Now That You Have A Business Strategy, You Need A Marketing Plan

Now That You Have A Business Strategy, You Need A Marketing Plan

So I was lifting my skirt a little bit last week when I was talking about my Business Strategy, Motivation and Everything Falling Apart (if you are going to be playing along today, it might worth it to check out that one first).

In a nutshell, I sat down and really focused on what three areas of my business would most fit my life now and have firmly decided on:

  • Affiliate Sales
  • One-On-One Coaching
  • Clients (SMM)

These are my business strategy for the rest of this year. Whoo whoo! How freeing. If it is something else that is shiney and pretty, it has to wait a while to get my attention.

Is This A New Business Strategy?

I was talking with a potential coaching client the other day and he was a little surprised that I wasn’t going to try and tell him all different kinds of new things that he could do to market his business. Instead we looked at what he was already doing and just restructured his efforts.

“Tara Jacobsen and Marketing Artfully were exactly the punch in the face I needed to get me focused on what’s really important for my authority-based business. I didn’t even know I had an authority-based business, until Tara showed it to me. Now I have direction and (way more important) a kick-butt strategy for moving fast toward my goals. I’m a raving fan.”

Me going through this process is the same. I had to really sit down and take a look at all the things that I have right now and how they will fit into my goals and lifestyle.

If you are playing along at home, mostly you don’t have to look beyond what you are already doing, you just need to either focus all your bits at one target or cut out the bits that not helping you get where you want to go!

A Marketing Plan

If you are reading this post, there is a good chance you at least sort of like marketing! Well I am here to tell you that I don’t just like marketing, I LOVE IT! And because of that, there are so many things I COULD do marketing wise that I am drowning in possibilities.

But worse than that, I am spending all my time feeling guilty that I am not doing everything I have heard about and doing it well. So now I am back to the notecards…

Business Strategy and Marketing Plan

Okay, I have three pages of “could dos” (I am a marketing junky…don’t judge me!)

These include:

  • blog posts daily
  • blog posts 3X per week
  • keyword videos
  • podcast
  • free webinars (selling?)
  • paid webinars
  • stickers – inlinkz
  • stickers – sales page
  • ebooks – amazon ads
  • ebooks – evernote banners
  • meet edgar
  • download pictures daily
  • quote graphics daily
  • quote graphics 3X per week
  • social media – twitter
  • social media – facebook
  • social media – pinterest
  • get 50K visitors month to blog
  • email – fix autoresponders
  • email – lead boxes resources
  • infusionsoft quiz
  • paid newsletter
  • update social media with new info
  • writing linkedin posts
  • writing medium posts
  • daily short videos
  • book promotion videos
  • IMF – making friends
  • get 50K twitter followers
  • twitter ads
  • funny mail
  • creative do dads
  • half postcards
  • direct mailings (to who?)
  • daily instagram pictures
  • tweek website
  • fix about us page

Nothing But Time

If I had 100 hours in a day, I would love to do most of those things (just having them all in one place let me see that there are a couple I wouldn’t want to do anyways). So my next step is to make a “perfect week” or “perfect month” calendar that will show exactly how much time I have to do all these wonderful things.

Carlendaring & Marketing Planning

So there is a basic layout of my week. I have left some a little wiggle-room time (the fabulous Chris Brogan says to leave 40% but I am a bit tighter than that. So functionally it looks like I can have 2 coaching clients a week for a total of 12-ish monthly right now (I am at at 8 and closing my doors soon). When I turn over the SPP social media guys I can add some more coaching clients, but sort of glad that I have a 6 week runway for getting this started.

For you it might look differently. You might be a night owl who can do their blog posts after everyone has gone to bed or you might not have as much time tied up in client work.

Whatever you do decide, you cannot add more hours in a day. I think that is the biggest mistake I see people make. They have all these great plans and schemes, but then cannot implement because there is no time to do everything they have committed to.

The Marketing Plan Details

Okay, we are down here where the rubber meets the road now! It is great that I have all the big areas filled up, but what is going to go into the blog parts, videos and podcast content. What should I do in my foundation work blocks.

I am a super nut about having checklists so I made myself a worksheet that will show EXACTLY the tasks that I have to get done each day. Because I have thought them out carefully and said that THESE are the things that matter, I feel confident that I will be able to get at 75% of them accomplished weekly.

Wait a second…what did I just say? That I would not commit myself to doing 110%? I am as dedicated as the next gal and work my face off, but have also learned over the years that a great plan executed well will make much more of a difference than a perfect plan abandoned because of ridiculous expectations.

Instead of thinking like a drill sergeant, I like to be a little kinder to myself and go with the old Alcoholics Anonymous model, know what your goal is and then take one day at a time. If I miss a day, all is not lost. I pick myself off, stop with the horrible self talk, dust myself off and win the next day instead!

So there you have it! My mini business strategy and marketing plan seminar, all in two posts! If this helped at all, please email me at tara (at) marketingartfully.com and let me know. I love hearing success stories!!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead


Case Study – Event Marketing (Donna Thornton)

Marketing Case Study - Event MarketingFiguring out how to go about marketing your business and making more money is not always easy. Business owners know what they know, but often have no idea of how to craft a marketing plan that will be effective and not horrifically hard to implement.

Today we are going to be looking at an Event Marketing case study, where a small business owner melds her goals and dreams with cold hard marketing tactics that will work to make her more money!

Donna Thornton – Psychic Medium Channel

I have been working with Donna for quite some time now and she is like lots of entrepreneurs, moving forward, sideways and back as she is figuring out what her fabulous life and business look like. Today we were looking at what she is currently doing and what she would like to do going forward to determine the best marketing plan for her business.

What Donna Likes To Do

Product Development Worksheet1. The first step is to figure out what you like to do! Donna likes helping people, giving readings (tarot), clearing houses, teaching tarot classes and working at parties.

How To :: One way to figure what you like to do is to ask yourself, if you could only do one thing, all day, every day, for the rest of your life, what would it be? No matter what your industry is, in each there are parts that you are going to find that you like more than others. For example I like speaking, but I can’t travel as much as I used to because we adopted 3 kids. This opens the door for speaking locally as well as doing webinars or a podcast for marketing.

2. The next step is to figure out a practical amount of each of product that she will be selling (time-wise and income-wise) to achieve her level of income required. We used the Product Development Sheet from the Marketing Strategy Workbook to figure out that Donna would like this to be 1/4 of her income so she would have to sell 1.5 per week or 9 month. Selling 1.5 a week is not so hard to accomplish!

Who Would Buy What She Is Selling

The next thing we looked at for Donna’s marketing plan was to figure out the perfect customer for her 6 week in person training course. By knowing that the person who would be attending was a woman, 35-45, named Miranda, we could start putting things together about her that will help us figure out how to sell the course.

Miranda:

  • She has school aged kids, but they are not babies
  • She drives a station wagon and lives in suburbia
  • She works because she needs money for her family (she is an admin assistant)
  • She gardens and likes to decorate her house
  • Her worldview is that this class will “let her do something for herself” and she can “get together with like-minded people”
  • She wants to be part of the “club” that knows about Tarot
  • She loves the TV show Supernatural, her kids, her husband, the NY Medium and buying crystals
  • She hopes that this class will be fun, she will learn something and that it will help answer some of her questions
  • She worries that everyone will think she is flaky for taking it

find out more about doing a Perfect Customer Profile or creating your perfect avatar

Marketing Plan

Now that we “know” so much about our perfect customer, we can start crafting a marketing plan that will allow us to target women like Miranda.

Website. We did some competitive SEO research and found that, while there are 491,000 competing sites for tarot classes denver, there are only 8 listings for the exact search “tarot classes denver” and only one lone meetup from years ago for “tarot classes westminster”. This gives Donna a really great chance to rank on Google for some really good keywords that would bring in students.

Locations. She is going to check with a friend who has a conference room in a metaphysical center to see if she can use her location. Because there is already an established group of people who go there, she might be able to pick up some new students via flyers or referrals.

Local sites. Donna has a number of different local events sites to list the classes:

  • Meetup
  • Local event sites
  • Yelp
  • Regional paper (sending a press release)

Videos. Donna is going to make at least 3 videos inviting people to her event. This way she can rotate them and also get the value of the keywords on YouTube. Don’t forget, upload videos directly when posting them to Facebook.

Graphics. Donna will be using Canva.com to make graphics for the event. She will be sharing these to:

  • Facebook using a posting schedule on Hootsuite (she will also be posting pictures of happy people from her last classes)
  • Twitter, remembering to use her Twitter #denver and #westminster hashtags
  • Google+ using targeted keywords like “Tarot Classes Denver” and “Tarot Classes Westminster”
  • Pinterest – posting pictures with link on a “Tarot Classes Denver” board

She will not be using LinkedIn for this campaign as it is not a great fit!

Want More? Get The Workbook!

Marketing Strategy Workbook - Marketing ArtfullyEvery month the members of the Marketing Strategy Guide club get a great Case Study like this, a newsletter and even a marketing plan! The best part? You buy it once and get everything else for free forever!

>> Check out the Marketing Strategy Guide today!

How To Create A Kick Ass, Take No Prisoners Marketing Plan

There are marketing plans and then there is a MARKETING PLAN. Today we are going to talk about all the steps that you need to take to create a kick ass, take no prisoners marketing plan that will get you more customers and make you more money than you ever dreamed possible!

Warning: Just a word of caution, this post will make you very successful at whatever you choose to promote. Please don’t just skim over the first parts. This is totally the, “I got to the top of the ladder and found out it was against the wrong wall” if you are not completely sure about what you are trying to accomplish.

How To Create A Kick Ass, Take No Prisoners Marketing PlanHaving cruised the internet to find out what the “marketing plan template” competition is offering I was pleasantly surprised to find that they stink. While their process and format might work in business school or be the bomb in corporate America with 12 levels of management, this type of marketing plan is for business owners who will be implementing it themselves or perhaps working with someone on staff or outsourced to get it done. It is also for someone who is less concerned with “process” and more concerned with making money, getting leads and making sales.

How To Do Your Marketing Plan

Okay, we are ready to get going! First off, if you are really going to do this, please put down your phone, stop checking emails and get out a tablet of paper to write on. OF COURSE you will not wind up with a complete marketing plan in 30 minutes like some people promise, but you should be able to get a good start and a plan or path for which way to go.

What Are You Selling

The very first thing you need to do is is to know EXACTLY what you are selling. I have talked with almost a thousand small business owners and very few knew exactly what they were selling. There are two ways to think about this:

  • Selling an exact product or service that people are looking for like jewelry, business coaching, homes for sale or any other number of things that people are actively buying.
  • Selling the answer to a problem like “how to get the man of your dreams” or “becoming a better salesman”.

Sometimes you are better off to sell the factually correct product or service and sometimes you are better off to sell the solution to problem. The one thing never to do is to sell a concept like “security” if you are selling insurance or “beauty” if you are selling makeup. That is too cute and obscure to be a good marketing goal.

So the first thing you need to figure out is 3 Things You Are Selling. Write them down in pencil for now.

Selling online.

If you are reading my blog on the internet or a phone then you are aware that much of marketing is done via the internet these days. You probably did not just type in the whole long url to get here, you might have come from a Google search, seeing a social media post or even being subscribed to my blog feed. All of these ways of finding someone require words, more specifically keywords.

The reason I said to pencil in your three things you are selling is that you need to figure three relevant keywords that will show up in searches on the internet when someone is looking for your product or service. There are two ways to think about picking your keywords:

  • Tiny niche, big fish. If you want to have very fast results, pick a “long tail keyword” that is very specific and has little competition. This will allow you to rank highly for a term quickly and get eyeballs on your marketing fast.
  • Big niche, lots of opportunity. The other way to do this is to pick a big hairy audacious keyword and then work for a while to rank highly for that on Google and share it frequently on social media to get backlinks and gain authority about that term.

Whichever way you pick, you want to take your three products or services you are selling and make sure to research each to know what keywords you should actually target for those terms.

Who Are You Selling To

This is the most important thing to consider when doing your marketing plan. If you don’t know who you are selling to you cannot effectively plan how to market to them. Gone are the days when you could head out to social media, make friends and sell “stuff”. Today you need to be laser focused on who you are trying to reach and where they are going to be spending their time, online or off. Because of all the competing marketing messages (think email, online, texting, billboards, postcards, networking), you have to make sure that all of your efforts are concentrated on reaching your exact customer, exactly where they are.

We have written whole books on how to figure out who your perfect customer might be, but to get you started check out, Customer Demographics Versus The Perfect Customer Profile. This will help you find your current customer demographics as well as the “perfect customer” who will buy and buy.

What Is Your Budget

The next thing to consider is how much do you have to spend. I have a goal to spend about $1,000 a month in marketing across all of the channels, your budget may be higher or lower than that. In this number I include the cost of buying training programs or getting coaching on how to do some specific kind of marketing.

Here are a few top level ideas for different budgets:

$0-$500 A Month Marketing Budget

If you are working with a very small (or non-existent) budget, you are going to have to put in some sweat time. Most of the marketing that is done on the internet can be done for very limited resources so that is going to be our go-to marketing spot for you! Some things that you can do with a limited budget include:

  • Blogging
  • Social media
  • Guest article writing
  • Networking
  • Making videos
  • Attending local industry events
  • Learning SEO
  • Writing Ebooks

for a comprehensive list of free marketing ideas check out our 100FreeMarketingIdeas.com

$500-$1,000 A Month Marketing Budget

If you have a little more money and want to outsource some of your marketing tasks, you can definitely find help. A decent amount of online exposure can be had for around $500/month. Conversely if you like doing marketing, you could take those funds and buy marketing training, using your money to increase your knowledge and expertise. Some things that you can do with this budget include:

  • Paid ads on Google or Facebook (LinkedIn has a minimum of $500 so we wouldn’t recommend putting all your eggs in one basket)
  • Sending postcards or direct mail
  • Start a podcast
  • Buying marketing training
  • Traveling to industry events
  • Paid ads in local papers or magazines
  • Flyers or brochures
  • Having videos professionally done

for a comprehensive overview of free and paid options, check out our ebook, 100 Marketing Ideas: Our Top Marketing Tips For The Web, Social, Video and More

$1,000+

Now you are in the “get a professional or in house person to do your marketing” range. If you are spending more than a few hundred dollars a month on paid advertising it is well worth your money to pay for someone who is knowledgable in that area to manage it for you. Additionally, you should be outsourcing your social media or blogging (you can still write the content but have them post and SEO them professionally).

What Are Your Assets

While budget is definitely a consideration when figuring out your marketing plan, more-so is taking a look at what your assets are. I like to write which includes books, blog posts, and articles for local magazines. I also don’t mind making videos if I can do screen captures instead of them being with me in them. When you are getting your marketing plan together, it is vital that you play to your (or your team’s) strengths and weaknesses. If you set a goal to make 7 videos a week and hate doing them, it will not work out as planned!

Here are some character traits and what you could do with those talents!

  • Great at building relationships – focus on Facebook, in person networking and your email newsletter (you can love up on your people!)
  • A total ham and show-off – become a speaker, make videos with you in them, start a podcast, attend industry events where you can make key connections
  • Methodical and precise – LinkedIn would be a great place to make industry connections, do how-to videos without you in them, schedule your social media precisely

The key to an effective marketing campaign is playing to your strengths, even if you are outsourcing parts of it. For example, we do social media marketing for clients, but it works most effectively for the people who are willing to make videos which we then turn into blog posts, sharing on social media and spreading across the internet. Several of our clients have said they would like to make videos but that is just not in their wheelhouse so they never got done.

Setting Targets

You need to know what your goal is for all this marketing. A mistake that I see frequently is that a business owner will say that they want “a sale” from their marketing. Now this is great if they have an ecommerce site and are direct selling on the internet. But even for those people, sales often come after a number of different exposures to the product or service.

For example, I wrote this blog post which will have a data collection link so that people can sign up to learn more about my marketing plan template product once it is developed (right now I am just trying to rank for my main keyword, “marketing plan” in anticipation of completing that product). I will probably start with something free and then work my way up to a higher priced item.

Marketing Plan Sales FunnelThis process is called a sales funnel and you should have one too! To the right is what I am doing with mine.

As you can see, I don’t just jump into selling a several thousand dollar consulting program. There are steps along the way that work someone from the top (this blog post) to the bottom, charging progressively higher prices along the way. Rarely will someone do a search, find you on the internet or social and call to say sign me up (although it does happen from time to time). Instead they will do a search, see you have great information and then be looking for the next step in the process. Some next steps could be:

  • Make an inquiry phone call
  • Send in an internet lead or quote request
  • Signup for your email newsletter
  • Request a one-on-one meeting
  • Sign up for a lower priced course or offering

All of these results are part of the sales process. Of the people who sign up for my newsletter, a percentage will buy a marketing plan template. Some of the people who buy a marketing plan template will want to learn more in an online class. Some of them will figure out that they would rather have some help-help and call me for a consultation.

Activities based

Now, marketing is a sexy past time when done at high levels. Getting all dolled up for a photo shoot or buying the latest video camera are fun and festive. Going to networking or speaking at an event is a rush. But now comes the hard part.

None of those marketing efforts work without having a plan for each. For networking your plan could be to add them to your database, send a video email to say high, follow that up with a phone call and then send a personal note. Each an every person that you meet should be run through that process.

You should have a plan for every bit of your marketing process. Doing social? You should know how often you posting to each site each day, when you are going to check your messages, how many people you are going to follow and more. For bloggers you should have an editorial calendar and a rock solid plan for what content you are going to be writing and then what you are going to do to share that content socially, numerous times over the following weeks and months.

To do: Make a plan for each day of the week listing the marketing tasks you have to do each day!

Marketing Plan Accountability and Ridiculous Goals

So, now you know what to do. You have an idea of what you are selling, some thoughts about what your marketing plans are going to be and an activities based plan for what you are going to do every day.

Failure is not an option. First off, don’t give yourself permission to fail. Laid out the way we do, it is easy to see that taking 20-60 minutes a day to do your marketing efforts is extremely possible and profitable. But that old saying is true, what is easy to do is also easy not to do. It is easy to think, “I am busy so I will just skip following today” or “so I missed a blog post this week, that is not the end of the world”. That kind of “slipping” will lead to your marketing being a lackluster, half assed effort that is just annoying, not effective. Don’t do that.

Ridiculous Goals. Right now I am on a quest to do a video (or two) every day of the week until the end of the year. That will mean that I have well over 100 additional videos (some of which are included in blog posts and some that are shared on social). The thought of making 100 videos is overwhelming, but if you just think of making one video a day, that effort seems easy and do-able. Set huge goals for yourself but break them down into daily tasks that are doable.

Thank you so much for reading about how to create a kick ass, take no prisoners marketing plan! If you would like to find out more about our products or services give me a call today (727) 415-9165

How To Create A Kick Ass Marketing Plan

Small Business Marketing Case Study – Intuitive Organizing

So in my quest to tell the world how they should do their small business marketing, I met the other day with Cassandra and Lani of Intuitive Organizing! We did a two hour marketing plan meeting and had a great time discovering some things about their business and how to position it.

What they do

Intuitive Organizing provides organizing and cleaning services. They are incredibly commited to doing this with the smallest amount of enviromental impact possible. Basically, they help people clean up thier homes or offices. They go into homes of seniors who are moving to ALFs and help them downsize to fit into their new homes. They also work with families when a person passes away and their household needs to be dis-assembled.

What they were doing 

Casssandra and Lani had made some great connections which could provide customer leads in bulk. They have been speaking with a potenitial business partner who is a great opportunity and also had made inroads into the Guardian area. Guardians are people who help the elderly and disabled manage their money and assist them with selecting vendors. 

Through discovery, we found out that Guardians HAVE to provide 2 quotes (ALWAYS COMPETITION) and also are bound to choosing the lowest cost vendor in order to give the senior the most value for their charges. 

What I think

These women are commited to providing exceptional service during a time when people are stressed and sometimes grieving. They are professional and upbeat. I think they are going to do VERY well as long as they remember that they are in business to make money, not just help people (you know it is not a job unless you make money!!!!)

I like the look of their materials but their message is not totally clear. They tend to have a lot about their concept and credo and not much specifically about their services and value proposition. I think they should put specific clients in their heads and then set up marketing materials that explain that. I think they should have a price sheet, client testimonials and a clear mission statement that captures their business briefly.

I think they should tell their story – they manage your “stuff”, they sell your stuff and give you the proceeds, they donate your stuff if it doesn’t sell, they recycle your stuff to charities that are in desperate need and as a VERY last resort, they take the rest of your stuff to the dump. They LOVE to make things neat and organized. They light up when they talk about helping people. They want to help their employees have more opportunities. 

I think that they should concentrate on making business arrangement with people who can help them generate leads in bulk. Realtors are a great source of business for these guys – they DO NOT have to get two quotes, Realtors do not want the cheapest vendors (Realtors want to provide value BUT they also want to provide their clients with a high quality service). There are free ways for them to market to Realtors including setting up an Active Rain blog. Realtors allow them to use economies of scale – there are LOTS of realtors and they tend to share great vendors when they find them!

I will keep everyone up to date with how Cassandra and Lani are doing – I REALLY believe in the service they offer and am excited about their environemental policies!!!