With the New Year settling in, most of us can’t help but make that traditional list of resolutions. In a month when gym memberships are at an all time high, it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and create a list of goals. This often happens right after we reflect on the past resolutions we failed to meet. It’s no wonder that aerobics classes and health clubs are packed throughout the month of January – nearly everyone commits to lose weight and get in shape.
Yet New Years resolutions are important. They remind us to take a critical look at our lives and push ourselves to make some important changes. As entrepreneurs, this is especially valuable because we often find our focus jumping between many different things. We can easily lose focus and forget the details that will help our companies to succeed.
Looking back on 2016, you may find that your marketing and branding strategy slipped through the cracks because you were so focused on a new product design. Or maybe you didn’t make time to explore new trends in your industry. Maybe there’s an entirely other aspect of your business that you’d like to focus on. Either way, here are five helpful New Year’s resolutions for entrepreneurs.
1. Create or change your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy.
We cannot stress this enough! For a lot of entrepreneurs, search engine optimization sounds like a scary marketing technique that only the most sophisticated companies use. The truth is that in order to compete in the fast paced world of today, you have to learn how to push your company towards the top of the search results. With a New Year come new trends, competition, and a lot of other changes that can skew your current SEO planning. Plus, search engines are constantly tweaking their algorithms and these tweaks often impact search results. For more information on how to create an effective SEO strategy, check out our 2017 SEO strategy guide.
2. Reimagine your blogging efforts.
It’s no secret that blogging became one of the biggest marketing trends of 2016. In 2017, that trend is expected to continue, but it will be even more difficult to stand out from the crowd. Some experts caution that blogging will require a long term investment – something that many entrepreneurs and small businesses are rarely prepared to make. Social media consultant Andrew Davis says “A lot of brands will give up on content marketing as they are not seeing short term results. This can be a great thing for anyone who is playing the long game.” So push yourself to blog more and through more channels (think Medium, guest blogs, your blog, etc.) to make your voice heard in 2017.
3. Open up the communication channels.
Revamping your marketing strategy does not mean brainstorming a list of ideas and then telling your employees which ones to implement. Being an entrepreneur means being a leader, which means involving the entire team in contributing to your company’s success. Communication is essential in creating a marketing strategy. If you traditionally hold closed brainstorming sessions with just the marketing team, include your designers, engineers, or customer service people. This can even be applied to other aspects of the company – you might be surprised how creative your team can be.
4. Try influencer marketing.
Social media has changed marketing and advertising dramatically in the past few years. It is becoming one of the most effective channels to target customers. More recently, a niche called influencer marketing has been using established social media stars to promote different products. In 2017, this trend is expected to increase in popularity, leaving those not using influencer marketing in the dust. Influencer marketing is a great way to reach a specific group of people quickly and persuade them to trust your brand.
5. Stop what isn’t working.
Entrepreneurs are often so tied to their companies and to strategies that it’s tough to abandon anything that holds significant amounts of invested time. It’s not that we don’t know what isn’t working, it’s that we don’t want to admit that we were wrong or that we have to restart. But when we avoid change out of fear, we enable our own failure. If a strategy isn’t helping you to meet your goal(s), it’s time to let it go. Many of the successful companies we know today made huge pivots in their strategies. These pivots helped them to succeed.
In the next few days as we begin the new year, take a moment to implement these resolutions or make a list of your own. Remember that your company will only grow if you push it to grow. And no matter what you do, remember to hold yourself accountable by assigning measurable goals you can meet. That way, you’ll be able to actually tell whether or not you succeeded with your resolutions. With ambitious goals and a concrete plan, you’ll be able to look back on a successful 2017.
Image credit: James Niland
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