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Marketing Burnout: How Business Owners Can Recharge

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
Marketing burnout

Are you a business owner experiencing marketing fatigue?

It’s a common issue. You have your regular work to do; then, on top of it all, you have to find creative ways to promote your company.

As the end of the year approaches, we’re sharing our top tips for recharging your marketing batteries so you’re ready for the new year ahead.

Marketing Burnout: The Risks

Marketing burnout is a real thing for small business owners, and it happens because promoting a company never comes to an end. It’s a race that has no real finish line. Whenever you achieve success, it’s time to top yourself to keep generating business results and achieving greater levels of success. This ongoing pressure to produce results under stressful conditions can result in burnout.

Burned-out business owners often find themselves sitting in front of blank screens, not knowing what to do next. Or, they resort to old marketing strategies and tactics with diminishing results. This can become a significant issue during these challenging economic times when competition is fierce in many industries.

Overcoming Marketing Burnout

Here are some proven things you can do to get over promotional burnout.

Take a vacation

If your level of burnout is extreme, take time to rest from work. Visit the Grand Canyon. Take that dream trip to Europe. Or stay home and do something that brings you joy that has nothing to do with your job. Of course, business owners hate entrusting the organization they’ve worked so hard to build to other people.

The reality: Long-term business success requires a team to support it. No business can survive and thrive on a single person’s shoulders. If you haven’t built a team of people you can depend on, this could be part of the reason you burned out in the first place. Make it a priority to hire and train people you can trust. Then, chill out for a while.

As necessary as vacations are, they’re not the sole solution to staving off burnout.


Make recalibration central to your business. On your long-term marketing journey, think of vacations as rest stops. By contrast, recalibration happens when you pause to examine the map and ensure your marketing activities are taking your business in the right direction.

Recalibration can take many forms, including meditation, quiet reflection, or a brainstorming session. Do whatever it takes for you and the people on your team to get a big-picture view of your marketing efforts so they can figure out where to take them next.

Regular recalibration will help you view your marketing tactics and strategies in a fresh light, helping prevent marketing fatigue.

Hit the pause button

As part of your recalibration, devote some time to answering the question: Am I building anything, or just scrambling to generate business activity?

If you’re constantly in triage mode, it’s probably time to pause. This isn’t easy. Business owners feel they need to keep doing something to attract new customers. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. The pause will likely be a short one. Turning your marketing off now and then will provide a fresh perspective on what to turn back on, the tactics and campaigns to eliminate, and new ideas to try.

Be brave: Take a marketing break when you feel promotional fatigue.

Always have a plan

Your marketing efforts should always be governed by a complete marketing plan that includes all the tactics you deploy along with projected results. A plan helps you understand the what and why behind the promotion you’re doing, and the results allow you to track progress toward your goals. This will help keep you from feeling like you’re on an unending marketing roller coaster.

When you’ve achieved the results in your plan, it’s time for a new one and a brand-new marketing adventure.

Seek help

Most business owners think they have to handle marketing because outsourcing is too expensive. The reality is that professional marketing support often pays for itself through improved business results. If you’re uncomfortable turning over your entire marketing program to someone else or an agency, start small. Hand over a piece of your marketing to a professional – for instance, something time-consuming like social media or content development. You’ll likely see improved results and want to outsource more. On top of that, partnering with someone can pull you out of your marketing funk and give you fresh eyes.

Marketing Fatigue: The Bottom Line

Vacations, recalibrations, pauses, planning, and outsourcing take time and money. But consider the alternative. A burned-out business owner can’t provide value in their current condition. In fact, trying to keep the fire burning long after it’s been extinguished is a drain on your business, both from a marketing and operational perspective. Companies run by fatigued owners can’t operate at one hundred percent, and consumers can tell the difference. That’s why the next step after burnout is often business closure.

Leverage the tips in this article to keep yourself engaged in your marketing efforts and your business successful.

Learn more: Find out how to optimize your creative development process.

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