It’s that time of year when you start to think about marketing your business for the year ahead so I’m here to help with 5 reasons why you should reflect and plan your marketing for 2021 now.
It has been a hell of a year so it is a perfect time to reevaluate your marketing and think about how to approach this afresh in 2021. Although most marketing [and all] plans for this year had to have a rejig many times over, as business owners, we need to remain flexible to challenges as they come up.
Of course just because you have a plan in place It doesn’t mean you can’t change your plan (as you had to this year) but an annual marketing plan will help to set you on the right course to make your goals a reality.
So here are the 5 important steps to think about when setting yourself up for success in 2021.
Reflect on 2020
Whilst we might want to put it all behind us, it is still important to reflect on the marketing that you did in 2020. What worked well, what did your customers respond to, what didn’t work so well, and more importantly what you enjoyed doing, because the key to consistent marketing is undertaking tactics that you ( and your customers ) enjoy?
There is no point saying you are going to do a Facebook live every week to tell potential customers about some new service or some hints and tips if you hate doing live video. So the important thing here is, to be honest about the reflection. Things to think about What worked well? What didn’t work well? How consistent were you? What would you like to do more of? What were the reasons you didn’t do something What would you like to do less of? Write it all down and take a few days to do this if necessary.
This is such an important part of your planning as you think about your activities for 2021.
Know your customer.
We all know it is important to consistently evaluate what your customer needs are. Even more so now. What was important to someone at the beginning of 2020 might not be now. Why not ask your past customers what they liked about you and why they wanted to work with you, or if you are new to the business why not reach out via social media and ask customers what they are looking for in a photographer.
It is always a good idea to go straight to the customer and ask them what they want, rather than guessing. This will also give you insight into additional services and packages that your customers might want or need. Talking to customers helps refine what you offer and how. You can find a detailed persona worksheet here.
You can use social media to do this as well. Most of the major networks not have poll and question features included them so you can ask your followers and customers questions and get direct feedback. Think Instagram story polls, or LinkedIn polls.
Write down your goals.
This is really important and helps you stay focussed on what you are achieving. For example if you are a wedding photographer you might set a goal that you want to book 10 weddings fo the year or you want to book 20 headshot sessions. It is also important to write down not just your sales goals but also your marketing goals like I will send 1 newsletter per month and I post a new blog 1 x per week.
Track your progress
It is also important to track progress towards your goals on a monthly basis. It is really easy to forget what happened in January by the time you get to December so you want to ensure that you can look back and see how you have progressed, because that will all help to improve your marketing month on month and year on year.
It is really easy to put marketing on the back burner when you get busy. I get it. We are all guilty of that. But consistency really is key with your marketing and only by tracking it can you see the effect that it is having on your sales goals too.
Tactics and Tools
Try to avoid shiny object syndrome here. It is so tempting to jump into that new platform – Reels, Fleet anyone? Back to point number 2. Know your customers! I know I said do things that you enjoy but the important thing is to remember that that needs to be in the places where your customer is hanging out and go there for them. So If you selling skincare to the under 25’s Instagram is a good idea but if dont feel comfortable with Live video – use stories, reels and feed. Remember what you are doing something for, commit to and don’t abandon for the next cool thing that comes along.
If you want help planning your marketing for the year ahead then head over to The Hub for some inspiration.