Brand Builders Part 20: Have You Developed Your Annual Calendar?
I don’t know about you, but I can’t even get through one single business day without my calendar. It’s everything. It tells me where to go, when to go there, who I’m meeting with what to prepare for. It is crucial. I can only imagine what my day would be like, if I just took it as it came. People show up, I say, “Yeah, sure, I’ll meet with you.” People call, “Yeah, sure, I’ll take a call with you.” I’d never get anything done. I’d just be running, running, running, reacting constantly. Instead, our calendars allow us to be kind of proactive.
Well, your strategic brand plan needs to work the same way. You need to have an annual calendar in place mapping out everything you’re going to be doing. The target audiences, you’re going to be focusing on. The messages you’re going to want to communicate to them, because you’re not going to say the same thing to them over and over again. I mean, gosh, knows, they’re gonna tune that out pretty quick. So, you need a series of messages, and all the tactics you’re going to use to reach them. Are you going to trade shows? Put it on the calendar. Are you going to send out some emails? Calendar. Are you going to utilize direct mail? Calendar. How about some PR? Calendar. So, having an annual calendar is awesome.
Two things I want you to know about it. The first is, the more you can research and plan and prepare, the better, you’re going to be able to save some money and be more effective with what you’re doing. The second thing I want you to think about is, that things will come up that you could have never planned for. Let me assure you, I’m really good at my job. I’ve been doing this for decades, and yet, not one of my clients in their 2020 annual calendar had global pandemic marked down.
So, we all know we can’t anticipate everything that’s going to happen. Try to live with that 80:20 rule, playing out about 80% of it, and then prepare for the 20% that you don’t see coming. This way you don’t over commit your budget for when things change. This way, you don’t close yourself off to opportunities that might arise. This way, you’re still going to be planned, prepared and working ahead of time. Think about social media, it works the same way with that 80:20 rule. If you can map out 80% of your posts and your content creation, you’re going to be set because then you’ll get to the 20% when you get to it. Those opportunities will present themselves and you can take advantage of them. But in between those opportunities, you’ll still have good steady stuff going out that people care about. So, trust me, if you want to build a better brand, have an annual plan ready to roll.