In The Marketing Plan Handbook, author Robert W. Bly explains how you can develop big-picture marketing plans for pennies on the dollar with his 12-step marketing plan. In this edited excerpt, Bly explains the nine steps you can take to make sure you’re getting the most out of your marketing plan.
Consistency is important when you’re trying to implement a long-term marketng plan, so resist the temptation to abandon a strategy if it doesn’t work immediately. Give it time to work. These nine steps can help you make the most of your well-crafted plan:
1. Every day, be renewed by your vision. Your mind can be your greatest asset or your most tiring obstacle. So begin your day by renewing your mind with the clarifying power of your vision. When W. Clement Stone and Earl Nightingale both said, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve,” they knew these were far more than simple words on a page. There simply is no substitute for the power of belief. When you believe, obstacles that would throw your entire day into chaos suddenly become bleeps that you just intuitively know how to solve without expending valuable time or energy. Don’t laugh this off as touchy-feely. This is one of the most inexpensive and profitable investments you’ll ever make in yourself. Just do it.
2. Focus on your niche. Become the expert in all things involving your niche. Don’t limit your knowledge to the services you offer. The more you know about your niche’s priorities and challenges, the more valuable a resource you can become to them. Become familiar with other professionals who can assist your niche with challenges outside your expertise. When you’re tempted to work with clients outside your niche, make sure the time and payoff will be worth it and won’t draw you away from your commitment.
3. Stay close to your ideal client. Networking, surveys, online community forums, trade magazines, and associations are all great ways to keep sharp about the things that matter to your ideal client. Also, stay on top of the news, and ask yourself how your client’s needs will be affected by changes in the business and world environment.
4. Keep your eyes on your competition. If your clients stop thinking that you offer a competitive advantage in addressing their needs, you lose and the competition wins. Enough said. Don’t be the last to know what your competition is doing.
5. Make sure you’re positioned to win. If you’re doing the first four steps, you’ll know when it’s time to change your tune, tweak your message, and speak a new language that’s more in tune with what your ideal client needs. Ask yourself, “Is my unique selling proposition still unique? Does anyone do it better? What one thing can I do to serve my clients better?” That’s how you stay unique.
6. Take action every day. Stick close to your plan. Follow your schedule. Complete the actions you say you’ll complete in your daily schedule. At the end of the week, give yourself a grade for effort. Then give yourself another one for accomplishment. If you’re getting A’s for effort and C’s for accomplishment, troubleshoot.
7. Focus on one marketing project at a time. One of the greatest mistakes people make in setting goals is trying to work on too many things at one time. There’s tremendous power in giving focused attention to just one idea, one project, or one objective at a time.
8. Ask yourself good questions. As you think about your goals, instead of wishing for them to come true, ask yourself how and what you can do to make them come true. The subconscious mind will respond to your questions far more effectively than just making statements or wishes.
9. Congratulate yourself. You’re halfway home. You’ve done something that less than 3 percent of the population has done — set goals and create a plan for achieving them. Every study on the subject tells us you’re far more likely than most to succeed with your plans if you’ll only do one thing: take action!
Be that external force. Plan your work, then work your plan, and you’ll have an unstoppable moneymaking system that can grow your business beyond even your most amazing vision.
by ROBERT W. BLY