The holidays are a busy time for almost everyone. There are countless parties, hours of shopping, and somewhere in there you’re supposed to take care of yourself and do all the things you do any other time of the year. For most of you, there’s the additional craziness of running your business during the holidays. It can be very easy for business owners to get overwhelmed with finishing the year, so we forget to plan for the upcoming year. This is your sign to deliberately make time to think about and set goals for your business come January. Like so many things, it’s better to do it on purpose rather than to just react to what happens to you. Let us walk you through all the steps you need to take to prepare for 2023.
The first thing you need to do is set goals for the year. We know goal-setting can be a draining process, but it’s worth it! Setting goals actually makes your business 10 times more likely to succeed. We talked about the goal setting process in detail in one of last month’s blogs, so go check that out for more tips. . Here’s a hint, though: goal setting is not a task in and of itself. That task has steps, too!
Another crucial part of planning your marketing strategy for the new year is knowing who your customer is. We talk about this all the time, but that’s because it’s really important! Marketing without direction is like putting ingredients in a pan and hoping a 5-star meal comes out of it. Knowing who your customer is will help you meet them where they’re at. If you want some help figuring this out, we have a free worksheet for you! This will help you get to know your ideal customer all the way down to:
Do you see why this could be important? If your ideal client isn’t using Instagram, for example, why would you put energy into marketing on that platform? Focus your energy on meeting your clients and customers where they’re at.
What are you trying to say to people? Is your company trying to plant more trees? Maybe you’re trying to help find your dream home. Or you’re trying to help them relax and recover from the craziness that is December. Whatever your message is, it’s important to pinpoint that so you know exactly what you want to say. Obvious things to talk about are sales or new products, but what if you directly addressed your customers’ pain points? Get creative about how to spread your message once you know where your ideal client will find it.
This is, arguably, the most important step. You’ve set your goal, you’ve figured out who you want to sell to, and you’ve figured out what you want to say to them. Now is where you decide how you’re going to do all of this. “This week, I’m going to talk about bookkeeping on Instagram, send out a direct mail postcard inviting people to get ready for tax season, and I’m going to write a blog about everything you need to prepare for your CPA.” Ideally, you have more than one step in your marketing plan, but it’s absolutely okay if your realistic goal is to just get one thing posted on Facebook. Goals that are too big or too small are the goals that 92% of people never achieve.
Create a schedule for yourself so that all of your efforts are coordinated. We love a concept called Content Marketing. The idea behind this is you take one big piece of content and break it down into smaller chunks, dispersing them across multiple platforms. It’s the easiest way to cover all of your bases without getting overwhelmed. We take our blogs and turn them into a newsletter and several social media posts, for example.
One last thing to think about when planning is whether you need to bring other people into the picture. Maybe one of your employees can help, or maybe you need to hire another company to help. If your goals are big enough, you may even need to hire an employee. Make sure you’re not trying to do it all on top of your day-to-day tasks. Delegation is important! Not just for your mental health, but for your physical and emotional health as well as for the health of your company. If your marketing plan fills your schedule, you’re not going to have time to follow your passion, which is what you started your company for.
The last step to create your marketing plan for the year: do it. That plan you just made? Do it. You have your goal, you know where to find your customers, you know your message, and now you have a plan. All that’s left is to follow through!
The holidays are already fairly overwhelming for most people, but adding planning on top of staying sane in December can be difficult. If you need help creating your plan or carrying it out, we can help! We occasionally get people asking if we have “a la carte” options, and we absolutely do. If you’re confident you could carry out a marketing plan, you just need some direction on what to do, we’d be happy to help you create that plan! Or if you know exactly what you want to do but you need that vendor to take over some of those tasks, we love that part too.
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