The basics of an online presence – or life – plan

by | Sep 12, 2012 | Planning Your Business

back to basics
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Recently, I saw an advertisement for Deliver magazine’s back to basics post about the 7 tips to starting a direct mail marketing campaign, and I realized that the steps could apply to almost anything in life and business. Here’s what I mean:

1. Set Goals
No matter what you are trying to achieve, from getting more leads, to getting more clients, to getting more love in your life, you need to set some goals. These are things that help you recognize that you are being successful on your journey.

For example, I have monthly financial goals … a minimum amount I want to earn for that month, knowing that making more would make me even happier. I also have goals for my love life, my career as a whole and even within Toastmaster (which I consider a subset of my career goals).

Having a goal helps you chart the course of your journey.

2) Create a plan and budget
In business, it is crucial to create a plan and budget. This helps you stay on track. The problem most creative professionals have with this is a perception that plans and budgets are constricting. They don’t have to be. They can be flexible and freeing and help you reach your creative potential. It’s all in how you approach them. I have a program that can help you create a flexible plan that works with your creative personality. You can learn more about it here.

3) Develop the list
In the context of a marketing plan, this is the list of people you will send you marketing message to. But in other contexts, it can refer to your list of:

  • goals and tasks you want to achieve
  • qualities you are looking for in a partner
  • qualities you want to develop in yourself
  • activities you want to experience

Or anything else you can think of.

Many creative people think that lists are boring and stunt their creativity. Again, this is a mindset issue. I look at lists as a storage device. When I think of something I want to do, or think is brilliant, I write it down on a list so I don’t have to worry about forgetting it.

I have both online and offline files and folders of story ideas … those are essentially lists of projects I want to work on at some point.

Lists are not always numbered or bulleted items on a piece of paper. You’re creative … think outside the 1., 2., 3.!

4. Send the right message
In marketing and business, this is the right market to message match. Are you speaking your target market’s language?

If life, it means are you being clear? Is what you are saying what you are actually meaning? Is your body language in alignment with your words. I know I have trouble with this sometimes … especially when I’m talking to someone I admire, respect or am attracted to.

Being mindful of your message and how you deliver it is helpful in all areas of your life and business.

5) Create unique design
You are a unique person. Your business is unique to you. Therefore, you and it deserve a unique design.

This means your website shouldn’t be some template you found online. It should express your brand.

This means the clothes you wear shouldn’t be whatever happened to fit when you went shopping, or what your friends or family think you should wear. Your wardrobe should be an expression of your personal brand. (Again, this is something I’m working on getting back to, myself. So I understand this can be a work in progress.)

6) Make the right choice of fulfillment provider
This step takes into account that you can’t do this alone. You can be in business by yourself … you need support staff, you need vendors, etc. Also, in life, you can’t do this by yourself. You need people in your life who have your back and support you as you work to achieve your dreams.

Choose your supporters wisely. They should fill your life with positive energy, but also be able to speak up when they think you might be taking a wrong turn. They should respect your decisions … even when they disagree with them. They should have integrity and honesty. And, they should be a compliment to you … not a duplicate.

7) Test, measure and refine
The plan you pull together today may not be appropriate for your journey tomorrow. Course correct. Plan, then tweak the plan as you go. No one can know the future down to the last detail because it is constantly in flux. That’s why plans written in stone become obsolete so quickly. Write your plans in pencil, so you can erase and correct along the way.

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