Last week I described how you can start setting up a calendar to help keep your business on track for the next 90 days and beyond. Today I’m going to give you the steps to complete your calendar.
Having put all the regular events onto your calendar, you next add those events that will not be happening regularly.
This includes product and service launches, attending workshops or seminars (or even staging your own!), affiliate promotions, etc. Once you have these in place you can plan how you’ll prepare for them.
There’s plenty of information out there on how to prepare a product launch , but how much do you prepare for the others? Do you identify people going to the same seminar and think about how you could get in touch with them before seeing them face to face? Do you know which affiliate offers you want to promote to your list? Could you prepare your own bonus to offer with an affiliate product?
Events and product launches are announced months ahead of time so add them to your calendar for the whole year, not just the next 90 days. Having entered these onto your calendar you need to work backward to see how you’ll prepare for them. You may find that even if an event is planned for the latter half of the year, you might need to begin preparing for it in just a couple of months time. One of the biggest advantages of having a calendar is that you can prepare in plenty of time and avoid feeling a lack of control.
By this point you should have a calendar that shows when you are going to publish or release your regular content (like blog posts, videos, etc.) and the major events of the year, like product or service launches and other events and promotions. With this overview you can start thinking about the nature of the content you will be releasing.
For example, you can see when you’ll want your blog posts to address certain topics. If you are promoting a product about Adwords you could produce a blog post about the advantages of Adwords a week befoe your promotion. The following week your topic could be the product itself and the following week you could present another angle on advertising online.
Go through the next 90 days picking a theme per week, fortnight or month and tailor your blog posts and social media topics to those themes so they reinforce your marketing. If you have months where you are not promoting a product pick a theme and create your content around that. You can use the analytics on your blog and Insights from your Facebook Page to help you choose topics. You can also look for topics you’ve already written about to see which ones generated a lot of interest and comments.
This is also when you can coordinate any cross-media content you may want to create. For example, if you are producing videos you could have them tie in to your blog posts so you have a compelling reason to send viewers from your videos to you blog. Taking the time to plan ahead like this means you have the opportunity to direct traffic from sites like Facebook and YouTube to your blog or sales pages. If you don’t have regular marketing activities this is a great opportunity to build some into the year ahead, even if it’s only promoting your blog.
By now your calendar could be looking quite packed. Now’s the time to ask yourself whether you will be able to cope with the required workload. If you are going to be doing something for the first time you should at least double the time you allocate to it. If you complete the project ahead of schedule that’s great, but if you meet a roadblock you will have built in some buffer time to tackle the problem.
Planning ahead like this will also improve your marketing. Doing less marketing but doing it really well is better than having promotional campaigns that appear rushed and poorly prepared. This also means you have time to select appropriate images or quotes, or produce downloadable items to go with your posts, podcasts or videos, etc. You can use these to help build your reputation and your list.
A well thought out and organised calendar can help keep you on track. If you work through the process I’ve outlined in the last couple of weeks you should have the foundation for a successful year.