Leap Ahead - How to Maximize Your Time This Leap Year

leap year

In the world of marketing, there never seems to be enough time in a day. Days are filled with fast-paced multitasking. Between juggling multiple projects, meetings and goals, it sometimes seems impossible to squeeze everything in!

Today we get exactly what we are always asking for—MORE TIME. Since 2016 is a leap year, this February isn’t just your ordinary February. This month ends on the 29th, a day that only exists every four years (pretty big deal). February 29th, or “Leap Day,” gives you a little extra time to spend on your digital marketing initiatives. So what can you do with an extra 24 hours?

You can use this month’s Leap Day to plan ahead, increase the efficiency of your schedule, and enhance both your personal and professional life. At Ascedia, we are all about strategy, so here are a few bits of advice from our team members on how to get the most from Leap Day 2016.

SPRING CLEANING

“For me, extra time is almost always used for “spring cleaning” and getting client documents and folders up to date,” says Senior Account Manager Amy Grabowski. Take some time to organize folders, files, emails, your computer or your desk. Delete or archive the old, and get rid of any paperwork that has accumulated and is no longer needed. 

REVIEW REPORTS AND DOCUMENTS

Boring? Yes. And also very time consuming! Use your extra day to focus on reading and reviewing any lengthy, yet important documents that you might not otherwise have the time to really focus on. 

FOCUS ON SOCIAL IMAGE & BRAND

Have you been inactive on LinkedIn for a while? Use the extra time to accept those longstanding invitations, or take a look at how you can strengthen your network. Use the collection of business cards on your desk to send LinkedIn invitations or a follow-up email that is long past due to contacts you’d like to stay connected with. Reach out to new people or strengthen an existing relationship. Strive for a new networking opportunity. 

Interactive Marketing Strategist Luanne Wojciechowski encourages using this extra day to clean up your personal brand: “We could each dedicate a little time updating our LinkedIn profiles to better reflect our company, such as sharing blogs, linking to the site, etc.” Update your personal profile to display the values, mission and expertise of your company. What better way to represent where you work?

MAKE IT PERSONAL

Schedule face-to-face time with a contact or client and strengthen personal and business relationships. Senior Account Manager Anne Burdge recommends reaching out to contacts you haven’t heard from in a while and scheduling networking time over coffee or lunch. “It’s a pleasure to sit down to a meal together, but the effort involved in finding a time and place that works for both parties is time-intensive. Set aside an hour on this day to book a few dates in your calendar.” 

THINK BIG

Research new ideas to present to a client. The possibilities are endless, and this extra day can give you the time to look into the projects, relationships and revenue out there waiting to be created and implemented. “I think it would be neat to create some ‘leap’ goals for our clients—stretch goals. Maybe hitting a new campaign target, or pitching an innovative idea and testing it out,” says Wojciechowski. 

You could also use this time to brainstorm new blog topics or just look for ways to make your current campaigns bigger and better. How can you one-up the competition? “Use this time to brainstorm, think outside the box and outside your existing campaigns,” says Burdge. Reevaluate strategies for yourself, your company and your goals. Use this time to search for new breakthrough ideas to drive sales. “I like to use extra time to dig into industries and find trends or research that might help any of my client’s marketing plans for the year,” says Grabowski.

START EARLY & PLAN AHEAD

Kick start that big project or finish up a smaller project that has been hanging over your head. You could also start thinking ahead to new initiatives, or consider crisis planning/communications. How can you make sure your projects stay on track and leadership remains satisfied?

Plan ahead for social media management by generating social media content for future purposes. “This can include searching for inspirational articles, reminding users about upcoming events, sharing throwback posts or photos, or shouting out your business vendors or community partners,” explains Burdge. Use a social media scheduling tool to prep and automatically post this content on a future date. “This can also be a good time to search for new users to follow by searching hashtags, Twitter lists and even followers of your competitors! Some ‘free’ time preparation can set you up for greater engagement later.” 

EXTRA TIME DOESN'T ALWAYS MEAN EXTRA MONEY

Just because you have the opportunity to do a little extra doesn’t mean it has to cost a lot. “Because I’m always looking for ways to save money or make the most of things in my personal life, I’d use this day as a no-spend day, says Burdge. “For my clients, this means I’d look for ways to enhance their marketing at no cost. One way to do this might be to share some existing content on LinkedIn Pulse or re-share some ‘vintage’ Facebook photos on Instagram. You’d be surprised how much content is already out there that could be repurposed!” 

Let’s be honest—marketers need to be able to adapt and thrive in a fast-paced environment, usually with a schedule filled to maximum capacity. It’s about being ambitious and making the most of every minute. With such busy schedules, who could complain about having an extra day? Now that you’ve seen how Ascedians plan to get a jumpstart on their 2016, try to find a way to use the extra day to your benefit. If you don’t, you’ll have to wait another four years for the chance!

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