Marketing is one of, if not the most critical component of building your business, yet so many struggling entrepreneurs treat it as something to get to some day. I’ll tell you this right up front, without a marketing plan, you’ll never get to that financial freedom day you dream of. Random marketing leads to random results.
Want to know if you’re doing it right? If you can’t put your hands on your up-to-date written down marketing plan right now, there’s room for improvement – please read on!
Marketing, done correctly will help you build your list or find prospects faster and more efficiently than you ever imagined.
Define Your Market
Step one is to define your target market. Who they are, what they want and why they need to purchase your product or service.
Understand their demographics; gender, age range, income, education level, married, children, special interests, etc. Find out where they hang out, what their interests are, and who else is marketing to them.
Define Your Tactics
Once you know who you want to market to, you need to define your marketing tactics. It’s a good idea to have a mix of strategies, ones that use internet technologies, (online tactics) and ones that take place without the use of a computer (offline tactics). The most effective tactics are offline ones and they typically result in faster sales. Online tactics usually take longer to produce leads resulting in sales.
Some examples of marketing tactics include:
Free: speaking engagements, community events, networking events, be interviewed on the radio or tv, online classified ads.
Pay For: flyers, newspaper ads, radio ads, Facebook ads, Google ads, direct mail.
This is just an example of the many ways to market your business. For a more complete list check out 35+ Ways to Build Your Email List.
Define your tactics, I’d suggest at least 4 to 6 different tactics and write them down. If they don’t get written down they stand little chance of ever being executed upon.
Create Your Plan
Your written down plan should include your actions items, and a time line for completion. I like to use the following template as a guide for my plan.
Take out a single piece of paper, one for each of my marketing tactics. I prefer to use yellow lined paper, however use whatever works for you. I hand write my plan, however you may prefer to do yours electronically. At the top of the page I write down what my marketing tactic is. Under that I write ACTION ITEMS and I list all the things that I need to for that tactic. Below that I write DELIVERABLES and list all the things I need to create.
I separate Action Items from Deliverables because the time I need to carve out to “do” things is different from the time I need to “create” things. My “create” time typically is a longer block of time and one where I can really think, be creative, with silence or little to no distractions. On the right side of the page put DUE DATES and list when I will complete each task. Then that piece of paper becomes my active plan that gets added to, scribbled on, crossed off, etc. It’s now my living breathing plan.
Analyze and Revise
I often chuckle at my clients when I ask them about their written down marketing plan and they say they have “one around here somewhere.” That means they are not actively executing on the plan, it’s buried in a file or folder somewhere.
What I really want to hear is that your plan is right there on the desk and you are executing on it daily. I want to hear that once a month, preferably at the beginning of each month, you are analyzing each tactic. How well is it working, are people doing what you are asking them to do, are you growing your database? Determine what things you should continue to do and what you need to tweak, or stop doing.
Your plan is only as good as your attention to it. The goal of your marketing is to build your number of leads which results in sales. Your bottom line revenue is a direct result of your marketing efforts.
Get out there and start marketing today!!!