The success of samurai swords comes from a rigid flexibility. There's an amazing book about it called The Craft of the Japanese Sword by a dude called Leon Kapp and his wife Hiroko Kapp. The book is a study of making Samurai swords generally through the lens of following the Japanese swordsmith, Yoshindo Yoshihara. It is an art form of headache-inducing proportions.
I like working that book into conversations when I can. It’s basically a study into how much work and passion goes into making something beautiful.
Like any successful samurai sword, a successful plan needs a degree of rigid flexibility. A strategy for your marketing needs a purposeful shape, so you can wield it with strong intent. And it needs to be flexible, so that it can withstand sudden turns of fate.
It’s tempting to attack your marketing without a plan, and a written one at that. Written is good, because then you’ve got a record of what you want to do.
A written plan for your marketing strategy is much more likely to succeed.
It’s too big a subject to go into exhaustively in one blog. You can start out right with these four things.
Delegate. Many great minds falter under the pressure of not-good-enough-yet syndrome... or turn into a micro-managing machine. These instincts, though hard to resist, can be the difference between holding onto ideas FOREVER, versus having a face out there, talking your talk and walking your walk...while you manage other facets of your daily business.
Yes, content is crucial. IT'S YOUR FACE. it's best to put it out there, rather than maniacally edited and lost in the perennial primping phase.
If your company had a face, your marketing would wear that face. We want our business to put on a good face. If we try to do all our own marketing and run our business, both are likely to slip. Find people who understand what you’re trying to do, and get them on the same page with you. Then give them work!
Follow brand guidelines. Your brand is the psyche of your business culture. Your tribe’s loyalty will depend on your ability to represent your brand with success. Figuring out your brand is a whole other thing, and we can help you with that as well. Color palette, Yes. Brand Manifesto? Absolutely. Once you have it figured out, ensure that your whole marketing team follows that guideline. Brand Voice can be developed over time, but building a consistent vision of your brand over time...one that reflects your ethos is the crucial first step. The rest will follow naturally...as will brand fans.
Look beyond your team to source content. Your business operates in a big playground. Your tribe likes things from that playground other than you—and, odds are, you do too. It makes perfect sense to share content from elsewhere in the market playground as part of your marketing strategy. Doing so demonstrates your awareness of the rest of the playground, and it helps your tribe build associations between you and the rest of the playground. Give yourself context. I curate a daily paper : Wellness Quest Daily. It features many articles I didn't write myself. Paper.li makes it easy to create your daily ode of love and devotion to our followers.
3. Build an editorial calendar. Strategy is all the infrastructure you put in place. It’s your plan. It’s your tools and apps. It’s your people and how you get them there. And it’s driven by your goals and the dates you want to achieve them. Start building your calendar now. Fill it with the dates of your goals, then start filling in content ideas based on building towards those goals. You will probably need more time than you expect.
4. Set out reasonable goals, follow through and measure results. Putting content out there for the sake of having content is a slippery slope. It can end up becoming this constant all-consuming pressure of "needing" to create more and more content, which can indeed be cumbersome.
Think of Content as a flower garden (Or Plant Parenting). Every piece of content can grow and propagate, don't stop at planting one specie. Go nuts, go for colors, and variety and awesome configurations of words, pictures, videos and all things that reflect your brand identity. Share it. Admire it enough to send anyone and everyone a personal note about it. Many clients of ours found themselves stuck with more content than they could ever seed and propagate in a year. Stop and smell the flowers. Pun absolutely intended, sorry not sorry. Every good piece of content is for sharing. With millions of potential readers, you likely just need a few thousand visits on your website a day....and a few hundred subscribers. It starts with tending what you've planted. And giving it away!
Not sure where to start? Unsure if your current templates reflect what your future customers need to see? One Workshop can get you started on a perfect learning pathway.
Is Content Creation YOUR thing? We're hiring.