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How Do You Create a Sustainable Marketing Plan?

How Do You Create a Sustainable Marketing Plan?

May 12, 2022 | By Divya Agrawal | 2 Comments

I recently read this somewhere ─ “Some of the most comforting words in the Universe are ‘me too.’ That moment when you find out that your struggle is also someone else’s struggle, that you’re not alone, and that others have been down the same road.

And it blew my mind.

There is power in sharing our experiences because it gives someone else the comfort of a ‘shared reality’ and we find a community.

One of the shared realities we are in right now is the pressure of doing stuff as we did it before. You know, before the global chaos. Can we, though?

More specifically for our discussion in this little corner of the internet, can we continue marketing and functioning as before the pandemic? My answer is no. And it’s a good thing.

This is my experience around marketing my business through the pandemic and how I stumbled upon “sustainable marketing.”

The Poor Effects of Shiny Object Syndrome

Shiny object syndrome loosely translates into chasing new trends and ideas without prior consideration and thought. The shiny object syndrome leads to wasted resources, overwhelm, stress, and lack of focus.

I was experiencing it before the pandemic. It showed up in one particular aspect very prominently — in my marketing. I created a freebie because everyone said I should. And started a Facebook group because they said you need it. I decided to conduct weekly LIVE broadcasts in said group even though I am an introvert. I built an email list because it’s critical.

And, of course, I posted on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram daily. Oh, and then there was the occasional challenge to send 100 letters of introduction a month to cold prospects.

I believed I was supposed to do it all if I wanted my freelance writing and coaching business to succeed.

Heather Robson calls this Kitchen Sink Syndrome. That is, moving on to the next thing while still trying to do the previous things.

Overwhelm and burnout was my reality during the pandemic. And, let’s be honest, the new normal isn’t normal per se. It’s still exhausting and overwhelming for all of us. I’ve decided to bid adieu to the Divya pre-pandemic — and to the hopes that things will ever return to normalcy.

I realized my marketing was too hard to keep up. Sure, it was working for the old me who had all the energy in the world.

The pandemic brought mental health challenges and my marketing plan worsened my well-being.

My Sustainable Changes

So, I had to step back and evaluate for the first time parts of my marketing that actually made a difference to my business. Here’s what I chose to keep:

  • Posting on LinkedIn three times a week. (I engage with my network on other days. Comments are also content.)
  • Sending emails to my list once a week.
  • Posting in my Facebook group once a week.

That’s it. What followed was peace, stability, and focus. The world is a little brighter, I have to say. Since I am only focusing on the crucial areas of marketing, the quality of my marketing has improved.


Practical Tactics to Tune Out Noise and Create

The shiny object syndrome is often a way for us to distract ourselves from what’s most important. For me, only a few things were. But over time, they had gotten mundane. After all, in some ways, marketing is a business chore.

I learned that, for me, marketing is not where I will try to find something ‘new or exciting.’

Instead, I added ‘new’ in my life in other places ─ a new haircut, a new color dress, a new way home, and many such silly things.

Further, I realized that this was also a fear of creativity. I was trying to sidestep creativity by settling in the mundane. But there is so much new we can bring to the mundane task of, let’s say, posting on LinkedIn.

I started being more creative in the marketing I was already doing, which curbed my need for the next shiny object. When I came across a LinkedIn post I liked, I saved it and later adapted the structure or idea to my writing. [Yes, you can even create a Swipe File for LinkedIn posts you want to emulate.]

The key is to know the specific types of marketing that work best for you and then find the newness in those things, instead of straying from the plan and investing in distractions.


Build Your Sustainable Marketing Plan

Answer these in a journal:

  1. What are the moving parts of my marketing plan right now?
  2. Which of these make me the most money? Pick three at the most. Dump everything else. I got off Instagram months ago and have never looked back.
  3. What am I ready to be accountable for? I recently came across this question by Dr. Brené Brown, and it fits our purpose here. It’s so easy to start something and so hard to sustain it. What are you ready to be held accountable for?
  4. How much can you sustain? I used to post five to six times a week on LinkedIn. After the pandemic, I realized it’s not sustainable. So I reduced it to three times a week. For each marketing area, quantify your effort.
  5. When do I start? My marketing came to a standstill at one point during the pandemic, and I have heard from other writers that they’ve fallen out of the habit. No worries! We are all going through a lot as it is. Just put down a date that feels comfortable to you. Until then, rest.
  6. Do you feel good about your marketing plan? Great, you’re done.
  7. Do you still feel overwhelmed? Start again at Step 1.


Plan Sustainable Marketing Through the Highs and Lows

Design your marketing plan for the rainy days. Will you be accountable for your marketing strategy on a challenging day?

When the rainy day comes, you are allowed to skip stuff, too. Build your sustainable marketing strategy, opt-out of the hustle culture, bid shiny objects goodbye, and take care of yourself and your business equally.

About the Author


Divya Agrawal

I help coaches and copywriters find and sign their ideal clients on LinkedIn, consistently and organically using Clarity, Content and Conversations. Find your Ideal Clients on LinkedIn- a Mythbuster and Kickstarter Guide ← Get my free guide & start leveraging LinkedIn!

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  • I love your plan for sustainable marketing! It helps bring a sense of calmness and control to the writing businesses we started in order to gain freedom and success. It helps eliminate avenues that waste time and energy, leaving us feeling more excited and happier about pursuing our writing purpose. Thank you!

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