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January Marketing Focus Wallpaper: Ambition.

ambition desktop wallpaper
New Year is by far my favorite holiday of the year. I love the atmosphere of closure and fresh starts, of collecting your lessons learned and leaving behind what doesn’t suit you anymore. In that spirit, I came up with a little New Year’s gift for you: Focus, for every month of 2013.

Unwrapped: Marketing Focus Wallpapers

Starting with January, you’ll find a wallpaper for your computer, tablet, or phone here on my blog for every month of 2013. Each wallpaper will have a different theme. The idea is to keep that theme in focus, explore it, practice it, work on it, and have fun with it throughout the month.

You can of course come up with your own interpretations of the themes, but in case you’re in the mood for more specific suggestions on how they might translate into marketing ideas and actions, I will also offer a blog post on the theme along with the wallpaper.

Sound good?

Then on to the first theme of the year: Ambition. Feel free to read on, or skip ahead and download the wallpaper at the bottom of this post.

January Focus: Ambition

Ambition to me means dedicating yourself to a goal that requires you to stretch yourself, to learn new skills, find creative solutions, and be OK with uncertainty. It means trusting your potential, intuition, and stamina.

In some ways, it’s like setting out to climb a mountain: you can’t predict every step you’ll need to take to reach your goal (if you can, it’s probably not all that ambitious) or what conditions you’ll encounter, but you’ve still got to be ready to get going and enjoy the process – and let go if you realize that it’s not the right goal or the right time for you.

(I also liked this article on ambition and wisdom on tiny buddha.)

How ambition might infuse your marketing activities this month:

1. Define your ambitions.

Clarify your goals for your practice or business for the year. What do you want it to provide for others? What do you want from it for yourself? Include some big, ambitious goals, the kind that will continue to inspire and motivate you for the long haul.

2. Distill your message from it.

Create a clear and simple message about your vision to share with your people. Of course you don’t have to make all of your goals public, but let them know where you are headed, why it matters, and how they can get involved.

3. Spark connections.

Identify the people who share your ambitions, and the ones you want to benefit from it. Find out how you can reach out and connect with them. Start sparking some of those connections this month.

4. Start the learning process.

Make a list of skills you need in order to realize your ambition. How, where, and when can you learn them? And how can you have the most fun possible with the learning process?

Download your January wallpaper


320 x 480, 1024 x 768, 1280 x 800, 1366 x 768, 1440 x 900, 1024 x 1024.

The superb photo of the Matterhorn is the work of Chris Zielecki a.k.a. zanthia on Flickr.

DIY Marketing Technique: Filmable Action Moments

diy marketing technique: filmable action moment
Today, I’d like to share a simple technique for evaluating your DIY marketing materials: envisioning a filmable action moment.

If you’re near your work space or happen to have any of your homegrown materials with you, get one of them on front of you. You can pick any printed materials, or pull up your own website.

Pretend to look at it for the first time (easier said than done, I know, but bear with me here) and are generally interested in the topic.

My question for you is this: Can you see yourself taking action on the information there?

Lay out a clear path.

Ideally, your DIY marketing materials should lay out a clear path toward a filmable action moment. Let’s put all the vague ideas about awareness-raising and interest-piquing aside for a minute and pull out the mental camera. What do you see?

Hopefully no confused head scratching.

Do you want that lovely person to click that button, or fill out your registration form? Share your link on her Facebook profile? Forward your newsletter to her friend because that workshop you have coming up would be just perfect for her? Then make it super clear on your materials what is supposed to happen next, and how to get there.

Elements to inspire a filmable action moment:

Here are some elements that might help:

  • A straightforward writing style. Cut out detours and fluff.
  • A minimal, clean layout – limit the number of colors, font styles, alignments, images, and other graphic elements.
  • In combination with the point above, highlight your invitation to take action.

Want my eyes on your materials? Just head over to the contact form and leave me a note. 🙂

{Photo by Jonathan Kos-Read on Flickr.}

The purpose of a simple marketing plan.

trail map by krupp

Why plan?

Nope, I don’t mean this as a rhetorical question. Just think about the amount of paper, time, and brain power wasted on plans destined for drawers and folders, never to be seen again. To save your superb marketing plan from that unfortunate fate, get clear on the why first.

The purpose of planning is not to make a plan.

The purpose is to give you something that actually increases your chances of realizing your intention, and doing it well, with fewer setbacks and detours. It should compel and inspire you to take action every time you look at it, and make it easier to stay on track and follow through because the hard decisions have already been made.

Think of your marketing plan as your trail map – if you have one, you won’t have to bushwhack your way through the shrubbery, hoping you’ll get somewhere.

You’ll also notice the milestones along the way and know when it’s a good time to take a break and when you need to keep pushing.

The case for simplicity in marketing.

I have three main reasons for keeping your marketing plan simple:

One, chances are you’ll get going sooner. When you’re working on an elaborate 279-page plan, it’s tempting to go down the rabbit hole of endless fine-tuning. A solid, simple marketing plan will give you enough direction and inspiration to get going, and not overwhelm you with details and assumptions.

Two, it leaves room for flexibility and adjustments. If the conditions change, or if you discover new avenues you didn’t even have on your radar, it’s easier to adjust a lean, simple marketing plan than a very detailed one (also, it decreases your work-for-naught risk.)

Three, you’re more likely to stay focused. When you stick to the essentials, there are less details and options left to confuse and distract you. Better do two or three things consistently, intentionally, and with style, than 56 half-ass.

Up next: How to draft a simple marketing plan.

Stay tuned – I’m working on a little something for you to help you take the DIY route to marketing planning and design your own trail map. Leave me a note if you’d like me to send it your way when it’s hatched.