In todays show, I'm sharing my tips for how to prepare your business for when you close down over the holidays and how you can perform a practical marketing review that will set you up for success in the New Year.
Here's what we cover:
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In today's show, I'm sharing with you my tips for winding down your business in 2020 and how to perform a practical marketing review of you efforts this year.
Marketing reviews aren't just reserved for big businesses.
Unless you know what's working and what isn't, you have no idea of how to improve and move forward in your business.
So in today's show, I'm keeping it super practical and giving you the steps that will give you more clarity and more direction moving in to 2021.
As we approach the end of the year, I thought I would give you a wind down from a marketer's perspective and share with you some practical advice for how to finish off your year and prepare yourself for a successful start to the new year.
Now a lot of these tips are practical, but some of them will require a little bit of work from your end and I strongly encourage you do your best to achieve everything that I share with you today.
These exercises will set you up for the best start to 2021 and set you apart from the competition.
Before you go on your Christmas holidays, you should do the following:
1. LET YOUR CLIENTS KNOW YOU'RE GOING ON VACATION
If you know that you're going away, then now is the time to be sharing that with your clients and setting the right expectations.
A way you can do that is by announcing your away and return dates via email, on your website ie. on your home page or on the announcement bar and posting about it through your social media channels i.e.updating your Instagram bio
This will set the correct expectation from your client, and it will give them an opportunity to plan around your away dates and book in with you for 2021.
2. SET AN EMAIL AUTORESPONDER
Before you go away, I suggest you set up an away message or a vacation reply on your email.
What this does is send an automatic email to anyone who contacts you during your away period.
This can be done through the settings on your email provider. The information that you want to share in this away message is that you’re on holiday, when you will be returning and when the person can expect you to get back to them.
If you have a work phone, I also suggest you set up a voicemail with similar information.
3. THANK YOUR CLIENTS FOR THEIR SUPPORT
Something that is really simple to do and often underestimated or forgotten about, but so, so powerful is giving thanks.
An easy way to do this is to simply send everyone an email, thanking them for their support in 2020, and wishing them a happy holiday.
If the budget allows, another great idea is to send them a gift.
If the budget doesn't allow you to send all of your clients a gift, a great alternative is to create a Christmas competition, and have one prize as a giveaway. That's something usually substantial like a gift voucher or a Christmas hamper.
The conditions of entry would be anyone who has written a testimonial for your business for the year, whether that is on Facebook or your Google My Business listing, they would all go into a raffle to win this one prize.
I like this idea because you're acknowledging the people who have written a testimonial for you and you're also incentivizing people to write a testimonial.
So it's a really nice idea and a great alternative to sending everyone a gift, if that doesn't suit your budget or your business structure.
4. CREATE AND SCHEDULE CONTENT IN ADVANCE
Before you go on holidays, I suggest you create content that will last you for your break.
If you don't already have an image bank of content ready to go, capture that content now so you're not scratching your head, wondering what to post while you should be enjoying your holiday.
That also leads me to suggest planning your content in advance using a scheduler like Plann, Planoly or Hootsuite.
At this time of year, there are some important dates and events that you know that you can plan content for, such as:
These are all things that you can plan for and schedule in advance so you don't have to worry about them while you're trying to enjoy your holiday.
Now that is out of the way, we can…
Prepare your business for a successful new year by performing a marketing review.
Stepping into my technical marketing shoes, I strongly suggest you perform an analysis of your marketing initiatives for the year. If you haven't already listened to episode 14 with Melissa from, A Brand Is Not A Logo, I strongly suggest you go back and have a listen at the end of this episode, because Melissa shares a really great example of a way that you can perform an analysis of your brand's efforts. And that is by using a SWOT analysis.
5. PERFORM A SWOT ANALYSIS
That stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A few of the verticals I would suggest you performing a SWOT analysis on is:
A great way to identify areas of opportunity and areas of threat is to look at the feedback you're getting from your clients.
Have a look through your emails, your conversations, testimonials and chat to your team as well.
Between your clients and your team they really are the best people and the best place to get an idea of what is working and what needs improvement in your business.
You can then use all of this information to create and plan your content and marketing strategy for the new year.
6. REVIEW YOUR BUSINESS FOUNDATIONS
Now that you have performed a SWOT analysis, it's a great time to review your business's vision, mission, and values.
I’ve briefly explained them for you below:
Get really clear on these brand foundations, put them into a one page document and share them with your team so that everyone is on the same page moving forward, moving towards your brand's vision.
7. SET MARKETING GOALS
Now that you've done the groundwork, you're in a great position to set some goals and create a plan for the new year.
It's important to set goals that are clear and achievable. They should be SMART goals and that acronym stands for:
It's not enough to say that in 2021 you want to increase your brand awareness, generate more leads or win more work.
These are great goals to have, but in order to achieve them, you need to make them more defined.
So for the example of getting more leads, how will you know that you've achieved your goal next year?
Look at the number of leads that you received this year and then aim to improve upon those next year.
Be specific, identify what percentage of increase that you want to achieve, how many in total do you want to gain and in what timeframe.
8. WRITE A MARKETING PLAN
Once you have your SMART goals in place, you can then take the next step of writing out a marketing plan.
Guys, if your eyes are glazing over at this point, bare with me because this is the stuff that truly will set you up for success in 2021.
It's the ground work that's going to set you apart from the competition.
Between the SWOT analysis, your brand foundations, and setting yourself SMART goals, you can't not improve.
Don't overthink this process.
It should only be one page long, a clear snapshot outlining your brand foundations, goals and plan.
This document will serve as a guide to help you make better business decisions that will ultimately help to achieve your brand vision.
For example, before you hire new staff or invest in a new piece of equipment, or even start using a new digital marketing channel, this is the document that you need to refer to, to make sure that you're acting in a way that is going to help you achieve that big picture for your business.
9. CREATE A MARKETING STRATEGY
For example, you might have listed down investing in social media as part of your plan to generate more leads.
Diving a little deeper, you would create a strategy for Instagram, going in to more detail to include the tactics and actions specific to this measure.
For example, you could outline what content you’re going to create, the key messages you'll be communicating, your posting schedule, if collaborations or competitions are a part of the strategy…
You should also take into consideration the information you uncovered from the SWOT analysis, and use that to improve your strategy moving forward.
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Thanks again for tuning in. I'll chat to you next time.