Towards the end of last year I asked clients I worked with a simple question "what are you struggling with?"
The universal reply was that they wanted to reach a bigger audience, but after a few follow up questions it turns out they actually wanted to reach a better more qualified audience that was more likely to engage and switch from being a potential customer (or service user) to being a service user.
In 2016 I witnessed around 90% of my clients experience the same issues with digital marketing and SEO - they each struggled to overcome those issues for different reasons, and my clients weren't alone. I spoke to other businesses and social organisations and they struggled too with the same things. So in this article I want to give you 5 New Years Resolutions which will boost your business in 2017.
1) I Will Write Every Day
The curse of writers block - its something we all suffer from, even those of us who have written articles for years. But the best way to overcome it is not to set a day aside a month and try to write 10 articles, but rather to constantly write little and often. Practice makes perfect - and it oils those brainy cogs.
My advice is to set 30 minutes aside each day just for writing blogs/articles or updating content on your website, something related to your content directly. It doesn't matter if it ends up online or not, what matters is the habit-forming and practice your are getting.
The reality of this New Years Resolution is that it will enable you to Blog at Least Once Per Week - that's right not once or twice a month, once per week is your goal here. Be regular - Post on the same day each week, schedule them in, write ahead of then so you aren't rushing and can do some research, you can then plan what you are writing.
Daily: 30 Minutes
Weekly: 2hrs 30 mins
2) Create Campaigns That Last 2 Months (or More!)
This sounds odd for a small business, but the reality is that SME's and Social Enterprises don't have huge amounts of cash to throw at advertising and what little they do needs to be used carefully - testing adverts, creating awesome graphics (hopefully you've found some amazing tutorials to do that also) and getting some help if needed.
A 2 month campaign allows you to start to test what your audience is receptive too and what it isn't. Lessons that you can use in your next campaign too. For example - if you are a photographer and you found that a specific page such as Manchester Wedding Photographer worked better than your homepage in adverts, you may summise that other specific pages such as Lake District Wedding Photographer would do well too in adverts. Conversely you may find the homepage outperforms these because maybe it has a great slideshow on it.
A longer offer / campaign also allows more people more time to see and digest your offers, and may make you seem less "flakey".
3) I Will Listen to One Podcast Per Week
Podcasts are an amazing source of information that will help your business grow, both in terms of audience size and revenue. They are also a really handy way to keep up to date with the latest news from Google and elsewhere in the web, plus you can listen on the way to work, at the gym or even whilst typing a blog ;)
Note: Not all blogs are loved by everyone, some styles fit some ears better than others, so feel free to look around and pick and choose. Here are a few of my most loved currently.
- Smart Passive Income Podcast - Pat Flynn
- Soulful PR Podcast - Janet Murray
- Boagworld Web Podcast - Paul Boag
- Marketing Over Coffee
4) I Will Master The Use of Social Media
Mastering social media can be a time-hole if you don't know where to look. There are so many tutorials and blogs out there that it can be a little scary, also how do you measure your success?
Ok, I won't answer all that in this bit of text but the reality is Facebook and Twitter are huge and are not going away. Instagram continue to grow and video is a key part of any social media strategy for 2017 and beyond. Learning how social media can work for your business and social enterprise is going to be a key part of what you do this year and it will pay off really quickly, it will take some time but the results are a larger audience base that interacts and will convert more often.
Want to get started? Check out my guide to Facebook Mastery for Business
5) I Will Ask for Help
Relax. This isn't a sales pitch.
In the resolutions above I've set weekly tasks of 5hrs 30 mins - across the week its just over an hour a day - all stuff that will really help your business. It's realistic to think you can achieve the above.
My 5th New Years Resolution is all about being realistic and setting goals that are achievable, but goals which you will need help with. Goals which you may need to ask for someones guidance on, some help on creating graphics or materials, some advice on which email service to use, some advice on how to make the most of your website.
The reality is we are not all knowing oracles. No one person is an expert in everything and that is why we search for things online, we search for guides on this that and everything else. Asking for a hand now and again is normally the way to get the best outcome. Don't be afraid to ask for a helping hand.
Whats your new years resolution in 2017?