Planning your marketing can be as easy as sitting down with a pen and paper (or your keyboard) for an hour. What’s that you say — sounds too good to be true? What if this were the truth: your marketing is easy and simple, and creating a plan for it is simple, too. What could be possible for your business from that viewpoint?
When you have a marketing plan, things become easier. Easier because you know what you’re going to do, you have a plan, and you just follow it. You don’t need to think about it. Thinking is often the thing that gets in your way the most. As much as your human brain is an asset, it can also be a hindrance when it comes to getting things done.
We humans have a tendency to make things harder than they need to be, to believe there’s more to something than there is. So many moving parts, so many things to consider… There may be times when that’s true; however, designing a marketing plan doesn’t have to be like that. It can be quick, simple and easy to create, and just as easy to implement.
All you need is one hour.
One hour is all you need to create a plan for any sort of marketing that can take you through the year and beyond. I once sat down with my laptop in my most comfy chair and brainstormed themes for my content writing for the year. At the end of an hour, I had an outline of what to feature and focus on, plus snippets of ideas for articles, blogs posts, and social media posts, as well as talks and classes. It was a pleasant hour filled with background music, coffee, and lots of concentration, and once the hour was up I felt great about what I’d come up with.
For the rest of the year, every time it was time to write content for my business, I referred back to my document and worked from there — no more fretting about what to write or how it fit into the larger picture. It’s amazing what just sixty minutes of focused time can do. (For more on creating content, read this great post by C.J. Hayden)
You can follow a formula.
When creating a plan, you may think everything needs to be shiny, new, and unique. The truth is, most people are not going to be paying close attention to what you’re doing. Having a formula to follow, and reusing your ideas, makes things easier. With the idea of making a year-long plan, I’ve laid out an example of what a couple of months of that plan could look like, incorporating the formula idea. (Your planning could also be monthly, weekly, or daily — whatever timeframe makes the most sense for you).
Theme: Love in business.
Article: Publish an article such as “How can you create more love for your work?”
Video: Use your article and record a video highlighting your main points.
Speeches: Turn your article into an outline for a future speech.
Ebook: Expand on the themes you introduced in your article, allowing yourself to go into more depth.
Social Media Posts: Post one thing per day that you brought up in your article for each of the 30 days of the month.
Perform similar activities with a series of different themes.
Theme: Revisit love in business
Article: What occurred to you when you wrote your January article that you didn’t get to explore? Write about that this time around.
Video: Use your new article and record a video highlighting your main points.
Speeches: This can be the month you write the speech you outlined last time, and look for places to deliver it.
Ebook: If you didn’t finish the ebook yet, you can do that now. Or if you wrote it but didn’t publish it, you can do that now!
Social Media Posts: Again, post one thing per day that you brought up in your article for each of the 30 days of the month.
Repeat your February-June themes with a similar set of activities.
See how formulaic that is? If you created content in this way, do you think people would realize what you were up to and stop following you? Or do you think they’d instead be looking forward to your next installment? I’ll bet it’s the latter.
Then if you repeated this same formula, repeating the same set of themes every six to twelve months, can you see where you could continue to reuse your content, expanding on what you’ve already got, and emphasizing different elements rather than continuously wearing yourself out coming up with new ideas? Keep in mind that you’ll be tired of what you create and share long before your potential clients will.
It can be easy.
It’s okay if things feel challenging, and you enjoy digging into the challenge. It’s okay if things feel hard at first, as you find your way through something new you’re exploring. And it’s okay if you like working hard and using your little grey cells (to quote Hercule Poirot). What’s not okay is expecting that things will be hard and bracing yourself for what’s coming, approaching your marketing as though it’s you vs. it, and you’re not sure who’ll win.
The mindset you bring to marketing has a huge impact. The way you approach creating a plan can help foster a positive mindset -– maybe even spark some joy! A plan can make things easy. You know what’s coming, and you can lean into it and have fun with it. If you find some challenges within this expectation of ease, they’ll be more fruitful, and you’ll feel less stressed.
Creating a marketing plan can be one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your business. Why not take an hour today and get started?