You know that feeling you get when you finish a big project. The deadline has been met and all the stress to perform on time is done. Your follow up is complete and your client is happy. For a few minutes it as a blissful feeling of accomplishment and relief. But what is next?
Remember when you first started your business and you would do marketing when you did not have a client and then when you did have a client you did not have time. What happened when you were finished your project with your client? You did not have more work lined up. The same thing happens with sales and marketing projects, so don’t stop planning just because you are working on a project right now.
When you have not yet set your next deadline then there seems to be lag in time after a project finishes. This opening can be filled with the stress of how you will make ends meet with only the sales from your last ‘big thing’. It may be a strange realization to think, I was just so successful and now I have no deadline to build towards. Carrie Fisher once said, “There is no point at which you can say, ‘Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.'” There is no ‘nap time’ in business. If you are currently sitting in-between projects or you do not have something in the funnel for the end of this project then you need to plan something right now.
The challenge around not planning ahead is that when the time opens up we often fill it with the ‘Doing’ of our business and we lose site of the continual growth. If you are not focused on growth your business will decline. Even to keep a business at the level it is currently you have to continually be focused on adding new opportunities, building new products, creating new streams of income, offering new connections to your clients and reaching new prospects. You must always be moving forward if you do not want to start slipping back.
Let’s look at three ways you can ensure you are not sitting in this aether, between achievement and development where nothing is moving towards the success of your business.
1. Know Your Next Offer or Product
Whether you are building a widget for a new offering, an update for your current clients, or a new training program, you need to have the idea mapped out so that you can start being productive; creating both the product and the interest for it. Determine what you are working towards and set a deadline. Make it a real deadline and make it as unmovable as possible. The more absolute you are about the deadline the more focused you will be to create what is needed to make it happen. The more you allow the timeline to slip, the less valuable the product becomes to your business because it starts costing you extra money, interest, and time.
2. Start With The End Date
Start from the deadline or release date and create a marketing plan timeline. When will you announce the big news? How will you tell your prospects? Where will they hear about it? Map it out for weeks or months prior to the final release date.
For example: If you are hosting a program then the announcement date will be several weeks before the event. Start building interest before the announcement. Create a free event in which people will get great value from you and will also hear about your upcoming event. Give a gift to those that take action when you announce it. Create several touch points after the announcement to allow people to think about being at your event and give them different incentives to buy, right up to the event time.
3. Everyday Marketing
If you are sitting in a pocket of low productivity then check in with yourself to determine if you have fallen into this stagnant aether. What is the purpose of your business? If you want your business to continue must be you doing something every day that invites new clients to work with you or purchase from you. Marketing is not a seasonal event it is the cornerstone that ensures you continue to be successful.
This works whether you are stagnating in-between projects or you are working towards a deadline. The best time to start the planning is while you are working towards another goal so that you can transition into the next project or goal with little or no downtime (unless it is planned).
Get off the marketing and development rollercoaster and take the production train. Develop, plan, and deliver all while you are moving forward to your biggest goals