Completing projects is a major challenge for Internet marketers. If you’re like most people, your “to-do list” is way longer than your to-done list.
I used to have a lot of trouble with finishing my online business projects. What finally worked was a combination of ideas I learned from the Getting Things Done book and a few pointers from my dad.
Today I’d like to give a quick and dirty way to tackle all those Internet marketing projects you’ve been meaning to complete. This is a system I’ve successfully used for a few years. Perhaps it’ll help you as well!
Step 1 – Define your Outcome
You can’t work on a project till there’s a clear outcome. This is goal setting 101 – Create a measurable goal and a date that it will be achieved.
So obviously a terrible goal would be “Have an awesome Facebook fan page.”
On the other hand, a quality goal would be something like “Own a Facebook page for my blog that has 5000 fans by July 1st 2011.”
See the difference between the two?
Step 2 – Define your Tasks
Many projects aren’t completed because it’s hard to know where to start. I suggest a simple solution. Get out a piece of paper. Write down the goal at the top. Then list each task that needs to be completed in order to achieve this goal.
You probably won’t be able to identify every task. But this process helps clarify those actionable items that push one step closer to your outcome.
As an example, the Facebook goal I mentioned before is one of my current projects. Yesterday, I wrote down a series of tasks like these:
- Set up fan page for Steve Scott Site
- Add photos and fill out profile
- Get 25 fans and then create a unique URL for my fan page
- Write a free report to give away to fans
- Outsource the graphic design for this free report
- Find 10 successful landing pages and study their elements
- Outsource (or design) a Facebook landing page using what I learned
- Contact an outsource worker to “add people” to my Facebook fan page
Some of these tasks need to be further clarified. The important thing is to have a specific document that’s used to monitor the completion of a project.
Step 3 – Block Time for this Project
This is an area where many Internet marketers stumble. Most are great at writing blog posts, commenting daily, and handling the day-to-day stuff. But it’s hard to tackle a long-term project because it’s not urgent.
I suggest scheduling time blocks on your to-do list. These will be periods of time that are dedicated to working on an individual project. It really doesn’t matter when you work on these tasks. Just as long as they’re getting done!
Step 4 – Adopt a “What’s Next” Mentality
Here’s where the rubber meets the road…
Take a look at your list of task and work on “what’s next.” People often give up on a project because they simply don’t know what to do. By creating a series of action items, it’s easy to know what task needs to be completed.
Furthermore, there are certain items on this list must be done before another task. Using the Facebook example from before, I can’t set up a landing page till I have a free report to give away. That’s why it’s important for me to get this done before worrying about anything else.
Step 5 – Keep Working Till You’re Done!
This should go without saying. Keep working on this project till it’s completed. Don’t get sidetracked by any obstacles. When you encounter one, sit down and brainstorm a solution. Then do it! If that doesn’t work, go back to the drawing board and try something else.
It’s important to be a little single-minded with your projects. There’s a reason you start one. In all likelihood, it’s something that will help grow your online business. The trick is to develop a plan for taking a random idea and turning it into something that helps you earn Internet income.
I know this might seem like an overly simplistic solution to project management. You might be thinking, “Duh Steve, everyone knows this.”
In my opinion, the simplest solutions are often the best ones. What this ALL comes down to is detailing the tasks needed to complete a project and then actually doing them!
What do you think?Take Action. Get Results.