You're wasting time on tactics

The number-one mistake most entrepreneurs make when they’re thinking about their marketing is they think in terms of tactics.

I sit down with entrepreneurs all the time. We have a fuzzy, vague idea of where it is we want to go and what we want to accomplish. Entrepreneurs somehow think that someone else is going to come along and define everything for them and make it work before they can select the tactics, how they’re going to go about it, or what the budget is.

First, you need to know what you want to accomplish. Then second, you have to be able to decide what your roadmap is going to be. You now know your endpoint. You know what it is you want to accomplish and where you want to go. It’s more than tactics. It’s more than strategies. It’s the milestones and the plan that’s going to help you achieve your goals.

I love to have a strategy laid out because then you have a clear understanding of what exactly you’re looking to do. Perhaps you’re looking to reach the KPI’s and goals that you have, as well as the steps that you’re going to put in place to get there. Whether you’re looking at building out a marketing campaign or a social media strategy, no matter what you’re looking to do, you need to be able to have key dates, operating procedures, and everything else. That is what gets baked into the roadmap.

There are really two dangers to this. The first one is that you will get too focused on tactics. Even once you’ve set a clear idea, you can spend too much time building your roadmap out without ever doing anything. The second one is that you spend way too much time doing without ever putting a plan in place. You run in circles, and you wonder why you’re wasting all your money. So those two extremes are where most people run into problems.

The secret is to be in the middle, to be able to have enough of a clear strategy and a clear destination to know where you want to go and to know what the next few steps are through your roadmap. Maybe sketch the whole thing out at a high level, knowing that there are known unknowns, and then start doing. Start hustling. Start moving. Start testing.

The roadmap is the framework that will allow you to know whether or not you’re moving in the right direction. However, don’t be so baked into it that you’re doing things that don’t make sense. So the four things that you need to be able to do is first, you need to be able to have a clear destination in mind. Second, you have to have a roadmap in place. Third, you need to start it, and then lastly, you need to follow through with it.