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Designing a Year of Success

April 8, 2017

The New Year is rolling by, Spring is in the air.  How are those New Year Resolutions you set back in January?  Are you tired of the same old failed resolutions - me too!  Want a better way?  Join me for the next few minutes to find out what you can do to Make 2017 a Year of Success!  Learn some motivational techniques to goal setting with a focus on Marketing.  Artists and entrepreneurs have some extra challenges along with glorious benefits – working alone, which translates into the fact that the incentive must come from within and so do most deadlines.  You must do for you.  Let’s make the rest of 2017 full of enthusiasm and inspiration.

 

Goals give us direction; they are a powerful force in play on a universal, conscious and subconscious level.  Goals give us direction toward the life we want.  What would you like to have happen in your life this year, in your business?  What would you like to do, what would you like to accomplish? What particular areas of growth would you like to have happen for you? What problems would you like to see solved? 

 

WRITE IT DOWN.  Set aside time and write it all down – as an affirmation of you, your business, your life and your ability to choose, change and achieve your desires.  The act of writing inserts the goals in your mind, connecting the hand to the brain.

 

Goal Setting

Without goals we are adrift, we may work hard, but seemingly don’t get anywhere worthwhile.  One of the key reasons we may feel that way is that we don’t spend enough time thinking about what we want from life, and haven’t set formal goals.

 

Goal setting is a powerful process for envisioning your ideal future and for motivating yourself to turn your vision into reality. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you must concentrate your efforts.  You’ll also be able to quickly spot the distractions that can lead you off track. 

 

Why Set Goals?  Achievers in all fields all set goals – athletes, entrepreneurs, successful business people.  Setting goals for long-term vision gives short term motivation.  With clearly defined goals, you will measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals and you’ll see forward progress in what might formerly have seemed like a long, futile grind.   You will benefit from increased self- confidence and competence in achieving the goals you’ve set.   Completion is key to fulfillment, to happiness, by setting goals you can achieve them and make your business the fruitful enterprise you have always envisioned.    

 

Backward Goal Setting

Look at your Goals from the ultimate objective, the end and work backwards to develop your plan.  Looking back you mentally prepare yourself for success, map out milestones you need to achieve for the desired results.  Indecision is the greatest thief of opportunity.  Procrastination may throw you off course. Goals give you a starting point and a destination and keep you on track. 

  • State your Goal as a positive statement, be precise.

  • Deconstruct the Goal, break it down.  List everything that needs to be done to reach that goal.

  •  These become your mini-goals, action steps and milestones that you can now start working towards.

  • Order the steps in sequence.  Some may be done in parallel. 

  • Add Accomplish By dates to the steps. Be reasonable.

  • Give each goal a priority, this helps with a sense of overwhelm from multiple goals.

  • Execute

  • Celebrate each step accomplished; these are milestones towards your progress.

  • Attain personal satisfaction as each step is completed in the process.

  • Lessens frustration and complications that occur during the planning stage.

  • Establishes a time line for completing tasks.

When you set a goal from a backwards vantage point it’s easier to see the necessity of sticking to a self-imposed timetable that works for you realistically.   It takes time to get used to this concept of goal setting, nevertheless once done this tool ensures that many obstacles are avoided and paves the way for creation. 

 

Adjust your expectations and plan

Setting overly ambitious goals often has the result of making people feel dissatisfied with their incremental progress.  Creating too high of a goal leads to dissolution, doubt and disillusion. 

 

Track your Progress

Changes in behavior are made by using concrete skills.  Make a plan, track your progress in a chart or notebook. 

 

Find Outside Support

In January, at the start of a new year, it all seems easy, you’re self-motivated, enthusiastic – ask for support, team up with a fellow artist, entrepreneur, friend, to report your progress to each other.  You will hold each other accountable for your progress, champion the successes and motivate each other to succeed.

 

Time Management

What is the most valuable use of my time right now?  Ask yourself when the day is over what three things will I want to have accomplished?

Self-discipline of organizing your work and focusing your highest value tasks is the starting point of getting your time under control and lowering your stress levels.

Before you start a new task, take a moment and ask yourself is this something that really matters to me today? 

 

Tips

If you wake-up with ideas take the first hour of the day to write down your ideas before they fade from your memory or get censored. 

 

Need help focusing – create a 30 minute playlist of energizing music, without lyrics, listen to it to hyper-concentrate, close the applications that distract you like email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, until the playlist is over.

 

Triangle of Productivity – use your email inbox, your calendar and your to-do list as a trusted, look no further place for every current responsibility in your life. Use an app for your to-do list, like Wunderlist, ToDoist, Asana, Trello, RememberTheMilk.  Personally I use Wunderlist and find it quite helpful as I can add items, check things off from my computer, iPad or Phone.

Set aside one day for low return tasks, maximize your productivity, procrastinate less and you will have more energy for important things. 

 

Marketing

Ditch the “catch as catch can” marketing approach and put together a plan that you can manage along with your daily business operations.  You can’t focus on marketing only during slow times – the results end up on a feast or famine rollercoaster.  A well-planned marketing program helps you build sales year-round and is easier to manage because it alleviates the stress and anxiety of playing catch-up every few months to jumpstart sales. 

 

Commit to a plan.

Use a mix of tactics.

A single tactic is rarely sufficient to move prospects through the sales cycle.  Direct mail is great for Cold prospects, it introduces you and your art to new potential clients.  Email is appropriate for Warm prospects that are familiar with you and your art and are mid-way through the sales cycle. Hot prospects, those who are close to hiring you or have hired you in the past need personalized outreach, phone calls, specialized promos and personal emails.  Regular posts to social media, submitting to curated accounts can increase your exposure exponentially.

 

When creating your marketing program it is essential to include at least one marketing tactic to reach each of these types of prospects.

 

Sales Plan

There are four basic parts of a sales plan:

  • New business acquisition strategies – a plan to accomplish your goal

  • New business acquisition tactics/steps

  • Existing business growth strategies – a plan to accomplish your goal

  • Existing business growth tactics/steps

Examples: 

New Business

Strategy:   Increase awareness in the marketplace of my products, services or solutions.

 Tactics:

  • Join and participate in no less than three professional associations and organizations that my best prospects and clients belong to.  Like APA, ASMP, ADC, LinkedIn, LinkedIn professional groups and charities too.

  • Attend any and all trade shows and conventions that my best prospects and clients attend.

  • On a regular basis, contribute articles and white papers that address the interests and concerns of this population.  Regularly post to LinkedIn – announce new jobs, projects, write a case study and post as an article to share with your network.

Existing Customer Business Strategies and Tactics

Strategy:  Create a touch-point program.

Tactics:

  • Contact each of my existing clients once per month with a new idea or information or simply say hello.

  • Create a customized artistic promo with my imagery.

  • Take at least three existing clients to lunch each month and invite a new prospect to join us.

Strategy:  Prospect within my existing customer base.

Tactics:

  • Knock on no less than three new doors, departments or divisions within each of my existing clients' businesses.

  • Ask each of my existing clients to introduce me to one other person within their organization.

The final part of your sales plan is you must detail the timeline for implementation of each of the tactics in your sales plan. It's best to show a week-to-week schedule.

 

Once you've created your Goal & Action Plan, Sales Plan and Marketing Plan, don't file them away! Keep it handy and revisit and revise on a regular basis. Stay on track with your plan, and you'll stay on goal and have a Year of Success. 

 

If you need help defining your goals, crafting a plan or editing your imagery – reach out, I’m happy to help.

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