Jenni here, and a few weeks ago I attended my first Tuesdays Together — a monthly meeting for creatives in the wedding industry. This month's topic was all about marketing, and it was so inspiring to hear a room full of folks talking about their biggest sticking points when it came to their marketing. There was definitely a running theme.
I want to Be more intentional with my marketing.
Right now I'm just throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. Or I'm just trying different things but I have no overarching direction. Or I want to establish my company as a brand, not just another voice in the noise.
So this week I'm dedicating this blog post to the overwhelmed, the confused, and those of you who know you need to be marketing but aren't sure what exactly that looks like.
Step One: You Need a Plan
As I talked about in this post about getting unstuck, knowing what you're shooting for is so important. And most of the time we think we know what we want, but if I asked you to sit down and define it (with numbers) most people are surprised that their vision is cloudier than they'd expected.
Some goals might include getting your work published, growing your social footprint, or to stop selling your services/products to just anyone. You might be looking for a way to hone in on creating a great experience and selling it to the right people (so your portfolio can finally look the way it does in your dreams — am I right?)
Once you have your goals, you need a plan on how to get there. And your plan will need to include measurable action steps that back into your goals.
For example, if you want to get your work published, you might first 1) Identify the places that your work will fit. 2) Identify the work that is best suited for publication 3) Plan to submit 1 - 3 pieces of work each month.
Here's a live example with Prim'd (ack, this feels vulnerable!). We're trying to grow our audience and expand our reach to include more of the best clients that we've loved working with. Typically much of our business has been referral-based, which is great, but we'd like to have more people in that pool. So, just yesterday we named our goals: expand our digital content strategy and expand our in-person networking efforts.
Next Sophie and I need a plan to back into these goals. For me, because I'm the tech geek, that plan is going to include milestones and benchmarks for online development to get our articles and content into the hands of more great readers. For Sophie, the social connection maven, she's going to have a plan to connect with a specific number of new people each month (determined by our customer profiles).
Currently, we are working on backing out those goals with specific metrics or benchmarks to help us know what we're supposed to be doing, and who is accountable for each piece.
Step Two: Consistency Is Key
This is the hard part! It's easy to get excited when a plan is new and flush with energy. It gets much harder after a couple of months when things don't feel like they're moving as fast as you want. But whether your plans include blogging more regularly, being more intentional on social media, or creating consistent touches with your prospects — consistency is the path to get there.
You've heard this before, but scheduling it on your calendar is one way to mark the time. But if that isn't working, you need to look for outside help. For example, one of our clients is an amazing finance & operations expert that consults with artisan food businesses. She's an incredible wealth of knowledge, but sitting down and writing blog posts just doesn't happen when she's in it alone. She has too many other things on her plate, vying for her attention.
We work together so she has monthly meetings with me to talk about her strategy, what's going out on the blog or newsletter, what the calls to action are, and when. Having that built in person who is waiting for your deliverables makes so much of a difference.
So whether it's building good routines, or plugging the right people in — make sure that your marketing plans don't sit in a drawer. Even if you're only touching your marketing for 20 minutes, pull it out, and make some progress.
Three: Get More Specific
(with yourself and your target market)
I won't go too much into customer target markets as Sophie talks about this in How To Get Unstuck & Blog Effectively (Know Your Audience) blog post.
But the best thing you can do when you're in marketing overwhelm is to pair down. You might have 4 products, but can you identify the one product that you want to be known for? You might be an expert in a couple of areas, but can you narrow even tighter on that sweet spot?
I say this because just like goals, most of us just have a murky idea of what they want to truly be an expert at. If you can get a little more narrow about it, you'll eliminate much of the work you think you have to do.
For example: you might be a photographer that captures weddings, newborns, and families. If you are trying to grow your business, is there one of those segments that is the most profitable, or brings the most joy?
If so, consider spending the majority of your marketing efforts on that segment. (Let's pretend it's newborns). You can still shoot weddings and families — but you're going to want to focus a majority of your content strategy on newborns, as well as your outreach to those moms.
Ok, those are three high level tips on how to start getting intentional about your marketing. You might notice that there are no magic bullets, no code you can plug into your website to make you successful overnight. Sometimes that feels relieving to me, sometimes that's frustrating — but making small steps in the right direction week over week will get you there.
Wish you could talk it through with someone?
We have a couple ways we work with clients — from getting clear on their plans with The Brand Plan, getting unstuck with our power strategy meetings (we call these Golden Hours), or helping with on-going strategy and accountability.
But if you're like us, sometimes you want to pick up the phone and talk to someone.
We're offering a free strategy call to help you get clear on what to do today.
Schedule a your call with Sophie Davies, our master strategist, and helper of the overwhelmed and stuck.
Get FULL Access to our Resource Library
Get FULL ACCESS to our curated and most powerful worksheets!