When you are deep in the trenches running your small business it is hard to step out, observe and see what's working and what isn't. As a business owner we hear things like "You need to be on Instagram," so you make an Instagram account. But why? And what are you going to share on Instagram? We can easily get caught up in the pressure of needing to do the latest trend, but we don't always take the right approach to be successful.
The Coach Approach
What if you were to approach your marketing like you were coaching a sports team? Coaches are constantly observing, practicing, questioning what's not working and analyzing how they can improve to reach that next goal. So, how would a coach approach your marketing game plan?
- Start by taking the coaches stance. Step back and observe the current position of your marketing game plan. Observe where you are successful and where you could improve. Define realistic goals for the "season" based on the current performance and where you want to end up.
- Get input from other coaches. Not one person has all the answers. As the founder of a small business, I thought it was my responsibility, and mine alone, to figure out all the solutions. When I got over my stubbornness, we (710 Studios) as a team, were able to open a whole new world of possibilities. The creativity that came out from one simple idea, led to multiple new ideas. It was exciting. And not only did I reach to my internal team, but I went a step further by gathering input from outside "coaches" that I highly respect.
- Practice, practice, and practice some more. There is no sports team that can practice something once and expect it to run perfectly in the big game. As a marketer, we can't expect to post on Facebook once a month or 6 months and think that will be enough to make an impact. For coaches, practice is used to get players better at different skills, to help get the kinks out, to try new approaches for the next game and to keep up the things that are working perfectly. So before you try something once and change it, think about it like a coach and get to practice.
- Scout out the competition. How can you position yourself against the competition? It's important to observe your competition and to see where they are excelling. What are you lacking? What do you need to do differently to put you apart from your competition?
- Watch the playback tape. How do you know what caused you to reach your goals or what made you fail miserably? Look at the data! Continually look back at the results of your marketing efforts and analyze the data. By using free tools like Google Analytics, HotJar and the analytics provided within the social media marketing platforms there is nothing standing in your way to see what is working best. If you want to go a step further, you can use software such as HubSpot, Sprout Social and Hootsuite just to name a few.
Will you take the "coach approach" to your field?
Maybe you already use some of these tactics, but a great coach or business owner should do them all, and set them on repeat. Look to always be refining those practices, analyzing your performance, taking a step-back, watching the competition and not forgetting to reach out to those other coaches on the sideline.
Do you need help refining your marketing approach? Are you looking for a trusty new assistant coach for your team?