It’s that time of year to make sure your marketing plan is all ready to go — just in time to kick off the sparkling New Year that’s right around the corner.
But how do you get a marketing plan together that will actually get you the results you’re looking for? Here are 3 tips to get you started:
1. Start with the end in mind. Make sure you figure out specific and REALISTIC goals. While I’m all for having a hit-it-out-of-the-park goal (like building your list to 10K when you have 500 on it right now), you should also have a goal that’s doable AND will make you happy if you reach it.
Knowing your goals will help guide where you need to put your focus. And I would pick no more than 3-5 top ones to get done in 2014 (plus some secondary strategies to round out your calendar). So, for instance, maybe you want to build your list, launch a high-end group mastermind program and get your book done as your main goals. And maybe as part of your high-end group program launch, you also have a smaller launch as a lead in.
So now you have 3 big rocks you can get into your calendar — a product launch, a high-end group launch and a book launch. Plus you have list-building activities that need to happen regularly. Once you’ve plugged those in, now you need to make sure you have both long-term and short-term marketing covered (which is #2).
2. Do you have a balance between long-term and short-term marketing activities? Long-term are tactics like building your list and nurturing your list (for instance sending a regular ezine). Short-term are tactics like having a sale or a launch that bring money in the door right now.
Successful businesses have a balance of both throughout the year — the long-term that will lead to a healthy business with a regular stream of leads and clients and short-term for cash flow.
So now that you have your big rocks, do you see holes in either your short-term or long-term? Do you have your cash-flow covered from month-to-month? Do you have your list-building and list-nurturing activities in there? Now is the time to adjust accordingly.
3. Are the marketing activities you’ve committed to things you enjoy? My personal feeling is the reason why entrepreneurs fail when it comes to marketing is they focus their efforts on what they feel like they SHOULD be doing, rather than what they LOVE doing. There are so many ways to market yourself — videos, podcasts, writing blogs, connecting on social networking, etc. — that I guarantee there is SOMETHING you enjoy doing. So figure out what that is and do that activity. Don’t worry about the rest. Get one thing done and get it done right, and the rest will fall into place.
(If you want some help with this, my “Internet Marketing Success Story” includes an assessment to help you figure out which marketing activity is perfect for you. You can learn more here.)
Now, once you’ve figured out what you love doing, don’t forget to actually build those activities into your plan. Because it doesn’t matter how great of a plan you’ve put together, if you don’t actually implement anything in the New Year, you’re not going to get the results you’re looking for.