The 12 days of Christmas are an opportunity to give yourself the best present a small business can have.
It is the opportunity to think again about your marketing and use the time for reflection to get ready for the new year.
Be your own true love and give yourself the gift of inspired marketing presence!
On the 12th day of Christmas my true love (that’s you!) gave to me (your business):
12 Twelve months of the year to plan newsletters, develop content and activities around special national days, and to establish the rhythm of your business.
If you have an anniversary in the coming year it can be an excellent way to create focus. And if the anniversary happens to fall in a season where your clients do not normally buy so much all the better. It could encourage them to buy, and also challenge your ideas about their buying habits.
The biggest killer for any small business is the idea that “it won’t work.” Challenge yourself
On the 11th day of Christmas my true love (well, you know who that is, now!) gave to me (you know what) :
11 pipers piping out my marketing messages. There are so many pipers available and together they makes more music. Social media is still becoming more and more popular (facebook has the population of the third biggest country in the world, after all) so make it happen for you.
What are your options for your 11 pipers?
Face to face networking where you see the whites of their eyes, can read the body language, and be seen and heard most completely is still the first marketing option for many start ups.
Starting a blog is the next obvious way to pipe out your message. The most popular blog platform at the moment is www.wordpress.com for a quick and easy start which you can then build up into your own specific requirements and host on your own domain. You don’t need a big traditional website any longer – just a few pages and a blog is sufficient.
You can write white papers, articles, send email newsletters, or drip out your email courses, use PR (which can be amazing whether on line or in your vertical market. Don’t forget advertising which does not work as well as it used to but local ads can be very effective, or advertising on websites and magazines in your sector.
Video, podcasting, teleseminars, google +, facebook, Linked In, twitter. Have a plan and stick to it for at least three months before you reassess.
Also don’t overlook snail mail. Because there is less of it these days your letters, postcards, packets have more curiosity value. Lastly, if you would like more clients more easily you can focus on getting more referrals from satisfied customers to people they know and think you could help too. Sometimes you get referrals naturally. But we all live in a busy world full of distractions so it can be a good idea to ask your good clients if they can think of somebody else you could help.
10 lords or satisfied customers leaping around saying how good your work is.. Who are your top ten customers and who do they know who you could help? Even better .. how could you help them more? What services or products do they want that you could provide? Don’t know? Ask them!
9 ladies dancing. Cars and boats always used to be called “she” and the man who fixed my roof recently referred to my house as “her” and it sounded really friendly! What do your customers think of your car, your office, your desk, your comfortable chair? Everything you have is part of your brand and could be dancing for you. What about your laptop or notebook, the pen you sign the contract with, your shoes, your bag, your jacket, handkerchief?
8 headlines milking the conversation in your customer’s mind. Headlines on webpages, brochures and emails do a lot of the hard work and work their cash cow thang. Write 8 during this holiday period so you are ready.
7 steps that take your customers they want to be. Seven is a magic number. Identify the magical seven steps for one of your headlines and let it out into the world.
6 eggs that have been laid since last year. You will be increasing the asset value of your business year on year. What are the top six assets that you have developed in your business over the past 12 months? It doesn’t have to be technical equipment which is how we often think of assets. Your contact list, products, improved systems, new website, better metrics are all assets, too.
5 go-o-ld things that save your business money and time. New technology means you can do more with less better and faster. From low-cost email marketing so you know who is opening your emails, to easier websites, IT offered as a service for a lower monthly cost, to outsourcing or working in partnership with real human beings can save you energy and money.
What are the five things that bring gold into your business? Recession? Bah humbug!
4 Quarterly plans (to stay on track). Of course planning doesn’t mean you will automatically achieve everything you want, but I am surprised how often it happens. Getting clear is the first step. It can be a lonely as an entrepreneur and planning improves your ability to make the most of a team.
3 values that say it all. The sub-text, the hallmark, the special aroma, the spark that you bring to the world that is uniquely you, and communicate powerfully. It is why people choose to be with you, work with you, like you and trust you. When we are confident it all happens naturally, but by thinking about it consciously you can generate consistency and be more memorable. (And make more money more easily)
2 top areas you “own”. When explorers first went to remote parts of the world they often planted their national flag to claim the land, and gave it a name. What is your national flag? What is the name of the country you have discovered? (your market, the way you approach the market, the name of the product or service .. )
1 partridge (which can move) plus the (pear tree) environment it fits into. On the first day of Christmas my true love (me) turned up to give to me (my way of creating money and value in the world/ my business) one partridge plus pear tree.
What is this gift? One thing that can fly around, and one that stays still and grows and bears fruit. They have been delivered to your snow covered doorstep as a package. All businesses need the running around and the staying still. Active and passive, doing and thinking, yin and yang, extravert and introvert.
Is your business unbalanced? Do both sides of you get representation at your (very) senior management meetings? Have you got someone who is on your wave length who naturally contributes what is less natural for you?
In modern times Christmas seems to last from Hallowe’en at the end of October till December 24th. But traditionally the twelve days went from Christmas Day till January 6th. So once Christmas Day is past you are still in holiday mood right through the New Year and into the first week.
Thinking is probably the most valuable gift you can give your business. If you want some help with the foundation thinking about getting the spark into your marketing check out this ecourse.
Enjoy your precious twelve days of Christmas!