Did you even think about having a Marketing Plan when you first got started with your expert business?
Most new entrepreneurs don’t.
Maybe you went through the requisite ‘Business Plan’ process. Maybe not…
More likely, you ‘finally’ got fed up with your 9-5, and started looking for another way to make a living. You found a course or program online, and got busy.
And while these programs are great at teaching you how to create your course or craft your coaching or consulting offer, they aren’t always great at teaching you how to consistently market your business.
You can look at any group of expert business owners – coaches, consultants, course creators. And in this group, you’ll see some of them are attracting new clients and sales every month, and some of them are always struggling to keep afloat.
In fact, this can be the one activity that makes the difference in whether you are losing or gaining ground in your business month-to-month, year-to-year.
So when we look at that group of entrepreneurs that seems to always be attracting sales…
They’re making new sales every day. Their business is thriving. Everything is coming together for them.
And then you look at the group that is barely surviving. They can’t seem to put enough sales together every month to get ahead.
What’s the biggest difference in these two groups?
Having a plan.
To be specific, having a Marketing Plan.
The fact is great marketing can make sales much easier.
So, if you’re one of those people who doesn’t love selling, then you need a Marketing Plan right now.
Ever worked in a big company where you have a sales and marketing department?
Then you understand the dance that sales and marketing can do. And you also might understand the battles they can have when they’re not working very well together.
So, let’s talk about how it works when they dance.
If marketing is creating a pull from the marketplace, it makes the job of sales, which is the push side, much easier.
What this looks like for a small business is you having a plan and implementing that plan with the precision of a military operation.
That means you are doing this every single day. Rain or shine, even when life and pandemics get in the way…you’re living your plan.
It’s not words on paper, it’s activities in your calendar. 📆
To get started, you’re going to sit down with your calendar and you’re going to make some choices and decisions about what you want things to look like. And then you’re going to back into what the daily activity, weekly activity, monthly activity needs to look like to get you there.
But first, you need the foundational elements to make it work.
For a lot of us in the digital entrepreneur space, business can revolve around a launch calendars. Personally, I like doing several small launches. It’s very low stress. I have friends that thrive on doing big launches with all hands on deck and hire extra VA’s and pulls out all the stops.
Whether you are in a big launch cycle, you prefer small promotions, you’re somewhere between, or everything is on evergreen, it doesn’t matter.
They can all get us there. They can all produce the same end result for our businesses. But, we have to choose the model that’s going to work best for us.
That said, I do like the idea of having something evergreen in your toolbox. This helps with cash flow to pay for ads and take care of some basic expenses every month. Then you can do launches to build up your war chest for another promotion or your next launch.
Now, let’s talk about the foundational steps to craft the perfect Marketing Plan for your Expert Business.
Step Number One: Get Clear On Your Targets and Goals
These are your results or outcomes from your efforts. How many people do you want to sign up? What kind of revenue do you want to create? If you want to have a profitability goal along with that, which I highly recommend, then you want to do that as well.
So revenue, profit targets, number of clients… These are determined by your price points. Let’s talk about a common example. Let’s say you have a $27 ebook as a front-end offer. Then, you have a couple of courses in between, and a $20,000 year-long mastermind program.
You also may have any one of these as your only offer.
In traditional sales, we think of this ‘fast nickels’ or ‘slow dimes.’ Meaning, do you want to sell a higher quantity of a lower priced offer, or a lower quantity of a premium offer?
There is no wrong answer, and determining the right approach for your business is a process.
This is an exercise I deep dive with private client on to help have a comprehensive long-term plan. The full exercise is outside the scope of this article, but I would encourage you to simply ‘do the math’ on the options and think about what you want your business to look like in a year, 3 years, 5 years, etc.
For a simple approach – what is your revenue target? How many courses or clients do you need to say yes to your offer to hit that target?
For a more complete plan, work backward from your profit goals, account for expenses and overhead, and get an idea of the revenue that will give you the profit you really want or need for the promotion or launch.
Whatever your offer is, this does determine the type of funnel you use and the number of people you need to push into the Top of Funnel content to be profitable. And that determines the kind of marketing you’ll need for success.
Typical funnels for bigger promotions include a Call Funnel (also called a Consultation Funnel) for high ticket offers, Webinar Funnel for courses, group coaching, or to lead to a call, and SLO or Self-Liquidating Offer funnel where you aim to break even or make a small profit on the Average Order Value in this SLO Funnel so you can make a profit on future offers.
(Funnel training and strategy is another topic entirely. Contact me directly if you need help with this.)
While the funnels may be different, the planning is practically identical.
It really is.
Who Are Your People And Where Can You Find Them?
After you’ve worked out your targets and desired outcomes, you start thinking about how this fits with your Avatar and Target Audience.
If you’ve been getting sales and you already have a business, you’ve likely already done a pretty extensive Perfect Client Avatar exercise and worksheet for yourself and know WHO your people are.
You’ve also likely done an exercise about your Target Audience, which is where that Avatar lives, where to find them on the web with your content and advertising.
If this is all new to you, check out This Post and This One to help get more sales conversions.
What Strategies and Tactics Will You Use?
After you make the connection between your avatar and your targets, next you will plan the strategy and tactics to connect with your audience, to pull them into the offer. So you’re going to lay out the marketing pieces, starting with your content plan.
This can be written, video, audio… whatever you like to use. You can do Clubhouse, YouTube, Facebook lives (and posts), Instagram, blogging, guest posting….
What’s the medium you want to use to reach people?
And how are you going to advance that medium?
What I mean by this is – What actions are you taking to:
- get it out there,
- grow your network,
- connect with other people,
- get involved in groups that you’re already in have,
- have a media plan to be seen and to get your message out.
All of this means you need a clear mission statement or vision statement for your business as well.
In addition, having a one-sheet Media download can be helpful if you aim to get guest posts or podcast interviews. This can include a brief bio, social followers, email list size, previous speaking and training experience and links to clips of videos or prior events.
What’s Your Budget?
And once you have the plan in place and you know how you’re going to do your outreach and paid traffic as part of this.
So the next step is determining your budget for promotion.
Is it dependent on the money you’re bringing in? Or do you have some set aside for a marketing budget? And how much of that are you going to put on paid ads? How much are you going to put on paying staff, a VA or someone to help you with the PR or those kinds of things?
So you plan out what your budget is for that 90 day period and how it’s going to help you grow your business.
Pre-Event Growth Plans
This is important. If you’re doing smaller marketing events or you have more of an evergreen flow in your business, then you want to have some type of PR or promotional calendar that you’re working with every month.
Make sure you’re doing something every single month to increase your visibility and network and help your business grow. You want to be seen as an expert or authority in your space while consistently growing your network with new people. This also helps to increase the size of the audience that sees your content.
Try some outreach to find opportunities for exposure (especially to new or ‘adjacent’ audiences). You can do it yourself, or you can have someone else do it. Keep in mind that people like connecting with the person who’s asking for the attention. So, if you get a VA to help with this, make it your conversation very quickly.
This can add monthly cash flow (small ticket sales or evergreen funnels) and help to create long-term growth by increasing your list size and audience for future launches or events.
Now you have your targets and goals, your budget for promotions and ads for the launch, your task list for the things you need to do on your own, or create with your team, and it’s time to start laying out the plan.
Next, you start plugging all this into your timeline.
Map Your Marketing Plan On Your Calendar
Make It Real With Timelines & Due Dates
Take the calendar and block out your big events planned for the year.
You can even start with a quarter if a full year feels like too much for your first Marketing Plan.
For many of my new clients, even if they’ve produced multiple six figures in their business, they may not have done this before.
So we start with what’s easy. We pencil in a full year, then plan 90 days in more detail.
We’ll see how we execute the next 90 days and then evaluate what worked for us and what didn’t work. Then we can see what tweaks and changes we need to make going into the next 90 day period.
This is the exact reason I now do 6-month or 12-month programs with 1:1 clients, so you have multiple 90-day periods to execute and evaluate. The repetition and evaluation feedback loops make a huge difference for your long-term success.
And the 90-day cycle is a good way to ease yourself into this process. Start with a major event for the 90 day period (you can have more than one, but let’s start with one).
After you choose the event date, work backwards on your calendar. You fill in your pre-event activities for the 30 to 60 days before the main event.
Next, you’ll look at the rest of that time period. Is your launch big enough that you’re going back to list-building, and then you’ll launch again? Or do you want some other small offers to fill in? You can offer another product from your own catalog, share something as a Joint Venture (JV) partner, or find an affiliate offer to promote.
Next, you’ll fill in your content topics around those promotions. If you like to batch your content, it’s much easier to batch three or six weeks at a time. It’s also a BIG time-saver to plan your social media posts when you know what you’re talking about in advance.
When you fill in those weeks and months, you’re making everything else easier.
And now you have a marketing plan to follow.
This helps you know exactly what you are promoting or sharing when you sit in front of the camera, blog platform, or email template. You’re not going to have that blank stare of “What do I write about?” or “What do I do?”
Because you have a plan and you’re following your plan, so everything is easier.
The goal is to have a thriving business where you’re making sales every day, you’re signing new clients.
Your business is thriving (and so is your life).
You don’t want to be the person who’s always chasing sales.
The goal is to get out of survival mode.
You can still be in survival mode making mid-five figures per month when you are always chasing sales to support your business and lifestyle.
You’re an expert.
You’re very good at the services you provide or the courses you teach.
Yet, it is possible to be super amazing at your craft and still fail at business.
This is NOT because you aren’t good at your craft, it’s because you’re not doing the marketing and selling to let enough people know how good you are.
Without a solid Marketing Plan to spark Sales…
You’re not going to be attracting clients to close and put money into your business so you can make the impact and the difference that you want.
You won’t be able to build that community that you want or be recognized for the things you’re good at…
Or maybe you just need a system to follow…
That’s exactly what I help clients do. My super power is where marketing strategy and sales optimization meet for your business.
That’s what I did for 20 years in corporate. We took intentional steps to incorporate the marketing department’s plans into our sales execution. This helped create a dance instead of a battle between Sales & Marketing.
For several years, I was the Sales Liaison to Marketing to help make sure our messages were cohesive to our sales and distribution partners across the country.
And it’s huge when you have that synergy between your marketing ideas and your sales execution. Everything’s easier to execute, and it makes it easier to be clear with your audience and with your prospects on how you can help them. And then you execute and that means every week when you’re starting on Monday morning, you know exactly what’s going on this week.
And if you’re batching content, maybe the week’s content is already produced and scheduled to publish. Your social media posts are created and scheduled to match the week’s content topics.
It can make your life so much easier when you have a Marketing Plan in place.
And this is really the one key place where I see a lot of digital entrepreneurs, especially coaches and course creators struggling.
And ninety percent of the time, it’s because they don’t have a Marketing Plan. They don’t know what to do between launches or promotions to continue building their audience and list – and their business.
So if you’re ready to dramatically change your business, let’s talk.
Important note – I do not offer the standard Discovery Call with a sales pitch.
I offer a 45-minute Strategy Session. During our time together, you’ll walk away with suggestions you can take action on right away, whether or not we’re a fit to work together. Additionally, I will refer you to someone else in my network if I think they are a better fit for you. Regardless, it may be the most impactful 45 minutes you can spend to grow your business this year.
Additionally, this is not for everyone. You should already have a business producing sales with an offer that converts (but may need to be optimized). If you are just starting out, check out our courses here.
Limited Appointments Available.📆 Schedule Here.