One of the biggest challenges we find with our clients is that they have never created a marketing plan.
This is completely understandable as creating a marketing plan can be overwhelming. The biggest challenge is that it’s always changing. There is a lot to figure out with technology and the constant new platforms being created each year.
You can spend hours DIY researching and get sucked into a big black hole of information. It is easy to get hung up on the complexity of it all, and then nothing happens.
But why do you need a marketing plan?
If you do not have a strategic plan you end up not having any idea of where you are going. It is like trying to travel someplace unknown without GPS maps. If you do not know where you are going it limits your ability to set goals and therefore unable to measure your ROI. You won’t be able to tell what is working and what is not. You are just blindly putting yourself out there with no strategy.
What happens a lot with our clients is they try and hit everything at once – often this is at the beginning of the year when the “New Year” starts and they want to get going on the right foot. They start blogging, shoot videos, set up Facebook ads. Usually all in the same month and then they get burned out.
The ad may not work how they thought it would and they give up.
They do not see any video hits and no one has shared their blog. Suddenly the New Year vibe has faded and they are back to doing very little with regards to marketing.
Your marketing plan gives you a strategic system to grow and expand your business in a way that works best for you. It is rolled out over time step-by-step and is something you are constantly revisiting and expanding. If you want to be successful, you need a disciplined and consistent marketing plan that you refer to at least once a week.
Creating your first marketing plan
After understanding the importance of having a marketing plan, let’s talk about how to create it.
First, our entire business is focused on the idea of simplicity. Finding a simple business is our motto. Try to keep that in mind when you work on your marketing plan. It does NOT need to be overly complex or lengthy. If you keep it simple, it is easier to take action.
What we recommend is a one-page document to start.
You can even title it “Simple Marketing Plan”. On the top of the page write out your mission statement. Include who you work with, what do you do, and why it’s important to you.
Under that create 3-5 monthly goals for your business (or more if needed). These will vary depending on your business. It might be how many people you are going to help, how many products you want to sell, a certain number of video hits, maybe how many old clients to bring back.
After you create your goals you will then create your weekly and then monthly absolutes.
In order to achieve those goals you set above what steps are you going to take to reach them? What action items do you need to do on a weekly and monthly basis? Keep in mind these must be non-negotiable action items. The goal is not complicated, but a systematic disciplined approach.
We write these down in a bulleted list in our marketing plan. Here’s an example… For our business we spend time each Monday review where we are for the month. We talk about our week and the priorities we are working on. Then we discuss what we want to focus on during the week in terms of social media and blogging. Lastly, we make sure to also spend time each week for continuing education.
Each month for our absolutes we focus on our goals and adjust as needed.
We review our long-term outlook and work on some of the administrative tasks that are necessary. We look at how we might need to adjust our strategy based on what we have learned so far.
Do not start video creation, blogging, etc without having this marketing plan in place. Writing it all out will help you get focused and most importantly keep you on track. You’ll know exactly what you are supposed to be doing. Each week and each month you are putting a little bit of time and energy into marketing.
If you continue to be overwhelmed and feel like you need additional help with your marketing strategy, we help many clients all over the world with internet marketing consulting. You can schedule a consultation here.