Today I ran my first marathon. Well, I almost did. I petered out at around mile 22 and had to be driven to the finish line (which was about a mile from where my truck was parked, go figure). 

OK, I knew it was a long shot to finish a marathon. But I had done three half marathons before, and decided to give it a shot. I didn’t hit my goal, but I was able to see some beautiful Utah canyons and make a few new friends.

The point is this: Get off the couch and give it your best shot. Some people don’t do anything with social media marketing simply because they can’t do everything. We all know we need adwords, writing and submitting articles, accounts with social media sites like Squidoo, Facebook, Twitter, and Hubpages, replying to comments, communicating with our customers, etc., etc. 

But doing all of it every day consistently takes superhuman abilities (much like finishing a marathon). Especially if you’ve got a small business that doesn’t always budget for all the above, social media marketing can get wear us down.

So here are a few ideas to lighten your online marketing load;

First, Outsource. Just like I eventually got to the finish line via a friend and his car, you can have people help you too. Getting a company to write and submit articles for you, for example, will give you time to focus on other social media marketing activities such as replying to comments, tweeting, and liking customers on Facebook.

Second, take each activity one at a time. You can’t get a mile, let alone 26 miles, if you don’t take your first step. Before each week begins, write a list of twenty activities you want/need to do that week. Then rank them in order of importance.

Set aside time first thing in the morning for at least one social media marketing activity. If you plan it for the afternoon, it might not get done. Start with the top of your list. Put a big box next to the activity and when you’ve completed the task, get out your pen and check it off as done! Then move onto the next task. Google wants consistency, so throw yourself out there as much as you can, as often as you can.

Third, Train. Successful Social Media Marketing takes skill. Work hard and smart by learning all the keys and tricks to the trade. And I should note that most training is free. There are several good-hearted, successful marketeers out there willing to offer their advice.

If you’re wanting a system, never pay more than $150 and never sign up for a monthly subscription. There is enough information out there that you shouldn’t stick with one genius. Use them all! Garrett Pierson, for example can show you how to build your social equity through social media sites like Squidoo, Hubpages, Twitter, and Facebook. His system is inexpensive and it’s a one-time valuable purchase. Other geniuses like Russell Brunson and Mike Filsaime have products that could assist your efforts – just be careful about spending too much and don’t buy subscriptions.

When it comes to subscriptions, remember two things. They are not a good investment for training courses.  They are excellent investments for social media marketing activities such as writing and submitting articles. In these cases, signing a subscription agreement is a wise choice, since it will ensure that the activities get done on a consistent, continuous basis. Articles and Submissions .com have a solid team of professionals willing to take some of the load off your shoulders.   

As your company grows, you will see how outsourcing, organizing your week and then carrying through, and taking relevant training courses can help you reach the proverbial finish line to a successful social media marketing campaign.