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Getting Back Into a Marketing Rhythm

Focus on the activities you can control.

Do you find yourself in cycles of strong marketing activity followed by equally strong periods of marketing inactivity? Most of us do, and the current environment only complicates the situation. But the “start” and “stop” mentality doesn’t develop good prospecting habits or enable you to get into a rhythm with your marketing.

The solution is simple in theory; identify the right fixed activities and then stick to them.

Fixed activities are those basic activities that are 100% within your control. This is a skill set that when mastered has a huge impact on your mindset, activity levels and pipeline. If you feel like you’ve fallen into a lull over the past few months, here’s a way to jump-start your marketing.

1. Begin by Identifying the Right Activities

The first step in developing a habit is making sure it’s a positive one—you must identify what activities to focus on. While the prospecting environment has certainly changed over the past few months, that’s not an excuse for being inactive. With a little fine-tuning, your marketing can still be highly productive. The idea is to break these down into weekly activities and assign numerical goals.

Take some time to prepare a list of the activities you plan to focus on. This can be done on an Excel spreadsheet,, Trello or even a basic note card. Here’s an example …


Notice how all of these activities are totally within your control? We didn’t say “acquire one new client”; instead we focused on the activities that should lead up to that goal.

2. Focus on 30 Days of Consistency

Studies show that most habits take around 30 days to form. This can be your best friend or worst enemy. If you have sparse activity for 30 days, you’ve just developed a negative habit.

For example, if you check for news updates all throughout the day, this becomes instinctual and isn’t all that productive. However, if you can consistently do the right activities, such as producing educational videos every week, you’ve created a positive working habit. For this reason, the first 30 days are crucial.

Make sure that your activities are in plain sight for review throughout your day. Begin each day with a review of your activities and plan your schedule accordingly. The objective is to let the activity focus drive your schedule. For extra motivation, rewrite your activities every morning.

3. What Gets Measured, Gets Done

You’re consistently doing the right activity, but are you keeping score? We have a tendency to focus on the end result. The trick with high achievers is focusing on the activities that deliver the results—your fixed activities. The idea is to reward yourself for doing the activity and understanding that the results will naturally emerge over time as a product of the activity. While you’re in the process of developing this activity habit, we recommend that you reward yourself on a daily basis.

At the end of each week, sum your weekly activity and analyze your progress. Ask yourself …

  • Are there activities that need more attention?
  • Am I consistent from week to week?
  • What activities am I excelling at?
  • What activities am I avoiding?

Measuring your activity will add an element of accountability that is much needed in developing this habit. You can also ask a fellow colleague to serve as an accountability partner during this process. You meet with them at the end of each week to report your results.

Stephen Boswell is partner with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry. @StephenBoswell @KevinANichols

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