While the holidays are in swing, your focus should turn to getting ready for next year.  I will tell you how to get started plus tell you how to overcome the biggest obstacle.

Podcast Episodes
How to Make an Annual Marketing Calendar

Jason Owens, Founder of Renewable Confidence

You should be as prepared in your marketing as most retailers are.  July 4th does not sneak up on anyone in that field.  

You no longer need to approach marketing with a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach.  That can end starting today.

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Broadcasting from a small mountain town high in the Colorado Rockies, my name is Jason Owens and this is The Renewable Confidence Podcast, a show that helps you renew your confidence in yourself  and in your business every day.

All right folks, so it’s getting close. Believe it or not, it is getting close to the end of the year. That’s right. Yeah. The holidays are just about upon us.

I think I ended up seeing an email today saying that it was 10 days until we have the black Friday cyber Monday mayhem that starts for those of you who are in online retail and I’ll tell you what, most people right now are not thinking about next year already, but the smart business owners are thinking about next year already.

As we’re getting ready to move, we’re halfway through here. The last quarter. It is time. If you need someone to go ahead and point this out. Oh, let me be that beacon for you. It is time to start focusing on the beginning of the year already. Right?

Start thinking about that first quarter. Start thinking about that a second quarter. Start thinking about that annual marketing calendar.

Now when we talk about how to get started getting started, quite frankly, is the easy part, right?

It’s the follow through that we’ll get to you.

So whenever we think about an annual marketing calendar, well really you have naturally, naturally you want to tailor this to whatever industry you’re in.

All right. So are you in a

  • Retail business?
  • Faith based type business?
  • Do you market to schools?
  • Or do you do business to business?
  • What about financial services?
  • Are you a blogger?

Right? So there’s a wide range of either the type of business you’re in or the type of clientele you are searching for that is really going to help you dictate what type of marketing calendar you aim for. Now, I won’t say that there’s one method there that’s better than the other.

Uh, quite frankly, what works is getting in here and doing some kind of promotion, right? So now I could down in the templates area or sorry, down in the show notes section in the resources area, I could go ahead and put links to a whole bunch of of resources there for you.

But I’ll tell you what, it’s just going to be 10 times easier for you just to go Google the blasted thing. And you can literally just put in “annual marketing calendar template” and you are going to get bombarded with different types of templates.

Now, this is not a show where we’re going to go through the finer points of each template, right? Obviously this is an audio when you can’t see what I’m doing, but I do want to talk about what you will see when you open these things up. Most of the time these templates are some kind of spreadsheet.

Okay? Now already I have probably lost half the people listening to the podcast, right? Because let’s face it, if you are not a spreadsheet type of gal or a spreadsheet type of guy, you may completely blanch at the idea of, of trying to do any kind of planning on a spreadsheet.

When we go through The Signature Program workshop, we just did a one-quarter a marketing calendar and really we did all of that with big giant sticky notes up on the wall and that worked out just great.

So you may end up getting a lot of mileage out of the, the classic standard. Good old fashioned a lesson that’s been done a thousand times. Go down to Walmart of all places. They have a desk top calendar that’s going to be, I don’t know, it’s about three feet wide by about, I don’t know, two maybe two and a half feet tall and it’s literally meant to sit on top of your desk and it’s like four bucks, and it’s going to have obviously the year and the month and all the days of the week and all that stuff on it.

You can just for the sake of the exercise, you can go ahead and grab one of those marketing calendars and literally tear off each page, make it a separate page, put that up on the wall so that you can literally see the entire year up in front of you.

So if spreadsheets aren’t your thing, not a problem, probably wouldn’t hurt to print one of those out. Probably wouldn’t hurt to print a couple of those out. Right. Um, I just going back to the faith based world, uh, if you are in that, let’s say that that more of the ecumenical, right?

So you follow the church calendar well, okay. That by default, that already has a lot of those church holidays built in. Uh, likewise in the Catholic faith there. There’s a calendar there that talks about all the different saints and there are particular days throughout the year, obviously gold, right? I mean, just really good stuff there. If you’re in retail, well then you’re going to be looking at probably more of those major holidays, right? So you are going to have the, the Valentine’s day promotion, you’re going to have the, the, uh, veteran’s day, right? That we just had come up. Um, Mmm. July 4th labor day, Memorial day, right? I mean, all of that, right? Um, business to business, okay. Again, that’s gonna really depend upon what kind of business you’re in. A financial services here, a financial services, good night. Um, I mean, you’ve got tax season, right?

So you’ve got your 401k’s, uh, you have your IRA. If you need to make a deck, a contribution, now you can credit that to last year. Take some money off your taxes, you know, all of that. So you can play that whole game. You have the college savings, right? Um, uh, so anyways, tons and tons of different things happen throughout all of our years depending upon which business we’re in and whom we’re aiming towards. Don’t be afraid to just dive down deep. Now when you get to, uh, the idea of a promotional calendar, I just want you to think in a couple of different categories, right? So we’ve been talking about timeframes, right? So we’ve been talking about whether it’s a no, whatever particular st it is on the Catholic calendar, whatever time of it is in a church calendar. We’ve been talking about holidays for a retail calendar, whatever category or timeframe that you’re in, I want you to think about, okay, what am I going to do for this?

Am I simply going to send out a note to my people? Not really asking them to do a whole lot, but just wishing them a happy fill in the blank, right? I mean, that’s totally doable and just you being on the radar will sometimes generate traffic back to you. Okay. So not everyone listening to this podcast as always trying to drive traffic into a retail store. Um, I just had a, a client ended up sending out a bulk email today, uh, sending out through email marketing, uh, talking about an event he was doing. And the fact that he sent me that email, jogged my mind about, jog my memory about something I need to talk to him about. So I then ended up responding to him on a completely unrelated topic, right? I responded back to him and that’s totally fine because that is all really what email is about.

It’s about helping keep you top of mind. Okay. So, uh, exactly. So in that first category is what are you going to do, right? Uh, the second one is if you are going to have some kind of promotion, well, what’s that promo code going to be? Right? And you go into your online store and get that created. Uh, it could very well be that it’s not a promo code. It could be more of a call and set an appointment with me, right? So whatever your call to action is, right? So come up with that offer. Okay. So get really, really good and start dialing into that offer. And you can’t do the same offer all the time, right? Because that’s just going to get boring. And when something’s boring or people get it and they’ve been there and they’ve done that, they will probably stop responding, right?

Your response rate isn’t going to be so big.  all So with that, I just kind of wanted to to walk you through that portion. Now again, for those of you who will, who will download a spreadsheet and take a look at it. By the way, I do recommend that everyone takes a look at a spreadsheet because it’s going to open up new categories for you. Now, here’s one thing that I want you to watch out for. Okay? And this is why most marketing calendars never get off the ground or never get beyond this brainstorming point. Uh, I do not want you to have a whole bunch of really good ideas and then execute none of it. Here’s the thing that stops people. They look at these, there’s these spreadsheets or, or, or they look at this giant wall with these 12 months taped onto it and people just get paralyzed.

I mean, it’s either paralyzed from, it’s so blank. I don’t know what to put on it or it’s paralyzed from overwhelming the other direction of, Holy cow, look at the detail in this spreadsheet. You mean I have to have all of this stuff? Oh my gosh. Right. So you could end up in overwhelm that way, that that piece, I really want you guys to, to, to let this soak in. When you are sitting there with a spreadsheet or, or with the empty, uh, with a calendar on it, what are you feeling in that moment? Are you feeling this sense of, of overwhelmed? Are you feeling this sense of just paralysis? Those are two major things that that will slow us up and really stop us in our tracks. So for those of you who are paralyzed by this big giant open thing, don’t be afraid to go over to a spreadsheet and look at just one column.

Don’t look at the whole thing that’s got 55 umpteen thousand columns on it and suggestions here and there and blah, blah, blah. You might look at this spreadsheet and go, Oh, okay, well it asks me this particular column is what is the subject line going to be from my email? Huh. Okay. I can wrap my mind around that. Okay. It might be another column of which social media platform am I going to use? This spreadsheet might have 12 different social media platforms in it. You might look at one column and go, huh, I’m seeing all 12 of these social media. I’m going to pick this one. This one’s my favorite. I’m just going to live here and um, I’m not going to do email at all. I’m just going to reach out through social media and, and, and hope for the best, right? So anyway, um, if, if you are a person that is sitting at this giant, a blank wall and you don’t know what to do, uh, go check out a spreadsheet.

Choose one, maybe two columns. Now, for those of you who are staring at this spreadsheet and it just seems so blasted, overwhelming, remember, you don’t have to do everything in this spreadsheet. You do not have to do all of it. Heck, what works for you and the way that you’re going to know quote unquote, what works for you. Just as you’re kind of looking, looking across the headers, right? The titles up there at the top and you’re kind of getting a feel, you know, just kind of looking at the spreadsheet, you’re scrolling up and down, looking at it, scrolling side to side, seeing how wide it is, there’s going to be a few things that just really feel good. There’s just inside you’re like, Oh yeah, that one. I got to do that one. Whenever you feel that internal energy, that intrinsic motivation, whenever you feel you’re inside kind of jump or you feel a little spark in there, yeah, that’s going to be one that you focus on.

So you don’t have to pick every 10 or 11 thing, but the ones that make you come alive inside focus on those ones, right? So again, you want to try to mitigate that sense of being completely overwhelmed, so, so that’s it. That’s the marketing calendar. As I move forward here in my business, I’m also already beginning to think about what my promotional calendar will look like for next year. And it’s going to be fun cause I think I have two of them right now working on an affiliate program and I’m thinking through, wow, how would I market to a group of people who want to kind of be evangelists for the signature program? So what would that look like? Then aside from that, my own marketing, right? How am I going to push the signature program forward? So anyway, if you haven’t been over the Signature Program page on the site, go check it out.

We have a workshop coming up 12th of December.

I would love to have you here in Estes park so we can help you work on your business and take it to levels that you never dreamed or possible.

My name is Jason Owens.

This is The Renewable Confidence Podcast. You guys take care and have a great day. Bye bye.

Posted on Wednesday, Nov 20

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”