Missed me? I know you did. Don’t be shy. Well, I’m here to share something very clever with you about Marketing for Business that will change your approach on how you view your client’s business. If you want to create the ultimate marketing plan for one of your clients then what you are about to see here is pure gold.
You’ll learn in this article:
- the 3 key areas that can sabotage everything right at the beginning
- the importance of knowing all the company’s background
- how to use enemies in your favor
- how to create the ultimate marketing plan for your client
You’ll find this easy to understand and very easy to read.
PS: All this will crave in your mind in less than 20 minutes 🙂
#1. THE OBJECTIVE
First you must start with the objective because that’s why your client called you. By striking this first, you can get rid of a “waste of time project” or know what to expect after understanding your client’s objective and the reason why he decided to hire you.
Imagine if you had received these objectives right in the first meeting:
- Client says: “I want to stay 1st at Google for a whole year when people type ‘money’
- Client says: “I want to grow my Instagram fans in 15x by the end of the week”
- Client says: “I want to increase sales in 60% until next month and I have $50 for Adwords
Can you see how painful this can be if you don’t focus on it right away? You’ll dive into an adventure where there’s no win, no path to success and at the end of this adventure your client will be there, waiting for you with a team of thugs and lawyers who are waiting to destroy you.
And it’s your fault. You are the Marketing Professional that took his money and told him it was possible. Now you must deal with the consequences my friend.
So, be smart and figure out what’s the objective your client wants to achieve so you can help him get what he truly wants for his business. Most business owners don’t have a clue what their goal is, they only want things like
“I want this tool implemented on my website”
“I want to invest $3000 on Google Adwords”
And they expect that by doing this, it will bring results.
But without a clear objective, you can’t even VALIDATE the results!
So a good idea to help you with this is to ask your client these 3 questions:
- 1º Question — “Why are you hiring me?”
- 2º Question — “How well are you familiar with my marketing strategies?”
- 3º Question — “Think. If I accomplish this objective, will it truly help your business?
1º Question: The answer will give you the clues for you to understand why he hired you. He may be hiring you thinking he could benefit from Bing Ads Campaigns Management when in fact, you focus only on SEO services. Also, this answer will give you what he THINK he needs for his business and a few clues about what he truly wants. Then you must enter Sherlock-Holmes-Mode and discover what’s the pain or dream that is causing him to spend money with you.
2º Question: The answer will give you his background regarding the techniques and strategies about your own services. Why must you know that? Because if you know HOW MUCH he understands about your business, you already know how much you need to investigate his goal to see if what he wants is….well….possible! Besides, it will also tell you that he may need some explanations to understand why his objective is viable or not.
3º Question: This question will make him think things over if you say it right. This is a good approach to take because you are including him on your marketing plan as a “thinking head”. The goal of this question is to double check that if even AFTER the objective is achieved, which benefits will T-R-U-L-Y come.
Will it truly help to gain +500 Facebook Fans?
Will it truly help to redesign your email marketing templates?
Will it truly help to create a brand new version of your website?
Or it would be better raise the conversion rate of his current Facebook Fans?
Or it would be better hiring a professional copywriter to create more intelligent emails?
Or it would be better to focus on SEO?
Test the objective with what he needs (after you define it) first. Don’t take projects because of money and focus on the “I can help you” rule and work only with what’s possible. Forget about making money or piling up clients because it won’t worth it at the end.
There are a few things that are still impossible.
Regardless of what Ethan Hunt says.
#2. THE TIME FRAME
Another point you must focus on right away is the time frame of the project. Some clients often think that by investing $1000 on Google Adwords they will hit the 1st place on Google in 2 hours. Others may think that by writing only 50 very clever blog posts and posting them within 2 weeks will triple his online business traffic.
And others are a little closer to reality and they expect you to hit publish 100 times within 60 days and by doing that, money, people and unicorns will come. But they want it in a 60-days. That’s the time frame.
That’s why you must ask your client this:
“Within how many days would you expect to see your goal accomplished?”
The time frame is very important to see if you are up to the task and to check if the objective is achievable in the deadline your client provides. You can have a well-defined objective but if your deadline for the project is very short, then you can’t provide help. Not the help your client needs.
Can you create a brand from scratch within 60 days using content marketing?
Can you double his income in 2 weeks using social media marketing?
Can you outsell his competitors by building a smart and original video marketing series in 25 days?
Time is crucial, especially if you want to do things right.
So take your time and build first the marketing plan and only then try to shrink the hours. Don’t set the hours and try to shrink the marketing plan.
#3. THE INVESTMENT POWER
The final key area that can sabotage everything right at the beginning: INVESTMENT POWER! Look, you need to be realistic here because you are not a wizard so hear me on this:
What do I mean? I mean that you can’t help if you don’t have the “gas”.
And I’m not talking about the money to pay YOU — which is obvious that he should have — but I’m talking about the money to pay useful things that you’ll help his own project get top-notch results along the way. Things like:
- Premium Webtools & plugins functionalities
- Google Adwords and Bing Ads budget for campaigns
Surely you can build a “One Man Army” marketing plan strategy but it’s a lot more clever for your client to also provide you a budget to invest on paid strategies as well. In order to go “FULL POWER MARKETING” you got to put money on the table.
Ready-to-spend money can change the game. For instance, if the design of the email marketing campaign is getting bad results, you can fix it faster by getting freelancers to save the day. In other cases, it’s smarter to inject money on Adwords to boost a Landing Page you rewrote just to do some A/B tests.
Although content marketing, SEO and Social power are all awesome, additional power can truly bring greater results and sometimes, that additional power is needed. Not wanted.
So measure things by the investment side as well before creating your marketing plan.
#4. THE ENEMIES
Ok, I may have exaggerated a bit but you know I meant “competitors”. Why should you focus on your client’s competitors when creating a marketing plan? That’s simple. Because…..
No this is not a copycat strategy it’s instead way of doing this FASTER:
1. CHECK how they are approaching clients
2. CHECK how much they are caring about design
3. CHECK their social influence
4. CHECK their connections and references
5. CHECK their basic strategies
If you look at your client’s competitors really well, you might learn something and their work can inspire you and force you to brainstorm a little. Innovation can definitely be achieved even with your client’s enemies because in the end, they are only references.
A competitor can awaken a great idea in your mind or it can warn you about a key thing you aren’t doing for your client’s business in your marketing plan. You never know the consequences of checking those guys, so check them out.
PS: But don’t imitate. Never.
#5. THE FRIENDS
No, I’m not talking about these guys. That’s not the friends I’m referring to here. When building a smart marketing plan you must understand one principle:
Good. What do I mean by that? Well, surely I’m trying to tell you this:
This means team-up with every client’s friend — who owns a business and can truly benefit him — you can in order to effectively promote your client’s business because by doing that you’ll be able to target a larger part of your client’s audience in a significantly smaller amount of time!
FUSION the audiences if the niche is similar or at least related.
If your client has a friend who runs an e-commerce that only sells shoes and his own business is a gym then it might be a good idea to promote shoes at your client’s gym and his ads on his friend’s store.
But, you can explore more about unusual marketing strategies here if you want to open your mind. Inspiration might come to you.
Now let’s continue!
#6. THE DIRT ABOUT THE CLIENT’S COMPANY
This is one thing most marketers don’t look when they harvest new marketing contracts: The bad reputation your client might have built online. A horde of marketing professionals works from the assumption that everything is all right with his client’s business and it’s all sunshine and rainbows (thanks Rocky for the quote!).
But the reality is that…
Why? Because most of the times, there are a few bad things your client might not be telling you which will totally make a difference if you consider it in your marketing plan. And guess what? Bad reputation really stays in the way of reaching your goals! So if you need to destroy a bad reputation about your client’s company in order to maximize your marketing efficiency, then first, you must know that it does exist, right?!
The worst part is that most of the times, the client is too embarrassed to talk about it.
Why? Because sometimes he is actually guilty. And sometimes because he cares about what you would think about his business and reputation, regardless of if it’s true or not.
But the problem is that….
It’s just like a lawyer when he tries to prevent a client from going to prison. If he doesn’t know E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G there is to know about, then he can’t fully cover his client’s back.
That’s why you must consider a possible bad reputation and go do your homework because nasty things can rise from there. Really nasty things! Things that will block you from achieving the goals your client desires and that will also block your payments.
#7. THE PARTICULARITIES OF THE CLIENT’S TARGET AUDIENCE
This is where you can find those hidden secrets I talked about at the beginning of this article: Particularities of a target audience.
What are those particularities?
Those are golden hidden secrets that if you can discover them, it will make A LOT OF DIFFERENCE in your marketing results! A few things you must try to discover in order to create a master marketing plan:
- Which are the personality types of your client’s customers
- How they behave online and why they behave like that?
- Which fears and desires they have regarding your client’s niche market
- What do they like and hate about your client’s business?
- Are they located nearby your client so you can do some infield marketing?
- Gender, Income Leve, Age?
- They buy from your client because…?
Ok, this is the basics.
But by knowing this you’ll be able to create a much stronger and precise marketing plan for your client’s business since you are considering every aspect of his target audience.
This works a lot because even when you are implementing copywriting techniques, those pieces of information tell you which points to “attack” in order to be able to sell without looking like you are selling something.
If you know the pain, the goals, the desires and the whole life of your client’s customers then building a marketing plan is much easier.
#8. THE SOCIAL MEDIA BLUEPRINT
How is his activity online? How does your client’s company behave on social media? How many people are following his company and paying attention to every move it makes? What type of content does his company provides and at what time?
You need to know the whole social blueprint of your client’s company BEFORE you introduce your marketing plan. Otherwise, you could be rebranding his business by posting content that communicates a different tone of voice, personality, writing style etc.
You must do things differently and innovate but without leaving his persona. That’s very important. If people are following your client’s company on social media then it must be because they like SOMETHING related to tha company!
And guess what?
Do you understand this?
People who work with marketing could be following his company just because they enjoy his way of doing marketing or because they enjoy his design etc. So if you’ll enter his kingdom, you MUST understand:
1. WHY are they following his company (content? design? ideals? product?)?
2. WHICH are the customers who spend money in his company’s products/services?
3. WHAT does his company provide through social media (content, promotion codes etc)?
Naturally you’ll see a few more questions will eventually pop-up in your head. And that’s the idea. I give you a brainstorm and you start from the basic.
Ok? Then remember to dig into your his company’s social audience to check why it already owns that much reputation and popularity. That’s important data. Very important data.
#9. THE SEARCH ENGINE BLUEPRINT
You M-U-S-T know how well is your client doing on search engines first in order to have a defined starting point. That’s obvious. But I’m not only talking here about search engines page rank.
I’m also talking here about whatever makes them (Google, Bing etc) very happy.
And a well-structured website added to great social profiles that are SEO-oriented is something that makes them all happy.
Find out these things first about your client’s business:
1. Does it have a well-structured website with SEO best practices implemented?
2. Does it have strong, well-detailed information on all social profiles?
3. Does it already have powerful connections (link building)?
Create a great overview for yourself in order to understand where exactly his company is NOW so you can be sure how hard it will be to get at the end line. Try to understand his business through Google Bot’s eyes.
And of course, here are some tools that can help you:
1. Website Grader — https://website.grader.com
2. Open Link Profiler — http://www.openlinkprofiler.org/
3. Found SEO Audit Tool — https://www.found.co.uk/seo-tool/
4. Serp Rank — http://www.sitemapdoc.com/Serp-Rank.aspx
Now let’s finish this.
#10. THE WAYS OF MEASURING FEEDBACK AND RESULTS
All this work made a difference? Did you achieve the perfect result or at least got really close? Exactly. That’s the final area you must embrace and carefully think about it.
How you are going to measure feedback and results.
For every service you provide for your client you must also provide (or request) him a way to measure YOUR results! After all, you are being paid to bring results and you must prove him that your work is paying off and hiring you was the best thing he did.
Find the best SEO Tools to measure your SEO efforts.
Find the best analyzers to measure all your traffic changes.
And don’t forget to use all these tools and metrics as a thermometer to your marketing strategies.
If the client knows where to look at when he needs to validate your work, he will feel safer and he will trust you a lot more when doing business with you. Also, you may engage him into the marketing plan and present the results you got so far in order to raise the budget for Ads or anything else you might need.
By defining the ways of measuring feedback and results, you can prove you are doing well and also that your strategies are working, which will make things a lot easier when both of you face hard decisions.
THAT’S IT FOR TODAY.
A marketing plan can make a company reborn, gain status, increase sales and everything else that lies near the unicorn land. But it also can drain money from the company and provide no real value. And you don’t want to be the person who is held responsible for that, right?
So do your marketing plan like a champion and lead your client to the unicorn land.
See you soon.
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