Online marketing plans and New Year’s resolutions have a lot in common. Both tend to begin each January, with the best goals and loftiest intentions. And similarly, both tend to have been forgotten by the time February rolls around.
If you’re a business owner you might have been through this cycle a few times yourself. You sit down and come up with great ideas about the things you could do in the coming year. Then, life and the day-to-day realities of running your business get in the way. Sooner or later, you end up with a list of things you should have done after a year of disappointment.
Interested in breaking that pattern? Want to make 2022 a year of growth and progress? If so, then we have some good ideas about what you can do to make your marketing plan stick in the coming months. Let’s start with something fundamental that a lot of business owners tend to overlook…
- Start With a Result and Work Backward
Forget about where you are with your online marketing, at least for a moment. Think forward to the end of 2022. What do you want to be celebrating? How would you like your business to be different than it is right now?
Too often business owners fall into the trap of thinking about “goals” from the perspective of clicks or search engine ranks. Those details matter, but what’s more important is understanding the actual change you’re wanting to create. Do you want to be a leader in your business? Have more sales coming in through your website? Be less reliant on print ads?
These are only a few possibilities, of course. Think about the outcomes that would make the biggest difference for you and your team.
- Focus on the Road That’s in Front of You
Once you have a sense of where you’re headed it’s time to take that goal and break it down. This is important because it makes things actionable. If you want to drive across the country you don’t have to see the entire route at once. You just have to know what the road in front of you looks like for the next quarter mile.
The point of this simple analogy is to take your bigger goal and then break it down into a few months of reasonable progress. Ask yourself what it would take to get started, and what success might look like in the short term.
Understand that the smaller goal might look different than your ultimate aim. For instance, if you wanted to double your online sales for the year, you might begin with a 10% increase in the first quarter against last year’s numbers.
- Move From Outcomes to Activities
With the right three-month target in place you can take another crucial step in the process: moving from outcomes to activities.
What would you have to do, on a daily or weekly basis, to make it possible to reach your three-month goal? What steps, or combination of steps, could you take that would be likely to pay off? If you aren’t sure, this is an area where your web design and online marketing partner can offer advice and perspective.
Turning outcomes into activities is massively beneficial for a couple of reasons. First, it gives you something to control. You know you can take a daily or weekly action, whereas some results (like sales) might be largely out of your influence. And second, it gives you a set of ongoing habits that can become a part of your business moving forward. Ultimately, these end up being more important than your goals.
- Set a Follow-Up Appointment
As you begin to execute on these daily and weekly activities you should schedule a follow-up review at the three-month mark. For best results, you’ll want to meet with your web design partner at this time.
Once again, there are multiple reasons we offer this advice. On the one hand, attaching a deadline to your project makes it more pressing. Almost anyone can stay focused for 12 or 15 weeks. And on the other hand, scheduling a follow-up meeting adds a layer of accountability to your work. You will be more likely to follow through when you know you have to show the results to someone else who was aware of your plan.
Setting the time for follow-up also leads you perfectly to the final part of our formula.
- Take the Next Natural Step
We’ve alluded to this already, but now it’s time to uncover the magic in this plan. Slowly but surely, the daily and weekly executions, each designed to lead you toward your goal, become more important than the goal itself.
That’s because progress can feel slow even when it’s inevitable. If you write a few blog posts every week (as an example) you’re eventually going to dominate your search engine niche and become the thought leader in your industry. If you post to social media every day you’re going to develop a following. Whether or not you meet your short-term goals is less important than the fact that you’re moving forward toward the right kinds of business outcomes.
After a few months you can get together with your web designer and decide whether the goals and activities you’ve set still make sense for another quarter. You might keep moving ahead or change course. But either way you’ll have put the kinds of habits and processes into place that are going to take you toward more profitability in each and every three-month period going forward.
- What Kind of Year Do You Want 2022 to Be?
If you’re committed to making this the best year ever in your business – the kind of year that sets you on the path to profitability for years to come – then we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll show you what we’ve been able to do for other business owners just like you and give you personalized answers to your biggest digital marketing questions. Then, if it makes sense, we’ll look at ways to work together in the coming year.
Don’t let this offer pass you by. We would love to hear from you, and one short meeting could change everything for the future of your business!