“Your life will be no better than the plans you make and the action you take. You are the architect and builder of your own life, fortune and destiny.” - Alfred A. Montapert
You are the architect, the creator of your business so it is really worth taking a minute (or maybe two) to plan and to make sure that the solid foundations are in place.
Today we are going to concentrate on the big picture of your marketing plan and not on the tactical details. And the good news is that we only need to look at 5 areas.
The big picture of your marketing plan includes:
- Your Marketing Mindset
- Your Marketing Foundation
- Your Business Model
- Your Client Attraction System
- Your Enrollment System
Your Marketing Mindset
If marketing and sales are a problem, it will be very difficult to plan and implement any kind of marketing plan.
As a conscious entrepreneur and a service professional, service is the keyword here. Therefore, all the marketing principles, plans and strategies that you will find here are based on being of service and helping people.
In a nutshell, marketing here for us means attracting the people who need you and are looking for the transformation that your contribution provides. Most of those people are going to raise their hands and give you permission to deliver your message and your help (this is called permission-based marketing).
This solves one of the biggest problems that service professionals have when it comes to marketing. We hate to be pushy or salesly and to sound hypie. When we have permission to deliver our message, we actually become “welcome guests instead of a pest”.
Everybody needs to find their own marketing style. However, here you are only going to find marketing principles and strategies that represent a win-win-win situation. The people who want your help win, you win and the world wins as a result of the transformation you provide.
An extra antidote against inauthenticity and hypie: if it is yucky or inauthentic or hypie, don’t do it and always aim for the win-win-win solution.
Another important piece of the marketing mindset puzzle is creating the fun factor. If you try to force yourself to do something that is not fun day after day in your marketing and in your business, it won’t work. Now that you are planning, remember to include the fun factor in your plan.
As modern experts ready to grow a business to be proud of, we need to make marketing your priority because without clients and sales, there is no business. If your business perishes, the people that you can help will need to find help somewhere else (and sometimes the only options available are the people who don’t care as much as you do).
Your Marketing Foundation
The three Ps of Marketing need to be in place: your People, your Personal Marketing Message to your People and your Personal Media.
This is a brief online marketing checklist to help you plan:
- WHO is the right audience for your contribution?
- WHAT do they want help with? (Notice the word WANT here)
- HOW will you reach them?
- HOW will you help them?
Your Personal Marketing Message
Do you have a compelling marketing message based on what is unique about your contribution so that you stand out from all your competition? Do you have an irresistible offer?
Your Personalized Media
Once you have identified your people, your audience, you need to know where they hang out. In the case of online marketing, you need to use the same media as they do. Are they in forums? Are they in social media? Do they visit certain blogs? Develop a presence in those places, starting with your website as the hub!
Your Business Model
Since you are the creator of your business, you get to choose any business model that you want. A big part of that choice can be guided by your personal preferences (remember the fun factor).
Start by asking yourself: why is it important to me to have a successful business or practice with a constant flow of clients that are a joy to serve? Write down the purpose of your business and let that bigger purpose guide your planning.
Ask yourself: what do I enjoy doing? What am I great at? Make sure to use your personal preference as a guidance because you really want to be happy in business and the choice is yours.
One of my clients decided to plan a purely online business that meant working alone but she actually loves working with people and teaching and training face-to-face. Once she got clarity about that, she incorporated live seminars and workshops and that made a world of a difference. Those seminars and workshops could also be packaged as products to be sold online so she actually had a lot of fun creating her info products.
Ask yourself: is my business model sustainable and scalable? Let me give you an example: writing and selling an eBook is not the best business model. Having a blog is not a business model.
Your Client Attraction System
Ask yourself - what are your marketing assets that allow you to attract the people who want your help and ensure a constant flow of potential clients?
Your Enrollment System
You need to find a way of selling your paid offers of services, programs and products, or converting people who need and want your help into clients. That is “conversion”. As a logical sequence of people having raised their hands and said that they wanted your free help, some of those same people will want some of your paid offers. Your marketing plan should include a way of presenting those paid offers and helping people make a decision about them (the decision can be a “yes” or a “no” but your duty is to help them decide because you know they want help).
Your marketing and business plan has to have a system to convert prospects into clients, offline and online.
Some experts are coaches or trainers and have free consultations with people. Make sure that you know how to structure those sessions or consultations so that you can convert some of those people into clients if it is a good fit for both of you. Otherwise, everybody is wasting their time.
The perfect solution: a free session that provides massive value to your potential client and helps people who are a good fit to do your work to decide on-the-spot to invest in working with you.
This next step will seem counter intuitive at fist glance. The most powerful step you can take is to learn to have enrollment conversations that deeply serve your potential clients and at the same time inspire the right people to say yes to working with you.
Why is this important when we are talking about online marketing? Because one of the biggest myths of marketing online is that everything can be sold online with a "Buy Now" button. Your level of contribution probably requires that you talk to people. When you talk to them, you should have a structure to help them decide on-the-spot to do your work if they are the right people for it.
Once you have the confidence that comes from being ready with your enrollment conversation, you are going to be automatically more effective with your marketing. You will look forward to having those conversations. People, whether they hire you or not, will recommend others to have conversations with you because of the level of service in that conversation. So you won't "overdo" your online marketing in the hope of avoiding those conversations.
Till next time… happy planning and remember your awesomeness is portable. You can take it with you anywhere.