Now it may seem
obvious that every business needs a marketing plan but not every business has
one or if they do it's often not mapped out on their calendar so it never
really gets implemented as planned. This means the results are likely to be
less than predicted and a lot less than desired so disappointment and
frustration is often the outcome.
So, to be
successful a marketing plan needs planning - followed by implementation! And
creating your marketing calendar is the secret to that successful
marketing calendar means you can make sure there are no gaps or overload.
Having this in place also means you can maximise the time available to create
the most income while at the same time you will avoid getting overcommitted or
Step 1: Get
It's hard work
and takes a lot of discipline to do this on your own and unless you're the lone
ranger type my advice is to find a colleague or a coach to tackle this with
you. Having a supportive person to brainstorm and act as a sounding board will
be invaluable. Choose this person carefully and be clear about your objectives
and their role in helping you accomplish the task.
Use a system to
keep you on track. It will be a whole lot quicker and a lot more fun!
Step 2: Get
at a heart level the value you bring to your clients and their lives or
business and 'see' how your marketing will make it possible for you and them to
connect. Without that connection you won't get what you want and neither will
they. See marketing as the link and you'll be motivated to create your calendar
as well as excited about implementing it. Procrastination will be a thing of
Step 3: Decide
your income goals
income target is the first step to designing your marketing activities for the
year. This will ensure your final plan is structured so that collectively the
programs or events you run will bring the return on investment you want. It is
a critical factor in determining which programs to run and when.
will plan for an increase on last year's income (if not then get some coaching
around this). Simply decide how much and make it a stretch otherwise you'll
find yourself doing pretty much what you've done in the past and that's no way
to grow your business.
My tip is to
make your decision from where you want your business to be - not where you are
now. This will force you to do things differently and that's the only way you
can change results.
Step 4: Review
your programs and services.
Decide what you
will be offering. Review your current programs and services and see if it's
time to create new, retire or revamp old offerings. Remember what marketing
legend Dan Kennedy has to say about this - the fastest and easiest way to add
more money to your bottom line is to do what you are doing now but look at your
fees and how your services are put together. In other words simply price and
package what you are already doing, a little differently to increase your
income without adding to your expenditure,
clear the next step is simple.
Step 5: Create
your marketing calendar
Once you have
decided what programs and packages you'll be offering it's time to look at how
and when to promote them. This is where the rubber hits the road - mapping the
possibilities across to your marketing calendar and blocking out that time
visually is the objective.
I use a one
year calendar showing each of the 12 months ruled off to 4 weeks so it's a one
page view. The year at a glance.
blocking out time for holidays and other known commitments and begin filling in
the possibilities taking into account the time of the year and the length of
time to execute each initiative from beginning to end.
you'll run out of calendar before you run out of things you want to do so you'll
be forced to sharpen your pencil and get the balance just right between
activities and income.
Step 6: Check
your revenue goals
mapped the content and timing across to your marketing calendar you must cross
check your estimations on revenue for each initiative and total it up. Double
check to see if you are going to meet your revenue goals and if not go back to your
calendar and adjust accordingly.
tempted to lower your income goals. Instead look for ways to increase the income
from particular events or do something else. This could mean running a program
for more people or charging more per person or some other creative solution.
The point is to see other ways to bring in the income you want rather than
lower your sights.
adjustments to your calendar until it all fits together.
Now that you
have finalized your marketing calendar you can chunk that down into the steps
needed to implement each program in turn. It's not necessary to do that level
of detail at the outset unless you choose to but as you move through the
calendar year you will know what is up ahead and what is required and when.
In short you
will be in control. Taking the time to create your marketing calendar means you
will have much less stress, a lot more fun and a lot more money than winging it
and hoping for the best.
By Kathleen Ann
Image by Jose Antonio Sanchez Reyes
Small business marketing expert Kathleen Ann is the
"Marketing Champion for small Business and entrepreneurs." As a
Certified Money, Marketing and Soul Coach Kathleen delivers breakthrough
marketing strategies so heart-centered entrepreneurs can Brand, Package and
Price their services to quickly create more money, time and freedom in their
business. For free articles, free resources and to sign up for her free audio
and transcript "7 Must Know Secrets to Business Branding Success",
essential Branding strategies to help you attract qualified ideal clients in
droves, visit http://www.powerupyourmarketing.com