Do you have a marketing plan? Or do you just kinda wing it?
With the amount of things that I need to do through out the day between not only building my business, taking care of my current clients, being a mom and having just bought a house and moved, there are a lot of things on the mind. It makes me feel like I have ADD with all the things on my mind.
Do you feel the same way sometimes? There is always another thing to do, but some things we jump on excitedly while others just keep moving from one todo list to the next, and never with a check mark next to it.
But, you know what helps me?
It's when I make myself a plan.
I sit down and really write out what my plan is and how I'm going to get it all done.
Creating a plan makes all the difference in if we actually get things done. Especially if you are dragging your feet on it.
And this, my friends, is why a marketing plan really really really really (enough emphasis??) helps!
Because let's be real. Most small business owners are not all that into the marketing side of things. You want to work with your clients, and hope that the inquiries keep coming in, but there is no "plan" in place to ensure this to happen.
The problem here is that marketing your business is critical. Your biz won't move forward and growing if you aren't marketing it.
Do you agree? Then let's get a plan!
So what exactly is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is essentially your blueprint of what you are going to promote, advertise and offer for the upcoming year that will bring business in all year long.
Whether it's super detailed or a larger, over reaching idea board is up to you, but the more detailed you make it, the more actionable it is, and the more likely it is you will implement it.
The more detailed you make your marketing plan, the more actionable it is, and the more likely it is you will implement it.
What is the benefit of a marketing plan?
The marketing plan gives you a road map. Lets you think in advance about what offers or special you may run that will bring business in during the slower seasons, and gives you the time to think about it in advance instead of the week before and rushing to get an offer out.
Marketing plans are fabulous for your content calendar as well for making sure you promote the content you make if you are into the whole content marketing game. But that is another post altogether. Today let's keep it basic and focus on a plan for marketing your promotions through this next year.
What do you need to think about before starting your marketing plan?
If this is your first time with a marketing plan, let's start simple so to not overwhelm.
1 ) Who is your ideal client.
You want to know who it is that needs your service and how to talk to them to make them realize you are the person they need to hire. If you provide a house cleaner service that helps moms who are overwhelmed, you will use a different message than if you are a house cleaner who serves super busy professionals that are not home enough and don't want to spend their home time cleaning right?
Know who your ideal client is, and you'll know what types of promotions to run, how to put it out there and who to attract!
2) What are you offering, and do you plan on doing any sales?
There are different times of year that you'll have different offerings. So looking ahead for the year, you can see the bigger picture and plan where you are going to focus depending on what your customers will want throughout the year. Looking at holidays and how that plays into your services is important as well.
3) What are your goals? The more specific the better.
For example, instead of saying you want to book more clients, say you want to book 5 more clients per month, or instead of "make more money" say, make $1000 more per month.
4) What is your competitive advantage? In other words, why is your offer better than the biz down the street? How can you convey that in your messaging?
Let's go back to the house cleaner idea, if you offer the exact same promo at the same time as your competitor, then your clients will compare prices and move on with whomever is less expensive. But if you come at the offer from a different angle, or offer something unique, people will flock to you and you'll be booked because you are different!
5) What part of the year would you like more business in?
Be strategic on what you promote during different parts of the year. For example, if you are a handyman, I wouldn't be promoting or talking about deck remodels or refinishing in November, because no one will be booking for that, but I would absolutely start talking about decks and outdoor work during the spring when the warm summer months are on people's minds.
The key is to think about when your service will be on your customer's minds, and then start planning your marketing about that service and highlighting those options in the months leading up to when the customer will want that service.
I start thinking about fall family portrait sessions in July even though bookings are in September and October for these types of sessions. Make sense?
6) Plan it all out!
Seems easy enough right? I've made a super helpful marketing plan for you to print out and think through your marketing plan for your service based business (or any business really!) that you can grab for free below including the calendar to plan it all out!