Now that you have started a business doing something you truly love and feel called to do and have owned the fact that you, my mom friend, are fully equipped to grow a business all while being a rockstar mom, it is time to get busy marketing your product or service and making money.
Did your skin crawl just a little when you read the word “marketing”? Are you grunting your disapproval and secretly throwing daggers at me because having to become a proficient marketer isn’t what you signed up for when you started your business? It’s okay…I understand. I felt the same way when I started my first business.
Most small business owners shy away from the word “marketing” because it sounds like something only huge businesses with a massive budget and a wide bandwidth should focus on.
When in truth, every single business that sells a product or a service is actually in the business of marketing that product or service to their customers. You can’t sell your product without marketing it.
Marketing is simply the act of connecting customers to products or services.
Creating a simple marketing plan is something every small business should do to guide your efforts and keep you focused on your goals. Your marketing plan is essentially the road that leads to your target – selling your product or service to your ideal customers.
Gone are the days of old style marketing that was blaring, flashing and otherwise interrupting your life. Think TV commercials without the option to skip right over those babies with your DVR controller.
We now live in the time of permission marketing. Permission marketing is where a customer signs up, voluntarily follows what you are doing and then chooses to buy. Think Facebook and email.
Learning the basics of marketing and creating a simple plan will give you the structure needed to reach your ideal customers and get their permission to come into their world with your product or service.
A simple marketing plan allows you to…
1. CREATE A VISION FOR YOUR BUSINESS
When you started your business, it started from a dream. A dream to serve others doing something you love. Your dream often starts out a little fuzzy, but as you get more specific and more intentional, the dream will come into focus and will become your vision.
Your vision for your business is simply the truth you believe about your future. What will be the truth about your business in say three years? That is your vision.
Let’s say you run a photography business. When you started out you used words such as “My dream is to work full time as a photographer and create my own schedule and take beautiful pictures of people.”
Your vision now sounds something like this: “In three years I am the sought after wedding photographer in my community. I am the trusted resource for brides that are planning their dream wedding. I am trustworthy and have a strong reputation of capturing the once in a lifetime moments during weddings for my clients.”
Do you see how your dream was general but your vision is specific?
2. OUTLINE WHAT YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH
Research shows that by writing down a goal the probability of success greatly increases. By setting goals and writing them down you are forced to be specific about what you want to achieve, how you will get there and when.
Your marketing goals should be focused on achieving your vision and monitoring your success along the way. Your vision is your target. Your marketing plan is your plan to get there.
3. CREATE A MARKETING ROADMAP
You wouldn’t take a trip without a plan and a road map to get there. Marketing is no different – you need a plan to get the results you are striving for and to reach your goals. Your plan will help you decide what is best for your industry, where you will reach your ideal customers, and how you will speak to them best.
We will talk more about identifying your ideal customers and meeting them where they are in a later post. So stay tuned for that…
4. CREATE AN ACTION PLAN
A well thought out and detailed action plan will ensure that you don’t spend your time on random actions that don’t get you the results you desire. We live in a very noisy world and can easily get distracted by all that we can be doing.
Knowing what we should be doing and sticking closely with our plan will ensure that we hit our target.
An action plan will keep you focused on what’s important and iliminate the guess work.
5. TREAT YOUR BUSINESS LIKE A BUSINESS AND NOT A HOBBY
Most of us started our businesses around a passion so we enjoy doing it each and every day. But in order to grow in our profits and keep our business self sustaining we must spend a large chunk of our time working a specific marketing plan that keeps us focused on business and sales.
A simple marketing plan with an action plan behind it to help you be consistent ensures you are focusing on the success of your business.