Making your marketing systematic will help to break your marketing goals into smaller bite-sized projects that are more realistically achieved. Once you have determined all of the pieces required to keep in contact with your clients, develop a calendared system to make your process easier.
When you consider your marketing effort to be a long-term investment, it is logical to then treat it the same way as your other financial investments, which is to say: keep focused on the overall goal, be consistent and regular, check in and evaluate success and do not get discouraged with minor fluctuations in your results.
Here are a few suggestions to integrate into your calendar to keep it easy and systematic:
Choose a single marketing item that you will do each month such as updating content on your website, sending an email newsletter or calling key clients. Add this item to your calendar with a reminder system. If you find yourself avoiding this item – give yourself a reward for completing it. Try to stick with it but even if you skip a month there is a better chance that you will get more accomplished this way.
Also, monthly (or quarterly) you should review your strategy and goals. Evaluate whether you have been successful in achieving your marketing goals or if you need to re-evaluate a more realistic schedule or plan. If you continually refine these items, they will eventually be so simple and reasonable it will be systematic.
Evaluate what items are on your plate and which items are arriving onto your action list. While working through your daily schedule, consider what marketing item you have coming up next. It might be easier to break a project down into simple actionable steps. If possible, break the steps into actions that will take fifteen or twenty minutes. If you know it will only take a few minutes it is more likely to happen.
While it is difficult for most small businesses to do anything every single day, you should think about how you are advancing and improving your business on a daily basis. Pay attention to which items keep coming up every day – such as similar client questions – and determine whether there might be a way to automate your response. Could you put together a brochure, or post on your website a detailed answer to those questions? This way you appear as an expert who can predict your client’s concerns before they even ask.
Daily follow-up with clients can also be hard to keep track of. When automated and part of your routine, it becomes simple. Have a system for following up with current ongoing clients, potential clients, new clients and recently closed clients. Part of this system might include something such as a simple email welcoming a new client.
Although each of these methods is best when automated, keep in mind that your actual contact with your clients and marketing message should be as personal and specific to their needs as possible. In other words, automate as much as you can – such as having blank cards for thank you notes – but also keep it human and actually handwrite the note.
(photo Ian Koh)