A Marketing Calendar: More than holidays

Every December I see people peddling marketing calendars. Most of them are blank templates which I’ve always called a calendar. Others include lists of holidays to put on the calendar, and places for “important dates”. But planning your business is way more involved than labeling a few holidays.

While an editorial calendar is useful, it should be part of your overall plan – not THE plan. Whether you’re a scrapbooker, a service based business, a holiday decorations website or Nike – you need tie everything you know about marketing to a timeline from which you can plan your success. Assigning dates to your productivity makes you a ton more productive.

Moving Up the Ladder

Think of customer acquisition. One of the most important parts about acquiring customers is knowing what they need to do next. I mean, if you’re not helping your customers achieve their dreams are you helping them at all? By sitting down and creating a vision of what your customer must learn to achieve their dreams, you can more effectively assess how you fit into that role. And you can build a ladder for them to which they can enter at any time.

Not only must you consider the goals of the customer, but also what are your personal goals to succeed? If you would like to one day be the Keynote Speaker at your industry’s top event, have you charted the minimum requirements to even get there? For instance, have they ever featured a Keynote who didn’t have a published book? If not, how do write a book while we’re running a household, operating a business, trying to relax, network and grow? We need to plan for it.

Not only are you going to be working on moving your customers up the ladder, and moving you up the ladder, but you’ve got to think about your overall business and your non-business stuff. And when you get your funnel working, it’s like pushing a snowball. It just gets bigger and bigger and bigger.

Is there a way to marry all these concepts?

  • Is there a way to plan a book way ahead of time, chop it up into pieces and then use those small chunks to fuel your audience’s needs?
  • Is there a way to figure out now what’s going to be important to your customers in November so that you can have it done ahead of time – making more time for a stress free holiday season?
  • And how do fit industry trends into the equation?
  • No matter what your audience needs, shouldn’t you really be talking about Strawberries in June – not December?

Don’t overwork!

You can put together a terrific plan that repurposes the stuff you do today to meet your audiences needs in July. You can make sure that your home page, emails and social media posts are always talking about what’s hot – and never feature the 101 Valentines Ideas post on February 16th.

The only way to work less hard is to plan what you’re going to need now. If you know now that you’re going to be teaching X in July, you can make sure to do at least one webinar or speech about topic X months ahead. Then transcribe it, package it and have it ready for July.

But how do you know what you should be preselling in July if you don’t know what you’re going to be talking about in October? Imagine knowing that in October you’re going to be talking about YouTube Optimization. Wouldn’t it make sense to include information about the importance of YouTube in your June, July and August materials? If you can prime the pump then your audience will be ready for your October offering.

Without being redundant, in your YouTube Optimization product shouldn’t you be preselling your February plans?

You need a marketing calendar now.

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