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It’s Time You Understand That Your Media Plan is Your Business Plan

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Media is everywhere. Regardless of if you think about it in a ‘normal’ way such as TV or radio, the first reality we must acknowledge is that media is everywhere. Have a social media account? You are in media (hint: it’s in the phrase!). 

From the moment we wake up until we fall asleep at night, media consumes us. It has grown itself into a necessity that we cannot seem to live without. So, like many other elements of life, rather than fight it, we jump into its stream and let it take us where it pleases.

If we juxtapose how media affects our lives in a similar fashion that business does, we discover stunning similarities. No one would argue that a business that fails to plan should plan to fail. In today’s economy, we can take a deeper step to say that any business who fails to plan how they show up (media) will not last long.

This article discusses the importance of understanding that to remain sustainable and thus successful in business, we must have a media plan that threads through our entire business dealings and thus through our business plan. In the past, a media plan was “what can I do to get on TV now” and often a fleeting thought to a business’s overall mission. It’s not enough to have a few paragraphs in your business plan most likely as part of the marketing plan.

Those days are gone if you want your business to last. We used to joke in the last few decades about how quick technology is at replacing itself. Just look at how many iPhone generations there are or updates to Microsoft Office™ programs that we ‘have’ to have…not because they are new, but because if we don’t, the current hard shell of that technology becomes obsolete. Let’s explore why this is essential and then what it looks like.

You Media Plan is Your Business Plan

Since we now know that media is everywhere, we cannot afford to not integrate how we show up for our clients, customers, and future customers. They are looking at us and for us daily. Think for a moment as we enter the holiday season. Stores that show up for the holidays will see a surge of business during this time and often struggle with the rest of the year to maintain momentum or steady profitable income.

Now, look at Amazon. Since its inception, it is in our face daily, sometimes hourly to remind us that they are here to service our every need, and often at a lower price point. The team there understands that we as a society enjoy living our lives online.

Not thinking about this reality means that you are tucking away your media exposure to an event not a lifestyle. Not seeing your media plan as a thriving thread in your business is like saying that your changing your eating habits to eat healthier, one meal a week.

When we understand that every action taken as a business has the potential to show up on, in, or through media, how we show up starts to change. Now your marketing plan doesn’t just state “live FB video weekly,” but it begins to show up in your sales strategy along with your overall mission and vision. Your executive summary now eludes to the business making an impact (which is successful through media exposure).

Your forecast sheets now talk about how you plan to show up in new media platforms such as TikTok. Media plays a huge part in gaining a competitive advantage over your competition. Even your products and services play into the media. No longer can media be a second thought, as it should be intertwined with your business plan.

How Do I Make The Switch?

This is easier than you think. It begins with acknowledging that media access is all around us at every moment of the day. Understanding this should help you shift your mindset. 

As you are working on your business plan, whether updating it or strategically thinking about how you want your business to show up, weave the thread of media into every paragraph.

Simply asking the who, what, where, when, and why questions to how media shows up is the start. Allow yourself to ponder the concept of ‘what if the news media were following my every footstep of my business for three months’ and answer the question how that would affect and guide your actions. The world is watching you…how are you showing up?

How do you use social media, blogs, and other mediums to positively impact your personal brand or business? Share your thoughts and stories with us below!

International Educator, Speaker, Author, and Business Coach, Lori helps entrepreneurs and organizations focus on the foundational tools needed for sustained success. As a Curriculum Designer and Business Professor, Lori has helped grow hundreds of organizations organically (including her own company that includes Legacy Builders, Media Secrets, and Driven Mastery -- brands that help Entrepreneurs build a true, long-lasting purpose). Lori has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, & various regional markets. She has authored / co-authored several books and works globally to support literacy, cancer research, young entrepreneurship, and military programs. Helping raise over three million dollars for literacy, Lori was awarded the Lifetime Presidential Service Award for her work. More recently Lori co-hosts a weekly webinar entitled Marketing Essentials Unlocked, with Co-host Brain Gangel and travels extensively speaking being featured over 500 times yearly in the media. For more info visit www.lorimcneil.com.

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Are you completely new to networking?

Then this article is a great place to start. Networking isn’t hard on paper…you go along to online and in-person meetings, make new connections and build relationships, and those relationships lead to more work so you can grow your business! The challenge is that in reality, it isn’t quite so straightforward, as our emotions get involved and make things much tougher.

It’s incredibly common for nerves to creep in and to feel overwhelmed and apprehensive when it comes to networking – even when it isn’t new to you. But how can you become more successful at it, feel less self-conscious, and make networking work for you and your business?

Here’s a few tips to help you embrace every business networking opportunity you get, so you can grow your business and achieve your goals.

Rock up with confidence

If you want to keep those nerves at bay and ooze confidence at networking get-togethers, you’ll need to downplay it rather than seeing it as a big occasion. Try not to put pressure on yourself and see it as a casual meet-up with a bunch of people with similar goals to you. To help you relax in the run-up to the event, be sure to set achievable goals and expectations before you go.

Keep your chin up and your goals in mind – positivity is key. One easy goal for your first networking meeting is very simply to speak to one other person and see where the conversation goes. Introduce yourself and your business, but take the time to listen to their story, too. It’ll only take a few minutes and will be over before you know it, so it’s nothing to fear. You may even enjoy it and want to speak to a few more people, too!

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Where to go networking

If you’ve never been networking before, it might not be very easy to find a group – but only because there’s so much choice and you don’t know where to start your search! Groups come in different sizes and styles, so it’s important to find one that suits you and your business. Informal, formal, big, small… the choice is yours.

For your first meeting, start small to ease yourself in – a big group could prove too daunting, and stop you from feeling comfortable enough to get involved. After all, you want to make a strong first impression!

If you’re wondering which group to opt for in the long-term, give a few a go! Get a feel for them, speak to as many people as you can, and see which one suits! You’ll know when a group feels right for you, and you can see where those all-important relationships are most likely to be built. If a group doesn’t feel like the right for you, give a different one a go.

Get more leads and referrals

This will happen for you, as long as you put the effort into building those relationships. If you take the time to get to know people, and then check in with them and support them, they’ll see you as a trustworthy and reliable contact who they can call on. And when they feel that way, those leads and referrals you’re looking for will come a-knocking.

Once you’ve made relationships with people who you trust, and they’ve had a positive experience working with you, you can even ask for referrals! But don’t rush this, as you don’t want to inadvertently push people away or try and force the relationship along too quickly.

When you do get an opportunity to work with someone you’ve met at a networking group, go above and beyond to offer more value than they’re expecting, as then, they’ll be much more likely recommend you and introduce you to more of their contacts!

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By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make, and you will be able to grow your business.

We know that it’s not easy, going networking for the very first time. And that’s why we want to give you all the advice and tools that you need so you can walk in with confidence and make the most of the opportunity.

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