How often have you made a marketing plan and not delivered on it?
You are full of good intentions when you start writing your marketing plan, but not long after week one it starts to wane.
Client work starts to get in the way as you aim to provide the very best service, and quite frankly so does life. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day.
In this blog article I’ve outlined why you always need to be marketing your business if you want to increase profits and 6 tips to stay on track.
Why it’s so important to be consistent
All too often people approach marketing with a very start and stop approach as if it’s something you can pick up and put down when you want.
And while that is physically true, it’s not going to be very helpful if you have dreams of growing your empire and achieving your goals.
You see when people stop and start it looks like the below graph.
They start marketing and sales increase (not always immediately but hopefully soon after!) the business starts to get busier, and they struggle to manage everything so they park the marketing to concentrate on the customers.
While they are distracted by the customers, the new sales start to dry up because there is no marketing taking place. Once it’s quiet everyone panics so they start to market the business again – this pattern goes on repeating itself.
As you can see in the graph above, this approach means on average sales will stay on par each year, or at most a small increase at a time.
If you want to increase your sales at a faster rate – you need to market your business all the time.
6 ways to stay on track with your marketing plan
#1 – Make it visual
It’s said that people who clearly articulate their goals and put them somewhere they can be visually prompted each day are 1.5 times more likely to achieve them. When you last wrote your marketing plan, did you then articulate the goals and actions clearly into a one pager that could be pinned up somewhere to focus your mind?
Think of the cookie jar – when it’s out on the counter you are prompted to take one. Put it in the cupboard or out of reach and you’ll often forget it’s there. Out of sight out of mind. We need to reverse engineer this one!!
Use visual prompts to remind you of what you need to do in order to achieve your goals.
#2 – Carve out routine time in your week
Just like our good intentions of going to the gym – if we leave it to chance we’ll let it slide and make excuses for other priorities taking precedence.
I do it all the time – saying I’m too busy to go running because the kids’ routine takes over.
However when you outline the when and how – you make a commitment to yourself.
How much time do you need? Is it a day a week? An hour a day? Whenever it is – book it into your diary so that you are not tempted to let distractions wriggle their way in.
#3 – Allocate Tasks
It doesn’t all need to be done by you, even if you are the only person in the business! Figure out your strengths and realise what tasks are best done by you, your team members or perhaps even outsourced to someone else.
There is a pressure when you start up a business to be the expert at everything. Look at those you aspire to be – are they doing everything? No.
You need to take the leap of faith sometimes, and trust others to help you in your pathway to success.
Share your vision, allocate the marketing tasks out, and hold those people accountable.
#4 – Track Results
Tracking results is one of the best ways to keep you motivated. This is because when you start to see the positive impact, it reinforces your belief that the marketing plan will work.
Positive mindset is everything here!
It reminds you that any pain along the way is worth it!
Last month I was running a 5km for 50 day challenge, I couldn’t run a 5km at the start and in fact I felt really unfit – however about 10 days in I could already start to see the progress. I was breathing easier, my legs weren’t feeling so heavy and my time was coming down. All of these indicators motivated me to keep going.
The results to track in your business could be: social media statistics, google analytics, sales figures, enquiries and conversion statistics – any of these will be able to show you progress on your marketing plan.
Check in at least monthly to watch progress and record it somewhere so you can look back month to month. Be aware sometimes there are seasonal fluctuations and that sometimes it takes a while to see progress – avoid taking knee jerk actions where possible.
#5 – Repurpose content
In a lot of situations, people look at their marketing tasks as individual jobs to get done. However in the world of content marketing you can use your time more wisely by repurposing existing content.
From one video you could create a blog article which could provide you with 4 social media posts and perhaps even an infographic!
Rather than make it harder for yourself, look at how you can get more out of your existing marketing content.
#6 – Hold yourself accountable
One of the downsides when you are the business owner is that you can do whatever you want?!
It is in our human nature to do what we find easiest.
Therefore if you own a bakery – you probably love to bake but might find the world of social media a bit daunting…
In order to do what you love though, you need to market your business. Sometimes we need a nudge to keep us on track, someone to keep us accountable.
It might be a partner, a fellow business owner, mentor or coach, all of these people can help encourage you to keep to the commitments that you outlined in your plan.
I will launch a new website by September 2021…
Break it down into individual tasks with deadlines and share this with them. We don’t like to disappoint people once we make a commitment – so you are far more likely to succeed in moving forward.
Marketing plans: How to stay on track when marketing your business
We know that marketing our business is good for us, but yet we still struggle with implementing plans consistently.
Just like when we want a diet to work, we need to commit wholeheartedly by sticking to the plan.
Cheat days/weeks only mean that we will not achieve our goals.
It is 100% up to us to implement the marketing plans, so that we can move the business forward and achieve our goals. Let me know in the comments if you have any other techniques that have worked well for you.
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