There's a common misconception that being an Internet Marketer is easy.
All you need to do is to create a new products, set up some web sites, put them on sale, and you'll have rolling income coming in forever more.
Unfortunately, that's not the case. Even if you've created excellent products, you'll need to refresh them every so often, and keep them up to date, to make sure that the money continues coming in.
You'll have to make sure that you continue working on your sites to keep visitors arriving to them (every time Google updates its algorithm, or a competitor decides to work on its own search engine optimisation, there's work to be done).
Whatever branch of online marketing you're in, you need to stay up-to-date and on-the-ball.
So, how do you deal with the inevitable situation that you're going to be put into, when you just feel burnt out, or circumstances conspire together to prevent you from making the kind of progress online that you'd like?
I've put together 5 methods which can help you in this time of need. These are well worth considering, even if you're loving internet marketing and don't feel that you'll ever need them.
Work Overload Method #1 – Take A Break
I've included this method first, as it's the one that you're most likely to end up doing if you're overloaded, even if it's totally unplanned.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break. After all, you wouldn't hesitate to take a break from your day job at predefined periods of the year.
If you work exclusively for yourself, then you need to be building breaks into your schedule, whether this a week away from family, or just a couple of days watching trashy TV and playing computer games. There's no way that you can be on the ball 24/7.
What's the worst that can happen when you take a break? That you fall behind with your goals, or that some support requests take longer that you'd like to answer then would normally be the case.
Certainly, no-one can much complain about support that takes 24 or 48 hours. I've used support from commercial companies and have often had to wait a week to get a reply back which clearly took seconds to put together. If you have good delivery systems in place for your products, then you can get away from the culture that expects you to be online 24/7.
It's definitely better to plan breaks, but if you do need to be away from the PC for a few days, then just go ahead. Your business will sort itself out when you return.
Work Overload Method #2 – Prescheduling
This leads on very nicely from Overload Method #1. If you can plan a period of absence, you can preschedule to fill the gap.
By prescheduling, I mean use the power of the Internet to make it seem as if you were already there. If, for instance, you release a blog post every Wednesday without fail, then prepare a blog post in advance which will appear on your blog on the Wednesday. You don't have to be physically there to press the button.
You can preschedule emails in a similar fashion. I often do this for no reason other than I'm in a different time zone to the people I'd like to see the email during their peak period.
In fact, if I suddenly had to go away from my business, or found myself stuck without Internet access, a number of prescheduled activities would still happen, albeit on a much reduced scale. I have placeholder blog posts and emails in place which would be sent out, and of course I have email sequences set up for people who sign up to one of my mailing lists for the first time.
There's nothing wrong with prescheduling, and this can be a very efficient use of your time, freeing you from work overload.
Work Overload Method #3 – Support Networks
Support networks are very important.
Internet marketing is a lonely job. You don't have the benefit of a load of people around you, as you would if you worked for a larger company.
It's also a little understood job. This means that there are few people to talk to who are outside the trade.
I recommend surrounding yourself with support networks, whether these are people you work with or people you've befriended online, or just others who know what you're going through.
My best support network is an online private forum, the Earn1KADay Insiders Club. Despite its name, this goes far beyond mere making money, and the number of supportive members always have an answer for any situation you might find yourself in.
But, realistically, any good support network will do, even if it's just to moan occasionally, express displeasure, or to ask for extra help to assist you with accomplishing your goals.
Work Overload Method #4 – Prioritisation
Not every task is created equally.
This may seem obvious, but it's amazing how much time can be wasted doing things that don't help you towards an end goal.
Prioritise the things that will make you the most money in your business.
Now, this doesn't necessarily mean money that will arrive with you straight away.
For instance, consider the following cases:
- Giving good online support to a customer can make you a lot of money in the long-term. You solve a problem, create goodwill, and this may be the customer who spends a lot of money with you over the coming years.
- Sending a short email out to your list. This can remind your readers who you are, and get them to open your emails, even if you have nothing to sell.
- Putting up a blog post. This doesn't make you immediate income, but creates new content to be spidered by the search engines, and can get you blog comments and continue to build up your own community.
Of course these are just examples, and you should prioritise within your own business and your own circumstances.
Sometimes, you need to prioritise outside things that are happening outside your business. That's fine too, and when you put this information along with the other techniques I'm outlining to you in this post, you should still have a business that will make you money even when you're not there to run it.
Work Overload Method #5 – Outsourcing
This is incredibly powerful and incredibily underused.
With the right sort of outsourcing, you can run a business even when you're not there.
Use outsourcing to complete tasks that you don't like, tasks that are necessary, and tasks that will assist you to make money.
For instance, I regularly outsource report writing, even though I love to write. That's purely a matter related to time and to make sure I leverage all the skilled people I have around myself. It's just a better use of my time and it reduces the chance of my becoming overloaded.
I never outsource writing on my blog, even though I could (and maybe should). Because I like the community aspect of the blog, and to engage in discussions with people who leave comments, I always make sure that I understand completely what's going on.
One area I should outsource more is customer support. That would mean I could disappear at any point and would at least know that all my existing products and existing products were being looked after.
There are also things I do that I know are not efficient, but just haven't got the right outsourcing team in place. For instance, I install Rapid Action Profits repeatedly to sell products, and configure templates for it, even though this takes me a couple of hours a time. I could easily show the right person how to do this once, then leave them to it.
Do make sure you've got a certain level of outsourcing in place in your business.
Best Anti-Overload Techniques
I hope you found something of use in this post. I've certainly found it useful to write and to put a number of things into perspective.
Online marketing isn't the be-all and end-all. Even taking a break won't stop your business, as all the positive things you have in place will still work for you. But, there is a lot you can do to reduce overload and to keep your business working when overload hits.
Do you have a great technique you use? If so, please share in below using the comment box.
And, feel completely free to add your own thoughts and ideas. I'll be glad to read them.
6 replies on “Dealing With Work Overload In Internet Marketing”
Thanks for the tips – the support network is huge. I think as anyone who works online, it is very difficult to get support from friends and family who don't really understand! This is hard, so it is good to find support elsewhere!
Keeping on top of your IM work load when you also have a full time job, a family to look after and a social life to think about can be very difficult. I've pretty much written off my Mon-Fri time for working on my online business and Sunday has become the only day I properly work on it now. Unfortunately it means I'm not getting as much done as I would like 🙁
When it comes to outsourcing, I think being able to see a return on investment is the biggest problem. I could outsource my SEO, but how long until I see a positive ROI on the $200 I pay out? Similarly with article and report writing, how do you know you are getting an ROI on it?
G'Day Thom, the main problem with overload is that you put expectations on yourself that you are unable to fulfill. This unnecessary pressure creates the mental stress you are talking about.
Remember that there will always be more work to do than there will ever be time to do it.
I am currently developing a fairly subtle method of generating one-way links with the anchor text you want in a keyword relevant page any time you want for free.
Oh, on high PR sites as well. As many as you want and using free tools.
Of course this means that other things have to wait until I have done this, like updating all the WordPress blogs & plugins, writing articles etc.
Peter, to answer your question on the return on investments – my model's not as simple as just comparing costs against sales. I think you have to work on getting the investment back over a year, which means finding money up front to cover the costs. My preferred way to do that is to have some income streams which will bring money in quickly, and some which will bring money in over the longer term. That way, everything balances out, but you're still building up a sustainable long term business.
For instance, I'm happy to have a report compiled and put that up for sale if it will immediately cover its costs, but will also improve my longer term position, as it will get my name known, possibly generate repeat customers, and may attract affiliates to help promote for me. So, there's both a short term and long term benefit.
Mr Bearly, that sounds like a really great project and an excellent longer term profit stream. There are certainly benefits to work exclusively on one project if you have the financials in place.
Do keep us informed with how you get on, and thanks for your continued contribution to the blog and to the other places I frequent.
The first method – taking a break – is extremely important, and it's one of the things that "they" rarely mention when working from home comes up.
Yes, there are a lot of advantages to working at home but one of the big problems is that you're not only always at home, you're also always at work. It's just too easy to sneak into the office and check your stats, see if any important emails have come in or try to finish that project that you ran out of time for earlier in the day.
If you're not careful, it can consume every spare minute.
As much as I hate doing it, I try to take a couple of days away from any kind of internet connection or technology device every month. Convincing myself to leave everything for a couple of days is always hard, but after doing it, I feel refreshed and in most cases I'll come up with new ideas during that time anyway.
Hey Thom, another fantastic post.
I love reading your blog because when it comes down to it you provide very useful information. With that said,
I use method number 2 a lot and have never used number 5.
When I get up in the morning the first thing I do is write. I write post for my blog. I write 5 pages a day at least on what ever it is I am creating orworking for a client on. Today it is a 31 day guide. i write promotional emails @ least two a day that i load into my auto responder.
When all of that is done then I promote, promote, promote!
Now when I get stuck I go and clean the house or something and forget about what I am writing or doing. Generally when I get back to doing what ever, thing start to flow like crazy.
Hope this helps