Lesson Four:

Specify Your Action Plan

 

On the “Rapid Results Cheat Sheet” you’ve written down the one marketing strategy you will focus on for the next three months. Now, let’s move down the sheet and tackle the next few problems, which involve specifying your action plan.

 

Track Your Progress

 

In the last modules, we talked about setting specific goals and strategies so that you can track progress.

 

There are a number of metrics available to do this. In fact, there are too many. The Internet is great at providing metrics on every single element of a marketing strategy, but this can be overwhelming and waste a great deal of time. Instead, you need to narrow it down to just a small handful of metrics that will tell you exactly whether your strategy is working or not.

 

Which ones you’ll track depends on the marketing strategy you’re using.

 

Examples of metrics to track include:

 

  • Conversion of traffic to leads
  • Conversion of leads to customers
  • Revenue from new sales to current customers
  • Cost per conversion if using an ad network like Facebook Ads
  • Percentage increase in repeat buyers
  • Email open rates and clicks on links in emails
  • Traffic from social media sites to landing pages
  • Downloads of lead magnet and new subscribers for email list
  • Engagement with email subscribers or social media followers measured in comments, likes, shares, clicks, and so on

Brainstorm a list of metrics related to the marketing goal and strategy you picked and then narrow it down. Prioritize the list so that you have the most relevant and important metrics at the top. Now, choose only the top three to use for measuring your marketing strategy.

 

Create a plan to analyze your metrics on a regular basis. Track metrics at a minimum of once a week. Look at your schedule and choose a frequency that works for you.

 

Specify the Resources You Need

 

Before you get started, it’s important to identify what resources you’ll need to implement your strategy and measure results. The key resource areas are:

 

People. What staff do you need to carry out your plan? Are there any outsourcers, freelancers, or virtual help needed? Will you need tech help? Are there business partners or colleagues you’ll need assistance from?

 

Money. What expenses will you face along the way? Consider things such as ad money, subscriptions, memberships, tools you need to buy, such as software, rental fees, and anything else you’ll need to pay for.

 

Tools. Will you need any software programs, dashboards, physical tools, computers, devices, and so on to carry out your plan?

 

Training. Are there new skills you or your team members will need to learn?

 

Coaching. Will you need someone to advise you and walk you through the process?

 

Brainstorm everything you might need along the way. When estimating costs or the amount of a certain resource you need, padding the amount a little will help ensure against running short. It’s better to overestimate what you need than to underestimate and come up short-handed.

 

After you’ve considered all the above, what are you currently lacking? If what you need is way beyond your regular budget, you might decide to ditch the marketing strategy you’ve chosen and go with something a bit more reasonable. If you choose to stick to the strategy you’ve chosen, there may be ways you can expand your budget to accommodate.

 

Decide how you will procure the resources you need.

 

Outline Your Top Five Tasks

 

Now, refer to your cheat sheet. It’s time to create your high-level action plan. These are the key phases of your project and the specifics that will get it done.

 

For example, if you are creating a new Facebook marketing funnel to attract new leads, your main tasks might be:

 

  • Identifying and creating a lead magnet
  • Setting up your funnel pages and lists, such as your opt-in page, thank-you message, download page, and so on
  • Writing follow-up emails
  • Setting up a Facebook Ad to drive traffic to your lead magnet
  • Monitoring your ad for cost per conversion

Sometimes it helps to create your action steps backwards. It may be easier to envision the goal and then ask yourself, “What needs to happen in order to reach my goal?” Keep asking as you work your way backward and identify each step along the way.

 

For example, say your goal is to grow your email subscribers to 500 members. How do you know when you’ve done this? You need 500 people to sign up. On the technical side, you need your landing page, opt-in, and list set up. Then, you need to ask yourself, “How do I get 500 people to the landing page?” This leads to your traffic strategy and all the steps that go into that.

 

Once you’ve finished the “Rapid Results Marketing Cheat Sheet,” you’ll need to create a more detailed action plan for each of the five tasks. What you’ll need to decide is:

 

  • A breakdown of the detailed tasks involved in each of the major ones
  • A deadline for each task, which you will put on your calendar
  • Who is responsible for completing each task
  • Any additional resources you’ll need

If you have team members or others who are involved in implementing your strategy, you should include them in the detailed project planning after you’ve shared your goal and strategy.

 

This requires more work and consideration, but with everything planned and in place, you’ll see how much more smoothly it goes than trying to do everything at once.

 

Learning Activity:

 

  1. Fill in the last sections of the Rapid Results Marketing Cheat Sheet:
    • Top 3 metrics to track
    • Resources needed
    • Top 5 tasks to complete
    • Dates for reviewing progress