Knowing where to spend marketing dollars and marketing time is one of the biggest concerns for small business owners. It’s easy to watch the big guys (Coke, Tide, Ford, etc.) spend big money on big ads that are really only about brand awareness and think that you should be doing similar marketing.
Let’s be clear – what works for the big guys won’t work for you because you just don’t have the same marketing budget!
So how does the small or micro business owner ensure that every dollar they spend on marketing brings in a good return on investment (ROI)?
And secondly, how do you avoid costly marketing mistakes?
It comes back to something called a ….
or as I call it your Get Known as the undeniable authority Plan (GKP).
Your marketing plan is like a GPS for your business: it shows you the best way to reach your sales and profit goals while avoiding any time-consuming and costly errors along the way.
Creating a marketing plan increases your probability of success as it not only impacts brand awareness but:
- Lead generation
- Sales conversations
- Customer retention
Did you know the majority of business owners don’t have a marketing plan (i.e. only 17% of financial advisors have one so if you do, you’ll be ahead of 83% of your competition).
Here are some 3 tips for developing your marketing plan that will help map out your route and keep your business on course.
1. What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan outlines your intended marketing activities for a specific period, usually over the next 90 days. It describes how you’ll reach, attract and nurture customers to buy your products or services, with clear goals, actions and accountabilities.
While large corporations might have an overarching marketing strategy with individual plans for each part of the strategy, my philosophy is for you to keep things simple. BTW – when you work with me, you won’t need fancy funnels, paid ads or perhaps even social media!
If you’re wondering how to create this plan? I’ll address this in an upcoming blog but it’s one of the things that I often help create during a VIP Day with me.
2. What is the purpose of a marketing plan?
Your GKP (Get Known Plan) has one purpose…. One job…. To bring you qualified prospects. In other words, you can measure the effectiveness of the plan by the qualified prospects it brings.
So let’s take networking as a marketing activity. Although many business owners consider this to be a FREE or LOW-cost activity, when you add in the cost of your time, is this marketing activity proficient in bringing you qualified prospects?
Instead of attending numerous networking events, would it be more effective and efficient if you attended events where you were the speaker? In other words, you have the stage and attention of multiple attendees. Speaking is one of the fastest ways to increase your credibility and authority!
Notice, as I was talking about leads, the word qualified!!!
- Are the prospects your perfect-fit clients?
- Are they your dream clients?
- How long does it take to bring you a client?
- What is this client worth over the long term (Customer lifetime value)?
3. What are the components of a marketing plan?
Most businesses will have several different plans that interlink and support each other. If you think of your business as a factory, the factory has several different machines that create the end product. Your business is no different. For instance, a business might have a plan for growing their team (HR), a plan for sales, another for production, etc. All of these plans help build the business factory.
In my GROW Equation for business growth, there are 3 main plans that create a sustainable profitable business:
- Profit Plan – your strategy to Ramp up your profits which includes metrics you will monitor; your pricing strategy; and your specific and measurable goals. The goal of your Profit Plan is keep you on track to earn profits so you can pay yourself well and perhaps even ‘give-back’ to your community.
On July 7, several clients are joining me at my home for a retreat-style day where we will be creating their Profit Plan for the next 6 months. You can join them for the day or for the year, let’s chat. Book a call here.
- Get Known Plan – this is your strategy for becoming the undeniable authority in your field so that you are magnetizing clients; clients come to you expecting to pay high fees; and you are a sought-after specialist in your field. This is commonly called your marketing plan. The goal of your GKP is to bring you a steady stream of qualified prospects, in other words, it does the heavy lifting for your sales conversations.
- Freedom Plan – this is your strategy for freeing up your time; systematizing; building a rock star team and perhaps automating. The ultimate goal of your Freedom Plan is to build your business so that it is a well-oiled machine that can keep growing without your direct daily involvement so you can have plenty of unplugged time to step into your role as the business leader!
Let’s examine your Get Known Plan (marketing plan).
Your GET KNOWN PLAN has 7 key elements for proficient marketing:
- Distinctive Positioning in the marketplace establishes your unique difference and specialization including your personal methodology and terminology. This is what makes you stand out and you seem untouchable by your competition.
- Trusted Branding is so much more than your logo. It’s about creating content, including visuals, that nurture prospects to deepen the relationship with you until they are ready to purchase from you.
- A Client-Attracting Website that converts including a lead magnet that captures emails of interested parties so you can continue to nurture your relationship with them.
- Effective SEO (search engine optimization) through usage of keywords in your content so that you are easily found when your dream client searches for you on the internet.
- Email and blogging with prospects, past clients, current clients, friends, family.
WHY include friends & family – because if your friends and family don’t understand what you do, why should they refer you???
Why use email? The ROI for email is proven to be 1000 times more effective than social media!
- Visibility by using your ‘content personality’ in organic marketing whether it’s speaking, networking, etc.. By the way, paid ads, social media and complicated marketing funnels are not necessary to grow your business.
- Amplify Authority through a book, podcast, public appearances or other means.
Too often business owners make a costly marketing mistake by starting in the wrong place. Just to be clear, even if this is you, it’s not your fault! You probably didn’t go to school to become a marketer. And like most of my clients, you didn’t start your business to become a marketer. However, the truth is that it’s the best marketer that gets the job (not the best coach or consultant).
Here’s the mistake….
Most business owners start marketing by trying to get Visible. So they exhaust themselves by posting on several social media platforms or run around town attending networking all in the name of trying to get noticed. That is the wrong place to start your marketing! The only thing that usually happens is that the business owner gets totally frustrated because NOTHING is working.
Truth is that the marketing isn’t working because there is no clear positioning for you or your business. I recently told the story of how I attended a networking event where there were 9 mortgage brokers in attendance. Every single one of them said the same thing – Hi my name is________; I’ve been in business for _______ years and I work for _________. BORING!!!!
If you want ANY of your marketing to be effective and efficient, you must start with Distinctive Positioning! You first must clarify your position (niche, messaging) before getting visible, otherwise, you’re just making noise and no one notices you (sorry!).
If you avoid Distinctive Positioning, you’ll find that your marketing just isn’t bringing you those qualified prospects and you’re wasting your time and money!
Well friends, if you’ve read this far today, CONGRATULATIONS!!!
By now you’re probably wondering HOW do you create your Get Known Plan? I’m not going to answer that question here, but here’s a hint…..
Asking HOW you create this plan is unfortunately the wrong question. Let me explain. As the Visionary Leader of your business (the CEO), you should be asking two different questions.
- WHO will create this plan?
- WHY should I create this plan?
The answer is two-fold.
The WHY answer I hope I’ve answered above. When you don’t create a plan, you usually end up wasting money on ineffective marketing and since you’re a super-smart business owner, you don’t want to do that.
The WHO question is a simple answer. After almost 40 years as a business owner and working with business experts, ONE of the things that I’ve learned is that to build your marketing plan, you’ll need help. You can’t do it in a bubble! You’ll need feedback, input and a different perspective. By the way, I don’t create my marketing plan by myself; I have a coach for that because I can’t see my own shortcomings; I can only see my own expertise.
However, I’m f*cking great at helping others create their marketing plans so that they Get Known as the undeniable authority in their industry. That’s what I do with my private clients who:
- Start earning more profit than they ever thought possible.
- Start magnetizing high-paying clients effortlessly.
- Start taking unplugged vacations.
So in case you’re interested, in an upcoming post, I’ll outline a couple of steps HOW you can start creating your marketing plan for your sustainably profitable business.
Until then…. You Can Do This!