A lot of our clients are pretty busy at the moment. Others are looking at the market trying to reposition ahead of what they be will be a period of significant change ahead in their markets. Either way, with 100 days until Christmas, today is the day to take stock of the things you really need to do and can still achieve with marketing and business development this year and get it into action.
Being busy doesn’t mean you should forget to or put off marketing your business. In fact, if you’ve listened, you’ll know it is quite the contrary. A busy, energetic business, dynamically growing and serving at the same time is more attractive to clients than a tired, unmotivated or uninspiring business that doesn’t get out there enough.
For most businesses the marketing activity you undertake between now and the end of the year could have a significant impact on your first and even second quarters in 2015. In fact, it might be the very reason that next years’ clients hire you.
But what I want you to recognise about the next 100 days is, that the actions I espouse aren’t about “Christmas” at all… they’re about people! Christmas just gives you a reason that makes communication easier and more comfortable.
If you spend the next 100 days building relationships and taking actions that help people in business under the guise of “catching up before Christmas gets in the way”, next year will be much better than if you put your head down and bum up and say “I’m too busy to do marketing”!.
So let’s walk through a process we can call The 100 Days ‘Til Christmas Checklist. Maybe there are a few ideals you can borrow and apply to your day or week ahead.
- Firstly ask yourself, what industry or target market will you be heavily focussed on in 2015? It will be easier to get a running start on the year if you make some of these decisions now. Write them down. Pin a list of these people’s names on the wall above your desk.
- Once you’ve decided the targets that matter, it is easy to see the influencers in your chosen markets that will matter to you and your success in the New Year. Again, write them down and pin them on the wall.
- Think about what really matters to your market and build some stories that might help them do their jobs more effectively.
To do this, think about the timely things going on in the industry around their business? Is it something that you have knowledge, innovation or insight into? Is it something you can take an active stance on and use that position to make yourself or your business more visible and more useful? It’s time to work out your “stories” for the coming lead into the New Year.
- Think about what timely opportunities you might have to gently impose your stories on your target market in a way that will feel truly organic to them, so they don’t feel like they are being marketed to. Document them and plan on fulfilling them.
- Now decide what you are going to DO and when. 85% of marketing never happens because people let life get in the way of doing the marketing and business development activity that matters. Will you blog, meet, develop useful content, host events, present at others’ events, sponsor, support, guide or give? Your “doing” is what will make the difference.
Really, with 100 days til Christmas, it is time to get your business prepared for this year and next.