The reading level for this article is All Levels
There’s no question you can start and grow a business without a marketing plan. However, I can tell you from personal experience, if you’re feeling stuck and can’t get to the next level, it’s probably because you never took the time to put a marketing plan together.
Having a marketing plan really is the key to growing and sustaining a successful, profitable business. Otherwise all you’re doing is winging it, and winging it only takes you so far.
So if you’re ready to craft your 2012 marketing plan but you’re not sure where to start, read on — I’m going to walk you through 3 steps to get you there.
1. Start with the end goal. If you don’t know where you’re going, then you really don’t need a plan. (And it’s impossible to plan without knowing where you want to end up anyway.)
It’s probably easiest to start with the money. How much do you want to make in 2012? Write that down. You probably also want to divide it up into monthly or quarterly goals so you know how much you need to make each month or quarter to reach that goal.
Now figure out how you’re going to make that monthly or quarterly figure. How many of your products/programs/books/service packages do you need to sell to hit that number? Write all that down too.
2. Put the big blocks in place. In order to meet your quotas are you going to need to do some launches? Put those in first. Or is there something else you need to do to get clients or customers? (Attend networking events, host teleclass, etc.) Make sure those are all accounted for before you do anything else.
Once youâ€™ve put in the big blocks, take a moment and eyeball your calendar. Is it packed with launch after launch? Or do you have hardly anything in there? Check that it’s balanced — you want to have enough launches or big marketing events in there to generate some visibility and momentum for your business but you don’t want so many you feel exhausted and overwhelmed just looking at your calendar.
3. Fill in the details. Marketing is a dance — a dance between promoting and giving. Creating and building relationships then harvesting those relationships. You need to make sure you have all both things covered. (And if you’re wondering what I mean by marketing activities that create and build relationships, I’m talking about doing things like an ezine or answering people’s question on Facebook — content-rich activities that don’t obviously lead to a promotion.)
You may also want to take the time to actually fill in the actual launch steps. When are you doing the preview call? When do you want the emails to go out? When are you going to have all the copy written?
The more specific plan, the easier it’s going to be to execute. Not only will you know exactly what you’re supposed be doing at all times but your team will be able to help you a lot easier.