It seems like every week, there’s a new tactic to try. Which makes it ridiculously easy to get overwhelmed by marketing.
You’ll read about someone who made six figures in a weekend running Facebook ads.
“I should try that!” you exclaim.
The next week, you find out about how one entrepreneur made a splash recruiting influencers.
“My company needs influencers!”
Then, maybe you hear about someone building a brand doing livestreams.
You’re not sure what fishing has to do with any of this, but you put “do a livestream” on your ever-growing to-do list.
Stop. Hold the phone.
Chasing tactics isn’t going to get you anywhere. There will always be a new tactic for you to try and you’ll be able to find one as often as you want. The cold, hard truth is that tactics do nothing but distract you from achieving your goals and getting where you want to go.
Think about the last time you went into a department store. You were thinking to yourself “Go in. Get the jeans. Get out.” You were only going into the store for one thing. That was your goal. BUT. There are all these shiny offers and cute tops and great shoes…. “Stay focused,” you tell yourself. And we all know what happens next. You end up walking out with a million and one things you never went in for and you forgot to get the jeans!
In that scenario, the jeans are your business and marketing goals. The other clothes, shoes, and offers are the tactics that distract you from getting where you need to go. These tactics will always be there. There’s no getting rid of them. Some people spend their entire professional lives chasing tactics. Do you want to know the truth?
Finding the latest tactic isn’t going to get you anywhere
In fact, these tactics will get you nowhere. Trying to figure out new tactics (and the software that inevitably goes with it) will make you spend more money without you seeing any results.
You can also think of these tactics like fad diets. There’s always a new fad diet that’s all the rage. Raw vegan diets, Keto diet, 5:2 diets — there are too many to keep track of. These are the dieter’s version of marketing tactics. One day they’re in, the next day they’re out. If one doesn’t work, move onto the next. Without considering the underlying strategy. Ultimately, you don’t end up any healthier or happier — just miserable and out-of-pocket from buying everything the fads told you needed.
It’s the same in marketing. There’s no benefit from jumping from one tactic to another every week or month. You’ll be wasting your time, money and effort. You’ll see next to no results and any results you do see aren’t going to be long-lived.
I’m sorry to have to break all of this to you. But don’t despair. While tactics aren’t the answer that you’ve been looking for, there is a solution. The magic ingredient that you’ve been missing. The secret marketing sauce.
The ONE thing that will make a difference: a marketing roadmap
That’s right — a marketing roadmap is the answer that you’ve been looking for. Stop looking for tactics. As of today, focus on your marketing roadmap.
A plan of attack, if you will.
Creating a marketing roadmap will do what using a map (or, let’s be honest, navigation) does for a car trip: tells you how to get where you want to go. If you’re driving in a foreign place, you don’t just drive and hope that you land up where you want to be. The same is true for your marketing and business goals. You have goals — we all do. You need to know how you’re going to get there and how to achieve them.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the marketing options out there. Tactics prey on this. Most people look to tactics because they seem like a quick fix. They look like a simple and easy solution to your problems. They’re not. In fact, more often than not, adopting a new tactic without thinking about the bigger implications will hinder your progress, not help it.
The simple answer to your marketing overwhelm is a plan. A marketing roadmap.
How to create a marketing roadmap
Stop working in your business for the next bit, and start working on it. You know where you want to go, now, create a map that will help you get there.
Step 1: Set a tight time frame
Tight time frames are vital for creating effective marketing roadmaps. They should be no longer than 6-12 months. Look back five years, and ask yourself if you could predict where you are today with any amount of accuracy. Now you understand why planning out short-term marketing plans makes the most sense. They’re going to be the things that make an immediate impact on your business and will change your five-year direction in ways you can’t imagine.
Step 2: Evaluate your existing systems
It’s time to take a long, hard look at your business. Be honest with yourself. What’s working right now? What isn’t really working right now?
Specifically, answer the following questions to help you get the ball rolling:
- How many opt-ins do you have right now?
- Which opt-in is doing the best at capturing leads?
- How many email subscribers do you have on your mailing lists?
- How often are you communicating with your mailing list?
- Is your website optimized for converting traffic into leads, or does it just look good?
- How much money are you making each month?
- Where is that money coming from? Break down the sources specifically. The more granular you can get, the more decisive you can be in mapping your route.
Hopefully, these are the kind of things that you look at regularly. Maybe you’ve never asked yourself these questions before. In which case, you might have a lot of digging to do. Having detailed answers to these questions is vital for the next step in creating your marketing roadmap.
Step 3: Find the low-hanging fruit
This is my favorite part because if you’ve done step two as thoroughly as possible, you’ll start to see some easy-to-medium projects. Projects that you could start to tackle right away. Let’s go through what some of these projects might look like:
- Create another opt-in. This time, one that converts. If you’ve identified in step 2 that your opt-ins getting loads of traffic but hardly any conversions then something’s not quite right. This would be the ideal project for you to get to work on.
- Send paid traffic to the opt-in that’s doing best. This opt-in has proven itself. It’s got a high rate of conversions. Seeing as it’s doing so well with organic traffic, imagine what would happen if you sent paid traffic to this opt-in!? It’s a no-brainer.
- Add more calls to action on your website. Focus on the various opt-ins you’ve created and put CTA’s at the end of all your blog posts, in the sidebar and create some pop-ups to try and capture your leads and convert your traffic into mailing list subscribers.
- Redesign your homepage. If you identified in step 2 that your website is super pretty but not optimized for converting traffic into subscribers, you should get to work on this project right away. Make sure that there are CTA’s and lead captures on your homepage. Even add pop-ups and banners.
This is where your marketing roadmap will start to take shape. You’ve identified what you need to work on. This is personalized to your business. It’s not some generic tactic that may or may not apply to you. Your tailored marketing roadmap is starting to take shape — how exciting is this!?
Step 4: Write a detailed plan for each project you discovered in step 3
So in step three, you’ve identified all the areas that you need to tackle in your marketing roadmap. But what does it really take to implement some projects you’re intending? In step three you identified the bigger tasks at hand. Now in step four, you’re going to take each item on your list from step three and break it down into even smaller tasks.
Let’s say you want to create a new opt-in, for example. What does it actually take to create an opt-in? What are you going to have to create?
- The opt-in itself
- The landing page
- The thank-you page (and make sure this is optimized for conversions as well!)
- The calls to action
- The Facebook/LinkedIn ad strategy
Once these five, small tasks are complete, you’ll have accomplished the bigger task at hand and made your opt-in! It’s all about doing things in manageable chunks. This should change how you think about your marketing. If you think that marketing is scary, intimidating and intense you’ll be amazed at how easy it is when you take things one step at a time. When you have a marketing roadmap, everything is so much simpler and easier. It will help you to organize your thoughts, prioritize, plan and take action!
Step 5: Start implementing!
You should now have a series of to-do lists from completing the steps above. Now, rank the projects you have to do in the order in which they’ll have the most impact (because nothing compels you like rapid positive feedback), roll up your sleeves, and get to work!
Do you see how simple everything becomes when you have your marketing roadmap? You know what you need to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. If you’re anything like me, to-do lists are your driving force. Put something on my to-do list and it will get done.
Instead of having all these amazing marketing ideas floating around in your head, put them on your marketing roadmap. Break your ideas down into small, manageable tasks that don’t seem so overwhelming. You’ll be surprised how quickly and easily you’ll be able to implement your marketing plan and strategy.
There’s no big secret to marketing. It all comes down to planning. Anyone who’s trying to sell you a tactic is after a quick buck. Successful marketing comes from hard work. There’s no two-step magic formula that can make you an overnight success. Evaluate, plan and implement. That’s all there is to it.
Tactics are everywhere. You’re going to see them all the time and you need to get used to seeing them and ignoring them. They are not the solution. The best way to avoid getting distracted by tactics is to form an overarching strategy that you can implement right away. Use this plan to remind yourself of where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Before making any decision, look back to your roadmap and ask yourself — “Will this help me get where I want to go? Will this help me to achieve my goals?”. If the answer is no, then move along.
Next time you see a marketing tactic, think of the jeans and the fad diets. The only way to get where you want to be is with a roadmap. One that you can realistically implement and start to follow immediately. This is where so many people fall down and it’s simply because they don’t have a plan as to what they should be doing. Don’t be that person. Make a marketing roadmap and start your journey to success.