You have a SMART goal, a stacked How Ladder defining how you’ll hit that goal, and now it’s time to make it happen.

If you skipped the heavy lifting on either of the previous lessons, you’ll have to stroll back and do the work. 

I look at this step of a marketing plan differently than most – To me tactics aren’t just about which social channel you are going to use and which content marketing you’ll execute. 

I break down the tactics portion of the marketing plan into four buckets:

  1. Foundation Work
  2. Commitment to Tactics
  3. Execution Schedule
  4. Delivery Schedule

Foundation Work:

X marked the spot in the Goal step. The How Ladder got us through the steps of how we’re going to make that goal happen. Now we get to fill the gaps in our product, brand, website and marketing to support our amazing plan. 

Let’s go back to our web design company example from the previous 2 posts. Remember that they are going to launch a weekly email to hook people into their free digital presence audits. That means they’ll need to:

  • Sign up for an email marketing tool
  • Write, design and post an email capture landing page on their website
  • Write a compelling welcome email or automated welcome series that gets people into the digital audit. 

This is just one example of the foundation work. Some other common foundation items could be: 

  • Adjusting your brand message
  • Improving your packaging
  • Building a customer onboarding sequence
  • Addressing website deficiencies
  • Setting up organic and paid social media accounts
  • Implementing a CRM software
  • And many more depending on your business

You get the gist. These ingredients are necessary to execute your How Ladder. Prioritize these items so you have a solid foundation for your marketing efforts.

Commitment to Tactics

In case no one has ever told you, you are probably trying to do too much. You can’t be good on email marketing, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, your blog, Medium…and the other 2,965 other marketing tactics there are out there. 

Commit to the channels where your customers spend time and forget everything else. Make sure you claim your real estate on each platform, but let them sit empty sans a message letting people know that you don’t actively post here but here’s where you do post (with links). For an example check out our Instagram page.

We obviously don’t do a freaking thing on IG for Wholesum. Our time is much better spent writing articles that we’ll use in multiple places like our blog, through our weekly email, on Medium and through LinkedIn. These are the channels we get paying clients from. Honestly, we haven’t even begun to tap these platforms and will not likely ever worry about the others. 

Pick 2-3 tactics at each step of your ladder that supports your How Ladder

  • Ground Level: Awareness
    • Organic Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc
    • Google PPC, Google Shopping, Paid Social etc. 
    • SEO
    • Direct Mail, Print or other traditional advertising
  • Midway: Trust & Nurture
    • Email Newsletter
    • Blogging
    • Videos
  • Top of the Ladder: Retention & Referrals
    • Customer Rewards
    • Post-purchase sequences
    • Review and Referral programs

While it’s tempting to focus on the fun stuff at the ground level because it gets all the attention and brings people to the party, make sure you don’t neglect the other two steps of your customer’s journey. You become an unstoppable marketing force when you master keeping the customers you have and turning one customer into two, then three, four…more?

That’s enough for this one – next (and last post) we’ll dive into execution and delivery schedules. 

Action Step:

  1. Open the Google Drive folder titled “Marketing Plan” that you created a few of weeks ago now.
  2. Create a document called “Tactics” where you’ll identify the foundation work you need to do and list the tactics you are committing to at each step of your ladder. Make sure to reference your How Ladder in the previous step to tie the foundation work and tactics to your goal. 
  3. Again, email me if you are struggling

Execution Schedule

Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.

-Jim Rohn

There it is – a cheesy motivational quote, but it’s true. Your marketing will not go anywhere without consistent daily action. If you really want to get better at marketing, you have to develop a marketing habit.

I work on my marketing between 6:30 – 8:00 am every day.

Usually there are no client fires, crisis emails, or video conferences coming in first thing in the morning. This helps my ADD brain avoid distractions and focus on working on marketing for us at Wholesum.

From 8:30 am on, I have responsibilities to clients. They pay for my attention so I need to give it to them, but until then, it’s all about investing in my business.

Putting out consistent content is a bit like scattering a variety of seeds in a flower bed. Each post is a different seed. If one article doesn’t sprout, maybe the next on will. My flower bed will be full and blooming in time – I just have to keep scattering the right seeds and nurturing the plants that grow.

That time between 6:30 – 8:00 am is when I tend my garden.

When will you invest in your marketing each day?

Will you wake up early? Stay up late? Do it at lunch? There’s no one right answer, but you must have an answer.

Find a time that’s outside of your other responsibilities and use it to work on your business, not in it. Fight through the initial stages of friction until the habit sticks. Daily work may not be as sexy as your CRM system or discovering growth hacks, but it’s the price you must pay to grow an audience.

Speaking of growing an audience…

“Get a good idea and stay with it. Dog it, and work at it until it is done right” 
– Walt Disney

Walt speaks the truth. You can’t show up once a month and expect traction on anything. I don’t care if we’re talking about your blog, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, email marketing, Twitter, or anywhere else. Results come from showing up consistently.

Above we focused on your execution schedule—when you’re going to show up to do the work. Here we’re talking about when you’re going to share that hard work.

Our job is to make what we create and share easily accessible and digestible for the audience we’re creating. If we’re unpredictable, that’s hard to do – and yes, I am guilty of inconsistency myself.

Charles Duhig’s writings dig into establishing habits through commitment and consistency and creating patterns of behavior. It is a great guide with compelling stories that are relatable & actionable. If you haven’t read it, grab the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business. You’ll find it as a valuable reference again and again in marketing.

Research shows that if we commit to something in public we’re far more likely to backup that commitment with consistent action. Here’s how you do it…

1. Build a funnel plan outlining all of your weekly initiatives. Here’s an extremely simple funnel plan template you can use. This gives you the big picture of your marketing tactics. Again, I would build this out in Google Sheets.

Funnel Stage / Tactic Who Will Do It When Will It Get Posted/Be Sent
Top of Funnel – Awareness
Tactic 1 Person 1 Day/Days
Tactic 2 Person 2 Day/Days
Middle of Funnel – Trust & Nurture
Tactic 1 Person 1 Day/Days
Tactic 2 Person 2 Day/Days
Bottom of Funnel – Retention & Referrals
Tactic 1 Person 1 Day/Days
Tactic 2 Person 2 Day/Days

2. Share the funnel plan with your team. Now it’s in other people’s hands and you’ll feel obligated to execute. If you operate on your own, share it with someone who will hold you accountable. If you don’t have anyone, share it with me and I’ll hold you accountable.

Delivery Schedule

Build your weekly content calendar. You can do this quarterly, monthly, or weekly. Do what works for you, just make sure you’re planning at least a week out. Here’s a content calendar template you can use. Build it out in Google Sheets, create a tab for each quarter, month or week and simply copy the template to the next period you choose. This document focuses on the strategy of the individual posts you’re going to share. This is a very general template – customize it as it suits your business.

What Platform? Responsible Party Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Social Media
Direct Mail

Take Action –

1. Open the Google Drive folder titled “Marketing Plan” you created.

2. Create a new Google Sheet titled “Funnel Plan” and map your funnel.

3. Create another Google Sheet titled “Content Calendar” and plan this month’s content.

4. Share your funnel plan and content calendar with your team (or whoever is going to hold you accountable).

5. Email me if you’re stuck anywhere in this process.

It’s over. You should have a complete marketing plan in Google Drive if you did the work in each email. Your goal, strategy, tactics, and schedule are ready to roll.

Just remember that it’s all worthless if you don’t do the damn work. That’s why this last post is the most important.

Invest in your business and it will grow.

And if you can’t dedicate time to it every day, hire someone to do it for you.

Thanks for riding along with me on this journey and I wholeheartedly believe that if you put in the hard work your business will reap the benefits.

I’d like to hear from you before you go.  Please consider doing three things for me…

1. Reply and share your successes and your struggles. I’ll celebrate the successes and help you tackle the struggles.

2. Tell me what you loved and hated about this series of posts. Was anything particularly helpful? Do you feel something is still missing?

3. Do you want a live training call where I answer questions and workshop your brand and marketing with you? Simply respond with a yes or no.