The #FlexYourInfluence Podcast

Planning 101

May 14, 2019 SocializeLA.com Season 1 Episode 3
The #FlexYourInfluence Podcast
Planning 101
Chapters
The #FlexYourInfluence Podcast
Planning 101
May 14, 2019 Season 1 Episode 3
SocializeLA.com
Show Notes Transcript

Support the show (https://www.socializela.com/done-for-you-1)

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the flex your influence podcast, the show for brands, marketers and CEOs where we talk about modern marketing. Here's your host, Margaret Brown

Speaker 2:

planning one o one there are so many different types of plans, daily, weekly, monthly, annual business plans, marketing plans, and the list goes on and on. In this episode, I'm going to give you planning one o one to flex your influence. When I conducted some research to find out why businesses hesitated to utilize the power of modern marketing, there was an overwhelming top three and those were, I don't know where to start. I don't have the time. I don't know what to say. So today we're going to talk about where to start and a little tip. You'll get some, I don't know what to say and I don't know if I have the time solved as well. I talked to so many business owners who have said, I've tried social media, I've tried digital marketing, and sometimes they don't even know what that means or what they've tried.

Speaker 2:

When I ask further, generally a couple things that happen have been, they dabbled in social media or they got everything set up but they weren't consistent or they hired someone who didn't meet their expectations. And I say their expectations because I wonder if there were expectations laid out. There's just so many variables as to why someone would say, I tried social media, I tried digital marketing and it didn't work. But as I have said in the past, the present, and I will say it in the future, digital marketing is not going anywhere and it is something that we need to adapt within our business. So if you have tried and it has not worked, let's erase that board and start over and I know that you're there, otherwise you wouldn't be listening to this podcast. So let me help you. These planning one o one steps are going to give you a clear idea of where to start, how to benchmark, and how to make this manageable and just to know that you're not alone.

Speaker 2:

If you've ever tried to dive in at first because you got excited or you went to a workshop or you saw a speaker or you bought a training and you dove head, it had first, it's okay. This is not going to be ahead first type of environment. I like to take things step by step because I like to build a foundation. I'm not going to say, well you to launch your blog tomorrow and have your first three blog articles up and running. I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to suggest that to you. When I am going to do is I'm going to give you the small steps that you can make to make a big impact and remember, if you've created a social media page and you started doing something on your website, you can always pick that back up, but today we're going to even start even before those steps, before those activities come into play.

Speaker 2:

So let's talk about this foundation and how you're going to build on it. By now, I definitely have you convinced that you need a plan. We can't dive head first. We know that doesn't work. We need to make sure that we're creating something that's sustainable. The first thing to consider when creating a plan is integrating the goals of the entire company into whatever you decide to do. So that means if you have a sales goal or a goal of how many patrons you want in your store every single day or every single week or every month, these goals you want to bring to the table, to your digital marketing planning meeting. Oftentimes I see companies where departments are all working in silos. Sales doesn't know what customer service is doing. Customer Service doesn't know what marketing's doing and vice versa. The best way to achieve the best results is to get everyone on the same page, even to do a brainstorm to get everyone's ideas from different departments.

Speaker 2:

Not every idea is going to be the one you run with, but the more ideas you get and the more points of view that you get, the better. Modern marketing is not just about marketing, it's about sales, customer service, community Pr, and of course marketing. It integrates all of these departments all within your online presence. Because remember your online presence is your brand. It's like you standing out there or your business development person standing out and marketing your company. I don't want to build overwhelm or anything, but it's something to consider that you do need to bring in the different departments from your company. And what you want to establish is who's going to manage this project. So if you're the business owner, it might be you, I don't recommend it be you, but it might be you. Or You may have a team member who is great at technology and digital and you may want to bring them in or you may decide to outsource or you may decide to hire outsourcing and hiring our topic of their own.

Speaker 2:

And we will have an episode to cover those bases. But briefly, I will just say in this planning, when a one episode that something you want to avoid when you're hiring a new employee or a agency and something that I see that's very common is that you hire someone because they say all the buzzwords or they know how to do social media. They have their own snapchat, they have their own Instagram, or they're young or they just graduated from college with a marketing degree. All of those attributes are wonderful and the person you hire needs to absolutely have those attributes. But just because someone has those attributes, it doesn't make them as successful digital marketer who understands conversion and copywriting and how to integrate sales and marketing within a post or a blog posts. So these are very important aspects that you need to consider and these might be aspects that you need to get this person trained in.

Speaker 2:

I see this a lot when people say, well, I'm going to hire my nephew or my daughter or my niece and they're going to help me, and it's great that you might have them to lean on. But again, you may need to also give them some training. So let's circle back to planning in this first step. Planning is about setting up your team and that takes you into also setting up the time that you're going to allow. And also just to point out, if you're not ready to call in your team members, that's okay. This planning piece might just be you setting even the foundation for the foundation, which is awesome, but start thinking about the players that you might want to involve next. Think about how much time you want them or you to spend on your digital marketing. And if you're thinking, well, I actually need a marketing plan, then you can start looking at this from a marketing plan standpoint and then decide how much time you want for all of marketing and then how much you'll allot for digital marketing.

Speaker 2:

You might even take it to the next level and say, well, I want this to be a plan for marketing and sales and now I'm going to make a bucket for marketing and then a smaller bucket for digital marketing and go about it that way. There's so many ways to look at it. And every business is individually different. So I want to make sure that you know that you can do it and make it however you need to make it for yourself. Either way, you need to plan on how many hours per week and per month you want to spend on your digital marketing activities. A major aspect of your plan is this team and time and time and time is something that you're always going to want to look back to and reevaluate. Is it too much time? Is it too little time? Is that not realistic?

Speaker 2:

So from the team in time piece, you're going to really be able to outline how much you can honestly say that you want to get done. You can't say, well, I'm giving my team three hours a week and I expect 10 blog posts a month. That doesn't work. So someone who's giving 12 hours a month versus 80 hours a month has a much different to do and deliverable list. Okay? So these are other elements that you want to think of. You want to make sure that you're setting realistic expectations for yourself and your team and if you need to start small and higher in the future than do that because again, what we're building is something that you're going to build on. Next on the planning list is to think about your target audience. Who are they? Where do they hang out, online and offline, and you might need to do some research, but the point of this piece is to make sure that you are utilizing digital channels that will actually reach your target audience, that you're actually using the channels that your audience frequence.

Speaker 2:

Now, once you have a good hold on who your target audiences, you can then decide where you're going to spend your efforts and I'm going to tell you right now a blanket statement, regardless of your industry, you'll definitely need an updated website, a lead magnet, and an email database. The next thing you'll work on is your blog. After that, that's when your social media comes in. You might be saying, but I thought social media was like the number one we had to make sure we're on it. And you know, making sure we're getting content. Yes, but social media really works with calls to action, so your calls to action need to be set up and ready to go, ready to accept new visitors, so that's your website, your lead magnet, your email database. Those aspects are important. That is your call to action and without clear calls to action, social media is not going to work.

Speaker 2:

So once you have that and you have decided on a blog structure, then you can move on to social media. I will also say that if you want to move social media before your blog, you can do that. Absolutely, but I highly recommend even blogging once a month if you can. You are the expert in your field. People need to hear what you have to say and remember, your blogs can be short and sweets and blogs add so much to your thought leadership persona as well as to your Seo. Remember, SEO is search engine optimization. This is how people can find you online by using certain keywords. Again, that is another topic. I'm not going to dive into that, but the power of a blog is multifaceted. So to recap, our planning one oh one we start with team and time. We know our target audience, we define the channels that we're going to use, and as you get started you might notice that there's going to be a lot of work on this front end, getting things up and running, testing different service providers and getting new artwork, writing new copy.

Speaker 2:

So there will be a lot more work at the beginning of this stage. So don't get overwhelmed. Just know that that's going to be, just know that as you get started on your digital marketing, your first social media post might not be until eight to 12 weeks from now. So that's okay. Set up the right expectations for you and your team. What I have found effective for myself, my team and our clients is looking at your digital marketing annually. Don't get afraid. I'm not going to ask you to write your content one year in advance, absolutely not. But the planning that happens annually is creating themes for each month, for the year. So what I like to do is in November, December of this year, I will create my theme calendar for every month for next year for 2020 and I'm not doing anything else besides creating themes. So an example might be in February we're going to focus on linkedin and this can be an internal theme.

Speaker 2:

I'm probably not going to shout from the rooftops. Our theme for this month is Linkedin. I don't need to do that. But internally I know that we're going to emphasize linkedin in our blog posts, emphasize linkedin on our podcasts and emphasize linkedin on our social media posts and maybe even do a standalone email blasts just about linkedin. And the reason you do this is because as the year progresses, you and your team gets super busy and once you get busy, we all know that digital marketing sometimes takes a back seat and now it becomes a nice to do rather than a priority. So if you already have your themes laid out, it makes it that much easier to create the content around that topic because you are the thought leader, you are the expert in your field. If I give you a random general topic in your industry, I am sure you can write me multiple articles on that topic.

Speaker 2:

And then from that we can turn it into a podcast or a video or social media byte size info or bite size social media. The list goes on and on. So creating these themes allows you to be prepared and with that annual theme takes us to the next level of planning. And that's your monthly planning. So a week before the month starts, you and your team sit down and look at the following month and say, okay, how many social media posts are we going to do? What day will our blog go out? What day will our email go out? And so on and so forth. What are the initiatives for the month? Now in that monthly meeting, again, you are not creating content. I mean you can, but there's no pressure to do so because it might not be the time to create the content. It's just a one to two hour meeting to create that overall plan.

Speaker 2:

And from there you can break it out into tasks and start dividing it between the team and the flusher influence community where we guide teams and business owners through this process. The aha moments that come from this simple process is priceless. Breaking down your monthly themes to a monthly overview to a weekly plan has just made all of this so achievable to our clients. And we recommend that you actually create your content one to two weeks prior. And I know some people prefer one month in advance, but monthly content in advance can look really awesome. But if you're not going to be flexible, then it's not leaving you any room for spontaneously planned content. And you know how I love spontaneously planned content that's going to be its own episode in itself or it's not going to leave room for awesome things that happen along the way.

Speaker 2:

So just be mindful of that and you might want to make some flexibility within that monthly plan. Now from that monthly plan, you break that down into your weekly plan and the tasks and you start making sure that everybody knows what they're responsible for. And now what seemed to be impossible as now been broken down into a manageable plan. The last piece that I'm going to leave you with in this episode is reminding you that you want to make the most of your content. You can write one piece of content and I want you to make the most of that piece, so let's think about a blog post. Let's say you wrote the top 10 ways to x, Y, z. It is a beautiful blog post. You hit 10 amazing points from that blog posts. You can now have 10 social media posts from that one blog post that can turn into a podcast.

Speaker 2:

That blog posts. Those 10 bullets can be changed into a video that you can now upload to youtube or to Facebook. You can go live and talk about this blog post and give people some behind the scenes information. You can do so much with this one piece and this is going to be something that you're going to want to adopt. You and your team are going to want to adopt the power of making the most of one piece of content because that is going to take the stress away from creating brand new pieces of content for every single channel that you're publishing on. And also it's going to give you a more cohesive brand. People will hear the same thing using the channels that they prefer to use. So if I'm on youtube and I see it, well that's great and I might see the image and then as I'm scrolling through Instagram I might also catch that image and I'm putting the two together and that is great for your brand.

Speaker 2:

That is strong brand awareness and that is something that you're going to want to have. And also remember that it's okay to refer back to blog posts that you've written in the past. As a matter of fact, you should write your blog posts based on questions that you receive from your target clients based on the pain points that they feel that way during sales conversations and in social media posts that you want to convert, you are referring people back to something that you wrote that specifically speaks to their pain point. This is definitely another avenue you want to adopt. You want to know, okay, what are my ideal clients feeling before they hire me and start writing to those situations and those experiences and those feelings because now you're showing yourself as someone who can solve that problem. So as you can see, planning can make a world of difference in your digital marketing.

Speaker 2:

This can take you from being overwhelmed and just stuck and deciding to not try at all to actually making it happen. And what you're doing now may not be what you do later. What you're doing now is probably just the beginning of what you're going to do within your team later and know that there is a start off point. Another challenge that I see business owners, CEOs and marketers face is the fact that they compare themselves to others or they see a company that they want to be like and they're striving to be like and they just don't feel like they're hitting the mark. So sometimes that causes them to not take the next steps or to not try at all or to think that their team isn't doing enough. We cannot compare ourselves to other people because you have no idea what that other person is working with.

Speaker 2:

Perhaps they've hired a production company, perhaps they've hired a full time digital marketer to just focus on photos, copywriting, lead generation. You just have no idea and you might say, well that's what I want and that's wonderful. So that's when we sit down to say, okay, here's your budget, here are the wants and the needs and then start comparing and then maybe the budget needs to be adjusted or maybe the ones in the needs needs to be dwindled down or needs to be broken down into phases. Just don't get caught in the comparison. Remember you are in business, you are doing this because people have hired you, they continue to hire you, they like you, they trust you, they know you and remember that there's enough business to go around to everyone and that people are going to work with the person that they resonate with or the brand that they resonate with.

Speaker 2:

We all have our choice of service providers or products that we love and we have options but for one reason or another we choose a particular one and just know that people are going to choose you but they can't choose you if they don't know that you exist. And that is why you are learning to flex your influence. That is why you are taking your digital marketing to the next level. That's why you're spending time listening to this podcast, printing out our download and working on your next month's content and your annual plan because you know that you know that people want to hear from you and you know that you have something to say. You know that you care about their need and that's why you do what you do. So I'm here to be your cheerleader. I want to teach you, I want to guide you, but I also want to inspire you, challenge you, and cheer you on because I know that we need that.

Speaker 2:

We need a little bit of that, especially as we're putting ourselves out there. We're catapulting our brand out into the public and it is kind of scary and it's for some of you, it is uncharted territory and so I want to let you know that everybody has to start somewhere. I've had to start somewhere with this podcast. I started somewhere with video. We all have. Every person has their first podcast. Every person has their first video or their first Facebook live, and you evolve. We're going to be evolve. We're going to get better. We're going to improve in all different ways. So I want to be a resource for you. I want to be the place where you can go for inspiration and I never want you to leave this podcast feeling overwhelmed. I want you to feel like you have all the hope in the world around this topic. So I want to thank you for listening. If you've enjoyed this episode, I invite you to subscribe to our channel and rate your experience. Please visit flex your influence.com and go to episode three for some free downloadable planning tools and remember to be wildly excited about the possibilities.