My photographer friend Ben refers to me as “the man with a plan”, which I find hilarious and flattering at the same time! I am so happy with my job that I just can’t stop talking about it! And every time that I learn something new or when I find out about an interesting event or even when something that I have applied to my business works out perfectly I just feel the need to share it so that others can benefit from it. That’s just who I am, I believe in the community.
And when he says that I have a plan it’s because I actually do. I don’t just sit around waiting for someone to come hire me. I actively promote myself via various channels so that my potential clients know that I exist. A couple of weeks ago I had an interesting conversation with Marketing Mentor and Business Coach Ilise Benun, the author of the Marketing Plan + eCalendar that I used as a base for my marketing strategy and of which I spoke about in my post ”Your One Person Orchestra”. During our conversation I told her about how I feel that the key elements to a successful marketing strategy are:
- having a plan
- being consistent with the plan
- managing expectations
Having a clear plan, even if it’s a mental plan, will give you a structure and will help you stay focused on what you want to accomplish. You can’t just do random marketing actions and then complain that you aren’t getting any results. You have to do your homework, research what others are doing, what is working and what is not, talk to people in both your industry and other industries to gather ideas, follow blogs from marketing experts like Ilise, sit down and write down what you have learned and define short, medium and long term goals to keep track of your progress.
Your plan must include at least:
- What: What is your goal? What do you want to accomplish? More new clients? More returning clients? More visibility?
- Why: Why would others want to know about you? What is your contents? What is your message? What do you want others to know about yourself and about what you offer?
- Who: Who is your target? Who is the recipient of your message? Who are you talking to? Are they all alike or do you have to segment them?
- When: When are you sending your message? Once a year? Once a trimester? Will it be the same message or will you adapt it to the time of year when you are sending it or to the target that is receiving it?
- Where: Where are you applying your marketing efforts? What are your channels? Are you doing mailings? Email or print? Are you using social media?
- How: Do you have a budget? Are you doing this alone? Do you need guidance?
It might sound a bit overwhelming at first but once you start asking yourself all these questions you will realize that you know most of the answers. You just need to put them in order and create a structure that you can follow. I know that as creatives the business side of our jobs is boring and sometimes confusing. But if you take your time to create a plan that you can realistically stick to you will not have to worry about not knowing which steps to take in the future. You just follow the plan.
In my following posts I will talk about consistency and managing expectations.
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