When we travel we always have a plan. Even if we are just going to the local grocery store, we know the route to get there. If we want to go from California to New York and we don’t have a plan then we will be very lucky if we ever get to our destination.
The same is true in our marketing. Most entrepreneurs jump from thing to thing. Trying tactic after tactic. Never sticking with one thing long enough to truly know if it works or will work. They do what my partner Ely calls “Spaghetti Against The Wall”TM marketing. Where we throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks.
This type of marketing may seem like it works at first. There may be some type of success. But in the long term it will fail. And not only will it fail, it takes a tremendous amount of energy to keep up. Since you are running around always trying the next new thing, you are always having to learn the next new thing. Your time is consumed with running from thing to thing, instead of maximizing the things you are already doing.
Another sign that you are running from thing to thing is if you don’t have a clear reason WHY you are doing something. Before you do any new marketing tactic you should know exactly why you are doing it. What do you hope to get from it? How will you know you are successful?
Having a marketing plan is as important as having a map for a cross country trip. I am not talking about a 20 page dissertation on every marketing thing you are going to do each day of each month for the next 5 years. While those types of marketing plans have their place, I am referring to something much more simple.
First stop and think about the tactic. For example: Facebook. When you use Facebook for your business what is your goal? Why are you posting those pictures? Why are you posting the quotes? Why do you have a business page? How will you know if the time you have spent was a success?
Now, how much time are you going to spend? Are you going to post once a day, twice a day, once a week? What are you going to post? Are you going to log in and post manually each time, or are you going to schedule a bunch of things at once and automate the process a bit? Think about each thing and actually write down the answers.
If you are going to post a quote everyday, do some research and find the quotes. If you are going to post a photo with a quote, consider creating the graphics you are going to post as well as sharing items others have already posted. If your goal is to gain additional followers or Likes how do you plan on doing that?
When you have written it all down. Look through it again. Flesh it out. Tighten it up. If you have difficulty doing these steps, you may need to consider if the tactic even makes sense for your business. Does it fit your business plan? Is your target audience even using this tool? Will they even see all of your efforts?
If you know where you are going it is easier to get there. Always have a plan! You will know if you should go down the road to the right, or the left or make a u-turn and find a different way altogether.