A Schedule Defends from Chaos & Whim

Everyone likes to think of themselves as spontaneous. But building predictability and planning into your business operations is critical to success. Without planning and scheduling, you are subject to whim (as my fortune cookie says) – you work on what you stumble across or what you think of. But so much more can be accomplished by building a schedule of optimizations. How?

Building a Schedule Requires Planning & Critical Thinking

When you take the time (and it can take a considerable amount of time) to build out a schedule of optimizations or tasks to accomplish on your program, you are forcing yourself to think critically about what is required for success. I’m amazed at how many programs are being run without that thought and effort. If you are doing it right, you are looking at your goals and putting together a plan for regular changes and work to help you achieve those goals. You have to decide:

  • What optimizations are you currently making, or wish to make?
  • How often does the account/campaign warrant each change?
  • What are your success metrics & best practices for each optimization?
  • How can the process be streamlined?
  • What are the outputs from each action?

Defining the answers to these questions up front can help you save a ton of time and make real progress towards your goals.

After you have determined what optimizations you need to make, you should determine how often to make them. Don’t forget to plan for changes in seasonality! If you are a retailer, you probably have to optimize more frequently in Q4.

Create Checklists and Processes

Once your optimizations and tasks are defined, creating a checklist and process for those tasks helps make sure they get efficiently accomplished. As I mentioned in my post on building reporting, everything you build should be scalable and repeatable, with focus on speed. Automation is key!

Another key to success – don’t try to have every process built perfectly. Take a page from product designers, and start with a minimum viable product. Get it out the door, and then every time you fulfill that task or process, iterate and improve. That way with minimum amount of time up front, you can be up and running, learning what you need to change and how to improve.

 

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3 thoughts on “Be Predictable – Build a Schedule

  1. Great post Rick! I’ve found this to be very effective when managing brands on social networks. Taking the time to sit down and put yourself in the right frame of mind (Client’s voice) really helps in building out content plans or creating different campaigns.

    In short, Amen!

    Reply
  2. Thanks Scott! I’ve been able to save a ton of time in a lot of different programs just by adding purpose to my approach and detailing out what I do and when. But putting yourself in the client’s frame of mind is another benefit I hadn’t really considered!

    Reply
  3. Creating a content calendar has been a huge help for me. Any calendar and process can help, but it requires the discipline to stick to it. That is where I struggle. Great post Rick.

    Reply

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