A killer marketing plan is one that majors on simplicity. It's often not the most extravagant one, with lots of bells and whistles. As a work-at-home mom, don't fall into the trap of thinking that you have to appear "bigger and better" to compensate for the fact that you're running a home based business. The keys to success in marketing are integrity, consistency and wise planning. If you've got those three ingredients, you'll have a killer marketing plan.
No one likes to be lied to. A marketing plan should never tell lies, or you'll wind up killing your business in your attempts to develop a killer marketing plan. A lie doesn't have to be a misrepresentation of your products and services, or making claims that aren't true. It can be as simple as putting forth an image that isn't real. For example, if you work at home as a consultant, don't mislead a large company that you want to land a contract with into thinking that you have a large staff and are able to handle large projects. Experienced employers will see through that, and you'll build a reputation that you may not be able to overcome. The world of business is sometimes small, and between blogs, review websites and forums, someone who is not impressed with a false image, will let the online world know about it.
You can still be professional, and no one needs to know that you work from home. However, your identity needs to be authentic. People need to know and trust you.
The marketers who are the cream of the crop, get there through consistent marketing. Most people are inconsistent, and don't see significant gains because of that. A killer marketing plan needs to include time lines and dates for completing tasks. It doesn't have to be sophisticated, but you should have some indication as to the frequency for completing marketing tasks. For example, you can write down something like this:
- Write 5 blog posts - every Saturday
- Make cold calls - 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Monday through Friday
- Write and pre-schedule tweets for Twitter Account - every Friday
- Attend and participate in trade group meetings - March and September
Make a list of all the marketing tasks you plan to do, and list the frequency as well. Some tasks are date specific, such as dates to attend conferences and conventions. Sticking to the plan once you've written it down is sometimes difficult. Share the plan with someone you trust and ask them if you can call or email them on a bi-weekly or monthly basis to confirm that you've done what you said you would do.
There are many marketing plan options for you to choose from, but not all of them are right for you. For example, if you have a business selling diary products from home, you shouldn't waste money on pay-per-click advertising. A killer marketing plan is a wise one, that maximizes the resources you have available. You can use free and low cost methods to develop a marketing plan that will grow your business and help you meet your financial goals. If you're not sure how to approach marketing, read Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business by Jay Conrad Levinson (May 22, 2007). Conrad also offers articles and tips on www.gmarketing.com.
Use these tips to create your next killer marketing plan.