See into the Future By Creating A Marketing Calendar

SmallCalendarStockA marketing calendar is basically a series of goals for completing a marketing task by a certain date. Having one allows you to stay on top of your marketing efforts throughout the year. There’s nothing worse than discovering it’s already December and you forgot to do any marketing for your Christmas party shows!

It may be a pain to think about these things in advance, but it will save you stress in the long run. If you just finished a busy summer, the last thing you probably want to think about is that you need to design your Christmas postcard and get them printed so that you can have them sent out before October.

Example marketing plan for Christmas shows:

  • Send out Christmas Party Postcard to past clients by October 14th.
  • That means that you’ll want to have all the postcards addressed before October 10th assuming it will take a few days to address them all by hand.
  • Which means you’ll want to have the postcards ordered from the printer before October 1st assuming it will take a week to get them in the mail.
  • Which means you’ll want to hire someone to design your postcards before September 15th assuming it will take them a couple weeks to complete the project.

As you can see in this example, something as simple as sending a postcard to past clients means that you need to be thinking about that project at least a month in advance. You don’t need to necessarily use specific dates like I had in my example, often in our business you’ll just want to have a task completed before a certain week or month.

Some markets require even earlier planning:

  • Festivals for example often book 9+ months in advance. The bigger the festival, the sooner in the year they’ll probably book their entertainment. It seems to me that most large festivals these days require you to submit an application through an electronic process on their website. That means you’ll need to create a reminder in your calendar to fill out an application on their site before the deadline.
  • Libraries may rebook on you the spot for next year’s events, but sometimes they need to wait later in the year to figure out their funding. Find out when they get this information, and set a reminder in your calendar so you can touch base with them. If you’re offering a show that matches their theme, you may need to begin planning your show material early so that you can develop your corresponding marketing materials to promote your new show.
  • Conferences and conventions book throughout the year since they don’t happen during a specific season. They also vary widely in how early they book. Some book just a few months in advance, as some book years in advance. You’ll need to look at your specific customers to determine what your strategy will be. Maybe your strategy includes sending out a targeted newsletter to these clients throughout the year?

There are plenty of markets for magicians and all of them require a different marketing strategy. No matter how you choose to connect with your clients it will take several weeks or months of preparation and without a plan these dates are going to pass you by without you even noticing.

Once a year you should sit down and figure out what you’re going to do for the entire year. How will you market your shows to the different markets you work in? What will you need to have designed and printed? Will you need to film any video? Write blog posts, emails, or newsletters? In my first few years of business I was constantly running out of time with projects because I wasn’t prepared. After a few years you’ll have hopefully developed your own system it should become easier and easier every year.

Having a marketing calendar isn’t just a tool for the professional performer. If you’re a part-time performer your most valuable resource will be your time. By having a marketing calender it will let you ‘see into the future’ with your marketing strategy so that you can better plan your time, money, and resources properly.

The bottom line is by creating and following your marketing calendar you’ll be better prepared to serve your market to the best of your abilities.

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