My Life, Actually, as a Digital Marketing Consultant

Social Media Strategist Tim Campbell Smith

     As I approach five years in business, I can't help but be nostalgic of the past and think of what's gotten me here. When I started out, a career coach had me do informational interviews to get to know my industry through the people who really do it. Unfortunately, their answers were sparse, and extremely varied...which is why I wanted to write this.

What does life as a digital marketing consultant look like?

Quite simply, my life as a marketing consultant breaks down into a few key areas: 

  1. Business development: I never spend as much time as I should on this. This is anything to do with growing the business. 

  2. Content creation: My preferred method of marketing is good content marketing, so designated time for this is key (for example, you can watch a video on content creation AND my life HERE)

  3. Client project time: Some clients have projects done for them, where I sit at my computer and research and compile information, present strategies and findings and the like.

  4. Client meeting time: A big part of being a consultant, and how I get paid, is time with my clients solving problems and meeting goals.

  5. Training and speaking: Unique and core to my business is leading trainings or public speaking.

  6. Training and development: Digital marketing changes so fast, I have to have methods baked into my business to keep up. I do this on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis.

Digital marketing Trainer for small business

Okay but...what does that mean?

     First things first, you have to know my Google Calendar is my life, so every morning I start by reviewing my calendar for the day/week. I wake up between 6:30am and 7am (I'm an early bird, and usually in bed by 10pm) and immediately check for emails, notifications or anything noteworthy that happened overnight.

   Then I prep for the day. I pack everything I need for the office that day, and work out of an office (at home the lines between work and home life were blurred, so I've always liked having an office). When I get to the office, I really sit down to tackle emails and the schedule for the day, getting prepped anything I need for the day.

So what's included in my day? My calendar is colour coded,

and includes

  • Teaching time 

  • Sales calls or meetings 

  • Project time 

  • client meeting time

  • client calls, particularly check in's

  • invoicing

  • networking

  • personal time and

  • professional development time.

All of this keeps me pretty busy until 5-6pm each day, on average.

Most of it is spent in front of a computer, though I try to get out 

creative as often as possible too.

Life of a social media marketer

The methods behind the madness:

     You have to know, this whole thing is the result of five years of learning, testing, dismissing and perfecting methods of running, growing and changing a business. Some core principles to this whole thing:

  • Structure dictates function: I am a consultant, social media manager and a professional speaker and trainer which means I schedule my work and use tools that allow me to do this. This may not work for you if your business is different (which, I bet it is!)

  • Time blocking is my key to happiness: the more I know what I should be doing, the more confident I am. This also helps when calculating billable hours, and optimizing them.

  • I try to invoice only three times per month. Right now, the way things go in my business, I would waste so much time if I invoiced after every single meeting or interaction.

  • Some priorities shift and change! One bad habit I have is that when things are busy, my business development goes to almost 0 - which I recognize is the absolute last thing that should happen.

  • How you spend your time reveals your priorities. Time blocking really revealed to me what my priorities are, so now I reverse engineer the whole process: if I want something to be a priority, I will time block it into my schedule.

  • Learn, improve and optimize. I am constantly learning and improving my processes, because I want to be a better consultant. For example, this recently meant bringing on someone to work with me.

  • Despite how busy I may be, I always manage expectations with myself and my clients. I will take any and all personal time I may need, and respect that it fluctuates through the year. 

  • If you can get ahead on it: do. You'll see in my schedule there's open in-between times. This is time to respond to emails, make calls, or get ahead on things.

  • The one thing not pictured in my schedule, but crucial to my business: business development time. Once a quarter I take a whole day to run my numbers, look at what's worked, what hasn't and adjust accordingly. This is far more agile than yearly reviews, and helps keep growing my business. I'm so motivated by how many businesses, and consultants, fail, so I prioritize growth. Beyond the quarter, each year I take off 3-4 days to do the same process, but for the whole year and to choose a strategic plan for the next year.

Digital Marketing Consultant Toronto Tim

     While I've written this for social media marketers, I suppose this applies to any coach, consultant or business owner. Choose how you spend your time, prioritize growth and care for people.

I'm curious: what does the life of your business look like?

If this sounds interesting and you think we should work together, click here.