Time to look back at your personal marketing and plan actions for 2017
Every December we see story after story online, on TV and in the media about New Year’s resolutions. With more days off and fewer events, this time of year is ideal for planning and preparing for 2017.
However, before you look forward, take a moment to look back at what you accomplished or didn’t accomplish in 2016. Did you have a good year or great year in terms of your business and career growth? Were your personal marketing efforts successful?
While looking at the numbers is important, consider taking a look back at your 2016 marketing activities. Examine what worked, what didn’t and what could have been done differently. Pick apart your strategies and how you used different marketing vehicles and approaches to promote yourself, grow your personal brand and attract business.
Below I have created questions and suggest some approaches for assessing the success of your personal marketing activities. This review, if you have never done this before, begins with taking a look back at your 2016 resolutions or goals. Did you write down resolutions or goals for 2016? (Hint: write down your 2017 resolutions and goals so you can do this next year and check them from time to time.). Look at each goal and examine how you succeeded or where you fell short. Write down what you discover; this process will give you a roadmap for planning 2017. Click here to download a marketing scorecard: Marketing Scorecard 2016
Did I achieve what I set out to do in term of market and business growth? If so, take a victory lap and celebrate your wins. Write down why you won and use this to create a process and strategy for racking up more wins in 2017 and beyond. If you did not have as many victories as you would have liked, then it’s time to reevaluate. Do a postmortem and determine why you fell short. Create a process or approach that will turn losses into learning experiences and leverage this knowledge to win in 2017. Be honest and make no excuses. If you work with a team, collectively examine this process. Different points of view are valuable in developing new or different approaches.
Online Presence and Reputation
Start by “Googling” yourself and see what comes up. Is it positive? Do you come up first or does someone with the same or similar name come up? Does your LinkedIn profile come up? If you don’t show up in search results, this is a problem that you need to fix during 2017. Start by updating all of your online profiles, including LinkedIn. For individuals who do not own their own companies or who are not partners or high-level executives, your LinkedIn profile is critical. This is where you control your own personal brand message, show your expertise and make connections.
Secret: to truly assess your brand, use Google Chrome browser and select the private browser setting known as “Incognito.” Open a new Incognito window and search for your name. This will give you unfiltered results.
How many social followers did you pick up this year (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)? If you did not add followers, it is time to evaluate: why not? There are internal analytics and insights available on all of these sites that will help you map your progress. Remember that to build your brand and your business increasing the number of connections you have is essential. These direct connections are your audience and the people that you want to be in front of often.
How often did you post? You may want to count them all or get an average per month.
What were your best posts? Are you attracting the level of attention you want or need? Do you think that you are in front of the right contacts, including prospects often enough? I recommend the following: tweeting every day, several times if possible. For Facebook, post four to seven times per week; include photos and video whenever possible; do one Facebook live post per week. Being active on LinkedIn is critical, especially for people in sales. Post or share content on LinkedIn four or more times each week.
How many videos did you create and publish during 2016? How many people watched your videos? Did they create awareness or business leads? Video is here to stay and is a critical part of marketing, especially as we become more mobile. In 2016 we saw the growth of Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live. If you are not using video to market yourself and your business, it is time to start. Make creating video content one of your top 2017 New Year’s resolutions.
How often did you write a blog? Consistency is critical in marketing and personal branding. If you want to show your expertise, blogging is one of the best ways to do it. Create a schedule and blog consistently. I recommend blogging a minimum two times per month. If you don’t have a blog, start one in 2017 or use LinkedIn’s publishing platform. This is a built-in blog available to everyone who has a LinkedIn account.
How many email blasts or newsletters did you send? Do you leverage your email lists to stay in front of prospects, clients and contacts? If not, one of your 2017 resolutions should be to engage in email marketing. Set a goal of one email newsletter per quarter.
How many mailings did you send? While direct mail is more expensive, it is still effective. Consider developing a program to mail to your top 100 contacts or prospects.
How often were you quoted or interviewed by the media? If you want to be recognized as a leader in your field, being quoted or interviewed by the media is an important step. Leverage the coverage you have received in the past to gain more coverage in the future. Set specific goals for the number of press releases you will issue and for the number of times you want to be interviewed by the media in 2017. Securing quality media placements on a regular basis is challenging. Keep an eye on the news, watch trends in your industry and build relationships with members of the media. These basic actions are the first steps in securing the coverage that you desire.
Did you speak in public or present at a seminar during 2017? Was this effective for you?
Did you get publicity, business leads or make connections? If so, create a plan now for developing speaking opportunities in 2017.
How many trade shows did you attend? Assess your trade show efforts; did they lead to new business, create relationships or increase your brand awareness? If trade shows work for you, find other shows and look for opportunities to speak, sponsor or attend.
How many networking events did you attend? Are you getting value from your networking activities? Did connections at networking events lead to business or opportunities? How many one-on-one meetings did you have during the year or each month? If not, how can you do a better job networking? This is the best time of the year to develop your networking plan for 2017.
Resolutions are great. However, we know most people don’t stick to them for the entire year. Instead, create a 2017 Personal Marketing Plan with specific measurable goals.
Use this plan every month as a guide to stay on course and track your actions. For 2017, commit to developing one video per month, publish and send out one e-newsletter per quarter, post to LinkedIn and Facebook four or more times per week. Based on your assessment on 2016, build on what worked and set new marketing goals for 2017.
Have questions, need a resource? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for some help setting up your LinkedIn plan? Visit www.growyourpersonalbrand.com
By Bill Corbett