Marketing tools: keep it simple

by | Marketing

Technology provides plenty of tools to help you market — and run — your business. There are tools to manage and schedule blog posts, social posts, projects, and teams.

You can get a single tool to do a bunch of those things.

These tools are meant to make our lives easier.

But sometimes there’s a rude splash of reality that comes with that shiny new tool: learning to use it isn’t as easy as you hope it’ll be.

It’s easy to confuse the power of the tool with the learning process. If something makes our work easier, then using the tool should also be easy, right?

Technology tools are just tools. They all come with a learning curve. That’s normal. Just ask a musician. Or a painter. Or a web designer.

Try to remember the first day you picked up the tools of your trade. It wasn’t effortless, even though there are now parts of your work that you can do almost by reflex. The trick is sticking with it until that happens.

Pick the right tech for the job

The wrong technology turns into a gym membership—you buy in with good intentions and high hopes, and way too soon you find yourself not using it.

So here’s a question: what do you need to get done? 

Answer that first. Then think about the tools that are more than just the highest-rated, most-talked-about-by-the-cool-kids apps.

The best tech tools help you get your work done with a minimum of stress.

If you avoid marketing because you think you need a lot of technology, and if you think you can’t master the tech, I have good news.

And I say this as someone who is tech savvy and hates reading instructions. I can wrap my head around all kinds of technology, but I often choose something that appears to be less sophisticated. 

This is not by accident. The best tools are about efficiency and ease.

One of my favourite toolsets is a pencil, a good eraser, and a notebook. Most of my blog posts begin that way.

I thought it would be clever to use my phone for ideas that pop into my head when I’m out for my morning walk, and it is — except I consistently forget they’re there.

I have dozens of post ideas, sitting on that powerful little device, waiting to be rediscovered.

Good intentions and the wrong tool are not the best combination. 

The best technology starts between your ears

The smartest thing you can do to make your business run smoothly is to reduce friction and cognitive load. That is, work with your brain, not against it.

So now I have a sticky note by my laptop to remind me to grab those ideas from my phone while they’re fresh.

There’s nothing wrong with using a simple spreadsheet to create a content calendar — or a real, paper calendar. Or a chalkboard, or sticky notes.

(True story: I used to write my grocery list on a small chalkboard in the kitchen. That chalkboard went along to the store more than once.)

There are no hard-and-fast rules here. If an organiging expert’s system doesn’t work, then it’s not the right system for you.

A tool isn’t a good one if it’s too frustrating to use. Keep it simple. You can work your way into more robust technology when — or if — that will serve you better.

The most important thing is to get your message out. Choose the way that works best for you. That can eliminate more friction than any piece of state of the art technology.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash