For a lot of coworking spaces, marketing can feel like a black box.
You’re not sure what’s working, who’s doing what, or what to do next when things suddenly stop working.
If you’re very small, you might have it under control. You probably don’t spend a lot of money and your marketing is likely fairly straightforward.
But as soon as you have any kind of scale, things get a little hairy.
I want to share with you the three core pillars I use to create, manage, and oversee my clients’ marketing programs.
Those three pillars are processes, projects, and performance.
The first thing I do with my clients is determine what needs to be done to make them more successful.
The first several months are spent working on projects. These are generally one-time (or infrequent) initiatives comprised of sub-tasks and various stakeholders.
In order to keep everything organized, I generally advise we keep track of things in some kind of project management tool.
The point of this is to keep projects organized and to give everyone involved a view into what is actually happening.
To give you an idea, my project dashboard looks like this:
The busier you get, the less visibility you’ll have into everyone’s day-to-day work. It’s easy to lose track of what’s happening if you’re doing a million other things.
So, at a high level, we want a place to keep track of the projects that are underway.
You can make this as simple or complicated as you like. The main thing is that things are written down somewhere so you can see what projects are being done at a quick glance.
Onto the next part: processes.
The human body does a lot of things for you automatically.
Our organs work quietly in the background to perform their functions. Our circadian rhythm regulates what gets done and how often (like sleep). And thankfully, this all happens on auto-pilot.
Your business operates with recurring systems in much the same way. Or, at least you want it to.
You might decide to run Facebook ads each month. Doing this requires a new system—to check performance each week/month to make sure things are working.
You might design and print posters for your local community. And let’s say it works. Now you want to remember to do this once a month/quarter to make sure the results keep coming.
Or let’s say you post to Craigslist and get a few leads. You’ll want to record a process to ensure you keep doing that in the same way to get similar results over time.
By writing down your processes and assigning them a recurring schedule (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly), you create a reminder system that automates discipline and removes the need to remember your good ideas.
For reference, my recurring processes system looks like this (general template shown):
When a project gets done, the question should be, “what system do we need to put into place, and at what interval, to ensure this project is maintained, optimized, and reviewed periodically?”
Over time, your marketing system will have more moving parts. But that’s a good thing. It allows you to fix and improve the areas that stop working over time instead of reacting sporadically when leads aren’t flowing.
Often, when a good idea gets implemented, it shows signs of working, but then we move on to the next thing and forget to systemize the good idea. Or, at least revisit it regularly to check on its ongoing performance.
And that means your results are inconsistent at best.
Which brings us to the third pillar: performance.
Are you able to quickly see what your member acquisition cost is? Is it broken out by the services you offer?
Can you tell me what percentage of leads come from ads? Or how much you spend on marketing relative to your total revenue?
Do you know what your cost per lead is on Google vs. Facebook? Can you quickly tell if your SEO work is producing results?
Being able to track performance on your marketing is critical to making good decisions and eliminating wasted resources over time.
The best way to do that is with a KPI sheet that breaks down inputs and outputs on a weekly or monthly basis.
Create a column on the left to include the activities you’re doing the results you’re getting. Along the top, add the months (or weeks) and track each input and output over time.
Eventually, the numbers interact with each other. You can spot trends and correlations between activities and outcomes.
The numbers (and insights) literally jump off the page after you’ve done this for a while.
For reference, mine looks like this:
If all you did was create a basic version of these pillars, you’ll be better off in terms of how you manage, systemize, and improve the performance of your marketing.
Even just tracking performance can have a major impact on how you make decisions and where you allocate your limited time and resources.
P.S. If you need help with any of this, I’m taking on one or two new clients again for the first time in over two years (yes, I’ve been basically booked solid since the pandemic started).