Download the worksheet here.
It’s week three of summer school, and today we are talking about strategy.
Initially I thought maybe let’s talk about relating your marketing strategy to your business goals, but I think that everybody intuitively kind of understands that type of discussion already.
If your business goal is to add one new client this year, probably don’t go focusing all your time on social media ads and spending two grand on Facebook ads every month.
Instead, put your time into content, make sure it gets in front of your clients. You’ll probably get more referrals than that and easily add that one client.
So, today instead, we’re going to talk about something that is less often discussed with strategy, and that’s talking about macro strategy decisions and micro strategy decisions.
Let’s get started.
A macro strategy decision is a big decision about what you’re doing with your marketing. So, for example, maybe we have identified that we want to increase our credibility.
We want more people to know about us. And so in order to do that, we really feel like we need to get our website traffic up.
So we’ve never done blogging before. We’re going to start a blog. OK, so your macro decision is that big decision of “we want blogging to be a foundational part of our marketing strategy.”
Macro decisions are ones that you want to make relatively slowly. You want to do the work up front to make sure that this is a good fit for you and your brand. For instance, if you hate writing, then you probably shouldn’t try to write a blog by yourself.
You need to do the upfront legwork to get somebody to write your ideas out for you, or you need to look elsewhere and say, OK, I’m fine with popping my iPhone open, throw my ring later on and so I can do a camera for a couple of minutes every week. So maybe a video blog is going to be a better decision.
So you want to do up front work and then any changes to those macro decisions you want to make slowly as well.
You want to give them room to breathe. So if you start a blog, you know, you want to give it a good six months of consistent effort to determine whether this was a good foundational part of your strategy or not.
What you don’t want to do is say, “Well, it’s been two months. I published four blogs. I published them irregularly. I did three in the first week. I did another blog a couple of weeks later. Nobody’s read them. I’m going to quit and I’m going to start a podcast now instead.”
That type of ping ponging between macro decisions is not what you want. That shotgun approach to marketing is not going to result in good results. It’s just not going to give you anything to go off of other either from a qualitative or quantitative perspective.
So, be slow in your decision making about these macro strategy decisions. However, adaptability and flexibility is key with good marketing.
You want to be flexible, and that’s where micro strategy decisions come in. Micro strategy decisions should be made quickly. You should be able to look at the trends and the data around what you’re doing and be able to make subtle tweaks to what you’re doing to see what can be most effective.
Using blogging again as our example, micro strategy decisions about our blog could be things like what day of the week we publish our blogs on.
It could be what types of content we’re writing about.
It could be the length of our blogs, even like maybe we have been trying super short blogs.
Maybe instead of doing four really short blogs a month, we’re going to instead publish two long, in-depth, detailed blogs a month.
That would be what I’d call a micro decision because it doesn’t change what you’re doing on the top in that macro level, but it tweaks it and adds nuance to that macro decision that you made.
Another micro strategy decision could be the promotion of the pillar content that you’re creating.
It could be changing the framework around how you’re making people aware that this content exists. It could be deciding:
Do we send the email to our list that we publish the blog?
Do we do it on the same day?
Do we do it a day or two later after the blog publishes?
Do we pivot our focus on promoting it on Facebook versus LinkedIn versus Twitter?
What you’re doing is you’re tracking these things and you’re seeing what’s rising to the top and then you’re able to pivot towards what’s working best without wholesale changing what you’re doing, so those are the micro changes.
Let me give you an example of this. I talked to advisers all the time about the marketing strategies that they’ve used before they talked to me. And usually what it is, is they make a macro decision.
They run it for a couple of months, but they don’t make those little tweaks inside of it.
They run Facebook ads for a month or two or three, but they run the same ad for a couple of months with a little bit of spend behind it.
They’re not doing that next layer of analysis and saying, “OK, I’m going to run three ads this first month and see which one performs once. And then in month two, we’re going to push more of our spend towards that ad and maybe sub in to different ads into those B and C options and continue to test and iterate for a quarter or two before we make a decision to stop doing it.”
Usually it goes, “Well, we ran these we did a little spend. They didn’t really work, so we stopped. We haven’t done anything in the past year.”
An advisor that I talked to at a conference who told me he’d been blogging for five years and didn’t really get anything out of it. So, my first questions with that are always, “Well, how often are you blogging and how are you telling people about it?”
And the answers were one blog, a month short blog, a couple hundred words and wasn’t really promoting it wasn’t even really telling clients about it.
Those are some things where micro decisions could have seriously, dramatically impacted the success of that macro decision.
It seems like it doesn’t work, but maybe it’s those little nuances that are the reason why it’s not working.
It’s not that blogging can’t be effective for you. It’s that you don’t have that second layer of analysis going on to make it work best for you.
So, today’s worksheet is super simple. It’s just going to help you identify what’s a macro part of our strategy and then what are micro tweaks that we can make to it to get you thinking on that level so that’s not a wholesale start and stop up here.
It’s, “How can we use a scientific method to make a hypothesis? We’ve got an idea and we’re going to test it out and iterate based on that.”
That’s really all it is. So that’s today’s worksheet. I hope it’s helpful for you.
We’ll see you next week.