Are You Resolute?
Do you realize that over 50% of Americans make New Year's resolutions? Do you know that over 80% of them never succeed?
So why do most resolutions fail? They fail, because they are usually big overachieving goals like quitting smoking, exercising more, eating better and so on. The people who succeed, understand the difference between a resolution and a habit. If you want to quit smoking, cut out one cigarette in the morning. If you want to increase exercise, start by making a realistic plan one week at a time. If you want to eat healthier, start with one meal per day or one meal per week and add healthy meals in slowly. In order to be successful, you need to replace an old habit with a new habit.
Is that how you treat business? Each year, people spend the month of December planning out their next year. Their goals could be, I'm going to make $10,000 per month or I'm going to grow my business by 25% or I'm going to reduce my debt by 50%, etc. Have you taken a look at last year's plan? If so, how did you do?
If you want to be successful at content marketing, wouldn't it make sense to start by having a goal to achieve one step at a time? If so, how do you do that? It is easy! Make a goal, and then break it down into measurable success steps.
A Goal Without A Plan, Is Just A Wish
Start out by setting due dates for events, and then map out the milestones that you need to achieve. Give each of those milestones expectations and plan how you are going to reach each of them. What is a content marketing goal? It could be a lot of things, like a blog, a podcast, a webinar, a live event or even a book launch.
All of these are events that you can plan for and set launch dates for. Next, set a due date to start working on your plan. Now that you have start and end dates, you need to list the steps or milestones needed to get you there. Once these are mapped out, then start back-timing them and assign each task to a person or team (often you).
So, how do you do that? Here are some steps to help you plan out your content marketing calendar:
- Decide What You Want To Do – If you know whom your audience is, where they are, and what they want to hear, then you're well on your way. Not every audience member will respond to each and every media. So, maybe you need to consider doing a blog and a podcast, or maybe a webinar and a product to sell at the end. Once you have figured that out, plan what you need to do next.
- Figure Out What (Or Whom) You Need To Get It Done – Just because you want to do a podcast or a webinar, does not necessarily mean that you know how to do it. You have three choices: either learn how to do it yourself, find a mentor or a coach to assist you, or find the resources to get it done for you. If you want to do it yourself, then you have to plan that first. You need to schedule out training and set a due date as to when you want to start doing webinars or podcasts, writing blogs, a book or an ebook, or creating a product.
- Plan The Work And Work The Plan – Now that you know who your audience is and what you're going to give them, you have to set delivery dates. Are you going to blog once per week? Do a webinar once per month? Create a new product every quarter? That is up to you. The next thing you need to do is set the release date for each blog, podcast or product.
- Start Planning Your Marketing Now – Your next job is to figure out what you need to do to create and schedule how you plan to promote each one of those events. If you're doing a blog, it may be as simple as saying, I will promote that blog the next day on social media. If you're doing a webinar, you have to produce the material for the webinar, set up the reminders in the webinar software, and then email your list multiple times to let them know when the webinar is going to happen.
- Don't Forget To Follow Up – After completing your webinars, tele-seminars, live events and so on, you need to plan your follow-up. You could ask for feedback, or remind people that you have a free giveaway, or even entice them to purchase something new that was not included in your event. This can happen in a regular broadcast email or a sequenced autoresponder email. Either way will give you the opportunity for additional connections, future engagements and possibly increased sales.
So, as you can see, creating a marketing calendar will help you to better plan out how to communicate and market your business through content marketing. Just creating events, products or services is not enough. You have to plan out how you are going to promote each one of them and measure the results of each interaction.
Start your marketing calendars by setting deadlines with your goals. Next, back-time all of the promotions that are going to get you to those goals. Sound like a plan?
I would love to hear your ideas, best practices, comments and questions!