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How to level up in 2020

It’s that time again when everyone is planning and you start to think about all the things you want to achieve in 2020.

But having the goal is not the same as having the roadmap. I help entrepreneurs find the next goal to focus on, get the best input, make the right decision and go do the thing. 

With all the platforms, content creators and business models, finding the right advice can feel like standing in front of a fire hose of contradictions. 

That’s a recipe for analysis paralysis so I sat down with 12 of my hand-selected Entrepreneur’s Advisory Board experts to find out where they see the biggest bang for your time-buck in 2020.

I asked them two questions:

  • What is the number one thing CEOs with established businesses should be focusing on for 2020?
  • What could they start doing towards that in 2019?

And they delivered! Whether you’re looking for help on Pinterest, content, your team, or anything else, there is something in these actionable strategies for you.

Jump To Your Favorite

START UP

How To Avoid Overwhelm

Be warned it will be so tempting to do all the things as each expert shares such gold.

Unfortunately trying everything usually means achieving nothing as it’s a recipe for overwhelm, burn out and staying stuck. Before you dive headfirst into all the goodness, think about your Q1 goal and then consider which three areas will help you get traction on that.

Read up on those suggestions and IMPLEMENT! If you’re still trying to decide which idea or goal to focus on, click here to get the Idea Validator first.

MEASURE UP

Content Marketing Strategy With Hailey Dale

Strategic reflection is one of the most valuable things you can spend their time on as an established CEO.

So the one thing for established businesses to be focusing on in 2020 for content marketing is regular CEO time. Look at your marketing measurements and then, use those measurements to inform strategy.

So the one thing for established businesses to be focusing on in 2020 for content marketing is regular CEO time. Look at your marketing measurements and then, use those measurements to inform strategy.

You should be able to easily answer:

·      Where are my customers coming from?

·      What’s the ROI from all of the marketing pieces I'm putting out?

·      What’s the conversion rate and projection possibilities for my sales funnel? 

TAKE ACTION IN 2019

Start now by auditing your existing funnel so you know what you can optimize to increase sales with your existing funnel in place. Because while increasing traffic is great, it's even better when you have a high-converting purpose for that traffic!

COVER UP

Map out your current revenue streams and any new ones you plan to add for 2020 and sit down with a lawyer to be sure you are well protected for each one. 

Every business is different, so you may need contracts for some, trademark or copyright registrations for others, or advice about bringing on new team members for others. 

Having a game plan at the beginning allows you to budget and make sure you're putting your time, energy, and resources towards locking down the most important things in your business (usually the ones making you the most money!).  

TAKE ACTION IN 2019

If you have a new business or product name you'll be launching in 2020, make sure no one else is already using it by running your own trademark search on the name!  This will save you having to rebrand later if you discover someone else beat you to the punch.  It's not expensive or time consuming to check.

And, if you've never checked to see if anyone else is using your existing business or product names, now is a great time to do that too!

LAYER UP

Pinterest Strategy With Meagan Williamson

Pinterest is where things are going for entrepreneurs in 2020 because people are sick of Facebook ads, and them not working anymore.

Consider layering for really getting maximum visibility and reach for your business in 2020.

You should be layering with a very budget-conscious paid promoted pin campaign on top of your organic Pinterest marketing strategy. That is going to help increase visibility and brand awareness by about 100 times for a very low cost of around $100 a month.

Bring in those leads and then nurture and have them get to know you via remarketing.

TAKE ACTION IN 2019

Make sure you have a business account. Sign up for tailwind, get into some tribes and begin sharing. Then, once when you have a beautiful 2020 content marketing plan, you are set up to share your own content in the tribes.

SPEAK UP

Speaking Strategy With Helena Bowen

The best way to get booked for more speaking engagements in 2020 is to have a really compelling message.

Think that sounds obvious? You'd be surprised how many people apply to speak with the same generic ideas as everyone else about facing your fear, taking more risks, and leading better.

If you're applying with a more generic message, you need a unique angle or hook that'll get the event organizer to sit up & pay attention.

TAKE ACTION IN 2019

Start by getting clarity on how speaking will serve your business goals.

Be as specific as possible. Most speakers can't answer this question and land up speaking to the wrong audiences, delivering the wrong message, and not having the impact they expect.

DIG UP

Copy Strategy With Jacq Fisch

Look at your Q1 and plot out your launches, promotions or sales goals. Based on that, look backward and see what content you can use to promote it.

The promotional content should be answering the frequently asked questions or potential objections from your future clients.

Your content in the lead up to the launch or offer should be based on

·      What do my people need to believe, for them to work with me, hire me or buy my thing?

·      What do they secretly want? Dig deeper on this. If they say they want to grow by 20%, what's the reason for that, what's behind that growth or the 20%?

TAKE ACTION IN 2019

Getting even more focused on copywriting by keeping a list of all the exact words that your people use.

Start a list of all the things clients, potential clients, and people you wish were your clients complain about.

How would they fill in the blank, “This would feel like a miracle for me if…”

CONNECT UP

Networking Strategy With Reina Pomeroy

CEOs who are dominating right now need to be focusing on are the high touch interactions for visibility.

Instead of high-volume pitching, you need to be focused on quality relationships. Develop relationships by finding ways to be invested in that person’s success or growth.

Practically that may include finding people that you’re really aligned with on Instagram and commenting on their posts, really engaging with their content, reading their emails and replying back to develop that relationship.

Just like you want to develop the know, like and trust factor with your customers, you need to develop that with the people you want to align with.

TAKE ACTION IN 2019

Connect with the people you’ve already been featured with.

For example, if you were on a summit and featured with other cool people reach out and leverage that by saying, ”Hey I'm so glad that we were able to be featured on the same summit. I loved learning from your session” but make sure you actually watch it.

Tell them specifically what you learned from them and how you'd like to connect.

STEP UP

Website Strategy With Michaela Latavanha

Focus on understanding why you’re your ideal client comes to your website and the decision-making process they use to hire you or buy from you.

Your website really comes into play midway through the client journey:

·      In the awareness stage (aware of the problem), they would most likely hear about you from word of mouth, social media, advertising or a podcast or speaking engagement rather than finding your website

·      In the considering stage is your website comes into play. Make sure it is clearly communicating the information that they need, building trust and showing that you have the solution for them.

·      The website should guide them to the conversion stage with things like case studies and testimonials offering social proof and then allowing sales calls or other tools to close the deal.

TAKE ACTION IN 2019

Build use cases for your website. Take post-its and write down all the different reasons why someone would be coming to your website. For each reason, write down what information will they need. And then write down the next step you want them to take.

This takes the visitor’s needs and goals and your business goals and finds the sweet spot in between so we're giving the visitor what they are looking for to build know, like and trust and moving your business forward.

PITCH UP

Visibility Strategy With Kelsey Chapman

Podcasts are the number one thing that actually moves the needle lately.

Firstly, this is a great opportunity as it helps you practice sharing your story from the genesis of your business to right now for speaking. And, as you tell your story over and over again, you get to see what works and where you can trim some of the fat to make it more effective.

Either you can pitch yourself or have a team member pitch on your behalf. You don’t need to hire a fancy PR agency – many entrepreneurs are more effective at pitching themselves to podcasts for better brand exposure.

Secondly, you're tapping into niche audiences with people who are already committed and loyal to the host and when they hear a host interview you, that rubs off on you too.

TAKE ACTION IN 2019

Begin pitching. If you’re new to the process, don’t go pitching a Tony Robbins level podcast. Look for smaller podcasts with around 25 reviews to get comfortable with the process and book some interviews.

SHOW UP

Branding Strategy With Rachel Pesso

To level up your branding and design in 2020, focus on your user experience.

Since people are entering your brand in many different ways (website, blog, many different social media platforms), it's important to keep making sure that your message and your visual story are consistent.

When a new user enters your brand and space, the same story needs to be told where ever they start from.

People want to SEE how you can help them, not just hear how you can do it so the focus on the visual story of the brand will be huge in 2020.

TAKE ACTION IN 2019

Have a mission statement that clearly explains how you serve and support people on your homepage and in your social headers.

This is simple but makes a huge difference because users should be able to grasp how you can help instantly when they interact with your brand.

What problem are you solving for them? Choose one and make it consistent across all platforms.

LIFT UP

Course Strategy With Emily Walker

Focus on how to improve the learner experience to increase completion rates

Ask yourself how you could take and existing offers (or intentionally design new offers) and really elevate the experience. Remember learning experiences are not just courses but also include toolkits, webinars, workshops, live events, etc.

Giving an incredible experience to your students/ clients/ learners is the BEST marketing strategy out there, because the more people who finish your course, the more cheerleaders you have raving about you to everyone they know. 

Using feedback from your current students, make a plan on how to address any challenges and elevate your learning experiences.

TAKE ACTION IN 2019

Take an inventory of all the learning experiences you offer and, if it’s been more than 90days since you last asked for feedback, create a survey and send it out!

Make sure the questions are anonymous for real feedback and are SPECIFIC. Instead of: did you like this course? think: did the [feature/group calls/ community] support your learning?

AMP UP

Amplification Strategy With Liana Ling

Make sure you are strategically diversifying your platforms.

Don't just focus all on Facebook or Instagram. Instead do a mixture of say Facebook, LinkedIn and Google for example.

You don’t need to do everything and go nuts. Strategically choose 3 platforms to focus on and then do a content inventory and figure out the best way to leverage and repurpose your content for each of these networks.

This applies to both organic and paid traffic. For paid, allocate your budget amongst at least 2 different platforms.

TAKE ACTION IN 2019

In this very busy time of year for marketing, showcase straight value to stand out while everyone is in “sell, sell, sell” mode.

Whether you are big or small, everyone can start getting some strategically written value content out there. Videos and blog posts help to educate your target market so that they become aware of the problem you help solve, that they are experiencing it and that you are here as a resource for these types of problems.

This awareness leads to people proactively deciding to discover more and search you out. You can do it organically and with a paid ads campaign.

For example, you can even spend, say $5/day on Facebook to get your value content in front of your target market. These types of ads tend to be the most cost-effective because you are giving value which means people will naturally engage with it a lot more rather than an ad selling something.

TEAM UP

People Strategy With Zuri Lyons

CEO's should be focusing on evaluating how effective their teams are in terms of reaching the goals set out by you, the CEO.

Earning xx dollars is a tempting measurement but it should not be the only focus. CEO's need to be looking at practical and more tangible ways of being effective. If they do, earnings will increase. 

Identify a behavior, process, or practice that creates an obstacle to your goals and then commit to experimenting with one action eliminates or dramatically reduces the obstacle for at least 3-6 months.

Too often we want to find the perfect solution without experimentation which results in getting stuck and not doing anything. Experimentation allows you to try something out and opens the door for critical learning and opportunities to adjust as needed. 

TAKE ACTION IN 2019

Get clear on what effective looks like. How is “effective” defined by you the CEO and by the team? Their buy-in will be crucial to the successful implementation of any changes.

CEO UP

Now What With Diane Mayor

When these Entrepreneur’s Advisory Board experts speak, I listen. 

As I took in each new piece of advice, I could picture it turning my 2020 from big to HUGE. Did you feel that same excitement? 

Did you feel that wave of overwhelm shortly after as you thought about the reality of implementing all those strategies?

It’s so easy to get excited and try to do everything, especially when the advice is this good. But overwhelm leads to not a whole lot of doing. So remember, first set your focus. What is your Q1 goal?

Now, which three areas are going to help you get there faster and easier? Go and re-read those experts, decide on your strategy, make an implementation plan and take action now with the first steps they’ve laid out. 

The rest of the suggestions will be waiting right here for you until you’re ready with the next goal.