By Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
As I said last week, marketing action plans are like magic wands that produce wondrous results if you know how to use them.
Once you've created the foundation for your plan (see last week's issue on the blog - http://tinyurl.com/pot-mkt ), your next step is to develop the actual action steps.
I went to the new Harry Potter movie last week and it validated my theory: Exact steps get predictable results. Harry found a book of magic potions that had been altered by a student (The Half Blood Prince) with some startling results.
The Half Blood Prince had made copious notes in the margins of the book with his tweaks or improvements on the potion formulas. Harry followed these directions to the letter and got better results than any of his classmates.
The lesson here is that even if you are given a plan, you have to test and tweak it yourself. It's all about the details.
So as an action plan example, let's work on a marketing action plan for Speaking Engagements.
Step One - Target Market: Identify and contact ideal organizations that could host your talk. Make a list. A LONG list and be persistent in contacting them all.
Step Two - The Outreach: Ideally, call these organizations by phone and tell them that you have a talk on "Growing Your Business in a Down Economy." Make it results oriented. If they are interested, they'll ask for more information.
Step Three - Written Materials: Send a "speakers kit" by mail or email as mentioned in last week's eZine. Make sure they look professional. Lots of benefits and no typos!
Step Four - Follow-Up: Call or email a few days later to see if they got the materials and if they have any questions. If your topic is current, interesting, and valuable you're likely to book some talks from this approach. Again, contact many organizations.
Step Five - Prepare the Talk: There have been books written on this so all I'll say here is write out the whole talk, create an outline for participants, and practice it out loud several times. I am not a big fan of PowerPoint.
Step Six - Promote the Talk: This is the job of the organization but you can help them by writing the copy for their announcement. Make sure it includes all the benefits that people will receive from the talk.
Step Six - Give the Talk: Make it exciting, dynamic and fun. Engage the audience. Do an exercise or two. Make three or four "pithy points" instead of giving a long laundry list of ideas. Make time for questions at the end.
Step Seven - Call-to-Action: This may be the most important part of the talk. Find a way to collect cards for follow-up after the talk. My favorite way: "Here's an article I've written that covers the key points from today's talk. Who would like a copy? Great, please give me your business card and I'll send it to you."
Step Eight - Follow-Up: After the talk, send a pdf of the article to everyone who gave you their card. From there you can make offers for your service, invite them to speak to you, etc. Don't leave out this vital step or you'll get very few new clients for your efforts.
OK, that's a pretty detailed step-by-step marketing action plan. You can produce similar plans for networking, social media, joint ventures, direct mail, etc.
The difference between a marketing action plan and most marketing activities is that it's systematic. One thing leads to another. From initial contact to final follow up, you have a direction and a purpose. You are proactive, not passive.
But remember, no formula will do it all for you. You design the steps the best you can and then test and tweak until you can produce a consistent result every single time.
The More Clients Bottom Line: Just like Harry Potter's potion formulas, marketing action plans follow a definite sequence. That's the key. If these steps are followed randomly with no clear intention to produce a result, you can be certain that they won't.
What marketing action plan will you develop and implement? Please share on the More Clients Blog. Just click on the comments link below.