Can you feel it in the air? The excitement, the creativity, the optimism…
Yep! It’s that time of year when we all start looking ahead and planning on how we can make the coming year the best. year. ever!
For many entrepreneurs, this means planning out a successful marketing campaign or product launch that will skyrocket sales.
I love this time of year. My office becomes very colorful with whiteboard sketches, post-it notes, dedicated notebooks when I’m planning out my next big project.
If you’re amping up to bring in more sales, kicking off a product launch, or fine tuning your marketing campaigns, then you might want to take one more look at your masterplan and make sure that you’re not missing one vital component that could be the tipping point for your success.
Making Your Plan
As you plan out your I’m-Gonna-Kick-Ass Strategy, you’re probably mapping it out based on these questions:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- By when do I want to accomplish it?
- What are the steps needed to accomplish it?
That’s goal-setting in a nutshell. You set a goal, set a deadline, and create an action plan.
You likely have your email funnels plotted out, you’re scheduling your social media posts, you have your ad campaign set up, and have drafted your promotional webinars. All of these things are great. However, I want you to be aware of the #1 mistake I’ve seen people make when they are creating their Ultimate-World-Domination Plan. (I’ve been guilty of this a time or two in my career, and every time I’ve made this mistake, I’ve kicked myself for it…and I wear heels, so…ouch. )
What Your Plan is Missing
If there’s something that entrepreneurs tend to have in common, it’s that we like to have control and we gravitate towards activities that give us quick results.
And our I’m-Going-To-Break-All-The-Sales-Records plans reflect those preferences. We fill the plan with tasks that we can check off the list that are within our control and have a quick turnaround time.
As entrepreneurs of the internet marketing age, many of us have fallen into the belief that if we just point and click on the right things, then we will succeed. But there is a fundamental flaw to this approach.
Your plan should have an equal balance of a technology strategy and a people strategy.
Having a grasp of internet marketing strategy is practically a must-have in today’s business world. Although, there are plenty of examples and business models who prove that internet marketing isn’t the end all be all that many believe it to be. You can build a highly successful business if you have strong relationship skills.
I know plenty of people who have terrible websites (or even no website at all), who still have 7 figure businesses. I have friends to never touch social media who regularly have business coming in. They accomplish this by building strong relationships with key people and maintaining those relationships. That’s how referrals keep flowing through their front door.
I believe that neither approach is right or wrong. The truth is that every business needs to find their own right blend of technology and people strategies.
What Most Internet Marketers Aren’t Telling You
Every big name that you know of who built their business during the “golden age” of internet marketing has something in common that they rarely, if ever, talk about. While they are happy to tell you how this-and-that technique or software made all the difference to their business or how XYZ ad campaign clinched their success, all of them also leveraged on key aspect: their network.
Their businesses “blew up” because they had a friend, mentor, or colleague who shared their work with their following and network. They had established or up-and-coming experts who had a platform promote their product. These experts, because they are friends, were always more than happy to spread the word.
Even the famous people who built their business behind a computer didn’t really build their business behind a computer.
Relationships are catalysts for quantum leap moments in business.Tweet This
When It’s Too Late…
Here is a typical entrepreneurial conundrum. (Again, no judgment here, because I’ve made this mistake in the past, too.)
You’ve gone through your checklist and it’s finally time to roll out your amazing promotion and THAT’S when you ask yourself 2 important questions (you’re just asking them too late):
- Who could help me promote this?
- Who do I know who would want to buy this?
GREAT questions to ask! But timing is critical here. This is where your technology strategy and people strategy differ.
With your technology strategy, you take take action and get immediate results. With your people strategy, you need to plan in extra time.
If you turn the tables, you’ll instantly understand this problem. Let’s say that the only time you hear from a colleague or “friend” is when they ask you to promote a new project of theirs. You likely just blow them off or, if it happens often enough, you think that they are a self-centered asshole. And let’s even assume that the person reaching out to you for help is someone you do care for. You still are likely only giving them half-assed assistance because they asked you so last minute. I’ve had people ask me to promote their product a week out from their launch. I would have been happy to promote it, but my calendar was already booked up with another promotion.
Don’t be like that guy!
The best experts are protective of their following. They don’t want to fatigue their list by promoting products too often. So, you have to solicit their promotion assistance early.
How to Build a Successful People Strategy for a Successful Year
This is relationship building (and maintenance) 101. It is a skill that has been lost in the age of the internet. But, the good news is that because fewer people are actually doing this, if you weave it into your sales and marketing strategy, it has a huge impact!
Here is how you can spike your sales for the upcoming year. As you plan out your upcoming projects, ask yourself these important questions:
- Who could help me create this? (optional)
- Who could use this?
- Who could help me promote this?
Create a list of these people. Then, plan how often you want to touch base with them leading up to your offer or promotion. Also, put on your calendar when you want to mention your offer to them. If you want someone to promote your launch, ask a few months out.
Your list doesn’t have to have hundreds of people on it. All you need is a targeted list.
For your list of potential promoters, make sure your offer is something that aligns with them and their audience. For your potential buyers, make sure that it solves a particular problem they have.
Creating Kismet Moments
Here’s the problem most people run into when they ask someone to promote or buy a product. It’s basically a cold ask. Sure, you might have a relationship with this person, but if this is the first time the two of you have talked in a few months, you have no idea what’s going on in their world. You have no idea what their current challenges are or what they are balancing.
This is why most people hate sales conversations, because they’re timing is off. You’re forcing it, when you shouldn’t have to.
Instead, you want to create kismet moments.
When you stay in touch with someone, you will likely hear them mention a project that aligns perfectly with your product. You’ll probably hear them mention a struggle they are navigating through.
With a successful people strategy, your prospect actually creates the perfect transition into your pitch for you! Tweet This
Your goal should be to have a personal conversation with everyone on your people strategy list once a month. Conversations could be a video or phone call, and they could also be simple check-ins via text or messenger. So, if you reach out to just 5 people each business day, that means you are maintaining 20 vitally important relationships for your business. How much is it worth to you if even just half of those people became customers or promoters? (And 5 per business day? That would take you less than 5 minutes each day to start profitable conversations.)
It doesn’t take a whole lot of energy or time to make this strategy work for you. It only takes a little bit of planning.
Ok, I hear a few of you – or at least I hear your inner voice saying, “yeah, but…!” It’s saying, “Yeah, but Sharí! Isn’t it terrible to ‘use’ people like this?! Aren’t you just manipulating your relationships?! These things should happen organically! I’m sure your colleagues and friends would think less of you if they knew that you were planning out your relationships! … And what’s with your crazy hair, anyway! Get that shit under control!”
… I mean, I don’t know why your critic has to throw shade about my hair. That’s kind of hurtful. … But allow me to address your other concerns.
Let’s revisit the original premise: most entrepreneurs think about asking for promotions and sales during a launch or just a few days before. This is like not talking to someone for months and then sending a text, “DTF?”
Where’s the romance? Where’s the seduction? Where’s the RELATIONSHIP?!
We take our relationships for granted. Plus, social media creates the illusion that we are maintaining relationships when we really aren’t. You see someone’s posts daily as you scroll through your feed, so your brain thinks that you’re staying in touch. But that’s not a relationship, that’s voyeurism.
So, once you realize that your brain’s default is to be on autopilot, then having a relationship plan is not only more effective, it’s even more respectful.
Think of it this way. If you’re in a relationship and plan a surprise getaway for your significant other to their favorite place and take them to their favorite restaurants, do you expect them to turn to you and say, “How DARE you try to plan and manipulate this relationship?!”
They are beyond thrilled that you’ve taken the time to be considerate and think about them.
Your People Strategy is the exact same thing just on a different scale.
Power to the People
Would you like to know a hidden secret behind a good People Strategy?
The more you have these kinds of check-ins and conversations with the people who can serve you and the people you can serve, the better your marketing efforts will be for your Technology Strategy!
With these conversations, you will pick up on key phrases or interesting perspectives that could improve your copy and funnels. It will spark an idea for an epic blog post. The will bring up a question that you didn’t know your target market was asking.
With your People Strategy running just as smoothly and orchestrated as your Technology Strategy, you will become unstoppable. And your I’m-going-to-achieve-everything-I’ve-imagined-for-myself plan is going to to become more successful than ever before.
Create Your Perfect Relationship Strategy with This Cheatsheet!
– Build your 90 day plan for sales and promotion
– Identify your key people to build and enhance relationships with
– Don’t miss out on sales and promotion partners with poorly-timed pitches
– PLUS, conversation-starters that easily lead to fantastic sales conversations!