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Check out these tips from Renee Moore on how to write a marketing plan. Updated on July 18, 2016.
Have you decided that this is the year to start your new business? Do you know where you’ll find clients? Do you have a marketing plan?
Maybe you were laid off or you just decided that the two-hour commute was more than you wanted to deal with. So, now you have taken over the spare bedroom. You have the beautiful, clear desk you always wanted, a laptop, bookshelves, wall calendar, and smartphone. You are set to take in clients. But, there is one problem. You have no idea how to market yourself to get clients.
A simple marketing plan will help you attract all the clients you need.
How to Write a Simple, Successful, Easy Marketing Plan
Not having a marketing plan seems to be a common problem faced by many new entrepreneurs. Without a plan, they end up haphazardly marketing their services. This means they don’t know where to get clients from or how to attract more of them when they need to.
Here are three steps to creating an easy marketing plan that you can use right away:
1. Decide WHY you are in business
Many people become entrepreneurs because they don’t want a boss or they want to make a lot of money. However, as an entrepreneur, you will have many bosses called clients, and you may not make a lot of money the first few years.
So, what else will keep you going?
You have to know why you are in business. What wakes you up every morning? Is it sharing financial information with people, teaching what you know, selling homes? That has to be a part of your marketing plan. It will help you to focus on what is most important to you.
2. Write down WHO you want to work with
New entrepreneurs often think they have to work with everyone. But, in reality, you should create a niche market for yourself that attracts the people you really want to work with.
Create a list and be sure to write down what gender you want to work with, age range, income level, marital status, etc. Consider where they live and the jobs they have. Other questions to think about:
- What do they read?
- Where do they shop?
- What are their needs?
- What keeps them up at night?
Creating a list and answering these (and other questions) will help you know where you should spend your time and advertising dollars.
3. Decide HOW you will get the word out to your audience
There are several ways to connect with your audience:
- Direct contact. This can include direct mail, phone calls, and face to face and meetings.
- Networking. Attend in-person networking meetings and follow up with the people you meet. Don’t forget about social media networking.
- Public speaking. Volunteer to speak to groups and those who may be interested in your products and services.
- Writing/publicity. Write articles, blog for yourself, be a guest blogger on someone else’s site, or have the media write about you. Create a newsletter and publish testimonials from your customers.
- Promotional events. Most industries have trade shows or fairs where they can meet others interested in their business. Seminars, teleseminars, and webinars that your company produces can also attract more clients.
- Advertising. Consider yellow page ads, billboards, brochures, ads in journals, or Google and Facebook ads. Twitter and LinkedIn also have ad platforms.
Look at each of these methods and decide which one might work best for your business. Maybe they all do and maybe you are only comfortable with one or two. Once you have decided how you will market your business, get a calendar and mark down the days and times when you will network or attend a trade show or write your newsletter.
In other words, plan!
Write it down for the entire year so you always know what you have to do and when it needs to be done. This will help organize your marketing and now all you have to do is organize all the client files you will be creating as a result of your consistent marketing.