Happy New Year! Notice the image is blank? Yup. That’s your blank slate for 2018. It doesn’t matter what’s in the past. You’re starting off fresh right here and right now.
First, have a clear vision for where you want to be in one year. Do you want to double or triple your current income? Spend some time really thinking about this because it will impact the next step which is creating your marketing plan for 2018.
I’m currently of two minds about BIG goals and achievable goals. Brian Tracy always said that you need a goal that you believe you can achieve, otherwise you’ll talk yourself out of it. But I just finished listening to 10X by Grant Cardone. Grant counsels to shoot for the stars. Then if you hit the moon, you’ll still be happier than if you shot for the atmosphere and achieved it.
I think it helps to know yourself. If you’re just getting started, the doubling your income will seem awesome. Then your brain will realize you can do it, and you can then go for the 10x. Or maybe you’re the type that is all in, gung-ho, running faster than your guardian angel can fly. In which case, yeah, go for the 10x goal and let it motivate you. Or do both and see which feels better.
How To Achieve It
Ok, so you have your big goal for 2018. Now it’s time to do reverse planning. Don’t panic! Actually, let’s play a Jedi mind trick to make it easier, and it will help you to believe you really can achieve it.
First, let’s say you want to earn $120,000 this year and you’ve never made more than $50,000. Divide 120,000 by 52 weeks and then by 7 days a week and then by 24 hours in a day and you get $12.74/hour. That doesn’t seem so scary, now does it? Especially since $50,000 is $24/hr. (ok, you’re not really going to work 24 hours a day 7 days a week, but work with me here. You can make $12.74/hour, right? It helps your lizard brain calm down when it sees that it’s not a big deal. The lizard brain tends to freak out over the big numbers like $120,000).
Put in your numbers and manipulate it until it looks achievable. Then post that somewhere and say “I can easily do that.”
Your Marketing Plan for 2018
Ok, so how are you going to get that $12.74/hr? By finding your ideal clients who want what you’re offering.
Defining Your Client
Ok, let’s start out with your ideal client. Perhaps you’ve done this. If so, pull it out and dust it off. Is your ideal client really still your ideal client?
Well, how would you know, I hear you ask. Pull out your financials and your client list from 2017. You may want to put this into a spreadsheet. But what you are going for is who are your top grossing clients.
Now, I have to ask…do you like working with them? Or do you cringe when they call?
If you can, try to identify some special qualities about your favorite clients. What makes them mesh well with you. And what are the qualities of the worst clients?
Going forward in 2018, how can you get more people like your favorite customers and weed out the bad ones?
Evaluate Your Offerings
Next, it’s time to research which of your products or services is bringing in the most money. This could astonish you as well. Maybe the data is telling you that it’s time to pivot and adjust what you’re offering. Or it’s telling you that you’re marketing your stuff to the wrong people. In which case, you need to do more research as to who your ideal client should be.
Or maybe it’s time to sit down with your ideal client and find out what they really need. Then you’re in the perfect position to give it to them and be their expert.
Another thing to consider is that you’re too general in your offerings. Maybe you have a sales training program and you’re trying to sell it to everyone. But if you found out that you work best with a certain type of industry (software, real estate, etc.), then maybe it’s time to rebrand it as the solution for that industry.
Now, here’s where I always used to get stuck when my mentors would tell me this….You can still sell it to other people. You’re just spending your marketing dollars to that one niche. You can also expand later.
Maybe you wrote a book on Facebook ads and then rebranded it as Facebook ads for Mortgage Professionals. You could also then release it as Facebook ads for Financial Advisors without too much editing, right? But, if I’m a mortgage professional, I’ll be more inclined to buy a book that’s just for me rather than a generic Facebook ads book.
Get More Customers
Now comes the fun part of your marketing plan for 2018. Where are you going to find your tribe?
It’s time to decide where you’re going to spend your advertising budget (and how much, and how often) to let people know that you have the exact thing to solve their problem. But remember, you want it to seem easy to the potential customer to say yes.
I was talking with a mentor the other day about some words on a sales page. He said you never want to tell people they’ll learn something. They want things to magically happen. Just something to think about.
Also, if your ideal client doesn’t hang out on Facebook, don’t advertise there. It may seem obvious but sometimes my clients get swept up in the “But everyone is doing it.” and I have to try not to say the standard “If everyone jumped off a bridge…” because that’s not helpful. So I’ll just say you want to fish where the fish are biting.
Check out all the books by Mike Michalowicz. He does have a goofy sense of humor, and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur does get a little down and dirty with its potty analogies. However, you will learn a ton about building up your business.