Create Your 12-Month Marketing Calendar
"Create Your 12 Month Marketing Calendar." Now I know that marketing often feels like the last thing on your list. Actually, it's the first thing in your mind but it's the last thing that ends up getting actually done. Because I know you guys. You love what you do so much that you are all focused on your product, you're focused on your service, you're focused on delivering your very, very best to your customers and clients. And that means that those marketing pieces, those marketing items on your to-do list keep getting transferred to the next day, and the next day, and the next day. And they don't actually get the priority that they deserve. Now the reason for that this is often because you don't have a real plan. You have an idea of what you're supposed to be doing but you don't actually have it set out in a way that gives you deadlines, that gives you constraints, that gives you focus. And I know that that's what all of you need to really make marketing a priority. So let's talk abo...
ut some of the reasons that you don't plan. Again, I'm just going to be shattering objections here all day long. So if you came thinking, "I don't know about this, Tara." Be prepared to get converted. All right, so you don't plan because you're afraid that planning is a waste of time because you change your business so often. Yes? Does that resonate? You're coming up with new products and services all the time, you're thinking about a pivot all the time, you're thinking about honing in on a different kind of customer all the time. And so planning just seems like, "I don't know. How could I even look 12 months out in advance? How could I look three months out in advance? I don't know what my business is going to look like." So that's the first reason you don't plan. The second reason you don't plan is simply you don't make time for it. You don't set aside half a day, an hour to figure out what you're going to sell and when. This doesn't have to take a long time, but you do have to make time for it. You also don't plan because you don't know what you're going to sell. Because again, you're constantly thinking about, "What am I going to need to sell?" Instead of, "What do I want to sell? How am I going to make up for this down month? What else can I sell? What else can I add into the mix here?" And so you don't plan because you never quite know what your needs are going to be. And then finally, you're not confident in your ability to predict results. And if you can't predict results or if you don't even feel like you're moving in that direction, how can you really plan things out? So let's talk about why all of these objections, all of these reasons are not the case. So first and foremost, the reason you're…with changing your business so often. Planning actually helps you stick with a strategy longer. One of the reasons your business changes so often is because you're not planning for it to stay the same or to stay on a particular course. So planning, this process of actually looking 12 months in advance can help you stay the course and give you a better idea of whether the course that you're on is actually the course you want to be on. And not only that, but then sticking with a strategy actually helps you to generate traction. So the more you stick with one thing, the longer people have to associate you and your brand with that thing. If you're changing things up all the time it's hard to get traction, it's hard to get recognition, it's hard for people to really understand what it is that you do, or that your company does, or what it is that you're offering. So that takes care of the first objection. Now the second one is that you don't make time, and good news is you are making time for it right now. So you have already succeeded in one piece of the puzzle. Good for you. So that takes that one off. The next one is that you don't know what to sell. This is easy. Step one, make a list of all the things that you have available to sell. Most business owners that I know, not all, but most have a lengthy list of things they could sell at any point in time, half of which we forget about. I am as guilty of this is as you guys are, trust me. So the first step really here, and you can start doing this in your head. I'll give you a little bit of time to think through it then, but make a list of everything you have available to sell. Maybe it's 3 things, maybe it's 5 things, maybe it's 10 things, maybe it's 15 things. I have like five books that I could sell that I never sell because I just don't think about them. It's not that I never sell them. They sell on the side. But I could craft a whole marketing campaign around them. I don't, because I forget about them. Stop forgetting about things that make you money and start making a list of them. The next step, this isn't the only thing you have to do, the next step is to put a star next to the 1-3 things that make up 80% of your annual revenue. One to three things that make up 80% of your annual revenue. Why? Because it's actually a problem that you have so many things to sell. Because when you have so many things to sell, your marketing plans get crazy. And you're not going to stick with them because there's just too much to do. You're going to get burnt out from all the marketing that you think you're supposed to be doing. Also, it doesn't help with sticking with the strategy. It doesn't help with really getting people to pay attention to that one thing that you do really, really well. So I want you to focus on just those few offers that actually make you the vast majority of the revenue that you bring in in a year. And if you just focus all your effort on that 80% of the revenue, say that you made last year, you'll make way more than that this year because you're actually focused on the things that make you money. So I'm not saying let's reduce your revenue down to 80% of what it was last year, what I'm really saying is let's double your business growth by focusing on what really sells. Michelle and I were talking right before that you've got a lot that you could be selling, but right now you've doubled down on one-to-one work because it's where the vast majority of your revenue comes from. And so that's the only thing she's focused on now and that's going to help her really grow into the future. So those one to three things are the only thing you really need to sell. You don't need a list of 10 things. You don't need a list of five things, you need one to three offers that really showcase what it is that your business does best, and that makes you money. Okay, so that takes care of the third bullet point. Let's move on to the last one. You're not confident in your ability to predict results. Well, that's why you're here. You're here to gain that confidence. You're here to figure out how to better predict results, how to better plan for the outcomes that you want. Because the reason that you're not so good, maybe, at predicting results right now is because you don't have a plan. The more you plan, the more you can predict results. The more you can predict results, the better your plans will be. So it's a whole cycle that we're starting in on right now. So that's where we need to go from here is actually making that initial plan. And the good news is, is that I have provided for everyone watching right now a 12-month marketing calendar that you can get when you are RSVP for this class. So if you're watching this class right now live with us here on CreativeLive, just hit that RSVP button, log in to your CreativeLive account. And then in the Class Materials section, you're going to find this handy dandy marketing calendar. And this is just going to help you layout your thoughts. And you can use it year, after year, after year if you want. You just print it out as many times as you want and there is your marketing calendar. So the very first thing we need to do once we've got that calendar is think through, "Where am I going to put my offers throughout the year?" Now, the planning process here, it's going to change. As you start planning things you're going to realize, "Ooh, I made a little mistake here." Or, "Oh, I think this would be better over here." The idea is not to get it right the first time through, the idea is just to start. So the best thing you can do to start is to actually look at the year that you have coming up. So maybe you're starting in, this August 1st when we're recording this, maybe you're looking from August to August. If you want to look from September to September that works. If you're doing this at the beginning of the year which is a great time to do it, you can look January to January. I've made all of our planning, all of our calendars in just month one, month two, monthly three so that it's as easy as possible to do this whenever you want. There's no right time to do it. There's no time you absolutely have to do it. You can do it anytime. You're planning these next 12 months out. So what you want to do is look out over the course of the year and think about what are the things that you want to sell over the course of the year, and then simply put them on the calendar. When do you want to sell them? When do you want to make the money? That's why there are dollar bills. That's what's going on here if that's not 100% obvious. So maybe think, "All right, two months from now I want to sell this software. Four months from now I want to sell the next thing, then I've got a follow-up offer right after that. That's going in on month five. Month 9 is another one, and month 11 is another one." There's no rhyme or reason here. There will be, but the very first thing is just saying, "All right, I think this is what I want to do. I think this is the amount I want to sell." Now the question that always comes up during this time is how often should I run a campaign? And the answer is as always, it depends. It depends on a lot of different things. I want to give some general guidelines here because I know that this is where your brain is going. It's like, "Well, maybe I should sell something every month. Maybe I should sell something every other month." The truth is we just don't know. But depending on how your business is set up, depending on what it is that you have to sell you may sell more frequently or less frequently, and market your business more frequently or less frequently. So you're going to market less frequently if you run a launch model, maybe. So maybe you launch that big product that you have twice a year. If you do physical goods, it could be you launch your spring collection and you launch your holiday collection. It could also be digital products too. So you've got that big online course that everybody loves. You launch that in February and you launch it again in September. And that may be your two big marketing pushes. Everything else throughout the year is gravy, or it's, you're doing just a lot of brand awareness, but those are your two big marketing pushes. If you have programs with long delivery cycles, we run a program that's a year long. Actually, we run a couple of programs that are a year long. Those things don't get marketed as frequently because I'm in the delivery process for a year. So I don't want to be marketing that constantly. I wouldn't have any time to actually deliver it. If you want to utilize scarcity. So if there's a limited number of people, a limited number of spots, even a limited amount of time then you're probably going to market less frequently. Maybe you've got a smaller team. And so you just can't market more frequently, and so you choose to put all your effort into just a few times a year where you're going to really double down on marketing. And maybe you run less campaigns if you get a lot of word-of-mouth business. So business is coming to you gradually throughout the year. And there's just a couple of key times when you put a little bit more effort into it so that you get a little bit more out of it. It's on the less frequently side. You might run campaigns more frequently if you have more offers to sell, if you have shorter sale cycles. So if you can get people to buy in a 48-hour window instead of a month-long window then you should sell more frequently. If you have more leveraged products where you don't have to do a whole lot of delivery, the delivery is done for you automatically, you can sell more often. Your whole business becomes marketing at that point. And then finally, if you're leveraging more naturally urgency. In other words, people feel an urgent need for what you're selling all throughout the year, market all throughout the year. So depending on where you see yourself falling on this spectrum, you might be running a marketing campaign constantly like an automated campaign. You might be running one monthly, bimonthly, or if you're all the way on the other side, on the less frequently side, you may only be running marketing campaigns twice a year, once a year, even. Marie Forleo runs her marketing campaign once a year, B-School season. Everyone knows B-School season. So there's a lot of variety here. There really is no right answer. And I just wanted to make sure we answer that question right off the bat because I know it's the biggest headache when you start thinking about these things. It's, "Oh, gosh, how often should I be doing this?"
Marketing your small business can feel like throwing spaghetti at the proverbial wall.
You try all the things you’re “supposed" to do (blogging, making videos, posting to social media…) and you try to keep up with the “hot new trends” that promise to change the way customers find you.
You spend tons of time and energy—and probably some money too. And after all that…
You wonder whether it’s really paying off or not. Is your business really growing? Or is it just your workload…?
Marketing isn’t something you want to mess around with. You want confidence. You want to know it’s working. And, perhaps most importantly, you want to know exactly how you can accelerate your success once you get it right.
Most business owners lack 2 essential pieces of the marketing puzzle. These 2 missing pieces keep them from fully utilizing all the effort they’re already putting into marketing while also keeping them from discovering just how rewarding (and fun) marketing can be.
The first essential piece is a plan. That plan needs to help you be productive, efficient, and decisive. It can ever bring focus and clarity to the whole way your business operates. This class has that covered.
The second essential piece is a solid messaging foundation. The difference between your campaigns and the ones that really, truly pay off isn’t ad spend, hot new trends, or expertise—it’s a message that connects with exactly the right people. This class gives you a system for creating that message every single time.
Join bestselling Money & Life instructor and CoCommercial founder Tara Gentile for a 2-day class on creating the marketing foundation and plan you need to grow your standout business.
By the end of this class, you will be able to:
- Build a year-long marketing calendar so you’re never caught off guard by your business’s marketing needs
- Quickly and confidently prepare an effective marketing message for a product or service using a foundational set of building blocks that turn so-so campaigns into money-makers
- Create a schedule and plan for your marketing campaign using multiple channels, such as email, social media, blogging, or video, so you know you’re getting your offers in front of the right people
- Design a system for your marketing campaigns that can be optimized and automated so that you can spend less time on the hands-on work of marketing
Best of all, you’ll have a replicable system you can use for every campaign and every year to feel completely confident in your marketing.