I remember poring over the morning newspaper on a daily basis with my supervisor Donna, searching for events for the candidate to attend which would expose them to the maximum number of voters. Our job was to fill up the candidate's calendar every day, 7 days a week until Election Day. "There's a pancake breakfast at the firehouse on Saturday, let's schedule the candidate for that event," Donna directed. I stopped, pencil poised over the campaign calendar. "Does the candidate know the folks at the firehouse? Isn't that weird to just show up and start shaking hands with people you don't know? What if the candidate tells us they don't want to do it?" I asked a bit anxiously. Donna looked at me, arching an eyebrow. "Weird or not, if the candidate can't do it, they shouldn't be running for office."
It was an expansion of the success practice my father instilled in me: 10 decision-maker prospect calls a day; at least one decision-maker prospect meeting a day. Whether you're searching for jobs, customers or voters. It's the same Zen practice. Open up the newspaper, Business Review, Chamber of Commerce website, etc. and start filling in your calendar. My particular angle on this best practice is to focus on decision-maker events where I can practice needs-based, win-win networking. Another one of my colleagues combines donations and pro bono work to charity events near and dear to her heart with her networking: another great win-win example.
If for some reason there's a dearth of decision-maker events on the calendar, I catch up with my Board of Directors. Or I sharpen the saw by attending events where I hone / expand my skills and horizons. Or I stay home and catch up on my reading. Unless you're running for political office, I certainly don't advocate the 7-day-a-week calendar practice. It's a creative choice process, ripe with possibilities.
However you decide to plan your calendar campaign, one success statistic remains constant: business owners / entrepreneurs must spend at least 50% of their time marketing for new business in order to sustain / grow their businesses. A potential best practice is for all of us is to do the same, whether the marketing is internal to the organization (as an employee); or externally (job-seeker, networker, entrepreneur, business owner). I love the implied potential of all of us working towards that growth goal.
How full is your calendar campaign this week? And every week thereafter?