My 2008 Marketing Resolutions for the New Year and Beyond

Thanksgiving often signals the close of the current year as we consider
our circumstances and the events of the last eleven months in
preparation for a new year. 2007 isn’t over yet but as the year draws
to a close and we reflect on the past while looking forward to the
future, what things did you learn by virtue of what you did or didn’t
do in your marketing plan that will prompt you to make changes for the
better in the new year? It’s not about mistakes or failures because
those provide the best opportunities for growth. People who are afraid
of failing or making mistakes never get a taste of what it really means
succeed because they can’t get out of their own way. In the year that
I’ve been working to really solidify my internet presence and focus on
my business, I’ve learned a few things that will carry with me into

1. Focus on finishing (getting results) and not on activity. There are
so many great people to network with and so many wonderful vehicles
that provide forums for more networking. There are great books,
magazines, websites, discussion groups, social networks, clubs,
organizations, and who knows what else to keep you busy being busy that
it’s easy to get so distracted in your activities that you lose sight
of your real priorities. Busy is fine. Profitable business is better.
Make sure that you’re busy growing your business.

2. Integrate initiatives and multiply the messages. Figure out how to
make the most of your time by reusing what you produce online and
incorporating time saving tools into your marketing efforts. My blog
has an RSS feed that automatically updates my other sites. I’m in the
process of developing an email course that will be delivered via my
autoresponder. I have three primary areas of focus: (1) my directory (promotion), (2) my forum (collaboration), and (3) my blog
(expertise). Each stands on its own but I’ve worked to integrate my
marketing so that the blog provides traffic and information to the
directory and the forum. The forum includes crosslinks to the directory
and the blog. The directory includes news from the blog and
collaborative references to the forum. List building happens in all
three places and hopefully visitors find each of my offerings
complementary although they are free to choose which best meets their
needs for promotion, collaboration or expertise.

3. Promote perpetually and passionately. Site visits and web traffic
don’t happen by themselves. Search engine optimization is important and
AdWords, TextLinkAds and all the other stuff have their place, but you
need people to come to your site and draw others based on their
connection with the product have to offer, the value you provide in a
unique selling proposition, or the relationship and credibility they
know or perceive that is part and parcel of your brand. For
entrepreneurs, every meeting, every presentation, every opportunity to
relate to another person via whatever means–whether in person or
virtually–is a potential conversion to the precious rank of customer
and you need to be ready and willing to promote what you have to offer
with enthusiasm and vigor. The key is balance: email has made it all
too easy and cheap to send blind offers to people with little to no
targeting and in many cases with no pre-work or introduction. We’re all
guilty of emailing information about the latest gotta-have-it tool or
product but the essence of salesmanship is relationship or your
prospects will let you know they ain’t gotta have nothin’ (double
negative notwithstanding). Build some trust and credibility before you
start hawking your wares and then be authentic and consistent and they
will come in droves.

How will you make 2008 the year of 2000Great? We got through 2007, it
had its rough spots but we made some progress even if it was just
learning what not to repeat in the next year. Time to raise the level
of play and really get in the game. What have you learned that others
might benefit from as they get their plans in order?

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