The Importance of Setting Goals

How to Make a Plan and Stick to It

Taking the time to sit down and hash out a communication or marketing strategy plan takes a lot of focus and time. We get it! In fact, we do that sort of planning for a lot of our clients. If you’re considering making some changes this year, we’ve outlined a few steps to help you succeed.

  1. Be Intentional

Don’t set goals you think you’d like, but don’t actually want. In other words… be intentional about what you want to achieve. Don’t shotgun lofty ideas for the sake of writing something down and then expect to accomplish them. Your goals should be personally significant and you should feel a sense of ownership over them. Focus on a select few goals that are challenging, but also attainable and relevant.

  1. Be Realistic

One of the main reasons we see marketing plans fail is when people are unrealistic about their desired outcomes. Whether you’re developing short-term or long-term goals, it’s important to be honest with yourself about your company, and your capabilities. Take a moment to step back and critically look at your business, from where you are right now. Set goals based on where you are today, not where you’d like it to be today. Start with three realistic, attainable, and relevant goals and then set timeframes by which to achieve them.

  • Start broad and focus on your overall goals you want to accomplish for the year.
  • Focus on three-month increments by breaking your year into quarters.
  • Get a spreadsheet going to organize the who, what, where, when, and how.
  1. Identify Your Target

Your marketing strategy plan should define your target audience.  This provides direction and consistency of messaging across mediums as you move forward with your campaign(s). This may include blog topics and posting frequency, online ad and social media campaigns, and promotional materials. Remember, a good marketing plan will provide organization of a variety of marketing mediums and help them work together to achieve your final goals.

  1. Write Everything Down

While it seems simple, writing down your goals and your marketing strategy is important.  Having your strategy plan and goals in your head is not enough.  When you write them down, they become real. Outline like crazy. Add a calendar. Take big ideas and initiatives and break them down into smaller, bite-size tasks to accomplish by specific dates. Add color coding to organize topics and campaigns. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to accomplish this goal, and what are some specific ways I can go about achieving it?”

 

  1. Don’t Overdo It

It’s important to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run.  If you’re just getting started with marketing, or if it’s your first time with a formal strategy plan, be reasonable in the number of initiatives you include. If you include too much, it can be overwhelming and you risk burning yourself out. Start a spreadsheet and use these organizational tips to get started:

 

  • Organize your columns by month and rows by methods of communication.
  • Color coordinate each cell according to which campaign it’s a part of.
  • Be concise, bold topic names, and italicize supplemental information.

 

  1.  Stick With It

Once your marketing strategy plan is complete and you start implementation, you have to stick with it.  Just like any other job responsibility, marketing must remain a priority.  Only by consistently implementing a marketing plan will you experience consistent growth.

 

The Elusive Mission Statement

A How-To Guide for the Rest of Us

Let’s start off at square one. Should you bother even having a mission statement? Does it hold a purpose? Does having a well-defined statement actually help your business? In short, the answer to all three questions is a resounding, “Yes!” If you don’t currently have a mission statement on paper, chances are you were still thinking about it as you were establishing and growing your business. Let’s look at why you should be writing out your mission and vision, and how you can begin to hone yours. Continue reading

SEO and Social Media

Some experts have said that if content is king, distribution is queen. Building SEO and gaining credibility for your website is only possible if you create and optimize good content. There are other things you can do to distribute your content on social media and other channels, and ways that you can set up your social media pages, to help SEO as well. Continue reading

Stumped for Marketing Ideas? Check the Calendar

Marketing can be a difficult process. Clients are always telling us that they don’t know where to start with a marketing strategy. Not only do you need to solidify your own messaging, but you have to distinguish yourself from competitors, portray your values, and still somehow run your business. To top that off, marketing strategy has to change and stay fresh to keep people interested. You can’t keep the same message every month! Continue reading

Small Business Marketing: The Business of Being Found

We frequently speak with our clients about the big ways to help customers find them: paid advertising, digital marketing, print and direct mail, and participating in events. There are several little ways that you can market your business and make sure that you get found when people come looking for a business like yours. They probably won’t drive thousands of customers to your door, but they are easy, basically free, and often considered a standard best practice that you should follow. Continue reading

Get the Most Out of Attending Your Next Tradeshow

Going to tradeshows is an important part of business and professional development for most industries, but especially for eye care professionals. Tradeshows and conferences offer continuing education, information on new technology and procedures, and more product information that your brain can hold. With an overwhelming amount of material and demonstrations to soak up, how do you make the most of it? Continue reading

What can a good logo do for you?

We get it. Running a small business is a big job! Sometimes you prioritize working for others over working on yourself. It’s a really common problem. The real issue is that you may find yourself several months or even years into running your business without good branding, or even a polished logo in practical files that you can use easily and consistently. Continue reading