amhf8 - using your marketing calendar to lighten your workloadin Tim Ferris’ book the Four Hour Workweek, he talks about reducing your workload with three techniques:

  • Eliminating tasks
  • Automating tasks
  • Batching tasks.

(Of course, we think the title of the book is laughably disingenuous, but the content is definitely worth a read!)

In any case, we talk about ways to do just that in this week’s episode.




Speaker 1 00:00:09 You’re listening to aviation marketing Hangar Flying, the community for the best sales and marketing professionals in the aviation industry. You can’t learn to fly just from a book. You learn from other pilots who know the tools, the skills, and the territory. Your hosts, John and Paula Williams, are your sales and marketing test pilots.

They take the risks for you and share strategies, relevant examples, hacks and how tos. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes so you won’t miss a thing.

Paula Williams 00:00:47 Welcome to aviation marketing Hangar Flying episode 8. Today we are talking about using your marketing calendar to lighten your workload, which is what we all need, right?

[LAUGH] I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams 00:01:00 I’m John Williams.

Paula Williams 00:01:02 And we are ABCI, and ABCI’s mission is-

John William 00:01:06 To help all you folks out there sell more products and services in the aviation world.

Paula Williams 00:01:10 Now, a lot of the stuff that we get from a lot of the groups that we belong to, I used to work for FranklinCovey, being a huge time management fan.

And I think a lot of times when people fail in their marketing objectives, it is more a failure of time management than anything of else. Things just don’t get done the way they’re supposedly done and things don’t get done in a timely way. It’s really, really important to do really good time management and to use your calendar.

As much as it is to be a brilliant marketing mind, [LAUGH] and to have fantastic marketing ideas, it’s even more important than that just to get stuff done. Would you agree?

John Williams 1 00:01:53 Absolutely.

Paula Williams 00:01:54 Right. Okay, so in fact one of our marketing mastermind groups has a big thing on the wall, a big poster on the wall, it says, reasons campaigns fail.

One, failure to implement. Two, failure to implement. Three, failure to implement. Four, ran out of time. Five, failure to implement. Six, failure to implement. I think you get the idea.

John Williams 00:02:17 It’s much better to have something imperfect out there than to try to make it perfect and never get it done.

Paula Williams 00:02:23 Exactly. All right so today, talking about what does a marketing calendar do for me. Last week we talked about your BHAG, or your big hairy audacious goal. [LAUGH] And this week we’re going to talk about the next two items on the list, which is, a marketing calendar helps you work together with other people and helps you to educate, rather than sell.

In the following weeks, we’re gonna be covering other topics about your marketing calendar, including how to create urgency with your seasonal campaigns and offers, planning your trade shows and events, planning your expenses, and taking advantage of holidays. So, all of those things are coming up in future episodes.

But those first two we’re going to cover today. Helping you work with other people and helping you educate rather than sell. The first thing I want to talk about is something that was made, I know it’s been around a lot longer than that, but it was made really popular a couple years ago.

Tim Ferriss wrote the book The 4-Hour Workweek. I think the title is just laughably absurd. What do you think, John? [LAUGH]

John Williams 00:03:31 Well, and I understand, because after you read the book, what he did, and we’ve actually, when we were working did some of that, but to do that on an ongoing basis, just is not workable.

Paula Williams 00:03:43 Exactly, even in the book Tim Ferriss would take three months and work like a crazy Olympic workaholic, and then he would take other times where he’d have weeks or months at a time where he just did a four hour work week. So, that makes sense. But the way that he did it was by batching, coordinating, and outsourcing tasks.

And those three things, basically he would take every task that he was doing and ask himself, can I eliminate this, can I automate this, or can I outsource this? And if you couldn’t do any of those things and had to do it himself, then he would batch it.

So, all of those things, of those techniques, I think batching is the least used. In fact, when we do these podcasts, we batch them. Do a lot of recording, and then we do a lot of producing, then we do a lot of setting it up on the blog, and we do a lot of getting the transcriptions done.

And everything in batches, which really helps our work flow and increases the amount of work that we can actually get done with the least amount of time. So, batching, coordinating, and outsourcing tasks. What I would suggest that you do with your calendar is think around production of materials.

What can you do, if you produce, our social media guide that comes out every year in the fall, we are working toward that all year long with different articles, different surveys that we do, different research that we do, and so forth. And in what other ways can we use each of those pieces in order to make that really effective?

So every piece of work you do, think about how can I batch this in a way that makes sense? Okay. Any other examples of batching, outsourcing, automating?

John Williams 00:05:37 Well, outsourcing and automating there are lots of things to talk about there. You’re doing the talking.

Paula Williams 00:05:43 [LAUGH] Okay. Outsourcing, you don’t have to do that to, you think about India or China or outsourcing to somewhere outside of the country.

Actually, I think of outsourcing as just outside of my head. If I can give John something to do, I do it. And that, to me, is outsourcing, which saves me time. Or, if I can outsource it to someone that I can either trade work for. Some of our audio production we did with someone that needed some other work that we were really good at, and he’s really good at that.

So that’s one way to get work done. So you don’t have to think, outsource, way outsource. You can think, who do I know that is really good at this, that I can either pay or trade something that I’m really good at to get this done? All right. So, that’s batching, coordinating and outsourcing tasks.

So, now let’s talk about working together. You had a team of people at one time that had a little bit of difficulty working together. And I would say probably your first couple of weeks of working together accomplished basically not a whole heck of a lot. You wanna talk to us about that?

John Williams 00:07:02 Well, when I started business school, they told us you would graduate or fail as a team. And our teams were five persons each, and being the type of people that were in this business school, and it’s what they call the exec program, so they did everything for you, and it was a different type of instruction, which is a lot of work.

And I was good, but we all tended to do it separately rather than having everybody take a piece of it. That means everyone had to do it all.

Paula Williams 00:07:43 Let me interject one thing here. These are the kind of folks that when they were in school they were the ones that dreaded the group projects because they were always the type A individuals who would end up staying up all night and doing all the work because they couldn’t count on anybody else.

All C level people, people who started their own companies. One was a commander in the Navy. All kinds of folks that are just not used to having to work as a team. So, back to you, John.

John Williams 00:08:13 So ultimately we figured out after a couple of weeks, this just wasn’t going to work.

And nobody had ideas, so I suggested that we hire a consultant to come in and do what is known as a team formation. And they said, well, what’s it gonna cost? I said, well, I think I know somebody who will do it for pizza and beer. So, we had this person come in, and over the course of, I don’t know, a week, maybe two, interviewed each individual, put it all together, got a meeting going, and got us to commit to working as a team.

And we became the highest performing team in that class. And matter of fact we took one of our finals as a team, and the instructor said, now wait a minute, do you understand the ramifications of this? And we looked at him and said, well, of course. Well, he didn’t believe us, so he interviewed each one of us separately, and we did it.

And we so much outperformed everybody else on that final that he just couldn’t believe it.

Paula Williams 00:09:20 Right. So, how this relates to the calendar is, basically, you can do a lot more with a team. I know there is the African saying, if you want to go fast, go alone.

If you want to go far, go with a team. And this team went far and fast, and the reason that they were able to do that is because in this team formation process, we went through several different things. Basically, the agenda of a team formation is mission, goals, objectives, roles and responsibilities, and then tasks.

So if you can get those together with a group of people and you a common mission, goals and objectives, and then the roles and responsibilities and you’ve agreed to that. Everybody agrees, yes, I will do this by this date and is absolutely impeccable with their timing and absolutely impeccable with their delivery of quality on time.

Then the team can actually really thrive because they’re building on what each other is doing, instead of working against each other duplicating effort, or any of those things.

John Williams 00:10:36 I have to say that the person that did the team formation is now my wife.

Paula Williams 00:10:42 [LAUGH]

John Williams 00:10:43 At the time we barely knew each other and were working at competing consulting firms for the same client, and it was like pulling teeth out of a hen to get her to do anything for me, but she agreed to do that for the team.

Paula Williams 00:10:57 Right. [LAUGH] Well, and that was one of the first projects we worked on together, so that was a lot of fun and that was a great opportunity for us to work together, and we’ve kind of been doing that ever since.

John Williams 00:11:09 So, what I’m saying is she knows team formations and how to make team formations work.

Paula Williams 00:11:13 [LAUGH] Right. And a lot of times that’s what we end up doing for clients. In a lot of cases, they know everything they should be doing, but they have a hard time getting out of each other’s way and out of their own way. So, doing a team formation with their sales and marketing team can be really powerful.

But working together when you do your marketing calendar, and we’re gonna talk about that in more detail, and of course you’ve probably downloaded the marketing calendar template and are working through that. You need to plan in that time for those team formations and you need to plan in that time extra time to work together, because you can’t surprise people, it’s just obnoxious.

So, here’s one way that you can work together with a group even if you’re an entrepreneur or you’re a tax guy or an insurance guy or somebody that is off on your own. A solopreneur, I think is what the fashionable term is for those kind of folks. Or for other people who, maybe you’re the only marketing person in your company.

We do, in our marketing master class, we cover one topic a month. If you can batch your tasks with ours, or with our syllabus, that really saves a lot of time, because you get two things when you’re in the master class. You get a group of people to work with that you can ask question of in our Facebook group and in our interactive webinars and things like that.

And you also get an hour of consulting time with us if you have the silver level or higher, and then you get more consulting time than that with the gold level, but.

Paula Williams 00:12:52 So, in January we are working on prospecting. Let’s say you set an objective or a goal in January having to do with prospecting.

You’re going to get x number of prospects. You can use the folks in that group and you can use us for that consulting hour. And you can use lots of other resources for prospecting instead of duplicating work and thinking, well, I don’t have time to take a class.

And I don’t have time to do my job, both. You do it together. You are the lab [LAUGH] for the class. So, as you are putting together your calendar, if you can coordinate it with the calendar for the master class, that’s one way to batch those tasks together and also use teamwork and coordination to get things done faster and more efficiently.

Does that make sense?

John Williams 00:13:44 Of course.

Paula Williams 00:13:45 Okay, great. All right, so one of the things that we talked about is the Facebook group with the marketing master class. Whether you use this group or whether you have a mastermind or some other group,

Paula Williams 00:14:02 Marketing executives and other executives tend to want to do things themselves.

And I blame the school system. Where you had to do your own work, don’t look on other people’s papers, don’t do this that or the other thing. You need to prove your own worth and do things independently. And that’s also an American thing. You want to be self-sufficient and all that fabulous stuff.

And there’s nothing wrong with that, but things work so much better when you work together. And whether you use our group or whether you use another group to work together and figure out, here’s some common objectives that we can work on. Here’s a piece of work I can outsource to someone on a mastermind group that I’m with and trade that to someone else that is a value I can do.

So, that Facebook group for the marketing master class is one place where a lot of that horse trading happens. In the mastermind groups that we belong to, there’s a lot of horse-trading that happens as far as, let me proofread your book and you proofread my book. Or let me do this for you while you do this for me.

And that really helps us out a lot.

John Williams 00:15:17 It all helps out everybody that’s involved in it.

Paula Williams 00:15:20 Exactly, and two brains are better than one, and six brains are better than two. Those are all really great opportunities. And if you can figure out how to make that work, that’s fantastic.

That’s one of the key talents that I think is gonna really make the difference in the next few years between companies that really thrive and companies that don’t. Or ones that wanna do everything themselves and ones that are able to develop those agreements across companies. Okay, so that is working together, coordinating and batching and everything else.

So, now let’s talk about educating, rather than selling. Of course AVCS specializes in something that we call long cycle marketing. And tell us about long cycle marketing.

John Williams 00:16:08 You’re looking at me like you want me to talk.

Paula Williams 00:16:11 [LAUGH]

John Williams 00:16:11 I think you’re on a roll.

Paula Williams 00:16:13 Okay.

Well long cycle marketing is anything that is not just selling snow cones in the park. Anything that is a complicated product or service you are selling to more than just an individual you are selling it to an organization. So, business to business, large ticket, high tech, complex sales take a long time.

And you need to plan in that time and build your pipelines so that you are educating people about your product. They’re not gonna buy it the first time they hear of it, and the more complicated it is and the larger their organization is, the longer that’s gonna take.

So, what having a calendar does is it lets you spread that out. You’re not going to be able to get somebody to sit down and you’re not gonna be able to give them a one hour lecture. The world just doesnt work that way, especially if they’re not convinced of the value of your product.

So, what you have to do is catch their attention with things that we call information snacks. You have to have really high-quality content that explains your product really well. And that content can involve case studies, customer success stories, factoids, tip of the week, other kinds of information people are really interested in.

And the more interesting and high value you can make that information, the more likely it is to lead to a relationship. And that relationship leads to more education. They ask you more questions, you answer them. You ask them more questions, find out more about them, maybe adapt your product, and other kinds of things.

So, this is a two-way street.

John Williams 00:17:54 This becomes a low-pressure approach to sales and it positions you as the expert.

Paula Williams 00:18:05 Mm-hm.

John Williams 00:18:05 Without even trying.

Paula Williams 00:18:07 Exactly. So, you build the relationship. You make sure this is a good fit for them. If it’s not a good fit for them, maybe there’s something you can do to make that happen.

Or in some cases you may wanna make a referral or whatever. But in any case, it takes longer than regular selling. So, the way you make up for that is having a lot of people in your pipeline. So that you’re educating a lot of people at the same time and they are all kind of like your tomato plants.

They’re ripening at different speeds. If you plant a tomato plant in June and then in about August or September you’re gonna have one or two tomatoes, and then by the end of September you’re gonna have tons of them becoming ripe at the same time, [LAUGH] which is great.

So, in your business what that means is that you have to use your calendar and you have to figure out how long is the average. And the longer you’ve been in business, the better your organization is and the more detailed notes you keep in your CRM, the better you can gauge, it takes eight months to get a ripe tomato.

Or it takes eight months to get a customer to the point where they are ready to execute a sale. So then you need to have a whole bunch of people in your pipeline that get to that eight month point, or it’s maybe more like six to ten depending on their circumstances and things like that.

So you have to have a wide top of your pipeline that narrows down to a smaller middle, which narrows down to a really narrow end of the pipeline. Because some people are gonna be dropping out at different points. But the larger that top of your pipeline is, the better.

So, educating rather than selling really moves them from one stage to the next at their time rather than yours, and it also helps you forecast your income and make that work. All right.

John Williams 00:20:07 At least your forecast your revenues.

Paula Williams 00:20:09 Forecast your revenues, thank you. John is our CFO and he keeps reminding me to be pristine with my financial terms, and revenues are different than income.

Want to talk about that? Nope okay, that’s not what we are here for today. Okay, to educate rather than sell. You’ve got people that are absorbing information in different ways. So, some people will never look at social media, they only want your printed newsletter. And so if you’re doing a quarterly or a monthly printed newsletter, that’s all the information they ever get from you.

And that’s fine. Some people are going to come to your events and read your newsletter, but never look at your social media. Some people will look at your social media but they’ll never read your newsletter or come to your events. So that’s why you need to take the same bit of information and let’s say we get a really great article, or a really great customer testimonial or case study.

What we can do is take a Ginsu knife to that great piece of content. Actually, we’ll use it whole and maybe our newsletter on our blog. And then we’ll chop that up into little factoids that we can deliver as information snacks in emails, and then even smaller bits and pieces that we can use on social media.

The smallest being Twitter, you know, 140 characters. That’s not a lot of information. So, you have to plan those carefully, and you can make those pretty frequent. So, one great article you could make into maybe five different blog posts and ten emails, and 30 tweets. So there’s lots of ways to make that information more digestible, so somebody might pick up the whole case study at your booth at a trade show and might sit and read the whole thing, but that’s pretty unlikely.

You really need to catch their attention with something shorter and snackier to begin with. Make sense so far?

John Williams 00:22:17 Of course.

Paula Williams 00:22:18 So, do you have any examples of how someone’s caught your attention with little bits of information?

John Williams 00:22:24 Well, before I bought my first airplane.

Paula Williams 00:22:27 Mm-hm.

John Williams 00:22:28 [COUGH] I’d been out looking around, and somebody obviously got my name and phone number, and from there they got my address, and they sent me a postcard. And I said, oh, that’s cool. And I didn’t even worry about it anymore. And about three months later I got another postcard.

It took six of those postcards before I went down and talked to the guy and bought an airplane.

Paula Williams 00:22:50 Exactly.

John Williams 00:22:51 I mean it was something I’d intended to do. Just life kept getting in the way, and business and things. You know how that goes. So, finally, they weren’t pressuring me, just reminding me of the different various things and the coming,

John Williams 00:23:08 Good deal I could get, at the particular time I purchased the aircraft. So, it all worked, it just took them about six months to get me into the office.

Paula Williams 00:23:20 Exactly. There’s another story we like to tell of a, business jet that was sold on Facebook, now.

That sounds absurd, and it is. It wasn’t sold on Facebook. But the first contact was Facebook. Someone saw a photograph of an airplane, with some details. And it was interesting enough for them to go to the broker’s website, download a brochure, make a phone call. Have several conversations and several more emails, several more phone conversations.

And the whole process took several months. And then they ended up making a several million dollar deal on a business jet. Now, did that come from Facebook? Was that deal executed on Facebook? No, but-

John Williams 00:24:09 First contact was there.

Paula Williams 00:24:10 Exactly. So, that’s what we mean by those information snacks.

Now, if that same person had been in the market for an aircraft and gotten a phone call from the broker, he may or may not have responded. It depends on whether he was in the office or not. I mean, it’s just a matter of providing enough of those little pieces of information to be in the way of your ideal customer at the right time.

Great so, we talked about batching, we talked about coordinating, we talked about teamwork. And we talked about educating, rather than selling, and how that relates to your calendar, of course. As you’re going through and writing down the things that you’re gonna wanna put in that calendar, you wanna give people enough time.

So, if you have a campaign for a complex product, you can do a one month campaign. But if your product is something that has a longer cycle, and if it’s gonna require a lot of teamwork on your part to get that done, and things like that, you want to make sure that you’re planning in enough time for that.

We kind of like 90 day campaigns, especially for aviation, because that’s long enough to get somebody’s attention, and get them far into the sales cycle. So, the average purchase of a large-ticket or complex item in the aviation industry is about eight months. But your campaigns can be a little bit shorter than that.

You just wanna get them through the top part of the funnel, in that amount of time, cuz these are advertising campaigns. And then the marketing system takes over. By that time they’re talking to a salesperson and you can take it from there. All right, so to quickly recap, what does the marketing calendar do for me?

John Williams 00:26:06 Helps you work together with other people and you can plan events, expenses, holidays and so forth.

Paula Williams 00:26:17 Exactly. So today we talked about it helps you work together with other people and it helps you educate rather than sell. Next week we’re gonna be talking about creating urgency in your marketing with seasonal campaigns and offers, planning trade shows and events.

And then, the following week, we’ll talk about planning expenses and taking advantage of holidays. So, thank you for joining us. If you have not yet downloaded the calendar, it is $1. Hopefully, that’s not going to break the bank for you, but again, we do want to make sure that this doesn’t get caught up in the flotsam and jetsam of the Internet and all of the free garbage that is out there on the Internet.

We are asking you to pull out your wallet and pay $1 for that. The template includes a guide that goes into more detail about everything that we talked about on this podcast and the other podcasts in this series, a sample completed marketing calendar, and a blank calendar template in Microsoft Word that you can customize for your company.

And once again, we charge $1 because we want you to invest and take the time to make that stand out from all of the other free things that you’ve ever downloaded and set in a pile on your desk to deal with later. This is something we really want you to do now, because it really will make a big difference in your company.

And the better you do, the better we do.

John Williams 00:27:39 Of course.

Paula Williams 00:27:39 Exactly, so thank you for listening. And please do subscribe on iTunes, and leave a review for the aviation marketing Hangar Flying podcast.

John Williams 00:27:48 We’ll see you next time.

Speaker 1 00:27:50 Thanks for joining us for aviation marketing Hangar Flying.

The best place to learn what really works in sales and marketing in the aviation industry. Remember to subscribe on iTunes, and leave a rating.

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