Is it that time of year again already? A new year has rolled in and may of us are still evaluating our progress from last year. We have a routine of doing quarterly check-ins, and for us, as the 4th quarter begins we have longer, extended meetings to plan out the next 12-18 months.

If you find yourself at a loss for what to do for your brand consultancy, we have a few tips. Some of these tips will apply to digital marketers, some to brand strategists and we even have a few for the team members that handle your social media and SEO campaigns too:

  1. Generate a cumulative report for yourself and your clients. If you’re on a calendar year track, set the dates as Jan. 1 – Dec. 31. If you’re on a fiscal year calendar, run it for a full 15-month term. Use the baseline report as your historical performance record
  2. Hold a meeting to map out your goals or, if you’re like us and you mapped them out in the 4th quarter, to check the dates, campaigns and deliverables against the plan. Be sure you delegate some of that ROI to your team members and set clear expectations  regarding what aspects of your marketing wheel each one is handling
  3. Revisit your suite of services and products. Do they still matter? What sold the most in 2016? What sat on the shelf? Don’t discredit what sat on the shelf. Could it be that you presented it to the wrong people, presented it at the wrong time, or didn’t present it as an option at all? If you didn’t present your full suite of offerings, it’s important to know why
  4. Evaluate your social media metrics. What did your social media engagement look like last year? It’s not just a numbers game. Looking at how the community grew from 5,000 to 20,000 members may seem impressive, but if money was the only thing driving that growth, you have a community of unresponsive members. The likes, comments, shares and suggestions are the most valid part of being in community
  5. Know if your tribe has moved. Speaking of community, where does your current or desired community hang out? Did you get more visibility on Facebook or LinkedIn? Which do you prefer?
  6. Tighten up your lead gen funnel. What was your strategy for lead generation last year? What should it be this year? If you don’t examine your brand strategy (or worse, if you didn’t have one), you’ll end up doing the same thing and getting mediocre results.
  7. Set times throughout the year that you will review your progress and check in on your goals. Mid-year may be fine for some business owners, but that may be too late to keep things on the right track. Consider a monthly or bi-monthly check-in so that you don’t fall off so far that you can’t course correct and if you don’t have a team yet, connect with a few colleagues in your industry to do this, and hold each other accountable.

Setting goals for your business doesn’t have to be time consuming or discouraging. Whether you like spreadsheets, vision boards or simple pen to paper, be sure you celebrate the successes from last year and set a few clear objectives for the new year. You can always change the plan, but it’s hard to achieve that which hasn’t even been planned.

Happy New Year!