I had grand plans for a blog I launched ten years ago. I posted three times and then let it slide behind everything else on my plate. I told myself I was too busy.
A great idea killed by poor execution.
I’m willing to bet you’ve got a similar story somewhere in your past. Good intentions let down by poor execution. The idea and launch are more fun than the monotonous execution. That’s a fact.
BUT, it’s the monotonous execution that separates successful marketing from everything else. I learned this lesson the hard way and set myself back ten years. Oh well, it happens.
It wasn’t until I started a weekly email late last year that everything came together for me. All of my experience and learning seemed to fall into place. Things I knew, in theory, came together in practice.
These realizations have led to the construction of a marketing plan framework that I now use for myself and all of my clients. Please feel free to steal the process and use it for your own selfish benefit.
I call this grand marketing strategy pyramid planning. Here’s a quick view of the steps of the pyramid:
- Big Hairy Goal (BHG)
- Small Achievable Milestone (SAM)
A detailed look at each level will help you understand why this marketing strategy makes sense.
Big Hairy Goal (BHG)
Sitting up top is the goal you want to achieve. This is your final destination. You may take some twists and turns as you fight your way toward your BHG, but having one ensures you’re always heading in the right direction.
I want to help 100,000 businesses grow through my Growth Recipe Brand & Marketing System by 2027. Sound crazy? Maybe it does to everyone else, but I’ve got a path to making it happen thanks to this plan. Your goal should be BIG & HAIRY. Your steps below will break things down and make it manageable.
Small Achievable Milestone (SAM)
BHGs give you overall direction and purpose. SAMs are all about action. SAMs should be constantly updated as you make progress. Think of these micro-goals like steps on a journey. As my brother from another mother put it,
The Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
My first SAM was to help one business through direct client work. I’ve now helped numerous clients and ironed out my Growth Recipe System in the process. My current SAM is to finalize my Growth Recipe Training Program outline this week.
If you look at it word-by-word it can be helpful.
You’ve done your big thinking with your BHG. Your SAM is all about defining the first step. You can move on to a second step once you’ve nailed the first one.
Set the bar low. Make your SAM something you can achieve to keep the momentum on your side. Look back to my first SAM. All I had to do was help one client. I knew I could do this through hustle, networking, calling on old clients, and begging if necessary (thankfully it wasn’t).
The word milestone was carefully chosen. Again, this step of the pyramid is all about action. With that in mind, look at the definition of the word milestone:
An action or event marking a significant change or stage in development.
SAMs were previously left out of my pyramid plan, but I realized that they’re vitally important for myself and my clients. People tend to feel overwhelmed without markers showing progress along the path. Know where you want to go, but only focus on the next step.
The step below your goals is strategy. What is the unique approach that will keep you hitting goals?
My strategy is to turn my Growth Recipe into a recognizable brand and marketing methodology. I will have four delivery vehicles for the Growth Recipe methodology (working with Special Sauce directly to implement the system, group workshops, taking my online training program, or reading the book I’m going to release). This four-headed strategy allows me to continue working with clients (which I enjoy) while scaling up the number of businesses I can help to hit my 100,000 business goal.
Now you can lay out specific tactics that will bring your strategy to life.
I’ll be using weekly posts to my blog, Medium articles, The Recipe weekly email, and adding in some new efforts on LinkedIn as my regular drivers. These will be amplified by larger exposure tactics that include mentoring and public speaking to raise the awareness of my Growth Recipe methodology.
When I launch my training program, workshops, and book I’ll build pyramid plans for each of those products. Each product will benefit from my overall pyramid plan, but they’ll have their own tactics outlined in that specific pyramid plan.
The final piece of the pyramid is the foundation. Just like building a home, your foundation holds everything up. It’s not sexy and nobody will see it, but it’s the most important part of the building process if you want a solid house. In this case, the foundation is the systems you’ll use to ensure your tactics are consistently executed.
Goals are just dreams without systems to make them happen. Discipline will break down for all of us unless there’s a system in place to hold you accountable. My Friday email is a prime example. I am held accountable by the fact that I’ve made a promise to deliver an email every Friday. I take that promise seriously. The accountability has lead to a Friday schedule that ensures The Recipe gets sent. I’m now applying this across all of my marketing. Every tactic will be backed by a system moving forward.
To Sum It All Up
Setting big goals is pointless if you don’t have the SAMs, strategy, tactics, and systems in place to make them happen. On the flip side, SAMs, strategy, tactics, and systems are pointless if they aren’t moving you toward a Big Hairy Goal.
If you’re struggling to get something off the ground, try giving the pyramid planning system a go. Dip your toe in the water by applying it to one project instead of your overall brand.
Small actions can add up to big things. The pyramids of ancient Egypt certainly weren’t built in a day. Start stacking some blocks and see what happens.
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