Planning your marketing when you’re in overwhelmSep 01, 2022
Overwhelm. It happens to business owners and leaders no matter how much we plan. And when we’re in this phase, marketing can feel like something that should be put on the back burner.
But all this does is make sure your goals are even further away.
Here are a few tips to streamline your approach so you can keep things moving without burning out.
Have a Marketing Plan, But Keep it Short!
What do you REALLY need to include in a marketing plan?
Insider secret: it doesn’t need to be MBA level (yup, I said it 😉) or even very long. No need for full paragraphs or longwinded write-ups (there are exceptions, obviously: large companies, publicly traded ones, etc.).
Slides are your friend. Same goes for tables and graphics. If you can't stomach the concept of slides, try a 2-page marketing plan.
Here’s what to include in the general order of appearance:
✅ Goals & KPIs
✅ Business overview & offering description - doesn't need to be long!
✅ Vision, mission & value proposition
✅ Brand guidelines & sample messaging, creative
✅ Target audience & buyer persona(s) - ok, you can make these separate documents, but just because it looks nice split off from the plan
✅ Competitive analysis
✅ Environmental analysis - again, short!
✅ Marketing mix, aka the tactics & channels you’ll use (e.g., print, LinkedIn, email marketing, events, etc.) and why
✅ Implementation plan & schedule/content calendar, roles
✅ Performance measurement (monthly, quarterly, annually)
Embrace a Minimalist Marketing Approach
Has any business/brand/entity ever told you that you should do LESS? Buy fewer things, spend less, want less.
Of course not, because they want your money! 🤑
Instead of letting the FOMO (fear of missing out) feeling kick in—that we need to be everywhere and do every tactic under the sun—I challenge you to pare down your marketing.
For social, that means choosing 1-2 channels your audience is guaranteed to be on, then "parking" the other profiles. For content, maybe video connects best, so you don't need to spend time writing lengthy e-books.
This works well for start-ups and businesses gaining traction who don't have 6 figures in budget to invest. For larger organizations, there's more money and therefore more room for experimentation, so doing more starts to make more sense.
Go simple. Try it out and see what works before going all-in on a variety of channels.
Get Help - "Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn't Mean You Should"
One of my favourite business podcasters always says, "Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should." I love this line and try to put it into practice every day.
As a business owner, you're likely good at A LOT of things. I know this. That's how you got to where you are!
But at a certain point, we reach burnout zone. Overwhelm. It's not a good look, and does nothing for your business.
Hiring help for things we need, but can't handle the burden of, can move the needle incredibly.
Invest in a business coach or advisor. Build a board of directors. Hire a marketing consultant with experience in your industry.
Yes, there's a cost to it. Sure, you need to oversee it. But the weight off your shoulders will be worth it - AND you'll be investing back into your business to achieve growth.
I've used this trick with business owners I mentor: "Do you think nothing of spending a few grand on [insert physical thing here: new printer, office supplies, software, etc.), but balk at a service like marketing or business coaching?" Usually it's the intangible nature that creates a block for people. The point is, sometimes there is budget. We just need to allocate it differently.
Bonus: there are funding sources popping up all the time that will cover all or some marketing expenses depending on the business/industry, etc.
If you found this useful, and know others who could benefit, please share with your network 😊