The first part of any plan is determining what you want to accomplish. Your goals can be as simple as a dollar figure or as complex as expanding into a new area or specialty.
Make your goals as S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) as possible and focus on areas you can actually measure. This will make choosing your tactics and making hard decisions during the year much easier.
To help you narrow your business focus for 2013, ask yourself the following: “What was my biggest missed/unexplored opportunity in 2012?”
Once you’ve set your goals, you need to decide who you want to spend time with and which clients are most likely to help you succeed. Answering the “who” question will help focus your time and efforts to reach your goals. Ask yourself where you found your highest quality leads in 2012 to see if it those tactics will serve you in 2013.
Remembering that “You Are Your Brand”, keep in mind that clients gravitate to the business person they feel will best serve their specific needs. To be successful every business person needs a brand strategy that answers the question: “Who do you want to be when your business gains momentum?” Defining yourself as an expert in a particular area or niche can help the right clients find you much easier. Developing a brand strategy or positioning statement is easy. Just answer this, “If someone describes you as a professional, what do you want them to say?”
Be clear on your goals; for example: “Starting a new blog” isn’t a great goal. “Building an online reputation that yields clients each month” is a much better goal. Clients don’t just fall out of the sky. To engage the right clients today, you need the right tools, and a good plan for getting the exposure that will boost your bottom line.
Examine your key messages and ask yourself, “What do I offer that no one else can?”
Your web page information is the reason(s) clients should call you over the next person in your area of expertise. This should show up in your marketing materials, websites, ads and anywhere else you promote your business. Is your business card professional and does it include a recent picture of you? All pictures and information should be up to date on business cards and web presence. Basically, your key message converts your brand strategy into words and phrases that explain why people need you over someone else in your field. This would be a great time to take a second look at the copy on your website and determine if it is time to focus your internet or web presence for bottom line impact.
You have a web page, but is it helping you generate business by getting found? Does your web copy need to be rewritten by a professional? Google yourself and check your page rank by searching your field of expertise in your area. If you’re not on the first page, chances are you’ll never be found. Over 75% of all searchers never get past the first page!
Consider creating a goal to appear in the top three Google spots to help you generate referrals that will boost your bottom line. Keep in mind that leveraging social media is about raising awareness about your business organically, not abusing your connections with marketing banter.
Start 2013 off right and avoid using your social profile as a never ending stream of useless information or shameless marketing tactics. Look instead for interesting natural opportunities to mention your business (like thank you notes, news, and stats). Some interesting business content you can share socially include checking in at your most recent location, InstaGram photos, Pinterest, or local information regarding your field of expertise.
A New Year is a perfect time to create a New Beginning in your life or business. Remember, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will keep getting what you have always gotten!
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