For small business, digital marketing can seem like just another ‘to do’ clamouring for your attention. If you’re not in an online industry, it can easily slip down your list of priorities. Depending on exactly who you are, BAS, regulation requirements, keeping up with industry news, returning client calls, visiting prospects, delivering your skills and keeping the office stocked are all somewhere at the top of the list.
Often we are so busy trying to deliver, trying to wear all of our management hats to the best of our abilities, that we relegate the ‘marketing stuff’ to after hours when we are exhausted, or should be spending quality time with our spouses and kids.
As a digital marketing specialist, I am keenly aware of the opportunities that such business owners are missing. Not only are the opportunities there, right now, but like investing, the right effort made today can continue to grow your influence and your business into the future. Failure to act sooner, costs you the opportunity to grow your business sooner.
So what’s the answer?
Well, its not about trying to cram in another two hours a day to address your online marketing. And depending on where you are in your online life cycle, it’s not about taking a month off to work out the right action for you to take, right now.
Because if you had the time to do that, you’d be writing posts like this telling others how to do it.
You need a plan that you can execute with success, and maybe someone to help you with it.
A plan that you can execute…
This means a plan built around the amount of time you have, the expertise you have, that is sustainable over time and is designed to achieve specific business goals.
You can try and implement someone else’s plan in your business, perhaps something you ‘googled’ for free. But these plans rarely match our circumstances, our own desires and drives, our business goals and our specific clients. Don’t get me wrong, you can experience a level of success with them, in fact, any plan might be better than no plan, but can you really expect a ‘one shoe fits all’ plan to become part of your bigger business future?
How do you know when something is successful? How do we measure our own success? Personally, I know that when I’m measuring my level of ‘success’ just by looking around and comparing what I am doing with others… it can be demoralising, de-motivating and just plain inaccurate.
Compare that to when you begin with a specific goal in mind.
Last May, I ran my first triathlon. I went from ‘a bit of a bike rider’ and a complete non-runner, non-swimmer in September last year, to finishing an olympic distance triathlon in under 3 hours.
Let me say, that didn’t happen by googling ‘free plan’. Nor did it happen by just turning up on the start line hoping for the best.
There was a specific goal in mind, determining clear milestones (like learn to swim more that 25 metres), and specific action to achieve them (buy goggles, swim, learn a lot about swimming, swim, find a swim teacher, swim…)
I also set achievable goals that made sense in the context of my life. I had to get to the start line without injury, which meant months of careful preparation turning my body from complete novice into athlete. My training had to fit in between my kids, my husband, my work and give me time to recover. And it had to be sustainable – triathlon is an endurance test, which begins months before race day.
Your digital marketing plan is the same.
It has to be customised to you, your business and your clients. It must have specific goals so you can measure it’s success.
Otherwise, it becomes “just another thing you have to do”.
And no one needs more things to do.