6-Step Model for a Simple Marketing Plan
Whether you are a professional in a solo-practice or own a small business, chances are you feel overwhelmed when it comes to marketing. While you may be an expert in your field, consistently attracting new clients probably isn't one of your strengths.
Here is just a short list of "marketing culprits" that are likely keeping your business from reaching its full potential:
Unclear Target Market. It absolutely makes my marketing blood boil when I hear "our service can help everyone". How on Earth do you find everyone?
Confusing, Self-Centered Marketing Message. Since the early 1900 marketing geniuses like Claude Hopkins have been telling us that shouting "we are the best, come buy from us" doesn't work - no matter how loud you scream! Amazingly, over 90% of all marketing materials out there are doing exactly that!
'Hop-And-Drop' Approach. Any worthwhile skill takes practice. Yet most small business owners abandon each marketing tactic after just one try, without giving themselves a chance to get good at it. It's like a running rabbit - switching direction with every hop!
On and off approach. Spending a lot of time and effort on marketing when the business is slow, but then giving up on almost all promotional activities when business gains momentum!
Not Preaching To The Choir. Most businesses make the mistake of chasing new markets all the time instead of maximizing profits using their existing database of current and prospective clients.
If you can put a "yes, guilty as charged" checkmark next to any of those statements, chances are you are not profiting from your business as much as you could. To help unleash the extra profits currently hidden in your business or practice here is a simple Five Step Marketing Model.
1. Create a MAP!
You don't need to kill a tree to create an effective Marketing Action Plan. Simply describe your target market, their problem, and the benefits your service or product offers. Identify five to ten ways in which you can get visibility and generate new leads. Finally, list all the action steps you need to take daily, weekly and monthly and assign specific deadlines and outcomes to each step.
2. Craft Your Magnetic Marketing Message!
Potential clients don't give a hoot about your titles, awards, and prestigious office location! All they want to know is that you understand their problem and have an effective solution to it. Communicate those two things clearly and new clients will flock to you like bees to honey!
3. Develop Attraction Tools!
Forget about the self-focused brochures! You need promotional materials that intrigue interest and generate response. Today's technology allows to easily and inexpensively assemble and distribute information products - like special reports or CDs - that illustrate your capabilities and effortlessly promote your services.
4. Generate Leads. Getting all the visibility in the world will not do any good if you are not giving your potential client an irresistible reason to contact you. Try and test several marketing messages and media to see what promotional strategies bring in the biggest bang for the buck.
The key here is testing - tweak your approach multiple times before you decide to completely abandon it. What might have been a big flop at first, with a bit of tweaking can turn into a total goldmine!
5. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up!
Studies show that over 80% of all sales are made on or after five contacts with the prospect. However, more than 80% of follow-up ends after just three attempts! Creating and automating a systematic follow-up process is a must to maximizing your marketing ROI.
Develop a series of 12 to 24 meaningful communications each addressing something of relevance to your prospects and find a way to periodically distribute them to prospects and clients.
6. Learn To Sell!
The thought of selling causes most professionals to cringe. Fact is, effective selling is not about memorizing hundreds of closings tactics or becoming an attack dog that corners prospects into saying "yes". Instead, study a consultative approach model and become a master of asking powerful questions that compel others to action!
The author, Adam Urbanski, teaches service professionals and business owners how to develop better marketing strategies to increase sales and profits. His website offers more how-to articles and free tips to create a winning marketing action plan at http://www.themarketingmentors.com.
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