You must be able to IMPLEMENT your marketing plan in order for it to be effective and for that reason, your marketing plan must be simple enough for YOU to carry out.
There are so many strategies to choose and use when it comes to marketing your book or your business and since we don’t know which method will work best going into the plan, we want to try them all, or as I call it, the “throw spaghetti against the wall” marketing plan.
Resist that urge.
When you try to do too many things at once, you hit overwhelm fast. Overwhelm leads to paralysis. Nothing gets done because you don’t know where to begin. I like to set clients up with three marketing strategies to start with and most times, two would be better.
Larger companies with a marketing budget and a team to carry out the plan don’t have to choose their strategies, though they still do. They have the ability to run a campaign with multiple strategies, all driving home the same message. They can run advertising on television AND Facebook ads AND direct mail pieces that tie in with the TV ads, AND have active social media running, AND have professional quality videos, AND AND AND! That’s great for them. They have people who specialize in each campaign strategy and the money to see the campaign through to completion. Lucky them.
But most of us don’t have a team and as much as we’d like to outsource work, we don’t have the budget. That leaves us frantically throwing levers, trying to get our marketing done (a full time job) while running our businesses (another full time job).
A Simple Marketing Plan Executed is Better than an Unusable Complex Plan
Because of that, one of the most important questions I ask my clients when we talk marketing strategies and we hit on one that we think will be effective is “Do you think you are capable of doing this?” Putting up three YouTube videos a week might be a great marketing strategy for your business, but if you’re not able to create a video fairly easily or you don’t have the time to do three a week, we might have to modify or remove that strategy from the plan.
Even a simple marketing plan executed imperfectly is better than a perfect plan that is never implemented. Which is my way of saying, “Do SOMETHING.” If you have to start small, start small. If your videos aren’t professionally edited and you don’t have fancy graphics, I don’t care. Put the damn thing up. Get your message out. Yes, you want to do the best you can, but don’t let imperfection hold you back. Because it’s not imperfection that is holding you back, it’s fear.
You’re afraid of putting yourself out there, you’re afraid you’ll do it wrong, you’re afraid people won’t like you or what you have to offer.
Yes, to all of these. Do it anyway. If you do something “wrong” once, you learn how to do it right or at least better. (Did I mention life is a learning experience?) Some people will never like you or want what you have to offer. That’s fine. Those people aren’t paying your bills. What they think doesn’t matter. Marketing is how you find your people. And your people won’t mind if you goof up a bit on a video as long as you deliver on what you promise.
Consistency is Key
Marketing works best when it is done consistently over time. When you’re planning out your marketing campaign ask yourself these three questions:
- Am I able to do this? (Or hire it out?)
- Do I have the money to do this consistently?
- Do I have the time to do this consistently?
I could design the sleekest, most effective marketing plan for a client, but if the plan is not implemented, it doesn’t matter. A plan has to be customized for your target market and your goals, and it has to be something you are capable of doing (either yourself or hired out), while fitting into your budget, both monetarily and time-wise.
Start with a simple marketing plan. As you gain experience and your marketing becomes consistent, you can add in more strategies. But the most important thing is to get your marketing started and keep it going. Because if you’re not marketing, you’re going to be out of business fast.