It’s important to keep track of your practice’s marketing every month so that you can understand what’s working, what isn’t, and what you should work on next.
Beyond the stats, you also need to keep track of your plan for the year ahead, as well as both the one-time tasks you’re working on right now, and the ongoing tasks you need to remember to do every month or quarter.
It can be a lot to keep track of! That’s why you need a system that’s fast, flexible and affordable.
This piece is for architects who want to get on top of their marketing, understand their numbers, and have a clear plan at all times—without wasting money, time, or focus on overcomplicated software or systems.
By the time you finish reading this peace, you will know what you should be tracking each month, how to capture that data, as well as a simple system to help you plan out and track your marketing tasks and routines.
As a specialist marketing coach for architects, I see my clients once a month and help them track and review how their marketing is going, as well as what they are working on. The strategies and templates in this piece are exactly what I use with my coaching clients, as well as in my own marketing.
Marketing KPIs: Use Google Forms and Google Sheets to capture and review your performance each month
Start by building a Google Form to collect your main marketing metrics. Google Forms is free and it saves the data directly to Google Sheets (Google’s free version of excel) so that you can easily create charts and calculations to help you analyse your form data.
You’ll also want to set a calendar reminder to fill out this form around the same time each month.
Here’s the form I send to my clients before our monthly meetings:
The benefits of entering this data manually every month
You’re probably thinking “filling out a form seems a bit clunky and boring… isn’t there an app that does all of this for me?”.
There are plenty of ways to capture all this data automatically, but what good will all that automation do you if you never look at the results? As they say, out of sight, out of mind. You don’t need another analytics tool that you’ll never log into or look at.
By spending five minutes a month collecting and submitting this data, you’ll be a lot more informed about how your marketing is going.
These are the marketing stats I ask my clients for every month
- Website visitors (last 30 days)
- Instagram followers (total)
- Linkedin connections (total)
- Newsletter subscribers (total)
- Fee proposals sent
- Fee proposals accepted
From these stats, you can use simple formulas in Google Sheets to calculate any other KPIs you’re interested in. I like to calculate the enquiry to projects won conversion rate, the fee proposals sent to jobs won rate, and the month-over-month growth for your social media accounts and newsletter subscribers.
You can create an attractive and shareable dashboard in Google Data Studio
If you want to create a more aesthetic dashboard so that it’s easier for you to review your performance and share it with your team, then you can use Google Data Studio to create a dashboard like the one I use below. It connects directly to your data in Google Sheets.
Planning: track your long-term marketing plan using a Kanban board
A Kanban board with a card for every area or channel of your marketing can give you a top-level overview of what you’re doing right now and what you’ve got coming up.
Here’s an example planning board for one of my clients in Airtable:
When you first start this exercise you’ll want to create cards for the channels you’re currently active on, as well as the ones you’re thinking about doing something on in the future.
Clicking on a Kanban card opens up a text file that you can use to store notes or brainstorm action items about that specific area of the marketing plan. I find it’s a really fast and collaborative way to plan out what you’re going to do to improve each of these areas. You can also use these individual notes to capture and store handy links and resources you might need later on.
Once you’re ready to get to work on your marketing, I recommend that you only drag 2 or 3 cards into the In Progress column at any given time. Any more than that and your focus will be spread too thin.
To do list: Brainstorm and track your tasks and ideas in an Airtable or Notion table
After creating your top-level plan, you’ll want to zoom in on each of the cards in the plan above and brainstorm 3-5 concrete actions you can take that will help improve that part of your marketing (and your overall goals).
Don’t put pressure on yourself to come up with the 5 best or perfect tasks—just aim for good enough. I’m a firm believer that you don’t need to be a marketing guru to come up with some pretty effective ideas when you ask yourself a simple question like “what are 5 ways we can improve our Instagram account this month?”.
You’ll take each of those new ideas you’ve generated and add them to a fresh database that you’ll use to keep track of individual tasks and projects.
Here’s what the one I use with my clients in Airtable looks like:
The Status fields are Active (working on right now), Ongoing (a repeatable tasks completed every month), Up Next (what we’ll be doing next month), Some Day (an action item for a channel we aren’t working on yet, or just something that isn’t urgent) and Done (finished and hidden by a filter).
I also like to assign each task a category tag to make it easier to see which area of the marketing plan it’s part of. This way you can sort tasks by their status, then the category, so that related tasks end up together on the list.
Just like on the Kanban board, clicking on an individual task in Airtable (or any other tool) will open up a text file where you can store notes, resources and attachments related to that individual task.