By Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
What's the hardest part of marketing?
In my Fast Track Marketing System I divide marketing into seven very specific modules:
1. The Game of Marketing
2. The Mindset of Marketing
3. Marketing Messages
4. Marketing and Selling Conversations
5. Written Marketing Materials
6. Marketing Strategies
7. Marketing Action Plans
All of these have their particular challenges. But in my experience in working with thousands of Independent Professionals, it's #7 that seems to be the hardest for most people.
After all, most of the other 6 modules are all about preparation to market yourself.
You learn the basics of the game of marketing, you work on your marketing mindset, you develop marketing messages, conversations, and written marketing materials, and ultimately choose the marketing strategies to get the word out.
And then the rubber hits the road. You have to actually get out there and connect with potential clients through networking, speaking, an eZine, social media, etc.
For most, the bottom falls out of their marketing at this point. It simply goes nowhere, or more specifically it goes into the infamous "Random Zone" where things are done haphazardly and inconsistently.
If people have worked to develop the whole foundation of their marketing first, know who their target market is, have put together a web site and have practiced their marketing and selling conversations, they are going to have more success.
But even the well-prepared struggle with implementation.
Why is putting action plans into action so hard? Here are three of the most common ones. Are they familiar to you?
1. As soon as you start reaching out, you face possible rejection. What if your message, your talk, your emails fall on deaf ears? What if your potential clients could care less? What if they outright rejected your promotional efforts?
We conjure painful mental images in our mind that stop us cold.
For this one we need to work again on our mindset, on our thinking, realizing that if we reach out and people aren't interested, that it's not personal. They don't hate us; either they are simply not good prospects right now or our message doesn't have the impact it could.
So reach out to new prospect and keep improving your messages.
2. It takes way more time and effort than you ever thought it would. We think of marketing as a few promotional things we do here and there. This should be easy, we think. But it's not.
Time to do a reality check. Any marketing activity takes time, effort and commitment to make it work. Marketing is a bit of an art and nothing works perfectly on the first draft.
You need to make detailed and realistic plans based on strategies that other have used successfully in the past. If you just make it up as you go along, your chances of success are very slim.
3. It's never good enough and although you might even know what you're doing, you put off your marketing launches until everything is perfect… but it never is.
What underlies this are beliefs about perfection, not being good enough and being judged by others. It's not so much rejection you fear, but disapproval. What will others think of you?
Well, if your marketing campaign isn't relevant to those you are targeting, it's not a big deal. They'll just ignore it. They won't think much at all. But for the ones that are looking for what you offer, they'll not only be interested, they'll respond.
Your prospects are not looking for perfection from you; they're looking for assistance and value. If you've got that, perfection is virtually irrelevant.
I've done a whole lot of marketing action plans that were rejected by most people, took me a long time to implement, and were far from perfect. And most of them have made me hundreds of thousands of dollars!
Marketing success is about know-how, value, commitment and persistence. Everything else is just a distraction.
The More Clients Bottom Line: There could be a lot of other things stopping you from following through with your marketing plan as well. The question is, where are you going to focus - on your fears and worries about rejection, time, and perfection - or are you going to focus on the value and difference you make and give your marketing plans a real chance?
What stops you from putting your marketing plan into action? Please share on the More Clients Blog by clicking on the Comments link below.