Considering you may be getting ideas for your marketing from a plethora of sources (blogs, friends, forums…etc.) it’s of utmost importance to first attempt to put down everything on paper so you can see what your preliminary list looks like. In this portion of the course, IC members wrote down things like “Create pet friendly section for website,” “Set up listing on Airbnb,” and “Activate Instagram account” as to-do tasks. If you are at a loss for ideas, you can start on the Top 10 Most Cost-Effective Techniques here.
If you’re asking someone to do your grocery shopping, you don’t say “Go get food.” Instead you say, “Get eggs, milk, whole wheat bread, and lettuce.” In this portion of the course, we make sure that all the items are concrete tasks and not vague strategic missions. As an example of this difference, one IC member changed the to-do list item of “Consider an online contract service to streamline bookings” to “Register for and upload contract to Docusign.” Another switched “Start a newsletter” to “Sign up for Mailchimp and follow Makeover Session 3.0. to send out my first blast.” You see the difference? It’s a subtle but hugely important difference.
In this section of the video course we divide all our tasks between those which can be outsourced and those that we want (or need) to do ourselves. It was here several IC members realized that the task of “create compelling copywriting for listing site page” could be outsourced to Guest Hook and that the process of “create my own logo” could be handed to NetMenCorp for a nominal $100. In this part we also share the increasing amount of reputable companies in the VR industry designed SPECIFICALLY to alleviate these workloads.
Upon experiencing the huge relief that outsourcing tasks can bring, we then utilize a simple but powerful “prioritization matrix” which helps force us to decide whether a task is Urgent vs. Non-Urgent as well as does it provide a Short Term Gain vs. Long Term Gain (Reference: Listing Site Independence Workshop)? This step in the process is important because you may realize that some tasks that are overwhelming you are not even relevant at all. While other items on the to-do list may be the victim of procrastination.
As independent owners and managers, we don’t have bosses (or staffers or partners) who are keeping us responsible and on task. For this reason, it becomes easy to slack off and let stuff slide. In this part of the video course, IC members share their optimized To-Do lists and other revelations like:
> Thanks! Perfect timing as I just outsourced the completion of my website and all my booking/reservations and platform management (including channel expansion) to WebChalet’s new full service division. (!!!)
> Perfect timing, thanks. I’m getting very overwhelmed with my project and it seems to be taking far too long. I am working on far too many things at the same time and getting nowhere fast. Prioritizing is the obvious answer, but putting it all down here and being accountable will perhaps give me the direction I need.
> Thanks for creating your videos on thinking more concretely about our To-Do lists. Who would have thought that such a short video series would get me back on track without too much pain LOL I’m overloaded with projects–like probably everyone in the IC–and I easily procrastinate or make up excuses. Then nothing gets done. By writing out a list and forcing myself to make it a step-by-step action plan, I can see how to tackle the job better. What’s funny is I knew I should be doing this all along, but never took the time to do it. Thanks for the little slap on the face to wake me up!
> One of the biggest learning curves and probably hardest thing for me to accept was to outsource things beyond my capabilities. I would be up until 4 am trying to change a layout or colour scheme, I then decided I don’t have the time or patience to compete the job and got someone to do it for me in 24 hours.
> Sometimes, you need someone to help you reframe your view, and that’s what I learned with this exercise.
Please Note: You won’t get access to the Inner Circle links or conversations here, but as my way of ‘paying it forward’ perhaps, sooner rather than later, I’ll see you on the other side.
Matt Landau is the Founder of the VRMB and the Inner Circle, two online resources dedicated to helping vacation rental owners and managers generate more bookings.
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