You’re in this to win it, right? Being in business for yourself is no easy feat – but when done right, the rewards can be plenty. That said, there’s no way to see the results and growth you want without a successful marketing plan.
Does it take some time to pull a marketing plan together? Absolutely – but once you do, it’s a valuable tool for helping yourself and your team members get on the same page for your business!
Whether you’re currently navigating the business waters without a plan – or simply looking to tighten up an existing strategy, here are the components every marketing plan MUST HAVE in order to be successful:
I think it’s safe to say that the point of every business is to generate qualified leads that will turn into customers or clients – hopefully of the repeat variety – which will ultimately bring in consistent income. We can all agree on that, right?
Great! Then you’ll definitely need to understand your…
#2 Target Audience:
Ah, yes, the mystical ideal client.
If you truly want to convert leads to sales then understanding your ideal client is a MUST. While I know you may be thinking that reaching as many people as humanly possible would be more effective, it’s actually the opposite.
I hate to break it to you but if you try to reach EVERYONE… then you’ll wind up reaching NO ONE! So what do you do?
In my experience, people often only do a shallow dive into their target audiences; they get the basics down but then they stop. To truly discover your audience’s pain points – and what motivates them into action – you’re going to need more information than that. Take the time to really hone in on your audience and determine who they are: age, income, lifestyle, location, relationship status, hobbies/interest, the brands they’re consuming and more! Getting inside your audience’s heads will help you understand them better so you can market more effectively.
Want to find your audience so you can market better? Sign up for my FREE, 3-day virtual challenge, Know Your TARGET. This challenge will give you all the tools you need to figure out what makes your audience tick!
#3 Products and Services:
Take a look at what you’re currently offering. Is it enough? Too much? Are there services in your industry that should be offered that your competitors aren’t, but you could be?
To help weed through this, make a list of your products and services and outline 3-4 key benefits of each. The benefits should be SOLUTIONS to the challenges your customers face. For example: are you addressing their pain points clearly?
This is all about helping your customers answer the question: “why should I care?” The key here is two-fold: consistency and a strong call to action (CTA). Without both, you’re leaving potential clients hanging.
To maintain consistency, make sure your message and copy is the same across all of your platform, including your website, social media channels and e-mails. You don’t want to pull someone in with messaging in one place, only to pull them in another direction somewhere else.
As for your CTA, make it CLEAR and make it ACTIONABLE. Your CTA should directly correlate with the business goals you have set. Think about the ONE action you want your audience to take when they read your email or visit your website. That’s your CTA.
#5 Special Offers + Discounts:
Next, consider if anything you’re offering or planning to offer is unique. Is there something you could create for a seasonal discount or promo? While most people assume specials are only to entice new customers, it’s also a great way to reward and thank the loyal customers you already have.
Makes sense – at the end of the day we’re all human – and who doesn’t like to be valued and rewarded, right?
#6 Promotional Strategy:
Welcome to the “bread and butter” of your marketing strategy: getting in front of your clients.
By now, you’ve (hopefully) discovered who it is that you’re targeting. Now it’s time to reach them. Thanks to modern technology, it’s easier than ever to do this online – but remember, online isn’t the ONLY place you should be.
To get visible digitally, consider Facebook ads, social media posts, LIVE videos, website content and blogs. All of these will help you to jump two-feet firmly in front of your clients. Another marketing tool that is SUPER under-utilized is email marketing. By getting them to sign up to your email list, you can begin cultivating a relationship and guiding them towards converting into a lifelong client.
To build your visibility offline, find local chambers to get involved with, attend networking events and join a cause close to your heart. There are tons of local businesses right in your backyard that can help you gain more exposure – while likely making a new friend or two in the process!
Finally, don’t forget that your team members are essentially walking billboards for your company. As the first line of brand ambassadors, let them in on your plans and always build a culture inside your company that makes it a no-brainer for them to want to share with others.
Last but not least – be sure you’re adding VALUE so that your audience will want to stick around.
I know, I know…no one enjoys talking about budgets, right? However, I can’t express enough how essential it is to determine how much money you’re willing and/ or able to allocate to marketing PRIOR to the implementation stage. Maybe you’ll need new e-mail software or perhaps it’s time to hire out for social media. No matter what you need to allocate for, set a budget during the planning phase so you’re not worrying about where the money will come from later.
Right now you might be looking at your marketing plan and wondering how the heck you’re going to get everything done. Lucky for you, implementing a marketing plan shouldn’t happen overnight. If you do try to make it happen all at once, I can guarantee that it won’t turn out the way you envisioned. Plan your strategy in phases and stick to a 6-month or one-year timeline.
Trust me, your stress levels will thank you.
Finally, it’s time to see how your plan performed. By keeping a pulse on your data through website traffic, social engagement, e-mail conversion rates, etc., you’ll be able to measure whether your marketing plan is right on track… or if it could use a boost.
One of the best ways to measure the success of your plan is by the increase in QUALIFIED LEADS. If you have more customers coming to you that fit into your target audience, you’re that much closer to achieving your goals.
You’ll also want to focus on you website analytics (this is where Google Analytics is your best friend). How many visits have you gotten to your site? Is this number increasing month-over-month? How are people getting to your website? The data from your website will tell you a LOT about how well your marketing efforts are working.
WHEW! I know that seems like a lot – and if I’m being honest, it is – but there’s no getting around it if you want to grow your business. Creating a marketing plan takes time, but it also CREATES time. Once you have a roadmap in place, it will take you less time to reach your destination – which is a thriving, profitable business.
One last thing… give yourself room to breathe by starting your marketing plan at the beginning of the year. That way you’re not playing catch up later.
Do you have a marketing plan for your business? What parts of your plan are working well? Which ones need some extra TLC?