Some people are natural-born planners. They think through an idea, start to finish, not only looking for loopholes, but asking the important questions:
- WHY am I doing this?
- WHY am I doing this now?
- WHAT do I expect my outcome will be?
- HOW will I test and track to know what my outcome is for this particular plan?
- WHAT else could I be spending my time, money and energy on instead, that would yield greater results?
But some people are do-ers. They like to jump feet first into everything they do, and worry about the details later. When it comes to marketing, this is a huge mistake.
Planning allows you to brainstorm and think through possible scenarios before you commit your time, energy and money into your marketing ideas. Ninety-five percent of the time, I advocate planning, especially if you’re starting a new, un-tested marketing campaign, using a new marketing technique, or launching a new product or service. The time you spend with research and working through possible alternatives, as well as the time you spend thinking about how you might handle worse-case scenarios, will reap huge rewards later on.
For example, I see everyone jumping on the social media marketing bandwagon. Every major conference I’ve been to in the past year has at least one breakout session on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. You are told by the speaker that you must do social media marketing to stay relevant, so the moment you get back to the office you sign up for the social media sites and feel your way through the maze of new technology. You spend $1,000 on a customized blog. But without a strategy for WHY you are doing it, HOW to do it effectively, and WHAT outcomes you can expect, you are wasting your time and money.
Every self-employed person will tell you that there’s no such thing as being 100% sure of success. But with strategic thinking and planning, you are moving yourself higher on the Probability of Success Scale than if you jump in without thinking.