Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Marketing Shape Up Plan

We just spent a glorious week at Disney World with our children and grandchildren.  It was one of the best vacations I've had in a long time.  But even though I had started this trip with the best of intentions, I noticed a couple of things when I got back home.

The first one hit me the morning after our return.  I was getting ready for my day and as I was, I stepped on the scale for a quick peek.  I was prepared for at least a small drop in weight considering all of the walking we did around the different parks each day.  I was actually hoping to see a rather substantial decrease.  Instead I discovered I had gained seven pounds!  How did that happen?

I immediately determined to get back on track towards my weight loss goals.  Though I had done quite a bit of walking, I also had to admit I had done quite a bit of cheating.  Many Disney World restaurants have wonderful food and we had purchased the deluxe meal plan which includes dessert with your meals.  True, I didn't have to eat them, but I was on vacation after all.  What harm could a couple of extra desserts do?  Plus snacks. 

The second discovery happend later that night.  I was online checking stats on websites and sales figures and I noticed a small drop.  Nothing huge, but enough that it caught my attention.  How did that happen?  The same way the weight gain did - by cheating.  I had taken my laptop to Disney World with me.  I had every intention of working a couple of hours a day.  But then the kids wanted to go to the park early so they could spend more time there.  And they wanted to stay late to see the fireworks.  And my daughter wanted to get together for a quiet talk after the kids were asleep.  Or my husband wanted to have some couple time.  So I skipped a few days of marketing.  (Okay, I skipped a week's worth of marketing!)  But what harm could a few days do? 

As I was sitting at the computer looking at the data, it hit me.  Just as I needed to a shape up plan to lose the extra weight I had gained and get back on track, I also needed a marketing shape up plan to make up for my total absence from my business and get it back on track.

Step one was to set a goal for each.  Once you have a goal, it is much easier to plan a course of action to reach it.  Trying to create a plan without a goal is like starting a trip without a final destination in mind.  It's hard to keep on track if you don't know where you are going.

Now that I knew where I was going, step two was to create the plan to get there.  Since I already have an active marketing plan, I just needed to tweak it a bit to make up the lost ground from by vacation.  I am in the habit of doing at least three marketing activities a day.  I decided to double this for the next two weeks.  Six marketing activities a day should be more than enough to shape things up.

Once I had the basic plan in place, it was time for some spot toning.  Not every weekly activity needed to be done with increased frequency.  For example, Monday is the day I usually review to see what's working and what's not.  I take a look at all of my marketing efforts for the previous week and identify the areas that need more attention as well as those that are shaping up as planned.  I wouldn't want or need to do this any more frequently.

On the other hand, I usually write and submit at least one article a week.  Increasing this to two for the next couple of weeks would certainly be beneficial.

Yes, it's going to be an intense two weeks.  But by making the committment to rebuild my muscles now - both physical and marketing - I will soon be able to slow down to my normal pace and get back to doing what I love to do - spending my time helping others!

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