This is Part 2 of a 3 Part Series on creating an “actually useful” marketing plan for your small business.
This isn’t the traditional or official format you will find in business books or with small business organisations. This is a different approach that helps you more organically form your strategies for the year ahead.
Last week’s post was all about Reflecting on the year that was and asking yourself some thought provoking questions. If you missed it, make sure you read that first.
Now we look forward. What will your ideal year look like? What is your vision for the next 12 months and how does marketing fit into that?
We will be looking at 4 main areas:
- Target Market
Grab that notebook and let’s get started!
Goal setting is one of those things that some people seem to be amazing at and others get the hives just thinking of it. But the thing is, it is still an important thing for you to do.
Now I’m not going to tell you that you need to set a goal for all of the below things. Some you might not care about too much. But here is what I suggest:
- Sales Target (or Sales Targets by Category)
- Social Media Followers
- Email Subscribers
- Website Visitors per month
In addition, you can add in some general objectives such as “getting featured in the media” or “becoming a thought leader”.
There are no rules only the limits of your imagination!
Whether you have your target market “nailed” or not, it is a worthwhile exercise to revisit your avatar at least once a year. In last week’s post, I asked if the needs or desires of your audience has changed at all. This is where that comes in.
In addition to this, you might have learnt more about who your ideal audience is simply by interacting with them more and more.
So it is helpful to rewrite that customer avatar – your description of your ideal customer, their interests, their desires, their passions and their needs.
All these things will really help you connect with them going forward.
Feeling stuck? This blog post might help.
If you are anything like me, you probably have a huge list of product or service ideas you want to create. Or existing offerings you want to improve.
Many people don’t think of your products as part of marketing, but they are one of four key foundations of the marketing mix (the other 3 being price, placement & promotions).
For this section, you should just list out in an “ideal world” what you would like to create.
This might even include some things that might not be achievable in the next 12 months but you might want to begin to take some steps towards it.
You might want to consider adding income streams such as “passive” income products (passive in quotation marks very intentionally!) or affiliate income or leveraged products.
Also, while we are talking products, this is a good time to think about your pricing. Would you like to increase your pricing? Or perhaps ensure you have something available at different price points?
The final thing to add to the vision list is all the marketing projects you want to focus on in the next 12 months. This is anything that is a “background” job and is important but often never seems urgent so they keep dropping down the list.
What do you have on that list that you would like to get done? Examples could be:
- Branding or Rebrand
- Upgrade your Website
- Target Market Research
- Create an Email Opt-in
- Create a Sales Funnel
- Automate your Social Media
- Get momentum on your Facebook Business Page
- Join Pinterest
- Start a Blog
- Start a YouTube Channel
- Writing an Article for that Magazine
- Appearing on a Podcast
- Connecting with an Influencer
Look back to your reflection notes from the last post. What did you mark against each of the 5 pillars of an online marketing strategy?
Do a big brain dump here! At the moment, it is all about dreaming so get inspired and write it all out.
Visioning and coming up with ideas is definitely my favourite part of this whole process. It’s one of the best motivators.
But unless we take action, it will remain a dream.
And that’s where we will be heading in the next post – taking that inspired action!