reply
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