Alright, it’s time to clear up the confusion once and for all. Let’s take a look at marketing and what it can do to help you. And no, I’m not talking about business development, or sales, or advertising, I’m talking strictly marketing.

First off, why would you want a marketing plan to spend even more time marketing? If you’re like most people I know, the thought of marketing makes you want to hide under the bed where no one can find you.

Before you go, you’ll want to read this first.

Here’s what marketing can do for you: Help you find more clients and customers – which means you sale more books, more jewelry, more services and, well, make more money.

1. Help you find more clients and customers

Which means you sell more books, more jewelry, more services and, well, make more money.

2. Attract more clients and customers to your website.

There is always something we want more of, more subscribers, more comments, more shares, more fans, more buyers. Marketing does just that; it gives you more.

3. Finally, marketing will help you buy a private island and retire by 35.

Don’t believe me? Well…you do have to be in the right industry for that to work, but companies use marketing to double and triple their revenue.

Now have I gotten your interest? If so, read on, if not, you can hide under the bed now.

Since marketing can help you do all of that, the next question is how and what do you need to do to make it happen?

Well, it’s simple. It all starts with a plan of action. I typically call these Marketing Action Plans; others call them Marketing Strategies. It’s a high-level, big picture overview of what you’re going to do to reach your goals. From there’s it’s broken down into tiny chunks (or chocolate chips) of what you’re going to do.

Here’s an example.

General Goal: Sale more books
Specific Goal: Sale 2,000 books in 90 days

Here’s a Marketing Strategy broken down into the categories of marketing.

Ready to become a wiz at online marketing? Learn the core steps in a marketing plan and what you can do to make it actionable.

Research

Find out where your readers hang out online and offline, where they are buying their books and where they go for book recommendations.

Website

Build a beautiful website full of fascinating information that screams “this is a must have” while making it super simple to purchase the book.

Email Marketing

Create an email list to keep track of people who are interested in your work and treat them as someone you’re extremely interested in having a relationship with. Because you are. Send them a “hey, this is me!” email, send them a “Let’s get to know you” email. Make them feel welcome and loved and super special. Send them updates on things they can get involved with like referrals, reviews, interviews, features and more.

Content Marketing aka Blogging

Stay in front of your fans by creating blog posts, videos, images or even podcasts to keep them interested. Create an editorial calendar of topics they will be thrilled to read and share keeping in mind, everyone is always asking “what’s in it for me?” (Obviously, their life will be better from hanging out with you but, make it clear).

Social Media Marketing

100% of the time, your target market aka ideal customer aka reader is hanging out on social media. The question is, which platform are they on and how will you attract their attention?

First of all, you have to have something to share. Hence, content marketing is a prerequisite for social media marketing.

Social Media is a way to start a conversation and build a relationship by sharing content you love. Content can be blog posts, podcasts, videos, images and quotes, and should be a combination of these.

Social Media can be broken down into three categories, sharing, engaging, and growing. You need to do each of these things for success, so don’t hop on every social media channel and spread yourself too thin. If you can only share, engage and grow two social media channels, be on two. If you can only do so for one, just do one.

Marketing Action Steps

After you’ve put together the high-level strategy, it’s time to break those down into actionable steps. This can get quite lengthy, so I’ll only add a couple of options for each.

Research

  • Go to your ideal reader and interview them
  • Head over to Google and search for keywords and other data to find out where individual readers and age groups hang out online

Website

  • Pull together content for your site – this includes your website structure and images, bios, offers, reviews and testimonials, contact information, etc.

Email

  • Create an email list and write out your welcome email
  • Integrate it into your website (see, that’s why the website comes first)

Content

  • Brainstorm fun content ideas (yes, they haven’t to be fun, if you are snoozing over them so will anyone who reads them). Keep in mind the question “what’s in it for me?”

Social Media

    • Choose 1-2 platforms to be on and build out your full profile complete with images, bio and a link back to your site.
    • Write your first post and start making friends.

Finally, you’ve reaching the end. You know what marketing can do for you, and you have a brief overview of a marketing strategy plus the actionable steps. Now, your next question is, when will I see money flowing in like Christmas?

Well…here’s where the difference between sales and marketing is (and I wrote a separate blog about this you can read here). Marketing is all the action you are taking right now in the background to see massive sales in the future.

Think about it like this, if you aren’t a runner, and you decided to run a marathon, would you wait until the day of to get started? I bet you start training months earlier, one mile at a time. It’s that or risk dying on mile 5. Marketing is your marathon. The sooner you get started on your marketing plan, the faster you’ll see results pouring in.

Now, here’s my question for you. What are you waiting for?

“A year from now you may wish you had started today” – Karen Lamb

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