Do you subscribe to the notion of the New Year, New You? Do you make New Year’s Resolutions each year? Do you stick to them or do you lose sight of them after a few short weeks? Do you look at the New Year in business the same or differently than you do in your personal life?
I love the New Year, the blank slate and all the opportunity it affords. Each year, I make a list of goals and aspirations rather than an actual resolution. I do this personally and professionally. It helps to hold me accountable and gives me focus for the upcoming months. Just like my marketing plan, these goals are fluid and can change as circumstances and situations evolve.
Like any type of marketing planning, it’s important that goals are tangible and measurable. Setting your sights on realistic, attainable benchmarks can help build momentum and confidence. Here are some areas you can consider when looking at your year ahead. There’s always room for improvement, but you can’t do everything all at once. It’s best to choose a couple key areas to focus on and build from there.
Where will you put your focus this year?
1. Your Blog.
If you don’t have a blog for your business you should. It is one of the best ways to build SEO and attract new customers. Blogs build credibility and reputation. The most important part of blogging, I think, is consistency. For the New Year, plan to post two new blog posts each week.
2. Social Media.
Which social media channels do you frequent? Do you make a consistent effort to increase your visibility there? Sometimes we focus on the pure numbers when that isn’t necessarily the most important thing. Quality often outweighs quantity. For this year, plan to engage your fans and followers more instead of just acquire more fans. Aim for new comments, retweets, etc.
3. Mailing List.
Do you have a newsletter mailing list where you communicate with past and potential customers? This is another important effort that you should be making on behalf of your business. If you’re not doing it on a regular basis, this could be a good area for you to focus on in the coming year. For this year, you could plan to send out an e-mail to your list once each month. And, concentrate on having good, interesting content in each one.
Where do you get new most of your new referrals? Do you have a referral program set up for your existing clients? Your satisfied customers are often your best promoters. Those that are happy with your service or products can do your best advertising by talking to others. You can encourage this by offering a referral program and a kick-back for referrers. A point based program might work for you; or an automatic discount for each new customer referred may be most effective.
5. Repeat Customers.
What do you do to cultivate your existing customer base? Marketing to your past customers is a great option and can simplify the process. They are already familiar with you to some extent and know what you have to offer. For this year, set a measurable goal to do business with a certain number of repeat customers. Use what you know about them and their past purchases to attract them with new specials or items.
What areas of your business do you want to improve on and grow this coming year? Ask yourself where you should put your attention to reach those goals. Remember; take one goal at a time, one day at a time. Small steps can add up to big progress.
Dawn Berryman is the founder of MarketMommy.com and Market Mommy:: The Blog, online marketing resources for mom entrepreneurs. Market Mommy shows moms how and where to market their businesses. She holds a B.A. from Indiana University and has worked in the marketing/communications field for more than 11 years. She resides in rural Ohio with her husband and three children. For more information, please see: Market Mommy.