What’s More Important? Tactics or Strategy?

Everyone is obsessed with tactics. Traffic tactics, conversion tactics, pricing tactics and every other ‘you-MUST-be-doing-this-one-thing-or-you-will-FAIL’ type tactics.

But this obsession with tactics is getting dangerous.

Ever feel like you’re fighting to find more time to implement the latest tactics, but even though you’re working harder, you’re not see the massive results you’ve expected?

Here’s why… tactics are worthless.

You see, tactics are part 2 of a 2-step process, but no one ever really talks about part 1.

Part 1: The Simple Little Idea Known As “Strategy”

Strategy, now there is a worthy obsession.

It’s the difference between the blogger who has the freedom to run their blog how they want, and the one who must stay chained to their computer, wasting an endless amount of time.

So, what’s the difference between tactics and strategy?

Your strategy is your framework within to think about your business and blog. Tactics are what you use to deploy your strategy.

As an example, tactics might include something like pay per click, SEO, social media marketing, Facebook marketing, and etc.

But strategy? That’s a whole other story.

How to Develop a Rock-Solid Blog Strategy

With all this talk of “Strategy,” you’re likely wondering “I get it, but how do I develop it?”

That’s where what “The 4 Ds of Strategy” come in.

So, grab a pen and paper right now, and let’s go through it.

1. Define your longterm goal.

Take a step back for a minute and think about what you really want in the longterm. If you had your ideal business and your ideal lifestyle in 1, 2, 5, or 10 years from now, what does that look like?

a) What is your longterm goal for your business and blog?

b) How much is enough? How many readers do you want? How much business will your blog generate?

c) What does your ideal business look like in terms of number of staff and set up?

d) What does your ideal lifestyle look like?

2. Determine if what you’re doing right now will get you to your goal in the future.

Now that you know what you’re actually shooting for, let’s take a look at your trajectory to see if the direction your heading will take you to your goal over the next few years.

a) How much is an average customer worth to you over the next 12 months?

To get this figure just multiply your average sale value by the number of times an average customer returns to buy again in the next year.

E.g. If your average sale is $100 and your average customer buys from you once a month, then they are worth $1200 to you over the next 12 months.

Obviously you also want to factor in your costs so you know how much of that $1200 is sweet, sweet profit, but I don’t want to do complex maths in public!

b) Based on these numbers, how many more customers would you need to reach your revenue goal?

c) If you had that many customers, what would your business look like? Would it match your ideal business and lifestyle?

If the answer’s “no” that’s ok. It’s “no” for lots of people! I call this the Oh Sh*t realisation, as in “Oh sh*t! If my business actually gets bigger and I make more money, I’ll hate my life!”.

Don’t worry, it just means that maybe your current business model needs to change to become the business you really want to build.

3. Decide who you want to work with.

Now that you’re starting to get an idea of what you might have to change to get from the business you have to your ideal business, let’s think about who you can serve and what you can sell them.

a) Who is your ideal customer?

In this customer is king world we live in people tend to think that all customers are equal. Don’t get me wrong, great customer service is vital but you must choose who you serve very carefully. The first mistake most business owners make is that they let the customer choose them, rather than the other way round.

If you’ve sold anything to anyone you’ll know that some people are a perfect fit for what you do and others are not right at all. You know, the ones who don’t value what you do, who always complain about the price, and who just aren’t positioned to get the most value from what you offer.

They’re not bad people, they’re just not your ideal customer.

So who is your ideal customer? If they were sitting next to you right now, what would they be like? What are they interested in? What problem do they have that you can solve for them?

b) What products or services can you offer them that will add value to their lives, and that they would be willing to pay for?

Your products or services must deliver real value to your ideal customer and they must fit in with your ideal business model. In other words, the sales numbers need to stack up to give you your target income goal.

And of course, the products or services you are offering must be something that your ideal customer needs and is willing to pay for. Which is not always the same thing.

4. Do what you know.

Now you know what you’re aiming for and how you want to do it, the next step is to get out there and do it!

What you need to do is simple:

Market products and services that are in alignment with your ideal business, and market them to your ideal customer.

Start by implementing what you already know. Use the tactics that fit best. Forget about chasing the latest hyped tactics, you already know tons of tactics that you’re not using.

And when new tactics come along you can quickly assess whether or not they are in alignment with your strategy and your longterm goals.

Free Yourself From The Obsession With Tactics

The real danger of the obsession with tactics is the guilt and paralysis it brings. We’re constantly bombarded with new tactics that we absolutely MUST be doing, so much so that it’s impossible to keep up, and we feel guilty that we’re not doing them all.

This guilt and overwhelm can paralyze you and you end up with all this knowledge of tactics but not doing much of anything at all!

Having a clear strategy gives you room to breathe. Now you know what you’re looking for in tactics – you don’t want just any old tactic, you want the ones that make most sense for your strategy.

So if you haven’t already written down your strategy, do it now. Then choose one tactic – just one – to implement over the next week.

Start to breathe again, always keep one eye on your strategy and take it one tactic at a time.

I’m always fascinated to see people map out their strategy – I’d love it if you would tell me one thing you learned by doing this process. Leave a comment below.

About the author: Megan Heaney is the CEO of Twiggal, where she specializes in no-nonsense online marketing that works for small business owners. She also publishes free training for business owners at twiggal.com.