Your Success Starts with a Strategy (Part 4 of 4 Yearly Planning)

Your Success Starts with a Strategy (Part 4 of 4 Yearly Planning)

I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. I am still recovering from too much egg nog and cheesy scalloped potatoes (which might have been lunch yesterday).

This is the last part of the series on yearly planning. And this is perhaps the most important one.

It is all about having a clear strategy for the goals you laid out in the last section.

The worksheets are designed to help you plan out the steps and make forward progress on what is important.

access your part 4 worksheets here!

And just to give you an example and share a little background on this season’s planners, here is my method for planning.

The last few months have been a little crazy. I don’t normally talk about these things because, to be honest, is it a bit embarrassing. However I want to share my story because I think it has some valuable lessons for you.

This year I ordered too many planners – I thought my Kickstarter would do *way* better than it did.

You see, last year I did a Kickstarter for the 2016 version of the planner . I hired a marketing firm and they did an amazing job. Using just Facebook ads they raised a ton of money and I sold through 15,000 planners.

So this year we were going to do it again.

We did another Kickstarter and I worked with the same marketing firm. However, this year they weren’t able to get the same results. I think it may have been the timing of the campaign (we had it a month earlier to prevent any shipping delays). The end result was that I was left with a TON of planners.

Since last year we sold out of planners and I knew I didn’t make enough, I figured we would raise at least as much as last year with the Kickstarter so I bet big and ordered 20,000.

When the Kickstarter ended I started freaking out. Since the Kickstarter hadn’t performed as well, how was going to to sell all of these books?

Well the very first step is to craft a plan.

You start with the goal. Then work backwards.

Goal: Sell the extra 8,000 planners left after the Kickstarter.

When I am thinking through a problem I either talk it out with someone or write it out (journaling).  I think out loud so I find this helps me work through my problems.

Here is an excerpt of my notes when I was working through this problem:

“In order to do this I need to get more people aware of the planner. I need to build awareness.
I know that the marketing firm used Facebook ads, so that is a logical step to try. Thankfully I have a lot of extra planners so I can give some away as promos. Contests and outreach.
I can also reach out to companies and try to sell in bulk…”

Anyway you get the idea.  I brainstorm lots of different paths and then I identify next steps.

In this case my steps looked something like:

  1. Write out planner buyer personas
  2. Create targeted ad copy and images
  3. Run tests on facebook
  4. Start responding to requests with promos with a “yes”…

And so on – I ended up having about 20 different steps and they evolved and changed as we figured out what was working with our approach.

Now we are going to sell out of planners again this year. Much sooner than I expected.

This success didn’t happen on accident. It was the result of careful planning. Thinking through my goals, being specific, and then laying the groundwork and steps to follow.

So this week for each of your goals I want you to craft a plan.
Brainstorm next steps and figure out the best way to move forward.

And if you aren’t sure, start small.  Sometimes just writing down a small  step, something that can take less than 15 minutes, like “Search google for instagram promos” or “reach out to John who does Facebook ads”, can give you the momentum you need to get started.

I hope you enjoyed these worksheets!

And if you missed the first ones you can find them linked in the blog posts below:


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