The one thing I know for certain when most people start working with me is that they do not have a Marketing plan. They may have a social media page and even a website and even an email list, but they have no idea how to make all these things work together. A Marketing plan is an outline of how you convey your message to your audience. It is a combination of the tools that you will use to convey the message as well as where you will convey these messages. But there are some major decisions you have to make before you even decide to show up to your audience.
1.Know your audience!
You are not trying to sell to everybody. Take about marketing like going out on a date. The first date is the most important and what happens after that date determines if you are going to stay with this person for the long haul. You won’t say yes to a marriage proposal on the first date, so why do you expect your audience to…or anyone for that matter.
I shared extensively on this topic almost 2 years ago in my blog post:
Who is your ideal client?
Every entrepreneur has to spend some time determining who they want to work with and who they want to attract specifically. Do you want to attract people with no money? Do you want to attract people who are always complaining? Do you want to attract trolls? I am sure your answer to this is HELL NO. So, in developing a marketing plan, before you jump onto your social media pages and start talking about your business, you want to determine who exactly you want to talk to. And secondly determine where they can be found both online and offline so you can show up there for them consistently.
2. Know your message!
What do you want to be known for? Who do you want to be known as? This is greatly affected by the messages you share to your audience. Many entrepreneurs do not think about this aspect of marketing. Instead they solely focus on the thing that they are selling. The bigger question is what are you teaching your audience about what you are selling?
Your messages are a great opportunity for your audience to get to know you better. Share your stories through posts, videos, memes, jokes…..whatever suits your fancy. But give your audience an inside look as to why you love what you do and how you do what you do. The conversations you have with your audience is how you build that know-like-trust factor that ultimately leads to the sale. That most times is the missing link!
Your messages should inspire, motivate and educate your audience and should not be solely focused on talking about your business. People want to buy from people. So give your audience a chance to get to know the real you behind your brand.
3. Know where to show up!
You do not need to be everywhere at once. That is a sure recipe for burn out. If you have determined your audience is on social media, then choose 2-3 platforms and master them. If they attend networking events, then make it a priority to be there. If they read a particular newspaper or magazine, get featured or become a guest contributor.
The point is that when you determine who your audience is, you also need to determine where they are and make a committed effort to be there so you remain top of mind.
4. Show up in different ways
One of the biggest mistakes many entrepreneurs make is not realising that their audience consumes content in different ways and have different platform preferences. Too many are solely relying on social media alone. And while social media is a powerful tool and platform, it should not be the only place your messages are being shared. Instead, from your marketing strategy, map out the different ways you can share your content which may include:
• An email list
• A blog
• A podcast
• Live or recorded videos or webinars
• Networking events
• Collaborations with others
• Traditional media like radio, TV, press and magazines
Your audience is bombarded by so much information, so the more ways you give them to interact and hear your messages, the more relevant you will remain to them. The key to this is consistency!
5. Lead them down an easy path
Your Audience + Your Message = Sales! Knowing your audience and being very clear about your message, will lead you to consistent sales. This is how your marketing is tied into your sales and supports your sales process. The end goal of your marketing is to build know-like-trust so they will buy right? So part of your marketing strategy has to lead them to where and how they will buy from you.
Most entrepreneurs also only offer their audience one way to buy from them. By doing this, they are leaving money on the table. And they are closing the door to many opportunities for their audience to work with them. Remember people are at different stages of the buying process and your marketing has to speak to all of those stages.
Instead, think of ways you can break up your services into pieces so that you can create a steady stream of customers and a steady stream of income. For example:
- Free content through your blogs, videos, podcasts, email etc
- DIY programme
- Do It with you programme
- Do it for you programme
- Coaching/Training 1 on 1
- VIP days
The point is, that for any type of business, you can have clients filled at each stage of this sales funnel based on the messages that you share and the offers you provide.
Marketing is not as complicated as we tend to make it out to be, if we are truly clear about our goals, know who we want to attract and are confident in our message then, it is truly a matter of rinse and repeat!
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