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Does Your Marketing Plan Fit? - Articles Surfing
Ask small business owners what they are afraid of most in their businesses and you typically get one of two responses: marketing and bookkeeping. We*re going to tackle just the marketing side today and leave bookkeeping for another day.
It's all too common for small business owners to avoid marketing their businesses until they *need* to. *Need* meaning that they need more money and, therefore, additional clients. In reality, small business owners are no different from larger companies in that they should be marketing themselves all the time.
Despite that fact, I often hear the following from my clients:
*I hate marketing.*
*I don*t like the thought of having to sell myself to people.*
*I*m not comfortable cold calling.*
The above all boil down to the same thing: a lack of understanding about what marketing can and should be.
Marketing is not about opening the phone book and calling everyone to see if they want your services or spamming every email address you can get your hands on.
Marketing allows you to get the word out about your business. It allows you to tell people who you are and what you do so that when they need you and your services, you*re there. You*ve already established a *relationship* through your marketing, even if you*ve never actually spoken with them before. Studies show that it takes a person seeing/hearing about you 7 to 10 times before they remember you. Consistent marketing to your target audience is critical.
Developing a marketing plan that fits not only your business, but you personality is a critical part of being a successful business. Maybe you*re the type of person who loves networking meetings, running a trade show booth and participating in lots of public events. Conversely, you may detest networking events and shun anything remotely related to the public. It doesn*t matter. The important thing is to know yourself before you write your marketing plan.
Are you an extrovert?
If so, go to the networking events; arrange to have a booth at your target audience's trade shows; host teleclasses. Work these types of campaigns into your marketing plan.
Are you an introvert?
Send newsletters (online or offline), participate in online forums (such as Yahoo Groups or Ryze), do direct mail campaigns to your target audience.
You get the idea * make your marketing plan and activities work with you rather than against you.
The overall goal of your marketing plan is to create campaigns and action steps such that your marketing funnel remains full at all times:
1. Prospective clients have just heard about you.
2. Prospective clients recognize your name when they hear it.
3. Prospective clients feel they know you and that you*ve developed a relationship with them.
4. Prospective clients become clients.
It will take some time to get to this level * particularly if you are just starting out. And that's okay. Just remember that marketing your business is a full-time activity * just as performing your service does.
Copyright 2006 Sandra P. Martini
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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