Have you ever breathed all the air out of your lungs, dived beneath the water, and tried to see how long you can stay under?
It’s an entirely different experience than breathing deep and knowing you have the capacity to hold your breath on that dive.
Sometimes in business (and life) we don’t give ourselves the proper support to achieve the desired task.
For me, I realized recently, this happened with marketing.
You see, I know when the holidays are. I know what weekends we’re more busy. I know when the key small business days are in my downtown. But I respond to them.
Typically, I will realize an event is happening tomorrow. Maybe in 2 days. And I will quickly gather something to promote or support or remind, as necessary.
But it’s half-hearted. It’s weak. And my clientele deserves better.
In December, a business-owner friend told me he had the chance a year before to sit in a room with a very successful entrepreneur in his niche. As they talked, he realized the primary difference between their success, income, and amount of people they impacted and helped on a daily basis came down to one thing.
This other guy had a marketing calendar. For the whole year.
Every social media post, every scheduled blog, every print ad, every design, every holiday promotion, customer appreciation days, staff birthdays, special events, donation time events, non-profit promotions, etc.
This calendar was shared with his team so everyone knew who was doing what, when it had to be finished, and when/how it was being released.
He tried it all of last year. Business grew. Feedback from clients was better. Design was more carefully thought out. Posts made sense. They weren’t random.
And best of all, he said he didn’t feel like he was spending any time on it.
I have 2 marketing folks that I hire on a contract basis. One handles web, design, and physical products. The other manages our social media image and photography. The three of us share total responsibility.
We sat down in January and created a shared calendar with dates for posts, promotions, events and deadlines. We update it as we realize things need to be tweaked. I send emails when something is coming up and I want to make sure they have clear direction.
It’s not perfect, but it’s started.
The result in just 6 weeks is clear communication, higher quality / more thought out posts, and no missed opportunities.
And I haven’t had to scramble once. Do you know how freeing that is?