By Karen Jacobsen (a.k.a. The GPS Girl®)
Doesn’t everything seem just that little bit easier when we know where we are going? Whether in business or our personal life, a little direction goes a long way. In today’s hyper-technology focused world, the methods for marketing your business are endless. Getting your message, your brand, or your entrepreneurial journey to the masses is easier than ever, but it’s important to gauge the direction of your marketing techniques. Here is a “Recalculating” Roadmap that highlights essential business marketing know-how’s from The GPS Girl®.
1. Be Clear on the Direction You are Headed
If you know your destination, the steps to take become obvious. Take the time to really think through what you ultimately want your business to look like. There will always be someone ready to tell you what you want to achieve is not going to happen. The more clarity you have about what you truly want in business and life, the easier it is to make it a reality. I regularly take time out to plan where I’m headed, and schedule time once a month to review my plan. This will allow you to gauge whether you’re on the route you originally sought out.
2. Create a Road Map
Now that you are clear where you would ultimately like to be, it’s time to flesh it out on paper. Create a Road Map, a living, breathing document that will change and develop. Be willing to create this in great detail as what you focus on expands. It doesn’t have to be complex. Setting a timer for 15 minutes and writing everything that comes to mind is a great way to start deriving the steps you need to take to get to your ultimate destination. Looking at your road map or list every morning brings what is important into immediate focus. Right now I’m developing my new web TV series, (Navigating New York) and having the action steps I need to take to market the new show gives me focus and confidence at the beginning of my work day.
3. You Can Always Recalculate
Just because you have written out your plan doesn’t mean you can’t change it. In fact that is the beauty of Recalculating. I believe we can recalculate at any time in life or business just as we can when driving. You hear “Recalculating” on the GPS and you may have taken a wrong turn, but by the time you hear that word, you are already back on track. It’s a way to refocus without beating ourselves up. We can have business developments we didn’t expect. I’d been in the music business for 15 years when one voice-over job opened up a world of possibility for me. My speaking voice ended up in over 100 million GPS units and it became clear I had a brand waiting to be developed. When you know there are changes to be made, Recalculate. It’s only a detour and you can still be headed to the same destination.
4. Make Promises You Can Keep
This is not only the promises we make to others, but the ones we make to ourselves. When we have those moments of great enthusiasm and decide we are going to make twenty calls or send a hundred emails or work through an entire spreadsheet for outreach to new customers and then we don’t follow through, it opens the door to feeling bad about ourselves. If you do not keep a promise to yourself, make a mental note, let it go, then vow to make promises you CAN keep going forward. This is a powerful practice. My own relationship to my word is extremely important to me, and being able to keep the promises you make is one of the easiest ways to build momentum on a daily basis.
5. It’s All About the People In Your Life
I’ve been in the entertainment business for over 25 years and it’s the people in my life who consistently refer business my way. You’ve heard before “it’s all about relationships.” That’s because it is. When you relate to the people around you with warmth and caring – even those who you are having a temporary interaction with – it creates a ripple effect. It’s not just about being nice. Look around your life at the people in your family, neighborhood and community. People want to do business with people they know, like and trust, so be sure the people in your life know exactly what services you provide. The point isn’t to sell yourself to them, but to be sure they are crystal clear about your expertise as then they will naturally refer business your way when the match is right.
6. Presentation Matters
We are marketing our businesses and ourselves around the clock wherever we are. How we present ourselves in person and online is one of the most powerful marketing tools we have. Taking care of our appearance and having a level of excellence in terms of presentation is an often-overlooked aspect of business. Even when working from a home office, how you feel about yourself is affected by how you are groomed.
7. Pick Up the Phone
Some of my biggest opportunities were from cold calls. The beginning of my career as a session singer began from an afternoon of cold calls from my college dorm, and overnight I was making a living from the music business. Even if cold calls are not on your horizon, in this age of texting, messaging and posting, picking up the phone and making a call holds more power than ever. My business coach Mark LeBlanc suggests a great strategy to make one call a day to build the habit of being on the phone. One extra call a day to someone you want to stay in touch with really adds up over a year.
8. Who Can I Help Today? Genuinely Wanting Others To Win
While building a business and marketing ourselves, the number one key to success is to help others. Remember, people want to do business with people they know, like and trust, and if you have helped someone get closer to their destination in business and life, chances are they will view you as someone they like and appreciate. It’s great to help one another get where we want to go, but from making a connection you think could benefit someone else without the expectation of them doing the same for you in return, real magic can occur. I’ve had this happen time and again. I help someone and it comes back around from another unexpected direction. Think win, win, win.
9. Just Keep in Touch
How do you feel when you look through your address book? Pick someone to call or email or send a note to and just keep in touch. Being top of mind is the best marketing strategy. That way when someone you know hears of an opportunity they know is right for you, they are going to send it your way.
10. Daily and Weekly Directions
I have a list of “directions” for my marketing strategy I implement daily, weekly and monthly. It took me years to work out that creating a written list would eradicate overwhelm. I have networking groups I belong to (and now happen to be filled with people I love and adore spending time with), intentionally stay in touch with 3 people every work day, create interesting online content to share on my website and through social media. The possibilities are endless, so having a marketing and social media strategy in place has given me real confidence about the way I am promoting my business.
Marketing your business and yourself is more effective when you know the direction you’re going, and when you have a Roadmap to reach your destination. As you focus on the content of your message, presenting it through word-of-mouth and written form, be sure to constantly step back and gauge where you are going. And if it becomes clear that you need to realign your route, don’t be afraid to “Recalculate” – you never know what door is going to open next. Improving the delivery of your brand or message, and the overall direction of your professional and personal life, can be elevated by paying attention to the direction of the marketing techniques you are using. Follow your road map and remember to celebrate when you have reached your destination!