Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Schedule Time for Marketing

You schedule everything else.  Maintenance on your car.  Health checkups.  Soccer games, Scout meetings, dinner dates.  Why wouldn't you schedule your marketing?  If they aren't locked into your schedule, you won't get to your marketing tasks and you won't ever see your marketing strategy kick into gear.

You eat regular meals to keep yourself thriving.  Regular marketing will keep your business thriving by providing the nourishment it needs - new customers and more sales.  I schedule a morning a week to write newsletters and manage the various on- and off-line tasks that keep traffic coming to my website and convert prospects to clients.

If you haven't done so already, block out time each day or each week to spend on marketing -- a minimum of five hours a week.  Follow these steps to help keep your marketing on tasks on track.

1.  Set your marketing goals.  How many new social media contacts do you want to make this month?  How many articles do you want to publish?  How many times a month will you publish a newsletter?

2.  Create your calendar.  Whether you use an online calendar such as Google calendar or another digital format or you still use your pen and a planner, a calendar to is an essential part of your marketing schedule.  Once you have chosen your format, start scheduling your activities for the month.  Write down due dates for articles and newsletters, allot time for posting to social media, and allow time to track your results so you know what works and what doesn't.  If you need further help with using a calendar, see my blog post "How to Be Organized - Use a Calendar!"

3.  Get to work.  Step three is really that simple.  Follow your schedule and implement the plan you have laid out.

Creating and following a marketing schedule will help keep your marketing on track.   Your calendar doesn’t have to be carved in stone, though.  Be sure you leave room for on-the-fly promotions and last-minute opportunities as well.   And as always, with ANY business schedule, make sure you leave time for you to re-energize and recharge.  Don't overdo it!  And don't stress if you don't get all of your marketing tasks completed.  Determine why you weren't able to complete the task.  Then determine if it's something you want to reschedule.  If so, add it to next month's schedule.  If you find yourself repeatedly skipping a particular task, then you need to determine why you're resistant to doing it and how to overcome that resistance.  But that is a different blog post! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Your Mess Is Your Message

For every successful business or person you see, if you track back far enough, you'll find struggle or a lack of skill and competence.  Successful people aren't immune to challenges.  The difference between them and everyone else is simple.  Successful people often choose to make their mess their message.

I first heard this phrase from my good friend, Beverly Mahone.  At first, I didn't really get what she meant by it.  Why would I want to share my mess with the world?  Shouldn't a business woman appear to have it all together?  But then I discovered that many of my "messes" were actually shared by others.  And then I understood what Bev had been saying.  By making my mess my message, I could help others who were experiencing the same issues.

And so I share my trials as well as my triumphs.  When I fall off the face of the visible world due to my husband's health issues, I don't make excuses anymore.  I freely admit that keeping my blog up to date or maintaining a social media presence is more than I can deal with when he is hospitalized.  The planned launch of "It Should Be a Dog's World" came to a halt when my precious pet passed on.  I admitted to everyone that my heart is just not in it without him.  Being honest with myself and the world lets others that may be struggling to start a business while dealing with personal issues know that it is possible to do it.  It might not be done on everyone's schedule or exactly the way the "gurus" say it should be done.  But what is important is that they see I don't quit and I don't hide and neither should they.  And when I celebrate the triumphs, such as FINALLY finishing my book or convincing the awesome Brian Basilico to write the forward, then they see that I have successes despite my messes and so can they.

Bev encouraged me to share my story on the way to success.  Since then I have met many others who have said the same thing.  People love a good story!  We all love to root for the underdog.  We love the old "rags to riches" story.  We like seeing people struggle and finally reach the top because we all see something of our own struggles in their stories and it gives us hope for our own success.

So what's my mess?  You've read about it repeatedly in this blog, on my website, and in my social media posts.  What's my message?  Have faith.  Be strong.  Don't quit.  Success comes to those who persevere no matter what.  Don't listen to the naysayers and critics.  I know you have heard the saying "Opinions are like *##&_*%#, every body has one."  Never give up on your dreams.  Find the business that is right for you.  Find the right mentor or coach.  Once you have what works for you, don't let go.  If you are looking for help, I would love to work with you.  But no matter who you choose to work with, I will be cheering you on!