Create a Marketing Plan & Grow Your Standout Business

 

Create a Marketing Plan & Grow Your Standout Business

 

Lesson Info

Real Life Marketing Calendar Example

- [Tara] Melissa, you want to come on up. Melissa is going to be our first victim, and we're going to actually write out 12 months of campaigns for Melissa. So Melissa, I know you but other people may not although if they watch CreativeLive, they should, right? So tell everybody who you are, what it is that you do, and then tell us what those kind of one to three offers are that you're going to be marketing over the next 12 months. - [Melissa] Okay. Well, I'm Melissa Dinwiddie. My website is melissadinwiddie.com. So I'm going through a transition. - Yes. - So for the past seven years, I have been a creativity instigator helping people get creatively unstuck. And I still do that and I have an online community called the Creative Sandbox. That's my main offer. And I am also transitioning into working with organizations and corporations, taking the creativity and play and helping teams address complex issues using creativity and play. And that's a completely different audience. - Yes. So ...

I have two different audiences that I'm working with. I'm working with primarily women with my Creative Sandbox and then organizational teams, corporate teams. So I don't know what you want to work with with me. - Well, since you are one person and the business is one business, even though you have two different audiences here, for the purpose of your 12-month plan, we need to be thinking about both of these things, because you only have so much energy and time and availability to market what it is that you do, right? Okay. So, perfect. You have two things you can market. What has been primarily the best way for you to market the Creative Sandbox Community? - Well, primarily, webinars. And I'm just getting into trying out Facebook ads. So I don't have a lot of data for that. - That's right, that's fine. - This is a whole data gathering process, right? So you can think much of this as planning as it is actually just gathering information and figuring out what assets you have available. In fact, that's the next thing we're actually going to talk about, is really nailing what are all the assets that I have? What are all the things I have at my disposal that I can use to sell more? Okay. Corporate workshops. Now, this I know is new for you. - Brand new. - So what do you think is going to be the best way to sell corporate workshops? - A lot of probably word of mouth and speaking. - Okay, great. Let's focus on speaking. - Word of mouth, basically networking and… - Perfect. All right. So let's actually…one, two, three, four, these are months, five. We'll just look at six for now. So half the year, you can just rinse and repeat for the second half of the year. So what do you think? When is it a good time to sell the Creative Sandbox Community? - Well, right now, what I've been doing is having the webinars about every three weeks. So, yeah. - So once a month? - Yeah, about once a month, because right now, I have to kind of wait until I get enough new people on my mailing list in order to…because I don't want to keep inviting the same people to the webinars, so I have to wait until I have enough new people, enough critical mass to have a webinar. So that's about three weeks or so. - Great. All right, great. So if you're filling webinars every month and you're converting from webinars to the community and do you have time for that? - Yeah. - Okay. And you have time to get the new people and time to write the blog post to get people in the door and do the videos or the podcasts to get people in the door? - Yeah, that's the system I have set up already. - Well, aren't you ahead of things? It's like you've done this before. - I've done this before. - All right. So I'm going to put CS webinar for each of these months because three weeks, four weeks, it's about the same. - About the same - So it works out to about once a month? All right, great. So then that way you know that each month, you have to be warming up to that webinar, right? And that's essentially what happens is that by planning these things out, then we can start to look what is my warm up look like? What is the process that needs to happen before I make this offer? So I like to put the offer in the month that I'm going to make the offer. It's sort of like my deadline. This is when I'm going to go sell this thing. And then I work backwards, I'm all about working backwards, by the way. I work backwards and I say, "All right, what's my warm-up need to be." And really, when I'm talking about a marketing campaign, I've used that phrase a lot. Let me just make sure that we're all on the same page with that. When I'm talking about a marketing campaign, I'm talking about everything from the warm up to this whole shebang here, to the pitch, to the follow-up. So warm up, pitch, follow-up. I'm going to give you a little bit of different terminology for it later, but just sort of in general terms, that's what we're talking about. The warm-up, the pitch, where you're actually making the sale or you're presenting the offer, and then the follow-up which is where you're actually closing the sale. And we're going to talk about a lot about just how important that follow up is. I've got some really jaw-dropping numbers for you. So that's what that segment of your business looks like then. It's sort of just a continual system, a continual process of marketing and so you know then that not just do you have to run a marketing campaign for this every month, but that as you're finalizing your planning, you need to go in and say, "All right, this is when this month's Creative Sandbox webinar is. This is when the next one is. This is when the next month is." How far in advance right now do you have those planned out? - Through the end of the year. - Okay, great. Yeah. That's fabulous. I would say you could do it up to the whole 12 months. I love having that stuff on my calendar because it keeps you from feeling so dang behind, right, when you know, "Oh, look…" Just as a personal example, I have a lot of travel planned this summer. Some of it is actually vacation, which is very exciting. And so my team got together at the beginning of June, end of May, beginning of June, and we were like, "Okay, we better get on top of marketing for the next four months," because between my vacation and team members' vacations, we knew there was a lot of stuff that needed to get planned. But luckily, we'd already set all these dates pretty far ahead of time. So I knew we had a sales webinar coming up in July. We knew that we had this to market and sell in August. We've got another big sales webinar coming up, an event in September, another one on October. And so in June, we were actually able to lay out, Okay, not just, "This is what we've got coming up," but literally, "This is the blog post that needs to get sent and when. This is the webinar that needs to get done and when. When does the slide deck need to be done? When do the emails need to get sent?" So that's why this is so important. Not only does it give you an idea of what's coming up, you can actually put it on your calendar. And I don't know about you but when something's on my calendar, it actually gets done. - It's the only time it gets done. - It's the only time it gets done. Okay, cool. So don't just do this, take this and put it on your actual calendar, the one that has your appointments on it because your marketing appointments for your own business are just as important as the appointments you have with your clients, okay? All right. Let's talk about the next piece. Corporate workshop speaking. Now, this one is maybe a little bit more goal-oriented, right? How many speaking gigs do you want to sell these workshops and when do you want them to be done? Because that's what's going to dictate your action, right? So what do you think? - Yeah, this is the big scary one. And this is actually… It just literally occurred to me, because I had been looking at speaking as a business goal like the end goal. And it suddenly occurred to me like, "No, no, no, wait. Speaking is actually the marketing for the workshops," like literally, this week it occurred to me. - It may be time to talk to Michelle if you haven't already. - So what was the question, sorry? - How often do you want to be doing speaking gigs as a way of then enrolling or selling corporate workshops? One a quarter, one a month? - I don't even know. - So this is, if you don't know, and it's totally fine to not know, you make a guess. - So, yeah, maybe once a quarter. - Once a quarter? Okay. So then we do, what actually? We'll be speaking and speaking. So now because speaking is not just, you know, it's not something you have complete control over, right? It's something that you need to work toward because someone else needs to be like, "Hey, Melissa, would you come speak at our event?" Or you need do to organize an event. So speaking requires you doing other things as well. So if you're going to book one speaking gig a month or one speaking gig a quarter, how often do you think you need to be prospecting for speaking? - Oh, a lot more than that. - Right. A lot more than… So maybe you need 2 prospects 10 times, 20 times to go out and reach out to organizations or companies and say, "Hey, yeah, I'd like to come speak on this particular topic. Can we talk about when that could happen?" - Yeah, probably at least 20 times. - Probably at least 20 times. Okay. So then that's something then… I know my arrows are getting a little extreme. So I'm not going to add more arrows. But in your marketing plan, you're going to want to say, "Okay, this month and this month…" So if you want to book a speaking gig for month six, in month five and in month four, you need to have prospecting for speaking on your calendar. And so at the end of each of those weeks, you need to be able to say, "I have spent this much time. I've reached out to these many people," which means that also needs to be an appointment on your calendar as well. And this is when you start to realize marketing takes a lot of time, right? That here's the thing. You don't have a business though if you're not doing marketing. And that's why I say these marketing appointments need to be as important as the appointments you keep with your clients or your customers or with whomever it is that's on your calendar that's helping to keep your business running. This time that you're setting aside is really important. And when you're actually planning this far in advance, you get a much better picture of how much time marketing is going to take. Because maybe it's just now that you realized that if you want to book one, once a quarter, that that means you need to spend an hour every day prospecting new speaking gigs in the two months before that. Well, that's an hour you need to set aside on your calendar. Not just, "Oh, I should be doing that," but it should be on your calendar. Maybe that's how you end every day. you get all the creative fun work done at the beginning of the day when your brain is really fresh and then you just sit there and you take your little pitch templates and you email people out. You do the research. You send out the emails that last hour of every day, and that's just something that you have built into your schedule so that you know your business is moving forward. - Well, I have to say, before I did my whole bunch of travel recently, I spent about a week and just went, "You know what? I just got to get on a bunch of podcasts to promote my book." And I was doing that with the pitch templates and everything and I got booked on a whole bunch of podcasts. And I was like, "Wow, you do the stuff, and it pays off." - Well, of course, you make the time and then you do the stuff, and that it pays off, right? This is not rocket science. It's not. I mean, I'm going to share some things I'm pretty excited about that maybe not are rocket science but maybe it's like organic chemistry. But the basis of this, the things that is really going to be business-changing for you, life-changing for you, it's the simple stuff. It's just making sure that you're planning far enough in advance and that that's giving you a really good look at what it actually takes to run your business, because that's another thing. Promise I'll move on in just a second. But just one small tangent. I don't think most of us, most of you actually, have a good idea of what it takes to run and grow your business, in terms of time, in terms of energy. You have a good idea of how long it takes you to work with a client, how long it takes you maybe even to write an email. But when it comes to the process of actually running your business, the marketing, the operations, the project management, I think most of us are kidding ourselves on how long it takes. And one of the other reasons we don't plan is because we don't want to know, because then we need to make some hard decisions. And so if you find yourself in the process of planning things out and being like, "I don't have time for this." That's a good thing. It's a good thing to know, because then you can start making some of those hard decisions. And yeah, it might be hard. It might be frustrating at first, but it's going to really pay off in the end just like it did with you with the podcast. So I'm actually going to invite you to just stay right there because I'm going to come back to you in just a second. You're going to be my working example in this segment. So enjoy. But first I want to pause and ask do you guys have any questions about what we just covered? No? Great. You guys are awesome. All right. And I think we're good… No, we do have questions online. Perfect. Let's bring the online questions up. What do we got here? All right. From Estyn. "How does picking one to two things apply to a product business? I make jewelry and have a body of work for sale." Great question, Estyn. So any product-based business, I would be looking in terms of collections. For marketing, making and posting one piece of jewelry at a time is not a great strategy. Instead, you want to release a collection of things. Maybe you have a spring collection. You know, you could have an every month collection if you wanted to but it's that time of the month, that time of the quarter, that time of the year when you are putting a piece of that body of work out for sale that you can create a campaign around. And in a product-based business like a jewelry business, one of the reasons the marketing gets so kind of convoluted is that you're not doing that. And so you're feeling this need to be constantly putting tons of time and energy into marketing whereas if you actually batched your marketing and batched the way you kind of put your products up for sale, insert collections, then you would find the marketing a lot easier to get your head around. Sure, there's going to be things that you're doing constantly, posting to Instagram all the time, posting to Pinterest all the time, those things that really take 30 seconds when it comes down to it, but those big marketing pushes you can do around releasing a group of products. And so that's going to be how you think about selling one to two things or one to three things throughout the year but still have actually a ton of stuff that's for sale. All right, next one. From Varvara. You guys are really challenging me with the names. Okay. "My question is on how to market my regular consultations. My struggle is that it is ongoing and not something big and special as a program launch." No problem. Same idea. So you're going to want to think about the times of year, and again, maybe it's once a month. Like Melissa with the webinars, this is a great way to actually market regular consultations. You can run a webinar once a month, once every other month and it's a way to put effort and energy into getting people to book consultations. Or maybe it's that you release a blog series once a month. Again, it's concentrating your effort all around this. It can be something that becomes automated over time that you can optimize once you really get it figured out, but my suggestion, my advice is to not try and have a constant energy push in terms of marketing, but to actually vary the amount of energy you put on marketing. It's less boring for you. It's less boring for your potential customers, right? Because they don't want to hear the same thing over and over again. That's what you were saying earlier, Melissa. You don't want to be marketing the same webinar to the same people all the time. That's what tends to happen in this kind of business model as well, is that you're constantly making the same call to action, you're constantly using the same messages, and it just gets very one note. Whereas if you plan things out so that you see, all right, this is a peak, this is a valley. This is a peak, this is a valley. Then you can start to make the music of your marketing campaign a lot more interesting. It keeps you interested. It keeps them interested and it's most likely going to dramatically boost your conversion rate on those consultations as well.

Class Description

Marketing your small business can feel like throwing spaghetti at the proverbial wall.

You try all the things you’re “supposed" to do (blogging, making videos, posting to social media…) and you try to keep up with the “hot new trends” that promise to change the way customers find you.

You spend tons of time and energy—and probably some money too. And after all that…

You wonder whether it’s really paying off or not. Is your business really growing? Or is it just your workload…?

Marketing isn’t something you want to mess around with. You want confidence. You want to know it’s working. And, perhaps most importantly, you want to know exactly how you can accelerate your success once you get it right.

Most business owners lack 2 essential pieces of the marketing puzzle. These 2 missing pieces keep them from fully utilizing all the effort they’re already putting into marketing while also keeping them from discovering just how rewarding (and fun) marketing can be.

The first essential piece is a plan. That plan needs to help you be productive, efficient, and decisive. It can ever bring focus and clarity to the whole way your business operates. This class has that covered.

The second essential piece is a solid messaging foundation. The difference between your campaigns and the ones that really, truly pay off isn’t ad spend, hot new trends, or expertise—it’s a message that connects with exactly the right people. This class gives you a system for creating that message every single time.

Join bestselling Money & Life instructor and CoCommercial founder Tara Gentile for a 2-day class on creating the marketing foundation and plan you need to grow your standout business.

By the end of this class, you will be able to:

  • Build a year-long marketing calendar so you’re never caught off guard by your business’s marketing needs
  • Quickly and confidently prepare an effective marketing message for a product or service using a foundational set of building blocks that turn so-so campaigns into money-makers
  • Create a schedule and plan for your marketing campaign using multiple channels, such as email, social media, blogging, or video, so you know you’re getting your offers in front of the right people
  • Design a system for your marketing campaigns that can be optimized and automated so that you can spend less time on the hands-on work of marketing

Best of all, you’ll have a replicable system you can use for every campaign and every year to feel completely confident in your marketing.