10 Top Tips To Creating a Successful Marketing Plan
Most people wouldn’t set off on a year long journey without a plan and a map. Yet so many small business owners and entrepreneurs do just that year in, year out when they fail to create a marketing plan for their business.
Many find the task too daunting so they never get started or they get bogged down in too much detail and never get it finished.
In reality, creating a marketing plan is a lot easier than you think and here’s my top 10 tips to help make yours a success.
Block out time to create your marketing plan
Doing this task piecemeal will drag it out and drag you down. It’s really a creative process so set aside a day or two of dedicated time way from your business while you’re working on it. It will pay off in the long run. Plus you’ll have a lot more fun.
Unless you are an expert, creating a marketing plan on your own can be limiting. If you are not working with a consultant or a coach think about teaming up with a colleague and help each other.
Brainstorming is a great opportunity to uncover new ideas and sound them out.
Include your key employees. First, because they’ll have good ideas and second, they’ll have buy-in to implementing the finished plan and working with you towards the goals.
Planning anything can be a largely left brain activity so before you jump into the practical aspects of creating a marketing plan it’s a good idea to allow your creative right brain to have free reign first.
There’s no better way to do that than to visualize what you really want. What does your ideal business look like?
If you’re not familiar with visualizing, use a guided process. Either way, make sure you journal the outcomes to connect to along the way.
Review your past results
Unless you are just starting your business you must review your past results before you embark on your next plan. What worked, what didn’t? What did you enjoy and what lessons did you learn from your failures and your successes?
Use this process to eliminate, increase, or add new strategies and activities.
Set a bold income goal
Now you have a vision for the future with an assessment of the past, it’s time to set your income goals. Without a goal you cannot decide what strategies and actions you’ll need to get you where you want to go.
How much money do you want to make?
You want this overarching goal to be a stretch but realistic, so go for at least 30% more than you earned last year as a start point. When you surpass that it’s time to raise the stakes and set a new money goal.
Decide where the income will come from and set your targets
Once you have your bold money goal, the next step is to decide where this income will come from. Go back to what you want your business to look like and choose 2 or 3 streams of income to focus on. Then match them to the percentage of dollars each will contribute to your overall income goal.
Some things to consider:-
- Information products
- One-on-one programs
- Group programs
- Continuity programs
- VIP days
For instance, if you want to run workshops for say 50% of your income then how many, with what number of attendees, at what investment will you need to bring in the dollars?
Decide strategies to reach your income goals
With a clear idea of the source of your income you can now plan the strategies you need to help you reach your income goals.
Keeping with the example of workshops bringing in 50% of your income; now you know how many attendees you need as well as the investment they need to make – what strategies will help you achieve that?
If you need to build your list, public speaking is one of the quickest ways to get your message out there and add prospective clients to your list.
Determine actions to support strategies
Now that you have identified your strategies, it’s time to decide the exact actions you will take. For instance, if you will be using public speaking then start by researching the possible opportunities and contact the organizers.
Let them know how your information can benefit their audience and get booked into their planning calendar. Make sure you are prepared with your presentation as well as the offer you want to make.
Calendarise your actions
It is crucial that you immediately transfer your actions into your calendar to make sure you continue to implement as planned. Otherwise you run the risk of being distracted with time wasting activities instead of the income generating strategies and actions.
Monitor and adjust
The final step to ensure your marketing plans lead to success is to frequently monitor your results and adjust if necessary.
While this is one of the simplest things to do, it is often overlooked but do this at your peril. If you aren’t meeting your income goals month in, month out then the sooner you make adjustments the better.
And one last bonus tip – keep your marketing plan brief, specific, documented and visible and you’ll be halfway there to getting the results you are striving for.