Do you treat your marketing goals like your New Year's resolutions?
They mean a lot to you when you first set them - when you’re motivated and eager to get started. But a few weeks down the line, you lose interest and casually push them to the side, never to be thought about again?
Marketing success is all about making sure that your goals and your plan work for you.
So, here’s my top 3 tips on how to set yourself goals you’re actually going to stick to this New Year (especially if your original ones have already gone out the window)...
1. Go back to basics and make sure your goals are SMART.
Every goal-setting book, article and blog will tell you the importance of setting SMART marketing goals for your business.
When I first started my own business I was really bad at this and hated setting these for myself. It felt like a total waste of time and I often put off setting them as I knew I’d use them as a stick to beat myself up with if things didn't go to plan. So, more often than not, I just didn't bother setting them so I couldn't fail.
It wasn’t until I started working with a coach that I realised just how important it is to set SMART objectives.
It's not just about achieving goals, but about giving you something very clear to be working towards.
Before, I’d set myself goals like ‘improve SEO on the website’ or ‘increase my brand awareness on Facebook’. But these weren’t specific enough or time bound so they gave me a LOT of wiggle room to settle for results that were nowhere near what I actually wanted to achieve.
When you’re setting yourself goals, write down exactly what you want to achieve with this marketing strategy and when you want to achieve it by (staying realistic of course). For example…
The most important thing about these goals is that they’re measurable, or else you won't be able to see when you’ve achieved them.
2. Build your plan around YOU!
Have you ever downloaded one of those ‘done for you’ templates from the internet? Maybe you’ve tried a healthy eating plan from Pinterest to shift a few pounds after the Christmas break or a workout schedule that you stuck to for 3 days then forgot about…
They certainly sounded achievable but for some reason they just didn't seem to work for you.
But, the thing is, these ‘done for you’ plans were never built around you. They didn’t take into account that you only really have time to workout for 15 minutes before the kids wake up in the morning. Or maybe you have an hour free on a Saturday whilst the kids are at football and piano lessons so one bigger workout a week would be better for you.
Succeeding with our goals is all about how we plan and manage our time… and this will be different for everyone.
Karen Meager and John McLoughlan talk about this in their book ‘Time Mastery’ and have an interesting quiz available here to find out how you plan your time which you can use to help structure your plan around you.
3. Regularly refer back to your vision…
What do you want to achieve through your business? Maybe it’s financial freedom or personal freedom to have your work fit in around your life (rather than the other way round). Maybe you want to put an end to single use plastics or to end homelessness in your local area.
I have my vision written down on the front page of my marketing machine journal and refer back to it EVERY SINGLE MORNING.
Why? Because this vision is what my marketing goals ar getting me one step closer toward. It’s my driving force on those days where I'm struggling for motivation.
It’s important to remember that this vision isn’t set in stone. If you find yourself looking at it and wanting to add or tweak things then do! The aim of this is to keep you focused on your end goal so you can make better decisions every day.
If setting and sticking to your marketing goals is something you know you struggle with year after year, make sure you book your free Clarity Call with me today. Because, once you have clear goals in place it’s so much easier to see how the rest of the cogs fit together in your marketing machine.
I don’t know about you, but over the last few months I’ve found it harder to stay consistent with my marketing. And I know I’m not alone.
When we were locked down, a lot of business owners found they had time to write and share great blogs that resonated with their customers. They had time to send regular newsletters and post more often on social media.
But, since restrictions were lifted in the summer, these tasks have slipped down the to-do list and many people have lost the momentum they built up in their marketing.
So if you’re wondering how best to reignite your marketing this December, here’s 5 things you can do today to reconnect with your customers this Christmas...
I’m often asked, “what can I do to speed up my customers in their buying decision?”
With very considered purchases, it might be 6 months or more between someone first hearing about you and them actually making that first purchase. In a small business, these months can be excruciating as you wait patiently for a call or email telling you they’re ready to take that next step in their buying journey.
It’s tempting to want to try and speed them up, because you know they’ll get so much value from what you have to offer. However, it’s important your customer is allowed to make their decision in their own time.
This is a question that not enough business owners are asking themselves before diving head first into their marketing…
A lot of business owners know they need help and assume they need a consultant. But do they really? Or do they need a coach?
So what’s the difference between the two?
It’s become almost a guilty pleasure of mine, trawling through the ads on facebook trying to spot the irresistible clickbait formulas…
Why? Because they’re so effective! And because anyone with any interest in marketing will be able to learn something from them.
If you want to increase your sales, the obvious answer is to tell more people about your product or service. Right?
Well actually, logically, that’s the last thing you should do.
As business owners, it’s almost instinctive: more sales has to come from more prospects, they come from more leads and they come from more inquiries. So that’s where I need to start.
Strategic marketing planning takes time.
And, if like me, you’re running a business, time is probably in short supply...
It’s easy to think that it’s better to just get on and do some marketing, even if it’s not as effective as it could be, and work on improving it incrementally using an agile or ‘test and learn’ methodology. Taking time out of your business to plan can feel excruciatingly wasteful. After all, once you’ve spent all that time planning, you’ve then got a long list of marketing activities to do and even less time to do them than you had before.
So can’t all this planning be skipped? Can’t I just work out my marketing strategy as I go along?
Well… let’s explore that with an analogy.
Without buy-in from everyone involved in executing your marketing plan, you'll never be fully successful in implementing it. And I don’t just mean your marketing team here either.
Marketing should never operate in a silo. Their activities impact sales, customer service, product development, product/service delivery and operations and more. Your marketing strategy needs to fit within the context of your business growth strategy and work in collaboration with each departmental strategy.
But how do you get buy-in from all these different people? Especially when you have people who are not at all familiar with how marketing actually works.
Here are my top 5 tips…
Can you have a strategic not-for-profit?
I’ve recently been working with a couple of not-for-profit’s that have been looking to increase the uptake of their services. Since the business isn’t actually “selling” anything, we’ve been looking at how the buyer journey can be applied to help them achieve their marketing objectives.
So, can the buyer journey model be applied when your customers aren’t technically buying from you?
Does anyone else have that drawer in their kitchen which is crammed with menus from all your favourite takeaways?
Have you ever thought about how you could use this marketing technique in your business for all those customers who have ‘filed you for later’?
Now, I'm not suggesting you go and print thousands of leaflets about your products or services and post them through every door in the country. First, that would be extremely expensive and, second, it just wouldn't work for most businesses.
What I'm talking about here is something which you can give to those potential clients who aren't really “hungry” for what you offer now, but might be in the future.
Get strategic advice, tips and ideas straight into your inbox every fortnight.