March 2016 Coaches Corner
The #1 roadblock for Expertpreneurs® is not what you think.
Many business owners believe not having the best tools, or the most experience, or the most cutting edge strategies is why they can't get ahead. However, it's much simpler than that.
The biggest reason most ExpertPreneurs® don't succeed is because they lack clarity and confidence in their business. They don't know what they want or have any idea how to get there, so they second-guess their decisions, become frustrated and often give up.
You're only going to get to the top by staying focused and finishing what you start. And the best way to ensure you stay the path is to have a formal marketing plan for your business.
Now, I'm not talking about jotting down a few ideas on a napkin you left on your desk. I mean a formal, structured plan highlighting your projected strategies for the next year, or so. Laying out your exact steps for getting your business from where you are to where you want to be.
Without a plan you are dooming your business to failure. You'll become so exhausted from lack of focus, and so disappointed from lack of confidence, you'll throw your hands up in defeat.
That's why this month's marketing strategy focuses on why you need a marketing plan even as an ExpertPreneur®. And what it can do for your business.
You'll discover why having a plan is the difference between achieving your dreams or not…
What elements an effective marketing plan needs to have…
And why you should never be married to it…
So Why Bother?
Imagine sitting down at your desk in the morning, ready to start the day. You get your cup of coffee, you settle in, and you're raring to go.
You don't really have a plan, so you start writing a blog post for your website. It's a great subject – one your Ideal Clients would truly enjoy.
While you're writing you get distracted, as many of us do. You check Facebook and see how great everyone else's lives are, and you notice an ad on the side. There's a great new social media marketing system a popular ExpertPreneur® is selling.
You click on the link.
Thirty minutes later, you've read through the sales letter, and you buy it. This will surely change everything in your business.
You put your blog post to the side and devour the new product. It's exciting, but a lot of work. So you decide to put it off until after lunch.
During lunch, you check your email, and see another ad from that marketer. Apparently they have another program that pairs perfectly with the one you just bought, helping you build email campaigns around your social media campaigns.
Well, darn, you better get that, too.
So it's 2pm. You started your day writing a blog post for your website, never finished it, and spent $500 on marketing products for two completely different systems.
And let's be honest… you probably won't commit to those either.
Now, imagine the same day if you sat down to work and had a list of objectives for the day, week, month, and year. You know exactly what you want to accomplish and have a solid idea of how to do it.
Suddenly you're writing a blog post, working on an email series, outlining an info product, and updating your website – and you're still finished by 2pm. You see all of these same ads, but they don't apply to your plan, so you ignore them.
See the difference? This may seem like an extreme example… however, entrepreneurs in all fields are guilty of doing this because they don't have a clear plan and often suffer from “shiny object syndrome.”
As I wrote in the July issue of ExpertPreneur® Magazine, you must remember that
“Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.” That statement is true for ExpertPreneurs® on so many levels.
When you go about each day with a clear plan, you end up miles ahead of your competition. You do what you have to do, see how it performs, and tweak it from there.
And only once you've finished one step do you move onto the next. No distractions, no flying by the seat of your pants. Everything is intentional.
Shiny object syndrome and copycatting other's marketing campaigns willy-nilly is expensive and exhausting. You will run out of money and energy very quickly if you keep doing that. How can you possibly keep up with all of the products you're inclined to buy?
Take the time to create a formal plan, and you'll bypass a lot of pain and expense.
Do I Need a Master's Degree?
You don't have to use a particular structure for your marketing plan, though there are plenty of templates out there to go by if you are so inclined. What matters more is having a vision and a long-term goal.
The best place to start is figuring out where you want to be a year out, or so. Once you get better at writing plans, you can think further ahead.
Once you've set that goal, you want to organize all of the marketable elements of your business, decide how you want to communicate them to your ideal prospects, and create a calendar of sorts for getting things done. A step-by-step plan for the year.
This requires you to have a strong grip on your USP – Unique Selling Point. Without that your communications will be far less effective.
Next, it's best to choose one or two modalities you'd like to start with for marketing. Especially if you've never created a plan before. If you try to spread yourself too thin, you will most likely become overwhelmed and want to give up.
A good way to make an informed decision is to read marketing books, study trusted methods to get in front of your target market , and research your competition. Find a few things that jump out at you, and write those down. Those will be your focus for the year.
There's no need to stress or worry about your choice – it's just a direction to start out with.
Another important function for the plan is to have a record of ideas that come to your mind. It should take a few days, at least, to structure a full formal plan. And in that time you're reading, researching, and jotting down notes.
You're going to have big breakthroughs during this time, ideas that will skyrocket your business. And wouldn't it be great having them all written down in front of you every day you're working on your business? I can't tell you how many times I thought of a great idea in a place where I couldn't write it down and could have kicked myself for forgetting it later.
If you focus on these major points, your marketing plan will be in good shape. However, there are a few other elements you could incorporate if you are so inclined.
For example, you can assess what level clients you are going to focus on. Do you want to work with beginners or experts? And, once they're in your system, what is your process for turning them into lifetime clients?
Also, what products, services, and lead magnets might be appropriate for those Ideal Clients? How will you go about structuring and developing them?
These are more advanced concepts that you can include if you are feeling very comfortable or ambitious with your plan. Mostly, it's there for the big picture. This is where I am, this is what I want. And this is what I think will get me there.
The important part is making sure to give your plan a solid, focused, and uninterrupted chance.
You're Not Stuck
The biggest point I want to make about a formal marketing plan, as it is where many business owners get stuck in their tracks, is that it's an ever-evolving process. You are never bound by what you write down in your plan.
It may seem scary projecting a year out when you hardly know what is going to happen tomorrow. However, your plan isn't there to be perfectly accurate. No one is standing over your shoulder with a crystal ball judging your ability to predict the future.
The prime function is to give you an idea of what you're doing, where you are hoping it will get you, and the steps to make it happen. Even a wildly ambitious and inaccurate plan is better than no plan at all.
You're going to have to make changes, and adjust for unforeseen circumstances along the way, and that is okay.
The most important thing is committing to your plan until you achieve your goals. Then you assess how your plan performed. If it did well, great. You can assess whether it should be improved or if you should move on to a new strategy.
If it didn't work as well as you hoped, step back and ask yourself why? Does it need a small readjustment or a large overhaul?
No matter what you end up doing, it's a step in the right direction. You're accomplishing things, adapting to your surroundings and challenges, and moving forward. Ultimately, you are going to find success.
Achieve Your Dreams
A marketing plan is your formal document illustrating exactly how you are going to achieve your dreams. And like any plan, it will shift and grow.
No matter what, though, it will take you closer to your goals. And that's the biggest reason why you should take the time to create one.
Yes, it will take a while. And no, it might not be as exciting as diving into work you like to do.
However, if you go the extra mile and do this for yourself, your business will flourish. You'll be the envy of other ExpertPreneurs® who are too distracted and unfocused to succeed. And you'll create the Easy, Simple, and Lucrative ExpertPreneur® business you've always dreamed about.