CREATE YOUR MONEY MAP (Marketing Action Plan): Monitor Your Success

3 02 2017

monitor-your-successWhether you plotted your Marketing Action Plan on a big wall or Google calendar, or even a spreadsheet of your own making, this is your plan to succeed and evaluate as only you can.

If you did indeed create measurable goals, then as you execute each step of your plan you should start to see results, or at least the steps which will lead to the resulting leap.

It’s important to stick to your plan and to share your plan with friends and family, so they can help you in any way you ask. Sometimes just their knowing you have a plan you are determined to succeed at is enough. Often getting their help in sticking with your schedule, preserving your creative time and space, or helping bolster you when it’s time for those sales calls is all so-so valuable.

Then get down and track those measurable items, how many collections, presentations sent, sales leads and sales calls. The last step is to compare your results to your goals. The more detailed you are in each step, the more you’ll be able to adjust your goals and tactics in coming years, as the objectives change and get bigger!





CREATE YOUR MONEY MAP (Marketing Action Plan): Put Your Tactics on the MAP

2 02 2017

put-your-tactics-on-the-mapWe are coming now to the final step of the MAP (Marketing Action Plan), where you actually put the tactics on your calendar. It’s important to double check that each one of your tactics is detailed enough, so that it includes how much time daily, weekly, monthly you need to achieve the results you want, as well as what budget you’ll require and assistance you’ll need. It’s only with this level of detail will you be able to execute your tactics.

The final Marketing Action Plan will be something you will live and work with every day, so you also want it to be realistic. You may find as you fill in all the blanks that you have bitten off more than you can chew, or that you simply are ignoring important aspects of reaching your financial and other goals. A common mistake is to create a great portfolio, but never allocate the time, energy or budget to building a relevant lead list and/or not following-up with phone calls and emails after sending a collection presentations to manufacturers.

I recommend starting by placing trade shows, product signings and other events that are not ‘moveable’ on your calendar first when laying out your annual Marketing Action Plan.

Make sure you review your promotional tools and create whatever sales materials are needed for trade shows, direct mailings, public relations, etc. Then work backwards to give yourself time to complete them before they are needed.
As you look at your calendar, which is now your Marketing Action Plan, ask yourself these final questions:

  • Have you addressed each objective with tactics that will actually make a difference and achieve those goals?
    If you don’t know what to do, how can you find out? Who can you talk with to create those tactics and learn what to do?
  • Have you considered your personal life and all it entails, so that you are being realistic about your timing and goals?
  • Have you allocated budget to each tactics and goal, and is there enough money to achieve your goals, or do you need to hold off on some items until another year? If so, how does that affect the outcome of your other objectives?
  • When you look at this Marketing Action Plan, do you get excited about the prospect of all you can achieve or does the look and feel of it overwhelm you? If it’s the second, your plan still needs some tweaking.




CREATE YOUR MONEY MAP (Marketing Action Plan): Outline Tactics to Achieve Goals

1 02 2017

outline-tactics-to-achieve-your-goalsHere is where the rubber hits the road, so they say…or the art hits the product.  You need to take the time to carefully write down all the tactics, the exact and detailed steps that you must execute to achieve your marketing goals.  Now if you have been following along, you may remember that ‘Prioritizing Your Products & Promotions’ is really where you need to focus your objectives, and therefore, your tactics.

So how will you spend your time to meet and exceed all those targets? And here is a key fork in the road, because if you don’t know what to do to achieve those goals, you need to get help and some answers.  A bit of mentoring, coaching or colleague advice at these critical points can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Spend a bit of your time and budget to know you are doing the right thing to get to this year’s finish line.

Once you know what you need to do (and in most cases, your tactics will include times you know what you need to do and some where you needed help figuring it out), then get them down on paper and jot down any related timing and budget issues. It is also important to consider any assistance, and other factors necessary, to complete the tactics.

Here is where you can consider themes to entice new audiences and reconnecting with existing licensees to expand your business.  Also make sure you plan for time to market existing successful collections to new manufacturer licensees.

If creating your own product which you sell to leverage toward future licensing deals, then get those details on your tactic list.  Remember that each item needs to start with its conclusion, so you can work backwards to create a time frame for achieving the goal and incorporating your budget items.





CREATE YOUR MONEY MAP (Marketing Action Plan): Establish Your Marketing Goals

31 01 2017

establish-your-marketing-goalsI hope over the last couple of weeks you have thought about your business in a new detailed way. Now it is time to take all that knowledge and create your marketing goals. Goals are a very interesting breed of objectives. These targets create the purpose for your every activity related to business and they have some very specific qualities.

Remember that goals need to be quantifiable, which means measurable in marketing language. And you need to have goals that are related to sales.

For art licensors, I suggest you start with identifying your new, or first, cornerstone product categories. Here is where you identify that you want to license your art on sports equipment, housewares, party supplies, stationery, greeting cards, gift items or domestics.

Here is where you should target how many deals/licenses you want to close during the year and how many new retail products you want on the shelves in the future. I suggest you also create other achievements as goals, such as brand awareness, audience exposure and product demand, which will create leverage for future deals.

So write out your key goals, those that will help you build revenue in your business.





CREATE YOUR MONEY MAP (Marketing Action Plan) Define Your Budget

30 01 2017

Budgets, and especially marketing budgets, can vary greatly.  The most important factor here is to acknowledge that you need one to run a business and it’s best to establish one for the year.

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I really don’t care if it’s $100 or $10,000, or more.  The important thing is to set one.  If you don’t, you’ll probably spend more than you expected and either use funds you don’t want to use or worse, don’t have.

Once a budget is established, you’ll want to have your MONEY MAP (outlined on a calendar) completed before you allocate your funds to a few or variety of different purposes throughout the year.

Remember to do as much as you can yourself.  This requires understanding your own skill sets and where you have strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what you CAN and WILL do yourself will invariably help you determine what you need to outsource.

Track your spending, so you know when your dollars are spent or freed up.  And then you can identify specific projects that will require additional dollars.





CREATE YOUR MONEY MAP (Marketing Action Plan) Develop Your Consistent Branding

27 01 2017

All businesses need branding, a set of iconic pieces which through name and graphic design will make a statement about who you are and what you do.

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I am reticent to discuss design and branding too much with such a wonderful audience of talented artists, but I know that a few reminder points are always valuable – especially when we so easily lose our perspective in creating logos, designs and icons for and about ourselves.

Keep it simple.  No matter how hard you try, your logo won’t say everything you want to communicate about yourself and your brand.

Appeal to your largest target audience.

Make sure you have decided your mission and objectives before choosing your branding.

Get the opinion of those you value.

And once you have chosen your branding, be consistent.  There is nothing more important as you go forward than keeping your image consistent, because this is how you build exposure and potentially leverage your identity and intrinsic (and generated) value later in the licensing world.





CREATE YOUR MONEY MAP (Marketing Action Plan) Advertising

26 01 2017

Many artists ask if they should be advertising to build their business.  I think advertising is great and can be a helpful promotional tool. But it’s not worth advertising if you don’t have the expendable budget.

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My advice is to save advertising, whether on Google AdWords, in a trade publication or in a dedicated trade show directory, for when you have begun to exhaust your promotional tool list – all the other items, such as exhibiting at a trade show, keeping up with social media, refining your website and creating feature articles for trade and consumer magazines and relevant internet sites.

What I don’t like to see is advertising be put ahead of all the other promotional tools which are, frankly, more cost efficient and often more effective (obviously depending on the media and your goals).








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