Skip The Marketing Resolutions. Lead With Results Instead.

Skip The Marketing Resolutions. Lead With Results Instead.

It’s So So Tempting…

A brand new year. A brand new day. A chance to do better and be better. All we have to do is take stock of what we want to accomplish, commit and do it.

Every year the gurus explode with books and blog posts telling you how to REALLY lose weight/get smarter/stop smoking/start running/volunteer more/work less.

Marketers are not immune. I Googled “marketing resolutions” before writing this and discovered no shortage of advice for everything from “create a delightful mobile experience” to “be more consistent with marketing.” And while some of the advice is solid (you really do need a mobile website and coming up with a marketing schedule and plan wouldn’t kill you), most of it is all about the what and lacks a focus on the why.

So this year, do your business a favor and skip the resolutions. Try approaching your marketing from results first and see how the resolutions make – and keep – themselves.

Email Resolution Result

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

I will commit to sending marketing emails every month.

Or every week. Or on some other regular schedule that you decide.

If you’re like a lot of business people I know, any regular marketing emails would be a big step forward. Too many businesses do this on an ad hoc basis. They send out one this month, none the following, then whip up two or three to make up for it the month after that.

Worse, they decide Tuesday around 3PM that they need an email to go out on Wednesday with that super important announcement. And while they’re at it, they may as well include the six other things they never got around to mentioning…

So committing to regular emails isn’t a bad idea.

It’s just an incomplete idea. And it’s easy to forget to do when you get busy or just bored with your email template and can’t figure out what to stick in the sidebar.

Instead of focusing on the number and timing of emails, focus on the results of sending them.

How many people actually opened your email? How many of them clicked on your links or called about your offer?

Who replied and what did they say?

You can send out emails like clockwork and check that resolution off as a win, but if you’re not seeing a good open, click or response rate then you’re just marketing for the sake of marketing.

This year, pay attention to what’s happening as you send emails. What happens when you send emails out more often? Less often? When you try a different subject line? When you switch up the content?

If you’re getting a whole lot of not much out of your email list, change something! Work on segmenting your list better so you can send content that people really want to read.

Work on writing subject lines that catch people’s attention.

Work on making your calls-to-action clear and accessible.

Then, when you find something that moves the needle, do it again. And keep on going.

Social Media Resolution Result

Have you sworn to spend more time engaging with your audience?

Vowed to post regularly on your social networks? Maybe you even have a content schedule that specifies how many times each week you’ll post photos vs questions vs curated content?

Once again, consistency is important but what’s more important is understanding why you’re doing the whole social marketing thing in the first place.

What’s important is getting to the results of your social marketing.

You may be familiar with our opinion on content curation, but if not, let this be the year that you stop trying to “be a resource” for your audience and instead make it be the year that you focus on promoting your business and seeing results for your bottom line.

Instead of worrying about whether you’ve got a post for 9AM every weekday, focus on what your posts are gaining you. Are people engaging with you? Sharing their thoughts or comments, asking questions? (And not just responding with a quick click of the “like” button or a retweet – I mean meaningful engagement.)

Are you building effective relationships – the kind that translate from a Facebook comment to perhaps an email or a Skype call or a cup of coffee?

Are you actually generating leads?

Make this the year that you start to believe in a straight line between social marketing and lead generation. It doesn’t happen fast and it may not come easy but your social consistency is not nearly as important as whether or not you’re getting social results.

This year, go deeper with your social relationships. Get to know people. Talk to them. If you do that, you can make a killing with social marketing and never think about what or how often to post again.

Blogging Resolution Result

Blogging resolutions usually go something like this:

I will blog once a week.

Or twice a week. Or some other number of times per week. Or commit to writing 500 words or for half an hour every day. Or some other task-oriented resolution that focuses on you instead of focusing on what blogging is about in the first place – and that’s your customer.

Much like all marketing, blogging consistency is a good thing. It’s tough to build momentum if you’re blogging haphazardly, leaving huge gaps in your content schedule that makes it very easy for a competitor to slip in and start feeding from your prospect pool.

But the real focus of blogging shouldn’t be on your schedule but on what kind of business you’re generating from the blogs you do post.

When we first started this blog, we posted every single day for three months. Then we got exhausted and stopped blogging entirely for the next six. What kind of results do you think we saw? (Hint: exactly the same as the number of blogs we posted. None.)

Then we got regular again and went back to posting five – sometimes six – times per week. And we got exhausted!

So we bumped it down to three. Then bumped it up to four. But it wasn’t until we stopped thinking about the precise timing of blogs and started focusing on the people and the content we wanted to share with them that we began to see conversions.

Now we generally blog twice a week – plus two podcasts – and we’re not exhausted. And we’re generating leads. We’re growing our email list. We’re making connections with people. We’re meeting with prospects who ask us questions and we say things like, “Hey, we’ve got the perfect blog post for you…”

So this year, instead of making blogging all about your schedule and your motivation to write… make it about your prospects and customers and what they need to hear from you to convince them that they should be doing business with you.

Then measure your conversions. See what’s resonating with people, what gets the signups, what makes the phone (and cash register) ring.

Do more of that. And stop beating yourself up for skipping a day or a week. If you’re giving people what they want they’ll stick around, even if you break your 500-word-per-day resolution.

And that’s something you can take to the bank.

So this year, go ahead and get organized. Make lists of all the things you want to do. Work on your consistency and your marketing diversity.

But remember to stop and think about your bottom line. Ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. Ask yourself whether it’s working. And start counting the zeros on the checks your customers are writing.

If you want help getting your marketing up to speed or want to talk about how to make your cash register ring, reach out to me. Let’s get together for a phone call or Skype. The first 30 minutes are on me!

Carol Lynn Rivera

Carol Lynn Rivera

I'm a business owner, content creator, podcaster and marketer. In 1999 I founded Rahvalor Interactive, a web and creative services production studio, with my husband and business partner Ralph. In 2011 we created Web.Search.Social, a consulting and marketing service line for small businesses. We also cohost the Web.Search.Social Podcast where we challenge the status quo of marketing and the Carbon Based Business Units podcast where we talk about the human side of being an entrepreneur. On any given day I wear the hat of project manager, consultant, social media manager and content marketer. My true passion is writing and in my spare time I'm busy planning my early retirement to Barcelona as a famous and wealthy novelist.
Carol Lynn Rivera
Carol Lynn Rivera