You make more money in your business when you have a plan!

And creating your marketing calendar is the first step in the process.

One thing that kept cropping when I was teaching at a recent event was the fact that so many of you are getting overwhelmed with your marketing; not so much with the list building or connecting with potential clients, but your actual marketing planning, i.e. what email to send when, what to promote when etc.

Just a couple of examples of what I’m talking about:

  • You’re taking part in a Giveaway Event that has specific promo dates, but then you realize that these dates are slap-bang in the middle of another promotion.
  • You’re being asked to speak at events or telesummits and don’t know how this fits into your overall marketing plan.
  • You want to launch a new product or program but are not sure how all the different moving pieces fit together.

The busier you get in your business the harder it becomes to keep a handle on things.

For all of these scenarios there’s one very easy solution … create a marketing calendar.

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A marketing calendar is a very powerful business planning tool, and an essential one for your business if it’s to grow and flourish. With a marketing calendar, you can see at a glance:

  • Upcoming promotions that you need to prepare for.
  • If any of your promotions conflict or overlap with one another.
  • If you can accept that offer to speak at a telesummit or event (and be able to promote it too).
  • Whether you need to move things around a little to allow for an unexpected opportunity.
  • What you need to be doing and by when.

This is the exact process that I do in  my business — in fact I’ve just done this for 2017.  And the exact process my private clients get taken through when we create their own marketing calendars, using my strategic Marketing Action Plan (MAP) tool. So today I thought I’d share that process with you so you can create your own marketing calendar.

Step 1: Create your Year-at-a-Glance Overview

Even though I teach chunking everything down into 90-day Marketing Action Plans (MAP), I have to start with the big picture in mind. So the first step I take is to create my Year-at-a-Glance overview.  I have a template that I use specifically for this purpose, but you can easily create your own using Word or Excel. Basically, you list out your months and then identify what you’ll be focusing on that month by way of promotions.

There may be some months throughout the year that you do the same thing each year, so go ahead and add those, i.e. every December I focus on a Business Planning program, so I will go ahead and add that at the start of the year for December.

When thinking about each of your 2017 months, what do you want them to look like?

What products/programs/services do you want to focus on for each month/quarter?

What list building activities will you be doing?

What email promotions will you be doing?

And what “fun” things do you want to build into your life, i.e. vacations, hobbies etc. Each quarter should have some personal goals in there too – it’s not all about business.

At this stage, it’s just an overview; all you’re doing is getting a feel for what you want your business to look like. Don’t over-think this too much.

Step 2: Transfer Everything to Your Marketing Calendar

I have two separate calendars — a regular day-to-day calendar and a marketing calendar.  And this is what I recommend you do too — create a calendar solely for your marketing activities so that you can lay it all out.

One of my favorite tools for creating these calendars is to use Google calendars. It’s easy to set up; it’s easy to move things around; and it’s easy to overlay it with your regular business calendar. Also, as Google calendars sync with your smart phone (and iPhone/iPad too via the Google app), you always have instant, up-to-date access.

If a Google calendar’s not your thing, you can also use a dry-erase planner from your local office supplies store, and hang it in your office. The dry erase feature means that it’s easy for you to move things around without it becoming too messy. Post-It notes also work well too!

Whichever method you choose (and you might have your own preference) creating a marketing calendar is essential to the success of your business … and your sanity!

Where are you struggling to create your marketing calendar? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to help.

(c) 2017 Tracey Lawton Training & Consulting LLC

Tracey LawtonAbout the author: Online Business Development Strategist, Tracey Lawton, teaches life coaches, business coaches, and virtual assistants how to become more organized, streamlined, and automated so that they don’t constantly bottleneck projects and processes. Having the right systems in place leads to consistent revenues, more clients, and less stress and overwhelm. Get your free Systems Checklist TODAY and see if you have all of your bases covered.