Digital Rebel

Plan your marketing calendar.

It’s a new year, and its time to get back into the swing of things. Yes this week officially marks when everyone gets into business model and puts their resolutions and business goals into action. Like most businesses its time to get rid of the turkey hangover, and get back to the business routine and make some money. I was surprised to start getting my calendar fill up with requests, events, client meetings and plans just after Christmas. This led me to strategize and map out my marketing calendar early.

The benefits of creating a planned calendar

A marketing business calendar can be defined as the order of events that define your business mapped with the purpose of proper planning. There are various other definitions for a marketing calendar but to me there are three words that ring to mind:

  1. Planning
  2. Prepared
  3. Strategize
As a business owner these three words allowed me to do so much in 2012 including manage over 40 plus speaking engagement, workshops and conference. Now in case you missed my blog post from last year, I strongly recommend you read the benefits of a marketing calendar.
How did I plan my marketing calendar for 2013? 
Now as a business owner starting from scratch I have some advise for you… There are three types of events going on in your life in 2013
  • The personal events that make your life
  • The business calendar of events that shape your business
  • The events that highlight your marketing schedule
Now some people might not recommend this but I tend to highlight all three types of calendars into one big major business calendar. Why?
I do this because all three events shape my life and compliment each…, For example I booked my flights to Maui and planned the dates for my Thailand trip this year. When I am away, it allows me to delegate responsibilities for my business to my partners, auto publish my blog posts and better yet, automate my business so I can enjoy the tropical weather! It is important to start off by highlight all the family events, birthdays, stat holidays and planned vacation days.
The next step is to determine the business calendar based on the events going on in your business. For example I was recently nominated to be in the top 7 nominations for best business blog in Vancouver. I have a couple of networking and launch parties to attend to, followed up with a potential social media awards night in March. Some might complain that they haven’t figured out that far but the key is to start planning in advance for the events that you are aware of…
  • Business meetings, workshops or conferences you want to attend
  • Meet ups or networking events for promoting your business
  • Potential speaking opportunities
  • Trade fairs, expo’s and conventions
  • Seminars
  • Prospect meeting’s
  • Content strategy and blogging calendar

It is important to start mapping out such business events or pencil in slots when you think some of these events will take place in the first, second, third or fourth quarter. This is when you look at the goals you have set for your business and integrate it into your marketing calendar…This morning I mapped out speaking events, meet ups, workshops and mastermind sessions I am involved in 2013… This way I do not double book or push too many overwhelming things all jammed in one week.

The next steps is to evaluate all the events that happen in the year, Halloween, valentines, christmas, mother’s day and determine your marketing calendar if you’re a location-based business. If you are an online marketer you determine your promotions cycle and determine the type of promotions you want to run… A business colleague’s wife runs a hair salon… At this time she could be mapping out hair promo’s for women who participate in dine out Vancouver early January, mens discount hair cuts around super-bowl sunday in early feb or valentines day promotions not to mention mothers day around the corner… The list is endless

The secret sauce that few apply! 

At this point most people either give up or are done with their calendar… My secret sauce is as follows:

  • Resources
  • Planning
  • Action Plan
  • Contact
  • Budget
You see by putting a list of the following above items I now have turned goals into action plans… My goal was to launch two more sites for the business in the next few weeks. I am working on research and resources as I write this blog. This coming week I will reach out to the designer with my vision plan and then discuss timelines to get the site launched… Finally the goal is to do a late promotion before the end of the first quarter! Its time to take the vision board and put an action plan!
Are we there yet? 
Just when you think your almost done there is one final layer that then makes your business calendar 100% This involves outbound phone calls or reaching out to your network or prospects…Once your events are all mapped out you can now reach out to your network to create joint ventures, promotions, plan an event because you know all your freed up time… You can also add bonus events you wish you could attend but didn’t know if you could…
Why do we go to all this trouble? 
To avoid missing out on some great events happening around your business. If you do not map out your 2013 today you are just like everyone that sadly watches this happen and missed out on making 2013 kick ass! If you get a day timer, buy a wall calendar or desk calendar, if you visit  a stationery store and grab your calendar kit you are half way there… Take action and make stuff happen!
Here is to a prosperous 2013! If you need advise on how to customize your calendar or implement one tweet me or contact me, I would love to help! Finally get off that couch and start planning your year!
What did I use as resources to help with my calendar? 
I researched the following to map out my year:
  • Travel blogs to book my vacation
  • Sporting calendars to book time off for my must see games or recorded PVR
  • Family calendars to avoid being that douche bag that forgets to buy a birthday gift on time
  • Stat day calendar to remember to take time off and player harder
  • Events in Vancouver blogs
  • Looked at last years calendar of events that I recorded to plan better this year
  • Consulted friends and business colleagues calendars to review their plans
  • My accountant and financial planners
  • Conference, Seminar and marketing events calendar that I subscribe to
  • Meet up, email subscribed lists and global events

The list is endless, but you get the picture! Have you started to map out your calendar?

 

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