To market your business and to do it effectively, you need a marketing plan. Trying to just jump in and implement strategies as they come might seem like a carefree way to handle your marketing, but doing so will never create highly profitable results in your business.
For a marketing plan to create results, the plan must be developed with your specific business goals in mind. You cannot market a graphic design business the same way you market a retail product. For your marketing plan to work for you, it needs to be customized for what you do, who you serve and what you want to accomplish. You also need to avoid the number one biggest mistake you can make in your marketing plan.
What is the Number One Mistake in a Marketing Plan? Failing to Narrow Your Focus.
While the idea of making yourself available to anyone who wants to hire you may sound like the way to start raking in some serious cash, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, to be successful with your marketing plan you need to have in mind selling your services to a single individual. That’s right — one person and one person only. This person is your ideal client and it’s critical to identify as much about this person as you possibly can
Think about who your business serves and who you would like to serve. It isn’t “at home moms with children who want to work online.” It isn’t even “at home moms of small kids who want to be online business owners.” It just might be “35 year old work-at-home mothers of preschoolers who want to start a freelance web design business from home.”
You will get the best results from your marketing plan if you narrow your ideal client right down to a description like this: “Mary, a married, 35 year old mother of twins from New Jersey with no college education, an artistic eye for decorating, who enjoys spending time with her family and friends and has 20 hours a week to invest in learning how to create websites for graphic designers.”
Can’t you just picture her, sitting at her laptop reading your blog? With the twins spilling juice on the kitchen floor and the Labrador licking it up as fast as it drips? OK, now that you know who you are talking to, you can begin to market to Mary! You’ll stay more focused, think more clearly and work on a personal level to help her succeed. This is effective marketing at its best and keeping this in mind will help you create a marketing plan that will help you consistently connect with ideal prospects.
It sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? After all, how could getting dead-on specific about a single, imaginary client possibly help you do anything other than potentially attract that single client? People are different and they have different needs, right? Absolutely. The thing to keep in mind, however, is that you are you. One individual. One individual with some really great insights on how to help people have happier and more productive lives. One individual who has the potential to make it big. But you operate in a very specific way – unique to you. It’s what makes you stand out from the crowd. It’s also what makes you the perfect solution to ideal client’s problems. The beauty of it all is your ideas and products are exactly what your ideal prospects are looking for – and because you have taken the time to drill down your market to an individual person with specific needs and wants, you are in the perfect position to create just what he or she needs.
Narrowing your marketing efforts down to a single person lets you focus clearly on what you do best, who needs what you have and how to deliver it efficiently. Once you develop a marketing plan that convinces Mary to buy everything you could ever dream up to sell, you’ll be ready to sell it to every Mary you’ll ever meet – and that’s as much business as you will ever possibly need or want!