Have you accidentally brought in the Cheshire Cat as your business’ marketing consultant? If your marketing isn’t getting you the consistent results you want, then you’ll definitely want to check out this article and learn how to fire your Cheshire Cat!
Follow Your Strategy by Adam Urbanski
Did you know that most solo-professionals hire the Cheshire Cat as their marketing consultant? Frankly that’s the only conclusion I can come up with watching so many excited entrepreneurs eager to build a great business but ending up overwhelmed by too much information and frustrated by their lack of good results.
Remember Alice in the Wonderland facing a fork in the road and asking the Cheshire Cat for directions? More importantly remember the cat’s answer? “If you don’t know where you are going what doesn’t matter which road you take?” I call this lack of clarity and not having a master marketing action plan a “hop and drop” strategy.
Have you ever seen a rabbit running away? Those creatures can’t seem to run straight. They change directions with every hop! What does this have to do with your business? See if this sounds familiar:
Monday you read an article about attracting more clients with info-products. So off you go, spending most of the day brainstorming ideas and planning your first ebook or audio CD.
Tuesday you remember that submitting articles is a great way to build visibility. After a few hours of searching the net you’ve got a great list of article submission sites. Now you are ready to write your first few articles. But it’s late in the day so you set your intentions to start fresh the next morning.
Wednesday you wake up with a brilliant idea to put together a new training program. Oh, this is going to be so great! People will be lining up to sign up. Maybe you could sell a license to others who could teach it. Yep! Easy money. You can already taste it. So you get busy developing a curriculum for your program, but mid-day you realize it going to take a bit more effort than you initially thought…
Thursday and Friday don’t look much different. A whole week of perfect “hop and drop” and at the end you’ve accomplished… NOTHING! NADA! ZIP! Even though each of the tasks you began could have paid off handsomely if you stayed with it long enough, all you’ve got is a bunch of started projects, a lot frustration, feeling overwhelmed, and a massive headache!
Fortunately, outlining and following a master strategy before jumping into action can save you from wasting time and effort, and eliminate of lot of frustration. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Understand the difference between strategy, tactic, and action steps.
For example, driving new business through networking is a strategy. Putting together your own networking group or attending meetings of other groups are tactics. Making a list of local groups, developing a good Audio Business Card(TM), writing a “pleasure meeting you” card or sending out an article or audio CD afterwards are all action steps.
2. Develop clear objectives.
What exactly do you want to accomplish? Identify your goals, time-frames, investment of time and many required to implement your strategy, and the implementation model you’ll follow. Calculate your possible maximum and minimum return on investment of time, money and effort.
These are all critical elements and skipping just one of them may take you on a never-ending chase after a white elephant!
For example, one simple exercise I reveal in my Marketing Action Plan reveals if your existing model can even support your desired financial results. Most people never stop to take a look at this and end up beating their heads against the wall – wondering why they can’t generate better results.
3. Identify your implementation tactics.
There are thousands of things you could be doing right now. You probably already have more ideas than you can implement. That’s why you often end up overwhelmed. Make a list of things you could be doing, than select your top three to five things and IMPLEMENT THEM COMPLETELY – ONE AT A TIME!
OK, STOP HERE for a moment and re-read this last sentence. Read it a few times until it sinks in how vital it is to your success. FINISH ONE THING AT A TIME!
4. Take action.
One mediocre and poorly implemented idea is better than 100 brilliant ideas still locked in your head! Implementation beats perfection any day of the week.
Based on your desired results identify specific action steps that will be most effective in achieving your goals. Look for activities that will bring the biggest payoff for the least amount of effort. Start small and focus on quick implementation and completion!
5. Set milestones and measure your progress.
How will you know you are getting closer to your goal? How will you know you are there when you arrive?
In your plan identify ways to measure your progress then check the reality against your plan at least weekly. If you are not moving forward as fast as planned – go back and re-evaluate your tactics and action steps. Then refocus on taking the right action again.
So stop this “hop and drop” nonsense. Tell the Cheshire Cat to “go pound sand”, and quickly get the results you want following your own personal marketing action plan.
© 2006 Marketing Mentors. All Rights Reserved.
The author, Adam Urbanski, teaches service professionals and business owners how to develop marketing strategies that increase sales and profits. His website offers more how-to articles and free tips to create a winning marketing action plan at http://www.themarketingmentors.com
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