Tuesday, August 3, 2010

An Exercise Plan/A Marketing Plan: Lots of Similarities

An Exercise Plan/A Marketing Plan: Lots of Similarities

After a fairly substantial hiatus, I recently returned to working out at the gym. Getting over that initial  hump, resistance, and pain has been a challenge, but I'm very glad I'm back to it. In thinking about this 60-Day Content Challenge, it occurred to me that there are a number of ways a good marketing campaign is similar to a good weight-training campaign.

Be Accountable - One of the best ways to make sure you'll follow through on your plan (especially if you're a small/one-person shop) is to set up an accountability system. At the gym, you can hire a trainer, or find a workout partner. That way, when you don't feel like it, you've got someone else there to nudge you along. This 60-Day Challenge was all the motivation I needed to dust off some good ideas that had been hibernating for a while, and get busy typing! You might want to consider hiring a coach to help with strategy and accountability.

Follow a Regular Schedule - The only way exercise works is if you do it. Same thing with marketing. I'll never forget these words from marketing guru, Kelly O'Neil: "Bad marketing done regularly is always superior to good marketing done sporadically."

Don't Overdo It - One of the most important rules of the gym is knowing when enough is enough. Same is true of your marketing plan. First, make a plan. Then make sure you can realistically adhere to it. Don't shoot for the moon and have your rocket fizzle out because it didn't have enough fuel.

Exercise ALL Your Muscle Groups - A good workout strategy works all of your muscle groups, on a a regular rotation. Consider the same for your marketing. With the explosion of online marketing in the early 2000s, lots of people seemed to forget all about offline tactics. An integrated plan that includes both on- and offline strategies is the best plan.

Maintenance Is Essential - What happens if you begin an exercise plan and then quit as soon as you begin to see results? They don't last very long, do they? This will happen with your marketing, too, if you neglect it as soon as you start seeing returns. The best time to market your business is when you are B-U-S-Y. Don't wait until the phone's stopped ringing to ramp up again. Maintain your marketing progress for best results.

There are no two ways around it - marketing, like an exercise plan, involves time and effort. Lots of dedicated effort. But you don't have to go it alone, and once you get going, it will get easier. Focus on just one of these steps at a time, and add subsequent ones as you are ready.

Let's keep each other accountable - share your success with me so I can cheer you on!

This is Day 14 in the 60-Day Content Challenge. See you tomorrow for the next post!

Sign up today for Laura's next workshop, Want to Charge More? Start Writing! Or e-mail Laura with any questions you have about building the best marketing strategy for your small business - even if it's just YOU.

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