It’s that time of the year where we should all be starting to think about what we want to do with our business next year. Some people do business planning according to the financial years and at other times, but almost everyone pulls some kind of plan together at the new year.
The first point I want to make is, let’s agree not to just set goals. Recently I’ve spoken a bit about how goals are for losers and that winners have systems and plans. With that said, let’s make sure that our ambitions for 2017 are all backed by execution plans and real strategies to get things done.
My plan for 2017 is to substantially grow Casual Marketer. In 2016, I was interested in establishing what I was doing, laying some groundwork and getting myself into a routine around writing and delivering.
Time for some truth.
My problem with the Casual Marketer business was that I didn’t set lofty enough ambitions for myself. I was focused on doing this for me. I knew that I could add value to people, help solve problems, educate, entertain and even dare I say, inspire some people to take steps forward on their own journey, but predominantly this exercise was about me.
When I launched the newsletter back in January, I did so with the idea that I might not have any customers at all. I was totally content to write the newsletters without selling a single subscription. I wanted to create the content and get it out of my head and onto something tangible.
So this coming year, I’m setting the bar higher for myself.
What I’m going to do is go back to the basics of building online businesses… Right back to the core principles of how you become successful.
See, that’s why this post is entitled “Not The Next Big Thing” because everyone is going to share with you their goals for 2017 and to quote Trump, “They are going to be yuge!” Some people will even share with you how they think they are going to execute, but I’m willing to bet that it’s going to be about some “ninja tactic” or “game-changing technology”.
They are trying to sell you (and themselves to a degree) that they are going to be “The Next Big Thing” and you should buy a ticket before prices go up and the train leaves the station.
Not me though – I’m not selling the dream.
I’m going to sell you on the idea that there is no “Next Big Thing” and that the only way to get to where you want to go is to bust your backside and work harder than everybody else in your own way. You’re going to get to where you want to be by having a plan that gets you there, slowly and surely over time because you’re investing your time and energy in the right places that pay dividends over the long term.
What I’m doing next year isn’t going to be sexy at all, it’s going to be downright pedestrian but it will work because it’s tried and tested.
I’m going to focus on creating good content and then using my SEO skills to get that content to rank for things that people are searching for. I’m going to give people the answers to questions that they are asking.
I’m going to create more products that solve a wider array of problems in bite-sized pieces for people. These products are going to be digestible and allow customers to come into my world at lower price points without commitments and give myself the opportunity to show them that I’m worth committing more time, effort and money to.
I’m going to reach out to my network of friends and business associates to partner more closely with them to see if there are tangible ways that we can work together to help grow each other’s businesses. Some of that might be working together promoting each other’s products if they are a good fit or it might be supporting each other in different ways. This is an underused asset in my business and I plan to correct that.
I’m going to start paying for traffic. If you want to successfully grow your business online in a predictable way, then having a paid traffic strategy is a great capability to have.
Before I can buy traffic successfully I need to hone and improve my offers. I need to sharpen up all aspects of my offers from the value proposition through to the presentation and the copy of the offers themselves. Sending prospects to poor offers is dumb.
And I’m going to continue to work hard. Casual Marketer is a side hustle business for me on top of all the other things I do. Part of the plan for next year will be to cut out some things that I do that distract me, but the reality is, I have a 40 hour a week job that I enjoy and still manage to find 20 hours per week to work on Casual Marketer. I’m going to squeeze more out of those 20 hours and find better, more valuable ways to use my time.
Like I said, none of those things is sexy, you won’t find “The Next Big Thing” in that list of plans and ideas. What you’re going to see is determination, focus and a willingness to work hard. There are no bright shiny objects, there are only dull unpolished objects in that list.
And my point is, your business plan for 2017 doesn’t need to have the latest webinar tool or a shopping cart that integrates with a dozen tools to kick off crazy automations. You need to set yourself objectives and simple plans that you can follow. You need to do things that work all the time.
Make 2017 the year where you set big dirty targets for yourself and you underpin them with simple strategies that are effective and work. Stop looking for silver bullets and start looking for proven winners.
What are your business objectives for next year? Reply to this post by leaving a comment below or head over to the Casual Marketer Academy Group on Facebook and share them with the broader community. I’d be happy to help keep you accountable!