Three steps to help you plan your marketing in the new year.
Marketing strategy can be overwhelming. Owning my own business and having to plan my own marketing (I am not a marketing expert by any means) can be super stressful. I’m not a strategic type of person. My processes are pretty organic and my planning consists more of general ideas rather than in depth strategic steps. If you just take the time to do it, though, even those more general planning steps can make a huge difference in planning for the future.
1 Write down what your goals are this year.
Simply taking a few minutes to identify what it is you want to accomplish can make a huge difference. They don’t even have to be huge goals. Maybe you just want to expand your product or service offering. Perhaps you know you need to work on brand awareness or fine tuning your messaging. Remember that these can change throughout the year. You can change them, add to them and refocus when one goal doesn’t seem to be as beneficial as you initially thought.
Here are a few of my goals:
Refocus and simplify my brand message. To accomplish that I am taking a fresh look at my messaging and tweaking some of my content to more clearly define what I do and how I can help my clients.
Make meaningful connections with possible collaborators. I attend various networking functions throughout the year and am making it a priority this year to make real connections with people I think I can help and can help me in return.
Find more meaningful ways to connect with my audience. This is my tenth year in business. I came in just as Facebook was firing up and priming for small business marketing. I’ve utilized that for a decade now. As the popularity of social media seeming a bit unstable right now, I’m reevaluating my use of the platform. I’m looking for more personalized ways to reach potential clients and to continue serving existing clients.
2 Create calendars for your business.
I have a few calendars. First, I have my Google calendar where I keep track of actual events, both personal and professional, as well as a few tasks that I need reminding in order to complete.
I also keep a big weekly planner. The old fashioned kind you write in. This is where I create lists of meetings and break down tasks for specific projects. These are my check lists. Each day I scratch out and check off what I’ve completed. What ever I don’t complete gets a squiggly line drawn over it and it gets moved up to the following day. This is also where I’ll prioritize tasks if I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed.
My last calendar is my content calendar where I plan out my blog, email and social media posts for the month. It’s fluid and changes a lot, but the idea is to help keep me focused on that third goal of connecting with all of you on a more personal level. I jot down subjects for blog posts and try and plan ahead so I can hammer out a few posts in a sitting and schedule them out weeks ahead of time.
Calendars are as much about my mental health as they are about getting shit done. I would absolutely collapse if I didn’t have a physical list to reference once I complete a task. It helps keep me focused and give me that wonderful sense of actually accomplishing the things I need to get done.
3 Delegate responsibility.
This is probably the hardest item on my list. I run every single aspect of my business on my own. I am the bookkeeper, accountant, strategist, creative, front man and custodian. Seriously. It’s stressful. My income doesn’t really allow for me to hire a personal assistant. More than that, I don’t know if I would trust anyone with my stuff.
You’re lucky, though. You have me. I can help you plan out the coming months from a branding perspective. I can help you focus your brand as well as get you started on a solid marketing path. We’ll ask hard questions; What are your goals? What are you preparing for? Who is your audience? What have you been doing right / wrong? And then we’ll talk about how you might get those things done and get you where you want to be.
My services include brand consultancy as well as all of the design stuff that goes with it. So, we’ll work out your brand messaging, audience avatars and brand identity and then we’ll implement all of that through logo design, mission, vision and value statements and package it all up into a bunch of great digital and real life content.
Tell me about your goals and how you plan out your marketing.