How do you get better at a marketing habit? The trick is realizing you’ve got three things stacked together like a Russian nesting doll:
- The core habit you’re looking to build (e.g., guest on 2-3 podcasts/month). This is the vision, the goal, and or the outcome you’re working towards.
- The process you’re following to execute on that habit. These are the steps you’re taking when you execute your habit (e.g., research podcasts, find an email address, send intro email, repeat tomorrow).
- The specific tactical steps you’re following within that process This is the Standard Operating Procedure (kaidavis.com/standard-operating-procedures/) you follow when you’re working on executing on your habit.
With me so far?
These three pieces are stacked inside each other, like a nesting Matryoshka Doll (Russian Doll/Stacking Doll). You’ve got the core habit (e.g., get on podcasts), but inside that you’ve got the general process you’re following, and inside that you’ve got your specific Standard Operating Procedure.
Why is the process or SOP necessary?
First, separating these three bits gives you clarity on what to work on, optimize, or fix. Have you picked a habit? Do you have clarity on your process for your habit? Have you written an SOP? If you’re missing one of those pieces, you’ll struggle with your habit.
If you’re running into friction or not seeing the outcomes you want, it might be that the habit you’ve picked is the wrong one for your market or it might be that your process or SOP for the habit is janky or half-baked. If that’s the case, instead of thinking, ‘UGH. Time to switch habits,’ you can start to investigate improving your process for that habit.
Second, SOPs give you a repeatable playbook to follow. When it’s time to execute a marketing habit, you can open up your SOP and follow the process.
That means when you sit down to work, you won’t have to spend time remembering/figuring out what exactly you need to do. Instead, your SOP gives you a checklist-esq process to follow that you can iterate/optimize/refine over time.
Let’s say that you’ve decided to follow my advice from Chapter 4 of Get More Leads (https://kaidavis.com/products/leads/), and you’re building a Content Beachhead (a collection of articles/videos to reach and attract your ideal clients on a platform they spend time on).
In that case, creating your Content Beachhead is your core habit.
Executing that habit will focus on researching your audience, creating the content they’re looking for, and then publishing/promoting your content.
That’s the process you’re following.
To make that process as easy as possible for you to follow and execute, you’ll want to document the steps you’re taking each time you execute on that habit.
That’s your Standard Operating Procedure (aka, the three sexiest words in the English language 😏).
When it’s time to work on and execute your habit, you won’t need to spend time remembering what to do. Instead, you can pick up your Standard Operating Procedure, remind yourself of the steps to take, and then get to work on your habit.
What I love about this division is that it provides clarity on what to work on optimizing when stuff goes wrong:
- Are you struggling to execute your habit? Work on improving your process to know what steps you need to take.
- Are you executing on your habit, but it’s taking longer than you’d like? See if you can refine your Standard Operating Procedure, so your process takes less time moving forward.
- Are you executing on your habit but aren’t seeing results? If you’re doing the thing, executing on your process, and shipping, but it isn’t working, think about if you’ve picked the right habit for your target market. It might be that you refine your habit to reach your target market better.