The first step in designing a workable monthly marketing plan is to choose a handful of marketing techniques to focus on, like email marketing, blogging, and social networking, for instance. Once you get comfortable with these techniques, you can look at adding others to the mix, but you want to start with a realistic plan to avoid becoming overwhelmed and essentially sabotaging your own efforts. If you spread yourself too thin, you’ll just become burnt out and won’t get the results you want.
By that I mean, if you’ve never published an email newsletter, don’t come out of the gates swinging with the intention of doling out 4 content-rich newsletters per month, complete with images and case studies and a fancy HTML header…whew! It’s enough to make your head spin. Instead, start with one or two newsletters per month and ease your way in. It’s always better to start slow and add more marketing communications than to start with frequent communications and then fall off the face of the earth because you got overwhelmed and gave up. It’s not about killing yourself with an overflowing task list, it’s about strategic productivity. It’s about picking a plan of action and then sticking to it.
So, ideally, you’ll want to choose your handful of techniques to start with. Once you master those technique and have systems in place that will allow your marketing to practically run on auto-pilot, you can move on to another technique.
If you’ve got a piece of paper handy, write down the two or three marketing techniques you want to start with.
As for your 30-day get-it-done marketing plan, you just need to commit. I know it sounds simple, but I’m going to say it again because here’s the thing: it IS simple. You just need to make the commitment. Most of us wouldn’t blow off a client’s deadline or scheduled appointment, but we’ll blow off our own marketing and business development without a second thought if something else comes up (like walking the dog or answering the phone or surfing the net…it’s way too easy to get busy with mindless tasks and before we know it, there’s no time left for marketing).
So here’s your marketing plan: choose two or three marketing methods and schedule them in your calendar. In PEN!
For example, if you choose email marketing, blogging, and social networking as mentioned earlier for your three marketing methods to start with, commit right now to how much of each you’re going to complete each month, and set a realistic schedule.
And be sure to get specific with your plan. It’s best to pick measurable amounts so you can document your progress. For example, instead of saying you’ll spend 4 hours on social media, commit to posting 12 updates (otherwise, 4 hours of just plain surfing Twitter, Facebook, etc. can come and go without you actually connecting with anyone).
If you choose email marketing, maybe you decide you can commit to two articles per month, so you start a bi-weekly ezine. Now, choose two dates each month, preferably on the same day – such as the 1st and 3rd Thursday – and set aside whatever time you need before that date to write your newsletter. Maybe the day before or even the week before, set aside a few hours, or whatever works best for you. Schedule it into your calendar NOW and commit to sending it out, just as you would commit to your clients’ deadlines. In fact, announce to your list (if you have one) in your next newsletter that they can expect newsletter issues at such-and-such a time each month. Nothing like a public announcement to keep you on track!
Continue with each of your marketing components until you have a complete marketing plan in place.
And there’s your marketing plan of action that just needs to be plugged in with content each month. Pretty cool, huh?
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