What do I do now? That’s the top question that the folks in my membership and my coaching clients ask me.
Got a Map?
Mediators want, no crave, a roadmap to success in marketing and creating a profitable practice. And, that’s totally understandable. I’m happy to share the effective techniques and practices that I’ve learned over the years; and, heck, I’ll even share the ones I’m exploring now. But as we all have experienced, sometimes the parts don’t quite work. That goes for assembling toys and businesses. You need an integrated plan.
The Scary Two Words: Marketing Plan
I’ll admit that even I don’t like to hear those words together. For me, they conjure up images of mind-numbing reports/graphs; endless talking and dollars going down the drain. There are so many marketing professionals available that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or unknowledgeable to the point of paralysis. I’ve felt that way, too.
However, this year I’ve revised my approach to creating a marketing plan. I call it the ‘Power of Three.’
The Power of Three
The Power of Three is a simple way for me to attack marketing the business in a clear, doable fashion. Here’s how I use it.
I separate the year into three month segments, otherwise known as quarters by corporate types. Three months is the perfect amount of time to implement a plan or determine if something is working. I feel less stress than planning for an entire year because I can change course or tactics at the end of the period. And, it allows me to collect ‘quick wins’ to bolster my confidence and build motivation.
For each quarter, I select three goals or desired results. This part takes enormous discipline, I tell you. So many ideas to choose from, so little time to implement. My rule of thumb is to pick ideas that impact my revenue streams in three different ways: immediately, in the short term and long term. That way I’m creating value now and in the future.
Most mediators make the mistake of putting their marketing eggs in the long term basket only, doing activities that will ‘pay off someday’. Ask yourself, what can I do to bring in revenue this week, or this quarter?
Developing a Niche
Typically, I try to have one goal from each key per quarter. For example, one quarter might look like this:
1. Organize accounting systems and put payroll online (long term goal that allows me stay on top of what I can invest in marketing and save money at tax time).
2. Create 3 products that spring out of client requests (short term goal that provides cash during the quarter and builds my product catalog which makes the membership more valuable).
3. Respond to relevant blog posts and submit articles to submission banks like ezinearticles.com (immediate goal that can be accomplished in a day and brings visitors to my site).
How simple is that? And, it gets better. I can decide to spend a whole month on each goal individually or tackle a bit of each one for three months. Whatever works best.
But Do You Have to Write it Down
Yes, studies show that writing down goals helps you achieve them. Doesn’t have to be fancy or too detailed, but it does have to be written where you can see it and be reminded. If you’re the visual sort, try using Vision Board to give you a colorful reminder when you turn on your computer. Last night I wrote out the list of products that were floating in my head for next quarter. Just seeing them on paper cemented my resolve and encouraged me to prioritize them.
Journey of a Thousand Miles
You know the saying; it all begins with just one step. You can be doubtful, tired, scared, but don’t get stuck. Take the next step because after that comes another and another and before you know it, you’ll be there. (There, meaning whatever you deem as success).
Let me know if this resonates for you.
Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!
This article is reprinted with permission from the Collaborative Law Journal (Fall 2007).Mediators and Collaborative Practice (“CP”) professionals receive training in communication skills, but that training typically involves in-person communications....By David Hoffman