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 twelfth day of Christmas my true love (that’s you!) gave to me (your business):
12 Twelve months of the year to plan newsletters, special national days, and to establish the rhythm of your business. Finding an anniversary can be a good way to smooth out any seasonal imbalances. .. and break down any assumptions you may have about your customers buying patterns.
On the eleventh 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. 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. Write white papers, send email newsletters, or drip out your email courses, PR ( on line and in your vertical markets)can be amazing, advertising: local, pay per click, or in your sector, SEO and on page web optimisation, Web 2.0, blogging and interacting in the blogosphere, directories, videos, teleseminars, webinars, not forgetting direct mail – which has more impact these days – and of course referrals from satisfied customers.
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.. to bring the 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 retail 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!
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