Before you create a comprehensive marketing plan, you might want to create one or more mini-marketing plans (as described in Rick Crandall’s book Marketing Your Services for People Who Hate to Sell). Mini-marketing plans are much less time consuming to develop, and can help you to achieve immediate marketing goals (while also helping you to develop a base for your overall marketing plan).
There are three steps to creating a mini-marketing plan:
- Determine the purpose of your marketing. State a specific goal (e.g., get publicity for your service in a particular trade magazine, get more business from a particular customer group). The purpose should be limited, doable and focused on a specific aspect of your marketing.
- Determine your budget. Identify how much time you can spend on the marketing plan in a day or week, how much you want to spend, and the amount of emotional energy and attention you are willing to spend on the marketing. Balancing your time and money is important. A lot of time plus little money = do it yourself. A lot of money plus little time = hire someone to do it for you.
- Commit to a schedule. You’ve determined the number of hours you can spend on the marketing; now it’s time to schedule those hours and do the marketing. Setting a schedule provides a definite goal to work toward. State what you will do tomorrow, this week, this month, etc., at what time and for how many hours (as well as when you will be working). Then follow your schedule.
It is a good idea to create several marketing mini-plans to cover different goals (e.g., getting publicity, networking, calling clients, sending out mailings). Then, you can have them ready for when you want to schedule time for specific marketing plans.
Here are 10 ideas for mini-marketing plans that are relatively simple to implement and very affordable.
- Create a short quarterly newsletter or ezine for current clients, past clients and prospects.
- Send five personal letters or emails to prospects each week (one a day!).
- Talk to your current (and best) clients or prospects about their needs.
- Ask clients and friends for referrals.
- Specialize in a certain issue or for a particular group.
- Do 5-10 follow-up phone calls with people you’ve met at networking or that you’ve written letters / emails to (or past clients).
- Look for ways to get publicity in your local paper.
- Research ideas for new services or client groups.
- Call other service providers who work with your types of clients.
- Provide links from your website to referral sites.
What ideas do you have for your mini-marketing plan? Let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org.