Are You Doing Random Marketing Activities or Working From a Marketing Plan?
Most business owners, when you ask them about their marketing activities, will describe disjointed, random efforts, or nothing at all. There is no marketing plan. They don't plan activities with intention. There is no cohesiveness - with activity planned to lead potential clients ever closer to becoming a client. There is no assessment of the effectiveness of results. There probably is little in the way of results either. The owner may go for long stretches without taking any marketing action. Then, driven by low sales and revenue, take multiple desperate actions, without any unifying theme or logical approach. If this sounds like you and you have no idea what it takes to create an effective marketing plan, here are a few ideas.
1. Keep it simple.
Often, we want to jump in with an overly ambitious plan that has us taking marketing action every minute of the day. This is usually not effective because it simply is not sustainable. It's much better to choose a few actions and maintain focus on them NOW and consistently.
2. Think of your marketing strategies as short-term and long-term.
Don't try to do them all now. Put together a plan with short-term strategies and work the plan consistently. Work on the short-term strategies with the majority of your effort, and put small (and consistent) effort into your longer-term strategies.
Marketing activities like networking, public speaking, joining business groups are short-term strategies. They are ways to associate with potential clients and get to know them. It is reasonable to expect results within a few days or weeks from the short-term strategies.
Marketing activities like creating or revising a website, publishing an ezine, selling information products, publishing articles or books are all long-term strategies. Results are longer in coming.
3. Do not expect to go to a networking event and get new clients.
It could happen, but is an unusual occurrence. You can create better results with your networking if you approach it with intentionality. Maintain focus on your reason for networking - to associate with potential clients. Don't get distracted into too much simply social interaction. Spend the bulk of your time and attention on those attendees with business possibilities. If you don't do this deliberately, you'll likely feel very disappointed by the event. It's OK to simply socialize, but do realize that the purpose of networking is business.
4. What turns your random marketing activities into a marketing plan?
Realize that each activity should be aimed at the possibility of moving potential clients one step closer to becoming clients. If you cannot clearly expect a particular marketing activity to advance the relationship, familiarity, and trust that potential clients feel for you - reconsider it. Often, we do "marketing activities" that have no possibility of furthering relationship, or we fail to do them in ways that further relationships. Ideally, what you want is to create is a logical progression of activities that leads potential clients closer to wanting to work with you. This is the key to an effective marketing plan.
5. Whatever your do, do it consistently.
Do not imagine that you can "market" occasionally and have it be effective. Put together a plan that you can definitely commit to and take sustainable, regular action on. It has to be made up of activities you enjoy, and will continue to engage in. Don't include marketing activities that you hate, dread or avoid. That's a guaranteed losing plan. Leave yourself open to developing those skills later or over time, but don't start there.
Stop doing random, occasional marketing activities and create and work a marketing plan. It is the way to a sustainable, steady stream of new clients.
By Suzi Elton
Image by Boris Djuranovic
Suzi Elton provides business writing that attracts targeted prospects to your service business and converts them into clients for you. She is a Robert Middleton Certified Action Plan Marketing Coach, as well as a professional writer. Her website offers a free series of 8 assessments you can use to analyze your own site. To learn about her Robert Middleton style Web Site Tool Kit Writing Package, go to http://www.wowfactorwriting.com/services/web-site-tool-kit-package/