Written by Danielle Putnam
Let’s be honest, have you done your September marketing? Are you a few months ahead? We all know that we need to have our marketing efforts organized and ready to go before the phones stop ringing, but the “busyness of the business” has us putting it on the backburner.
I think of my planning whiteboard like a big coop of chickens. Right now, every task, every chicken, has its own color-coded nest, but all the chickens are running around pecking at one another and pecking at me, demanding my attention. Each day, I plan to focus on feeding the most important chickens—the ones that are really going to push my business forward; my super chickens. But the other chickens are clucking and begging for some food as deadlines draw near.
I throw a big handful of feed out, but at the end of the day, I got a little bit done in a lot of things; I got all of the chickens a taste of food, and yet my prized chickens, my super chickens, are not yet plump enough for the county fair. Meanwhile, I’m fried!
I’ll bet you have your own chickens in your business pecking around for attention, too, right? You’re running a business, managing your team, keeping customers satisfied, answering phone calls and emails, focusing on craftsmanship, and on top of all that, you have marketing to do, too. It can get pretty overwhelming.
I found that I was always marketing “today” when I needed leads or a service call “today.” Well, we all know from Marketing 101 that you can’t market for today; you have to market for the future. So, I worked to develop a way to keep myself ahead of the game. The marketing calendar I made gives me a nice little nest egg for my business. It prompts me to shake a tail feather and list out the marketing I want for two months from now, so I am always thinking ahead. That means I am constantly building content and repurposing content that worked, and I know how to space it out. Each month, it says to start marketing for two months from now and at the end of each month, it says that those projects are due to be finalized. It also gives space to plan marketing for social media, email, and print.
And wow, something else I found is that it isn’t just about planning ahead, but next year, my road map is already done. With the marketing calendar, you take your numbers and successes from the previous year, and instead of trying to remember what you did, you already know what you sent out and what worked and what didn’t. Many big businesses say you don’t need a calendar because things change, but it’s good to have some pieces ready in your pocket so they don’t get pushed to the back burner. I don’t plan my whole year out, but I go two months at a time, so my pieces are already rotating around in the rotisserie.
Want a tool to help you rule the roost?
If you don’t want your feathers ruffled worrying about making your own marketing calendar, shoot me an email and I’ll physically MAIL you one, too (FREE 😊 )!!! It’s a large, 11×17” full color calendar. Let’s start incubating our September marketing plans now.
Are you tending to your super chickens, or are you a chicken with your head cut off?
By the way, if you’re coming to Service World Expo, be sure to join me for my session; I’ll tell you how to dumb down your marketing and really focus on what works. No spoilers, but you don’t want to miss it. Go ahead and put your eggs in that basket.
Danielle Putnam is the President of The New Flat Rate and Women in HVACR. The New Flat Rate, a home service menu-selling system designed to put profit directly into the hands of plumbing, electrical, and HVAC contractors. Women in HVACR, a non-profit member-based organization providing professional avenues for networking and educating women while encouraging more women to enter the trades. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.thenewflatrate.com and www.womeninhvacr.org.
Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These group of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!