For the past several years – at about this same time – I’ve written articles with tips & tricks for creating marketing & sales plans that help my readers get ready for the new year.

This year, I want to do something different.

We’ve all heard the definition of ‘insanity’… to keep doing the same things over and over and expecting the outcome to change. Sadly, that describes the marketing & sales efforts of a majority of the firms in our industry. So, maybe it’s time to shake things up.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How has business been this year?
  • Did you expect to exceed your revenue goals?
  • How many new clients did you pick up? How many did you lose?
  • How about leads generated or conversion rates?

Here’s my point… if you’re not happy with your revenue growth results – then you have to do something about it! More importantly – you have to do something different!

As you look ahead to your marketing & sales efforts in 2020, here are some ‘new’ ideas you might want to consider…

  • Pick a conference you’ve never been to (particularly in a vertical industry or market segment you serve) and go… update your elevator pitch and network like crazy! Don’t worry about exhibiting or sponsoring the first time... just go and check it out. If it turns out to be a good event, you can always exhibit the following year.
  • Are you blogging? Frequently? Blogging builds awareness for your firm, showcases your Subject Matter Expertise and helps attract visitors to your website (SEO impact). Bottom line: More blogging is better. Can’t commit to more than you’re doing now? Then get a few of your employees involved.
  • When was the last time you updated your website… updated the design and copy… added important new sections? If it’s been more than a couple of years since you’ve made any changes (like a whole lotta firms in our industry!) – it’s probably time. And as you’re re-writing the copy, remember these important words: “Your clients don’t care about what you can do… they care about what you can do for them.” So, re-write your website through that lens.
  • Are you really active on social media? And by really active, I mean posting daily, connecting with others frequently and engaging with other’s posts? If you’re not, then you’re missing out on a proven way to build awareness and enhance your reputation. My suggestion: Commit to doing this every morning when you get to the office over your first cup of coffee.
  • Blogging should not be your only content (#1). Gated content – where a visitor must give you their contact information to access the content – is a proven way to generate sales leads. Sales leads that have told you what interests them, based on what they download. In 2020, consider producing an eBook, White Paper or other similar, high-value, gated content.
  • Blogging should not be your only content (#2). Content is not just about the written word. Looking ahead, its time to consider producing a series of videos, podcasts or webinars. People like to consume their content in different ways… so make multiple options available to them.
  • Think hard about your business. Before you can go to market, you need to be clear on the answers to the following questions:
    • What do we sell and what else could we sell?
    • Who do we sell to and who else could we sell to?
    • What’s our position in the marketplace? That is, what do we want potential buyers to think when they hear our name?
    • What’s our true POD – point of differentiation? That is, why should we be hired over the competition? (Hint: “We have great people and we do great work” are NOT it!)
  • When was the last time you invested in any advertising? You can test pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Goggle or through LinkedIn or Twitter for – literally – just a few dollars per day. This can be a great option when launching a new product/service or when promoting important gated content (like eBooks or webinars).
  • Who’s doing your ‘selling?’ If you’re like most firms, the owner or a senior manager are doing it. The problem with that is that they’re only doing it part-time… and more likely, don’t want to be doing it in the first place. Consider investing in a dedicated, full-time sales rep… someone who’s only responsibility is to grow revenue for your firm.
  • Spend a few minutes every week measuring your marketing & sales efforts. At a minimum, track website visitors, measure email marketing metrics, monitor social media engagement and make sure your business development efforts are moving forward by tracking them on a sales pipeline.

And if you won’t commit to any of those (which would be a huge mistake, IMHO), there is one thing you absolutely must do in 2020… keep a visual calendar of all planned marketing & sales efforts. And post it up on your wall so you see it every day. By doing this – regardless of what you have planned – you’ll make sure that nothing falls through the cracks… that you execute everything you want to do, when you want to do it.

Remember… if you keep doin’ what you’re doin’… you’ll keep getting’ what you’re gettin’. To change the results of your marketing & sales efforts in 2020, you have to change the activities that help get you there.

Best of luck in the new year!