I seriously hated the idea of creating a marketing plan the first time I was advised to create one. I didn’t know where to start, it sounded hard and I honestly didn’t know what it meant.
After a few years I changed my mind about the marketing plan and I began creating one every year. As usual, I kept it simple but it was good enough to get me organized.
- What I was marketing
- To whom I was marketing
- How I was going to market
- Who was going to help me
In truth, I needed more than this to be more powerful in my message and attract new customers. I needed to connect to my customers from my heart and stop trying to sell. That created the single biggest shift in my marketing. I enjoyed the process as a result. It made marketing fun!
Then another big a-ha moment came several years ago when I was doing a VIP day with my mentor. I was complaining about marketing and planning, and she asked if I wanted to see how she planned her marketing campaigns.
My reply, “Hell YES!”
She gave me the golden key to making my marketing efficient. She gave me a system. It was a month-at-a-glance calendar with ‘post it’ notes describing what was happening in the marketing department attached to the day it was happening.
Holy Hannah! Brilliant and easy. Right up my alley!
I went home and immediately did something similar. But what I realized instantly was that you couldn’t just plan out a month at a time. If I was going to create a plan that flowed, I had to do a whole year at a time.
That got my ticker in overwhelm at first. So I chunked the process down.
- Decide the events and classes I would offer for the year.
- Choose dates for the above based on my marketing funnel.
- Choose dates for special promotions on my products.
- Leave enough room (white space) in calendar to do Joint Ventures with other people.
- Decide how I would deliver my buzz for each campaign. In my case, I use free teleclasses, video trainings, webinars, early bird pricing, special bonuses or a big sale.
- Choose specific dates that I would send out marketing.
This process takes me a few weeks to nail down. I carve out two hours, on several different days, to ponder my decisions. Then I send my team the details so they can keep me on track.
This may sound like a pain in the bum, but it’s not. I love that I know exactly what is needed and when, for my marketing plan to be implemented. It also makes it easy to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when people want to partner with me or want me to promote them.
Even if you have never done a marketing ‘campaign’ for one of your products or services, you can create a buzz that creates sales. It is important that a marketing campaign is not made up of one email promotion or one postcard. A campaign means you are willing to be loud and proud of your offering.
I send out 2, 3 and 4 emails a week. Not everyone on my database reads them all, but they’re still on my email list and haven’t opted out. I truly believe what I offer makes a huge difference in the lives of my customers. So why would I be shy about sharing what’s new?
Systems create freedom. Systems make it easier for everyone to do their job more efficiently and with less stress. Create your marketing calendar for the year or even one quarter and you’ll dig the process, too. Most importantly, you’ll see a bigger impact on sales. Kaching!