No pain, no gain. Dieting and marketing actually have a lot of similarities. Primarily, success doesn’t happen overnight; it takes place long-term. Finding out what works for the brand and implementing a plan to do those things is key to good business. Check out some dieting idioms and how they compare to marketing below.

Set Realistic Goals

10-year high school reunion in September? It’s the end of the summer, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to drop 50 pounds. 5 pounds? That sounds like a realistic, achievable goal. Same goes for marketing strategy. Your brand won’t achieve 100k new follows over the next month, but 50-100 is definitely doable. Set goals that the company can realistically reach, then take the steps to make it happen. Shooting high is good, but don’t shoot too high; it’ll become discouraging.

There Are No Shortcuts

Crash diets, dieting supplements, and other shortcuts rarely work, and if they do the weight is likely to come back. Likewise, there are no shortcuts in marketing; your business can’t cheat its way to success. Take a simple example, buying followers on Instagram. Sure, follower count will be bolstered, but are they active? Are they engaging with the business? Engagement is a key factor to social media success and without it, what’s the point? Further, earning a photo in the “Top Posts” of a hashtag or location tag requires high levels of engagement portionate to follower count, so boosting followers without new engagement actually hurts the likelihood that the business will earn a “Top Post,” and, accordingly, discovery by relevant potential followers. It goes beyond Instagram: buying lists, flooding the interwebs with links to boost SEO, the list is endless. Make long-term plans and stick with it; you’ll see gradual, but also reliable, improvement.

Drink Lots of Water

Water is essential not just for dieting, but for, well, life. What’s the lifesource in your marketing tactics? By this, we mean what gets your business the most leads, conversions, etc? Pinpoint this lifesource, and do it, a lot. This will not only help you “lose weight/be successful,” but will improve overall quality of life.

Trim the Fat

Water is clearly necessary, but soda and other unhealthy foods/beverages are not. What’s the excess weight of your strategy – i.e. what’s not working and taking away time from what is? Identify which forms of marketing are ineffective and either cut them back or cut them out altogether. This will leave more time for the important stuff.

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

Diets need to be well-balanced and include multiple categories of food. While we do suggest cutting out what’s unnecessary and zeroing in on what is, it’s good to include a handful of different strategies in your marketing plan. Think of it like the grains, fruits, veg, etc. of the food pyramid. Some you’ll consume a lot of, some just sparingly, but one category alone is never enough. Same goes for marketing.

Bulk Up

It’s important to not just focus on losing fat, but also gaining muscle. This improves strength and ultimately enables more fat loss. Bulk up on your business’s marketing. Create loads of content for the webpage – videos, blogs, case studies, etc. With these resources, the company will appear more knowledgeable and trustworthy, which will help improve the effectiveness of other marketing tactics. For instance, if someone is wowed by an email and from there clicks on a link to the website, the page will continue the work done by the email – just like muscle working to burn more fat.

It’s Not a Diet – It’s a Lifestyle Change

Plan activities that the business can do often and consistently long-term. Your company can’t just write 20 blogs and post them within a month and stop posting. Your company can, however, write 5 blogs per month, every month. The second one is effective; the first one may be…for the first month. Likewise, cutting a mass amount of calories for a month will not be nearly as effective as cutting back a moderate amount, permanently. Think long-term, rather than short-term; it’s almost always more effective.

What do you compare marketing to? Let us know in the comments below.