Episode 081: A Look at My Quarterly Planning Part 1

October 26, 2021

Chasing Simple Marketing


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I'm  Amanda — simplicity-focused content marketing strategist.  I'm here to help you fit your marketing into your business.

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The Chasing Simple Content Planner

Sharing my quarterly planning process so that you can ensure your marketing plan aligns with your business goals!

Want a peak at my quarterly planning process?

Today I’m sharing all of the details about how I create a strategic marketing plan that truly aligns with my business goals. This quarterly planning process that I’m sharing is one that I use in my own business, and it’s also what I do for all of my annual marketing plan clients. It’s the exact way I determine what my marketing will look like, and yes, there is a ton of strategy behind it. No pulling ideas out of a hat over here!

I’ll warn you, there’s a lot here. Be prepared to take notes and re-listen a time or two to really take it all in. I’m also splitting this topic into two parts, so be sure that you’re subscribed to the podcast so that you get part two delivered right to your phone next week! And if you love this episode, make sure to share about it on Instagram and tag me!

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Rather Read? – Here’s the Transcript!

*Just a heads up – the provided transcript is likely to not be 100% accurate.

Welcome to Chasing Simple. I’m your host, Amanda Warfield. And I am so glad that you’re here. Whether you’re a new friend or one that’s been around for awhile I am overjoyed that you’re tuning in, especially because today I’m sharing all the details about how I create a strategic marketing plan that truly aligns with my business goals.

This is some that I’m sharing is one that I use in my own business. And it’s also what I do for all of my annual marketing plan clients. It’s the exact way that I determine what my marketing will look like. And yes, there is a ton of strategy behind it. No pulling ideas out of a hat over here. I’ll warn you though.

There is a lot here, so be prepared to take notes and re-listen a time or two to really take it all in. I’m also going to split this topic into two parts, so be sure that you’re subscribed to the podcast So that you can get part two delivered right to your phone next week.

And if you love this episode, make sure to share about it on Instagram and tag me. Okay. Got that pen and paper. Ready? Let’s dive in. CEO days are something that I do every quarter in my business. And it’s also something that I make sure all of my annual marketing planning clients set up in their schedule so that they have time to set aside to do the same every quarter. The reason I put this into my annual planning clients calendars way at the beginning of the year and why I put it into my own calendar at the beginning of the year is because it can be hard to put the time aside when you’re in hustle mode.

It’s really hard to say, oh, I need to take time to step back when you’ve got all these projects going on. But when you set aside that time from beginning of the year, and it’s on your calendar way back from December of the year before. It’s already on your calendar and it’s so much easier to actually follow through on taking that step back.

 And it’s so important to take a step back and look at your business because how else can you strategically create a marketing plan? That’s going to align with your business. If you don’t, if you don’t truly take a step back and look at where you are and where you’re going in, the day-to-day of running a business, it is so easy to just forget about what’s truly going on in the big picture and to get so focused on the here and now.

So the CEO days are so important. I set aside two days every quarter to do this. I highly recommend that you do the same. And in today’s episode, I’m going to cover day one of my CEO days. And in next week’s episode, I’m going to cover it day two of my CEO days. So this is what I do on day one of my CEO days.

Step one is to look at my yearly goals, what are my goals and what are the goals that I still have left to accomplish this year? And this is going to be different every quarter. Obviously in quarter one or quarter two, you’ve still got half a year left, right. Or even more than half a year left. You’ve probably not achieved most of your goals, but as the quarters go on.

Okay. What have I accomplished? What I still need to accomplish? And it’s really easy to hone in on where you are and where you’re still going. But you have to recenter yourself with those yearly goals.

Yearly goals are so important in the direction of your business. And this is something that I take a ton of time. I take at least a week at the end of each year to plan for the next year and to plan where I’m steering the ship that is my business. Those yearly goals are so important. And maybe I’ll do an episode later this year about exactly how I plan for the next year.

 Those yearly goals are so important, but once you get in the day to day, like I said, just a second ago, it’s really easy to get so focused on the, what I’m doing today in the here and the, now that we lose focus on those big pictures. I’ve mentioned this before a couple of times, but one of the things that I do to keep those big yearly goals in focus, Because again, it is really important to keep those in focus, to keep the big picture handy and to keep moving towards those goals and where you want your business to be is I keep them on a huge whiteboard.

I have two giant whiteboards in my office. One of them is solely for my yearly goals. The three or four goals that I have for the entire year as a whole and that every decision in my business truly needs to be based around those goals are on that whiteboard so that I can always keep them in mind. So, first thing I do, I look at those yearly goals.

What are they in? What do I still have left to accomplish? Step two, I gathered data based on those goals. So for example, let’s say that you have a goal. $40,000 in revenue. Here’s the data that you need to look at? How much have you made so far? What are all of your revenue streams and how much have each of them brought in?

So how did you get to if your goal is 40,000, where are you? How much do you have left? Where are you on that goal and how have you gotten to where you are? This is going to be really important for determining how to continue on in the rest of the year with your marketing plan.

If your goal is 40,000 and

you have one thing that’s really bringing in the majority of your revenue right now, right? That’s pretty clear sign that that’s what you should be focusing on for the rest of the year. Keep pushing that one thing. If the other things aren’t making money, stop worrying about them and move on with the thing that is making money, knowing what your streams are and what each of those streams have brought in is so important for making a plan moving forward.

Because again, we always want to simplify Okay. So you gather the data that you need for those goals. Step three is to journal. Now again, if you listen to this podcast, you know that I’m not truly a huge journaler, but this is one of those times that it is so, so helpful. So a couple of things, I asked myself first, what did I accomplish so far this year?

Second, what wins have I had? What have been the great things that have happened? Third, what has been working? What am I doing that I can actually see growth from and forth what hasn’t been working? What have I been doing that actually isn’t fruitful again, this time to step back and say, okay, what’s working and what’s not, is so helpful in determining how you’re going to move forward and hitting those yearly goals.

For example, if you’ve been pitching yourself every single day to other podcasts to be on, but you’re not actually getting on any of those podcasts. Okay. Well, that’s not working. And then maybe why isn’t that working? Is it something that we should just give up on? Totally. Is it something that maybe we could try tweaking?

There no right answer here. And it’s going to truly depend on you and your business, but that’s one way of thinking through that. That’s, uh, an example. Here’s my goal. I want more speaking gigs. I want to be on more podcasts. Okay. Well, I’ve been pitching myself every single day and it hasn’t been fruitful because of X, Y, Z.

Okay, well. Let’s say it hasn’t been fruitful because I’m spending a lot of time every single day and I’m not getting many responses. And so I feel like I’m spending everyday doing this. Okay. Well, instead of doing it daily, maybe I’m going to just do it once a week and spend more time once a week versus spreading throughout the week.

Let’s see if that, and then in the next quarter, you’ll check in on that. Okay. I tried this, did it work? Did it not? That’s kind of how you want to work your way through this journaling process. What have you accomplished? What wins have you had? What have been big things that you were celebrating in your business for last quarter? What’s been working and what hasn’t.

 Step four, look at your goals data that you collected for step two and make a plan, take that data and take what’s been working and what hasn’t and determined. What launches are you going to have? What promos or big events are you going to do? How many sales do you need right now? What’s your client availability for the rest of the year, et cetera, et cetera, based on whatever your goals are. So let’s go back to the goal of making $40,000 in revenue for the year. Let’s say that you’ve made $20,000 already and we’re at the halfway point in the year. So you’re looking to make another 20,000 with two quarters left. Well, that would mean that you should roughly aim for about $10,000 a quarter or about $3,333 a month.

So then you got to ask yourself, what is your baseline? If you need to make. Roughly $3,333 a month. How much do you know for a fact is coming in each month? Do you have steady clients that you know, okay. I make this amount from clients every single month. Do you have consistent passive income? Do you have a membership?

What kind of baseline do you have? Then how much do you need to make up to hit that goal? So you take the 3,333 and you subtract your baseline from it. So let’s say you’re bringing in a thousand dollars a month from your one-to-one clients. So that would mean that you need about $2,333 a month to make up the difference between your baseline and your goal.

Now, let’s say, in addition to your one-to-one client, you’ve got a course that sells for $267, and you were planning one more big launch for it, for the remainder of this year.

Let’s say that you’re at a place in business where most of your income comes from one-to-one clients, or it comes from launches and you’re not really getting a lot of passive sales, so you can expect that you’ll actually need to make that monthly difference for all three months in a quarter. During that lunch.

Let me say that again. You’re at a place in business where you’re only really making money from one-on-one clients and launches. You get the occasional passive sale, but there’s nothing consistent about it just yet. You’re still working on that. So instead of trying to aim for $3,333 a month, Or realistically, $2,333 a month because you’ve got your baseline difference instead of trying to aim for that every single month, maybe you’re going to say, okay, I need to make that $2,300 for every month within this big launch.

So I needed to have one launch that does around $7,000 in sales, 7,000 divided by that 2 67 would mean that you need about 27 sales during your launch. That’s your launch goal. So you’ve just decided I’m going to have one lunch and based on your goals data, and how much you still need to make, based on those goals, you worked out okay.

My core sales for this month, I’m going to have one launch. I need to make this much during the quarter to reach my quarterly goal. I’m only going to have one launch in the quarter. This is how much my course makes divide all that by each other, do all the math and I need to make 27 sales during this launch.

That’s your launch goal Then you can take that launch goal. This isn’t really relevant the CEO day, but just a little bonus for you. You can take that launch goal and know okay. I need 27 sales during this launch and roughly two to 5% of people will buy during the launch.

 So let’s say the low end 2% of people will buy. I need roughly 1,350 people on my launch list. So then you can spend all your time building that launch list, trying to hit that goal of 1,350; 2%

1 of that is 27. That’s how you find out what your goal should be.for A launch list, but again, that’s a total aside.

okay. So \ you’ve got that one quarter figured out, okay. This is how I’m going to make $10,000 in this quarter. What about the final quarter? Okay, well, I’m going to open up my one-to-one spots for the next year in the last quarter. So that’s going to be a big money generator and maybe I’ll do a few smaller promos as well.

And you would work through the same process to determine how many sales you would need, how much client availability are you going to have for the next year? How many clients are you going to take on? If you take on that many clients, how much will those deposits for each? Okay. And then if you reach that amount with deposits, what is the 10,000 minus that?

What do you still need to make up? Okay. If you do a few smaller promos, so on and so forth, that’s how you work your way through making sure that you have marketing goals. That are aligned with the goals that you have for the year in business. So once you to have your plan for what kind of promos and events and how much you need to sell, then you’ve got to figure out how to market it.

So step five is determining your marketing plan and your behind the scenes plan based on what you just is determined. So what that means, you determine your marketing plan. Okay. If you’re going to have one big launch, obviously you’ve got to focus on that topic. That’s going to be your big marketing pillar.

Is that one topic for that launch for that course, then maybe for the next quarter, your big marketing pillar is going to be whatever the topic is around your one-to-one stuff. You align your marketing pillars with the goals and the data and the plans that you just set. Okay. That’s how you determine what you’re talking about in your marketing.

That doesn’t mean that every single piece of content you put out is about that, but it gives you an idea of, okay, I want to get people on this launch list. So this is what I need to be talking about to get people on this launch list. This is the freebie that I need to be pushing. This is the next step in the funnel, et cetera.

Then you also determine, okay, if this is what my marketing is going to be talking about, and this is my big goal for this quarter, what do I need to be doing behind the scenes to reach that goal? Maybe that means you’re updating your email funnel. Maybe that means you’re giving the course of make-over.

 it really depends on what your business needs, but I always highly recommend to my annual planning clients that they have one marketing pillar and one behind the scenes pillar per quarter, that’s it. One thing that they’re talking about on their content and in their marketing, and one thing that they’re doing behind the scenes.

Okay. So this is where I pause for day one. So we’re going to stop here. Let me go back over those five steps again. The very first one is I take a look at my yearly goals. What are they? What do I still have left to accomplish? Step two is to gather the data based on those goals. If I want to reach this amount in revenue, what have I already brought in and how step three is to journal about what you’ve done so far this quarter in this year, what have you accomplished?

What wins have you had what’s been working and what hasn’t so that you can make a strategic plan that isn’t just throwing things at the wall and like, okay, well, maybe this, this quarter, I’m going to try this instead.

So that you’re not saying, okay, well, I want to do speaking and I’ve been pitching for the last quarter. So now I’m just going to try and get on a bunch of JV webinars. If you journal it out and you have a strategic reason for doing that great. But if you’re just pulling things out of a hat, because you just don’t know what you should do next, this right here is a great way what’s worked. Why has it worked? What hasn’t, why has it not worked and really focusing on that. Step four is to look at your goals, your data, and make a plan.

Okay. If this is the goal I’m trying to reach, and this is the thing that’s working, how do I do more of that? And you make a plan, not only do you decide, this is how this is my vehicle for making sales or for whatever, or this is how many clients I can bring on, but this is how many I need. So my vehicle in this example was I’m going to do a big launch.

Okay. Well, based on the data and the numbers, this is how many I need to sell in order to hit that goal. And then the final step on day one is to determine what those marketing pillars and behind the scenes pillars are going to be in your business for the next quarter. So what is your marketing topic?

What are you going to be pushing? Where are you going to be? Trying to get people into your funnel. And then what are you going to be working on behind the scenes to move your business forward? One in one, that’s my recommendation. Don’t try to do more than that because it’s going to be really overwhelming.

So by the end of day one, you know, when you’re going to be launching what you’re going to be talking about, what you’re going to be working on behind the scenes, how many sales you need, et cetera, et cetera. And then on day two, I get even deeper into how. What exactly is that marketing plan going to look like?

But I’ll talk more about that next week. Make sure you come back to hear all about how I determine what my marketing plan is going to be and how I do this for my own annual planning clients. Now your action step for this week is to put dates on the calendar for your own CEO days, and then make sure to come back next week for part two.

And this week’s book recommendation is Homefront by Kristin Hannah. I have been on a huge Kristen Hannah kick recently because I’m missing Washington so, so much. And all of her stuff is based around the area where we lived. This one actually was based in the town that we loved most. We didn’t actually, we lived in the next town over, but we visited this one as much as we could.

I worked there, our friends lived there, just a little town called Paulsboro. Just as teeny tiny town. So to open up this book and to have it be based in Paulsboro, made my heart so happy. But I also really loved it because it’s tackling this issue of mental health in the military, which my husband being a veteran is very near and dear to my heart.

So if that’s something that, you maybe want to be educated a little bit more about in a fictional way, highly recommend this book. It is a tear-jerker for sure. But I’m also a cry baby. So there’s that warning, but it was a really good book. I highly recommend it and yeah, learn a little bit about Paulsboro.

It’s a teeny tiny little Viking town in Washington. That is just so fun. So that’s this week’s book recommendation. If you want to check it out, there’s a link in the show notes. And again, please come back next week to hear more about my part two of my CEO days until next time I hope you go out and Uncomplicate your life and biz.

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