Have you done your dailies? World of Warcraft players are intimately familiar with this question. For those that don’t play, most of the quests in the game – go somewhere, deliver something, kill a monster – are one-and-done adventures. Once you’ve done them, they’re done and gone. Daily quests are different – each day you have the opportunity to go and do the same quest. The rewards are usually reputation, money, loot, gear, or other rewards that you want to keep accruing for your character.

Dailies

Here’s the thing about dailies in Warcraft – they’re important for really good rewards. For example, one of the dailies currently gets you a type of currency which in turn will allow you to buy some nifty upgrades for your character. (Argent Tournament Champion’s Seals) If you miss a daily or two, it’s not a big deal, but miss enough and your progress towards that loot is severely inhibited. The other trick with dailies is that there’s no way to catch up – miss a week of dailies, and that opportunity is gone. You can’t earn back the daily rewards, can’t catch up.

What does this have to do with anything?

Like Warcraft, marketing has dailies. Your boss, coworkers, or customers may not have blue exclamation marks hovering over their heads, but you have dailies – writing blog posts, checking forums, optimizing web pages, responding to customer emails, all the little chores that come with marketing on a daily basis.

Like Warcraft, you can occasionally miss a marketing daily – but miss enough, and your business suffers badly. New business stops coming in the door, your ranking for top keyphrases in Google drops, customers stop buying as much as often.

Like Warcraft, you can’t catch up, either. Sure, you can respond to a customer’s email a few days later – but either you’ve lost reputation in that customer’s eyes or they’ve simply gone somewhere else to buy. Sure, you can wait to respond to a media query – but chances are the reporter has gone to another source already and at best you’ll be backup.

So how do you manage your dailies? Unlike Warcraft, you don’t get a neat, tidy list automatically (cooking daily, fishing daily, daily heroic dungeon, etc.) but there’s no reason you can’t create one. Sit down with a clipboard and look at the tasks you accomplish over a week. How many of them are repeating tasks? How many should be repeating tasks? Figure out which tasks are the high value ones – responding to customers, tweaking a web site, blogging – and assemble them in a nice list that you can print on real paper and photocopy.

Then set aside however long you need to do your dailies. For example, I tend to do my cooking & fishing Warcraft dailies first thing in the morning, before I even leave the house for work. It takes just a few minutes and I get them out of the way at a time when the server isn’t crowded with people trying to do the same thing. Anyone who’s done the Cheese for Glowergold daily at peak hours knows how awful peak time is. Do your marketing dailies off peak, preferably before your day starts, and you’ll see impressive, sustained growth in your business (assuming your dailies are high value tasks) that wasn’t possible when you didn’t treat the tasks as dailies.

Here’s to your daily success!

Updated: Chris Brogan shares his dailies here.


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