Archive for Marketing Planning Process
We all struggle with not wanting to work sometimes… hopefully you enjoy what you do and want to do it most of the time, but even when you do, there are days when all of us just don’t want to get busy with our work.
This becomes a bigger issue when you are working on an aspect of your business that you may find more challenging. You might really LOVE what you do – say hypnosis or coaching – but when it comes to sharing about it – say, by doing marketing or planning out marketing strategies, you struggle and avoid doing that work.
There are a few different ways you can approach this problem. You may have to experiment to find what works for you – and you may find that something that worked before isn’t working this time, so you have to switch things up and try something new.
1. Give Yourself a Break
As entrepreneurs we tend to work really, really, REALLY hard. Sometimes we just need a break. I think a lot of people are afraid if they stop, they’ll never want to start again… if that’s you, breathe. If you take a break, it will be ok. You’ll want to dive back in, and chances are, you’ll find you have new inspiration, new energy and new ideas.
Take a walk, listen to some music, plan an upcoming trip or vacation, chat with a friend, go to a movie, sit in a park – do whatever you WANT to do in that moment, let go of not working (really LET GO – you can’t decide to take some time off, then beat yourelf up for not working – that won’t help and you’ll stay stuck). Do something for you that is replenishing, relaxing and restful.
2. Use a Timer
If you have a task at hand, like creating marketing strategies to launch a new product, and you are avoiding it, use a timer. Set it for 25 minutes and agree with yourself that 25 minutes is all you have to do. Now here’s the most important part – when the timer goes off STOP. You need to honor that agreement with yourself. Take a break, get a coffee/tea – do something different for at least 5-10 minutes or longer. Once you take the break, if you feel inspired to continue, dive back in. You’ll be surprised at how often you WANT to jump back in and continue. Sometimes just getting started is the biggest hurdle, so this can help you jump over it with ease.
3. Do Something Related
In our busy lives as entrepreneurs there are always about 1,000 things we can focus on – and from that list there will always be some we don’t relish. It’s ok… if you aren’t in the mood and you have the time, focus on something you really do enjoy, but that is related to the task you don’t really want to do. After you give yourself some time to get your juices flowing, approach the other task again. Sometimes you’ll find that by opening up your creativing and getting into the flow of work when you are ready to do the parts that aren’t always as much fun for you, they will become much easier.
If you have any strategies for dealing with procrastination or simply not wanting to do certain tasks in your business, share them below. We can all help one another so much just by sharing a few tips we use – it can be something so simple you think, “Everyone knows this…” You’d be surprised how many people either don’t know or just haven’t thought of it that way – so please share.
And, if you find you are struggling with marketing strategies – coming up with them, knowing which ones will work for you and your business, creating marketing strategy templates (that you can plug and play and use over and over), you might want to click here. I’m working on something new that might just be exactly what you need.
The marketing planning process at it’s best! :- )
I know it’s a terrible picture (I could probably get a better one at night without the back-lighting of the windows), but it’ll do the job for now…
It’s a NeuYear.net whole year calendar that displays the entire year (1 side is lengthwise, the flip-side is set up width-wise, as you can see on the photos on their website here). For the last couple of years I’ve used a simple large desk calendar from Staples to do my annual planning – and it’s helped tremendously.
When it comes to the marketing planning process, the one big issue I’ve had, is I don’t know what’s coming down the pike. I can’t see ahead to the marketing planning and work that is scheduled for bigger and longer-term projects. So, in the last week of Jan, as I need to be thinking about what’s coming up in the first few weeks of February, it’s hard to tell on a regular flip-a-month-per-page calendar. (As you can see, the calendar is over my desk, so not that easy to reach to flip.)
This solves that problem!
As I’d already laid out the year on one of those regular calendars, switching to this one was quick and easy – I just cut or trimmed my post-its (the boxes are a bit smaller than the calendar I was using) and put them on the same date spots. There are categories for time off, business events and travel, program launches, planning dates for big projects, marketing start and end dates etc.
Being able to see the whole year will make everything flow MUCH SMOOTHER for me this year – and I know it will help me stick with the calendar even more.
Thank you NeuYear.net!
And, if you’re still figuring out your marketing planning process and you don’t have your year planned out yet (and you’d like to work on those things), then don’t miss my upcoming Marketing in the Morning™ webinar. We’ll be talking about getting your marketing in order, which is the start to getting your calendar and plan sorted out… and that leads to more clients, more time for you and more fun than you’ve ever had in your business before. Trust me… it’s working for me! Register here to find out more.
So, what goes into your marketing plan?
Today I want to talk about the marketing funnel that goes into your marketing plan.
Your marketing funnel is generally a visual representation of the steps and stages a potential client (and then client) can travel through your business. It’s often pictured as a funnel (as in this picture below), or turned around the other way, making a pyramid shape.
At the top of the funnel is where you would have any free offers you are putting out to the world. You want to remember, as you put out those offers, they need to be very enticing and they need to connect deeply with one of the bigger wants and needs (if you can do both, all the better) of your target market. You also want to make sure that you are truly serving people – giving them some of your very best stuff. This is your chance to make a stellar impression, so don’t cheap out on this.
The next step in the funnel is something that is also easily accessible, so it may be a well-priced offer that gives a lot of great support and information as well. It lets people try you out in another way and begin to wade into the waters, without having to commit to something huge, or dive right in – which most people are just not ready or willing to do.
On occasion, someone will be ready, though, so you want to make sure that this funnel isn’t a requirement – it’s not set up like pre-requisite courses in college. You don’t HAVE to go through the 101 level to decide you want to dive into the deep end and go big. If you have someone who loves your work and they’re ready for the whole kit-and-caboodle, then let them go for it, and give them an awesome experience.
In the next level, you step things up a notch – both from the standpoint of the level of investment and the level of time and service involved. People that reach this stage have often invested before, they’ve tried you out and they’re ready to go into the waste deep water now. They’re making a commitment.
Then, as you continue to flow downward, you add premium offerings. As the funnel suggests, a smaller number of people will trickle down to that level, but it’s ok. The people that do are your best customers. These are the ones who are generally raving fans (there can be some at every level, but these folks are deeply invested in your products and services).
The idea behind this piece of your marketing plan is that once you get someone who is interested in you and what you offer, you want to make sure you continue to serve them in multiple ways. You want to find out as much as you can about what they want and what they need solved, and you want to create and offer products and services that give them what they want.
When you do, your business has depth, and you can build long-term relationships with your clients, giving them more of what they want, and in turn, building a business that grows and thrives.
Here’s a question I get all the time…
People ask, “What is a marketing plan and why is it important… is it like a business plan? Do I have to create one? What goes in it?”
I don’t even get to answer before there are about 5 more questions added on the end… it’s something people understand is important, but they don’t know enough about it to even decide if they want to learn more.
What Is A Marketing Plan
A marketing plan is basically a way to lay out (to plan) the marketing for your business, your products, and/or your services. It covers everything from information about your target market to specific step-by-step processes you will use to build certain marketing systems and strategies.
It is a document that helps to guide you while you build your marketing, it helps you stay on track to building a more successful business, and it helps you focus your attention on your marketing – which can be a pretty hard for many people.
A marketing plan, the way I help my clients build them, is for internal use within your business, and serves as a map to help you and your team get to the destination you’ve chosen for your business.
Why Is A Marketing Plan Important
Frankly, marketing is one of the single most important places you can focus your attention in your business. Particularly if you hope to create a successful business. Marketing equals money,when it is done right, and most businesses don’t put nearly enough attention on their marketing planning process, or on their marketing.
That means that creating a solid marketing plan that can help guide you throughout the year, and help you stay focused on building the systems you determined, would support your business growth the way you want it to go. It is one of the best ways to assure your success.
Marketing is challenging for most people, until they learn more about it and have some successful experiences… then they often become ‘converts’ and start singing the praises of marketing. Until then (which can take a little while) having a plan or a guide can make all the difference between focusing on the things that will create income and bring in customers, and the things that are perhaps easier to do, but that won’t have the same level of impact.
So, what is a marketing plan and why is it important? The bottom line is it is a guide to building a successful business, and it’s important because without one, you can get hopelessly lost and never reach your destination which in this case, is a level of success with your business that makes you happy.
And, speaking of marketing plans… we’re going to be talking about them and several other key tips to having marketing that really works to bring in the clients and increase your bottom line on my next webinar. If you’re interested, you can register for it here.
I’ve been using a process for planning in the mornings for about 4-5 months now (which in and of itself is freaking UNBELIEVABLE), and I think one of the reasons I’ve been sticking with it is because it’s fun.
It’s a combination of tools pulled together from different places, and then augmented with sticky-notes (really awesome and fun ones), stickers, pictures from magazines, mementos from events, excursions and trips, and a wonderful book/journal as the basis.
Here are a few images of some of my planning pages and my ‘fun’ pages:
Here are some of the things coming into play:
The Daily Action Plan
Daily Do’s – What you’ll want are to figure out what the specific things are you want to do each day. For example, you may want to identify the 3 things that will move things forward for you in the quickest and most effective way. And, most likely, they are things that you might avoid if you don’t prioritize them. Think of the idea of ‘Eat That Frog’ by Brian Tracy – get the tough things out of the way first, and you’ll find the rest of the day goes great.
Ships – Next, you’ll want to figure out 3 things that will get you and your product, service and business out into the world. There is a concept in Shelly Campbell’s book The Wealthy Spirit called ‘sending out ships’. If you aren’t sending out ships, there won’t be any to come back to port bearing treasures. So, be sure to put some focus on 3 things you can do today that will help you put the word out and will create opportunity for something to come back in your direction.
What I’ve Added
Daily ‘Poms’ – which you’ll see in the last picture. This is me tracking the number of segments I follow from the Pomodoro Technique (this is a simple and BRILLIANT time management process that has helped me be WAAAAYYY more productive in the last few months. Definitely suggest you check it out (the ebook that explains it is free – how about that!).
Daily Celebrations – this is something I’ve added recently. I noticed that I wasn’t really acknowledging my ‘wins’ on a daily basis. I was getting glum and bummed when things didn’t turn out EXACTLY as I wanted, and I wasn’t celebrating and appreciating what I had accomplished.
This is my place to write down the little wins I have during the day – like when I really didn’t want to write some copy and got myself into a good feeling place and then actually enjoyed doing it. That’s a BIG win, actually, and something I would have previously glossed over.
The Sticky-Notes (!!!)
This is a huge part of what makes this fun for me. I have a (ahem)… shall we say ‘sizeable’ collection of interesting, fun and playful post-its, some of which you see in the pictures. Where in the world, you ask, did I find such WONDERFUL things? Here are my sources (and please, don’t keep these a secret – I want them to make more and more and more varieties so I can have more and more and more FUN WITH THEM!):
I’m linking to Cavallini’s store on Amazon because a) I LOVE Amazon and b) You can buy from there, and you can’t buy directly off their website (unless you can and want to buy wholesale).
This company has wonderful stuff! A few different ‘brands’ underneath them and some really playful post-its and things. I love the variety and the fun designs. One thing though… the post-it glue isn’t the best, so they don’t stick too well. I glue most of my post-its down in my book anyway (the loose ends at least), so it doesn’t bother me. And, I happen to have a handy-dandy glue stick because…
The book is brilliant. All by itself it’s a fabulous piece of art. Each page is fun, whimsical, and new. It’s hard to put something on some of them (and, in a few cases, I haven’t). I use colored markers to fill things in sometimes (yes, I have a coloring book… ;- )), I doodle on the pages, I paste magazine pics, I create themes of images and colors, I add stickers – I make it FUN.
“What is this amazing and wonderful book,” you ask?
Well, I will not wait a second longer to tell you…
They have a wonderful video on their site here (you have to click ‘watch the video’).
All the books, rather ingeniously, come with a pen that is also a glue-stick that is attached to the book, so it’s always handy.
Smash books are FABULOUS! You can get them in a variety of places now including Target and Michaels – as well as online through places like Amazon.
I also like some of the accessories Smash Book has – my favorite is the Blank Smash Pad.
It’s awesome! (And, because I have that fab glue stick, I can use the pages right there in my book, just like the stickies. YAY!)
Ok, now that you know what an incredible geek I am, tell me how you are going to start making your planning process fun… so that you’ll actually do it. The FUN is up to you…
I’ll go cross off ‘blog post’ from my short list of today’s activities. :- )
And, as I work on my next marketing planning process, I’ll be making it more like arts & crafts – just for the FUN of it! There is absolutely no reason why the marketing planning process can’t include most (or ALL!) of these great tools.
P.S. Yes. I write small. Very very small.