There are so many things to do when marketing your business — how in the world do you get the most bang for your buck?

I have already discussed how consistent action beats perfect action.

But there is another principle that is essential to getting the most out of every single business development opportunity, which I call “stacking.”

Stacking is the deliberate process of looking for ways that a singular marketing activity can be leveraged by “stacking” other opportunities for reach, exposure or impact on top of it.

For example, if you are going to take the time to do a live talk about your core area of expertise at a local setting, why not stack getting photos and a video of the event on top of it? Why not live stream the talk for your non-local prospects? Why not arrange to meet a strategic attendee for coffee or dinner after the event?

When you look for all the possible ways to maximize a marketing activity in your business, you will have a much better return on your investment of time, energy and resources.

A stacking example

Recently, Susan Baier, Chris Lee and I completed Crack the Challenge Code, a small business survey that looked at the attitudes small business owners have toward obstacles. This research is essential to do a better job in our respective businesses, since most of what our clients struggle with is not what to do (we all know we should market more consistently, write great content, build our product funnels, etc), but few know how to do it (we get in our own way by becoming overwhelmed, feeling imposter syndrome, sticking our heads in the sand, etc).

Putting together and executing a study of this size takes a significant amount of time, energy and money. Knowing that, here are the stacking opportunities we used in this research project:

  • Partnered with over 100 partners to spread the word about the survey
  • Designed the data collection to include both essential questions that will help business owners, but also questions that will help small business providers
  • Included research for a new book in the survey data
  • Secured a webinar January with a small business web partner that will highlight the survey data to their thousands of customers
  • Designed our survey output to directly feed into the research needed to design our 2018 offerings
  • Designed our survey questions to be directly helpful to our local small business ecosystem planning, helping our local governmental, non-profit and business parters make great decisions about resource allocation and program design
  • Chose a topic that has multiple dimensions, that will be a great foundation for our content ideas for next year


Your stacking challenge:

Look ahead to this quarter. What unique opportunities do you see?

  • What type of business development activity am I focused on this quarter?
  • Select the stacking opportunities: How can I expand the impact of this activity by adding the following things:

Who else might want to participate in this activity with me, that would lead to expanded opportunities for both of us?

–Press coverage
Is there a great story or press event that I could use to extend the impact of this activity?

–Operationalize design
If this activity looks like a core part of my marketing strategy moving forward, how can I design it to be easily replicated the next time I do it (by creating checklists, using merge fields on communication, repeating launch processes, etc)

–Use as an example in a newsletter article, blog post or video
How can I highlight this work in multiple places? (do you notice I am doing this with this very article?)

–Link to past articles/videos/podcasts to leverage that content
How can you include link to past work you have done to get more mileage from the content and increase audience engagement?

–Have a photographer/videographer document you doing it
If you are doing a live talk, can you get a photographer and/or videographer to cover it so you can use the footage in future marketing materials?

–Invite prospective clients/partners to attend so they see you in action
Where appropriate, can you invite a prospective client or partner to an event so they see your work in action?

–Use Facebook or Instagram Live to stream an event or activity
Instead of hosting a private call where you answer questions, why not do it on a live stream so you can involve more people? If you are speaking at an event, can you livestream part of it, or at least capture yourself backstage before you go on?

All of us work so hard to get big things done in our businesses. Let’s make sure that we take full advantage of this great work, by stacking as many opportunities as possible on each activity.