TFYW#060: Leveraging Tactics To Achieve Goals Faster

Nov 3, 2023

This week’s newsletter was high-jacked by a LinkedIn comment.

So let’s dive into achieving goals from a tactical standpoint.

But first…


Today’s Tactic

When you publish a post, there are roughly three types of content you should leverage:

1. Audience Growth Content – This is broad content. You appeal to a wider group of people that you want to join your audience.

It may start with “Five things I’ve noticed 7-figure contracting companies do to reduce their cost of sales…”

You’re speaking to a general audience of contractors here – no one is excluded.

2. Authority Building Content – This is more nuanced to attract and demonstrate that you have the expertise for a sub-group of the broader audience.

This looks like “These are the three trip wires when custom home builders lose bids.”

You’re getting specific here. You are speaking to home builders who are not landing as many bids as they want to.

3. Leading Generating Content – This is where you zero in on the problem and the solution that you offer.

This looks like “Grab my top 3 bulletproof metrics that drive project profitability without sacrificing company profits.”

There should be a balance between the three types of content.

The first two content types are Gives. You give general value with 1. and then specific value with 2.

3. is an Ask. It is a request to move your audience to action.

You’ll want to ensure you have a good Give to Ask ratio.

For me, given that I post on LinkedIn every day, my Give to Ask ratio is about 5 to 1. So, for every five value posts, I ask my audience to do something once.

My Asks include signing up for my newsletter or downloading a Lead Magnet.

For other social platforms where people post more frequently, that ratio needs to be adjusted. On X (formerly twitter), where people tweet 3 – 4 times a day, the Give to Ask ratio needs to be higher, like 15 to 1. Your audience sees your content numerous times daily, and an Ask every third tweet may drive audience members away.

Content creation needs a strategy, and the Give to Ask ratio is part of that strategy.


Wake Up Call

On most Wednesdays, I post on LinkedIn with a call to action to join my newsletter.

Posting a call to action on Wednesday allows people to see the post on that day as well as on Thursdays. Two opportunities to have people join my list before the newsletter is sent.

This week, leading up to today, I posted about the root problem many small firms have in growing their firms.

A few comments were made.

And then this comment rolled in.

Gary’s comment contains a few generalized broad-stroke ideas.

But despite his old-school perspective, not everything he said was crazy talk.

It’s a wake-up call for some.

Ultimately, Gary and I were saying the same thing.

I fully agree that many firm owners start their firms as technicians. From there, growth can be painful and slow or sustainable and enjoyable.

Sometimes, we get stuck in completing actions instead of achieving outcomes.

Firm growth depends on your vision and your ability to maintain and execute on that vision.

The nice thing about a clear vision that you revisit often is that most decisions are made for you in advance.

Maybe you’ve decided on a new direction and vision for your firm that doesn’t offer basic personal tax services. When a basic tax prospect shows up, you direct them somewhere else.

You’re not making a decision; you’re following through on a plan.

I’ve droned on about this stuff in previous newsletters, so instead, I will offer some mini systems to keep your vision top of mind.

Don’t underestimate the power of a system that consistently reminds you of what you really want.

Mini Systems

I love the quote from James Clear:

He’s emphasizing the fact that our internal drive is not enough to keep us moving towards goals.

When energy is high, motivation is abundant.

When energy is low, and an annoying client is calling again, motivation disappears.

We resort to ‘comfortable, habitual actions’ instead of ‘growth-oriented, new behaviors.’

With mini systems along the way, we rely less on intrinsic drivers and lean on external guardrails to move forward.

Set your On Startup feature in Chrome

I have five web pages open automatically when I start up my Chrome browser.

The five web pages used to be my calendar, email, Google drive, Xero, and Karbon.

I would launch into work immediately.

Today, those five web pages are different:

The first tab is my ‘What do you Want?’ spreadsheet. It is a monthly spreadsheet of the next 10 years. No Joke. It has my asset balance on top and my revenue generation projects below.

Above all things, I make sure that my plan for what I want gets a bit of my attention every day.

The next few tabs are my CRM, brain-focusing music, and content generation matrices.

If you want to use this feature in Chrome, see the instructions here

Create Internal + External Policies

It is hard to keep ideals in place when you are confronted with unique situations with clients and team members.

Create policies and write them down. Share them with your team and clients. Policies have more teeth than the ideals you have for your firm.

Policies set and enforce boundaries. Boundaries are essential.

Examples

  •  Every client who submits docs after Mar 1 is put on extension. No exceptions.
  • We don’t do any personal tax for non-business clients. Period.
  • If support is not uploaded to Dext/Hubdoc/Receipt Capture by the 5th of the following month, it is not matched to the bank transaction. Sorry.
  •  Each team member must complete 8 hours of training every month. Plan for it.
  •  No calls or client meetings on Friday. Out of office.

Policies are blinders to keep you on the path you’ve established to get traction.

Implicate Other People

At times, when you’re working towards your goals alone, it is easy to skip hard tasks.

You want to implicate people. You want to involve others as much as possible so there is a consequence for you and someone else.

For me, it is much easier to go for an early Sunday morning run when my buddies, Marc and Jon, are expecting me.

It is easy to let yourself down, but it’s harder to let other people down.

This includes:

  • Hold a ‘standing up’ meeting every day with the team.
  • Have other team members run meetings and prepare agendas.
  • Share your goals and vision publicly.
  • Joining a mastermind/accountability group.
  • Hire a coach or find an engaged mentor.

I find that when you pay for something, you’re more likely to follow through with it.

Share Your Leadership

The best leaders I’ve encountered share their leadership as much as possible.

It is your job to initiate the vision, but you should include team members to help refine and execute on that vision.

  • Create job descriptions that list responsibilities but also outcomes. Meaning that someone will have tactical responsibilities but also strategic ones.
  • Include progress towards firm goals in your team’s performance feedback process.
  • In your after-engagement reviews, include questions like “Did this engagement align with our ideal client?” and “Did we achieve the ideal outcome for the client” – Deep questions, right?

Getting as many people involved in the leadership conversation ensures balancing getting things done with getting things right.

Final Thought

This is not an exhaustive list by any means.

I simply want to illustrate that are many ways to ensure we don’t bury our heads in the grind.

 

If you don’t remember anything else from this week’s newsletter, remember this:

 

We need personal and firm tools + systems on a tactical level so we don’t lose sight of what we want high level.

 

Build The Firm You Want.

Mark

P.S. Email Mark@FirmNexus.com with something that you want me to talk about. I’ll add it to the list. 

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