Did you have a marketing plan in place for 2020 that now feels pointless? Don’t just throw all that hard work out the window. Instead, it’s time to pivot and make adjustments to keep the momentum going forward. And if you don’t have a marketing plan in place, now is a great time to get one going.
So here’s the plan. I am going to walk you through my framework for building an actionable marketing plan. If you already have a marketing plan, we will discuss how to make adjustments to pivot your goals and tactics to continue to grow your business.
STEP 1: PRIORITIZE YOUR GOALS
As yourself: What 3-5 words do I want to represent and describe my business? When you look back a year from now, if you felt your business epitomized those 3-5 words, you would feel you accomplished what you set out to accomplish.
During this step, look back on this past year, what 3-5 words would you use to describe this past year? Are you happy with those words? Do any of those still apply? Do you want to make changes?
These words are going to be your guiding principles throughout this process. When you are having to make a decision about a new strategy or saying yes or no to a new opportunity, come back to those words. If they don’t help you achieve those, then the answer is no.
That’s one of the great things about having a plan. It helps you make decisions and it gives you permission to say NO. If something doesn’t serve your business goals, say no without regret.
If you already have a plan in place, review your words for the year. Are they still relevant? My three words for 2020 are Visibility, Authority and Growth. Those are still relevant, but some of the tactics to get there are no longer feasible (at least for now). We’ll get into pivoting our approach next.
STEP 2: TACTICS TO GET THERE
Now that you have nailed down your 3-5 words, what tactics will help you get there? What would need to happen in your business to be able to use each of the words in step 1 to describe your year?
This is your chance to goal set and brainstorm. Some of these items will be non-negotiable in order to achieve your goals. Others will be blue sky “it would be so awesome if…” ideas.
This is where the pivoting comes in to play, also. If you planned to attend an industry event to network and grow connections, that isn’t happening right now. Instead, can you look for virtual events or Facebook or LinkedIn groups to participate in to still build your connections? The nice thing about virtual events is that you can still access the learning and the knowledge, but at a lower price. You have to get creative with how to recreate the networking piece of it, though.
Some of the tactics I am pivoting include:
- Public speaking opportunities to grow my visibility and authority >> I have shifted to offering online learning opportunities to the groups I planned to speak for.
- New brand photoshoot>> While it is nowhere near what I was looking for, I have been playing around with taking my own photos at home. It gives me some fresh content and photos, and the self-timer bloopers are pretty hilarious.
A lot of my other strategies and tactics are still relevant, but the content and focus has shifted as the needs of my audience has as well.
This is where being creative and innovative to continue to grow your business comes in. Write down any ideas you have, no matter how silly they seem. You never know what ideas may be sparked from your brainstorm. Writing it down doesn’t mean you are obligated to do it.
STEP 3: WHAT’S MISSING?
Now that you have your goals and tactics to get there, what is missing? What skills or resources do you need in order to implement the tactics outline in step 2? Do you need to take a course to learn a new skill so you can move in-person interaction online? Do you need to hire someone so help or to outsource tasks to? Maybe you need a new website or email templates to promote your business.
When you can see what’s missing, you can determine the likelihood of being able to accomplish a tactic. Start with the low-hanging fruit. The things that don’t require anything extra. You may have an amazing idea, but if it isn’t realistic for you to afford or access what is missing, then it needs to be put on the back burner. Don’t rule it out forever, but also don’t let it be a road block to achieving the other, more realistic tactics.
READY TO BUILD YOUR OWN STRATEGY?
Download the template below to start building your strategy: