5 Reasons why Visual Marketing Plans Work

visual marketing plan

visual marketing plan

5 Reasons why Visual Marketing Plans Work

In today’s post I want to share how to create a different type of visual marketing plan and why I think it will help you  have more success in your business. There are five reasons why visual marketing plans can lead to more success. If you missed my post on how to create a mandala marketing plan, you can read it here. It details how to draw out your marketing plan. Today we are going to talk about two additional and creative ways to create a visual marketing plan.

Visual marketing plans work because:

  1. Not all of us are linear or verbal thinkers and images convey our thoughts and feelings more easily
  2. Creating a collage of images brings your marketing message to life
  3. What you focus on grows
  4. You are more likely to keep a visual marketing plan where you can see it and this will remind you what actions you want to be taking
  5. It allows you to visualize your goals in a creative, fun way that uses ALL of your brain, not just your left-brain.

Thinking about your marketing in this perspective gets our creative juices flowing and sparks new ideas, beliefs and areas for growth.

Two ways to create a visual marketing plan:

1. Create a Mind Map. A mind map is one of my favorite tools for thinking visually and brainstorming on paper. Here is is the definition of a mind map written by Tony Buzan, who was the creator of this concept over 50 years ago:

“A Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain. The Mind Map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance.”

Wow, sounds pretty powerful and maybe a bit intimidating but it’s really not. Mind maps are super easy to create – all you need is a large sheet of blank paper, some colored pencils or markers and your imagination. Mind maps are great for organizing all those bright shiny ideas floating around in your brain.

Here are Tony Buzan’s instructions for creating a mind map:

7 Steps to Making a Mind Map

  1. Start in the CENTER of a blank page turned sideways. Why? Because starting in the CENTER gives your Brain freedom to spread out in all directions and to express itself more freely and naturally.
  2. Use an IMAGE or PICTURE for your central idea. Why? Because an image is worth a thousand words and helps you use your Imagination. A central image is more interesting, keeps you focussed, helps you concentrate, and gives your Brain more of a buzz!
  3. Use COLORS throughout. Why? Because colors are as exciting to your Brain as are images. Color adds extra vibrancy and life to your Mind Map, adds tremendous energy to your Creative Thinking, and is fun!
  4. CONNECT your MAIN BRANCHES to the central image and connect your second- and third-level branches to the first and second levels, etc. Why? Because your Brain works by association. It likes to link two (or three, or four) things together. If you connect the branches, you will understand and remember a lot more easily.
  5. Make your branches CURVED rather than straight-lined. Why? Because having nothing but straight lines is boring to your Brain.
  6. Use ONE KEY WORD PER LINE. Why Because single key words give your Mind Map more power and flexibility.
  7. Use IMAGES throughout. Why Because each image, like the central image, is also worth a thousand words. So if you have only 10 images in your Mind Map, it’s already the equal of 10,000 words of notes!

If this sounds like fun, give it a try! Making a mind map to express your marketing plan allows you to visualize all your goals in one place. The mandala marketing plan focused more on strategy and tactics. Use the mind map to explore your marketing goals – what would you like to be doing? Right a book? Launch a new website? The mind map can help you take all those ideas and begin to make sense out of them.

There are several digital tools like Simple Mind that will allow you to create mind maps online but I want to encourage you to do yours by hand. It opens up the creative part of your grain and helps you feel more connected to the process!

2. Create a marketing vision board. I love to make vision boards for the many different aspects of my busy, full life. I have one collage that represents the core values I want my business to stand on. I have one that represents my big business vision and what I want to accomplish this year. I have another one for health/wellness. Why not one to capture your marketing goals?

If you have never made a vision board before or don’t know what it is, “a vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Literally, a vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life.” I love this simple definition from the website MakeaVisionBoard.com.

Vision boards help us to look creatively and visually at our business. This visual brainstorming is a powerful tool, especially for us right-brained, creative entrepreneurs.

build creative confidence

How do you create a marketing vision board?

First, contemplate the following questions:

What are my specific marketing goals for the next quarter or the next year?

Knowing what you want to create will help you attract more of it. Clarity is essential to your marketing success. Be specific with your marketing goals. For example, one my marketing goals for 2014 is to publish a new book. Another is to have 10 new private coaching clients by October 1.

Who are my perfect clients? Where are they spending their time (online and offline)?

What problems do I most love solving for my clients?

What is the most fun way for me to get my message out into the world?

Once you know the answers to these questions, it’s time to get started constructing your vision board.

Here are some simple steps to follow to create a marketing vision board.

1. Collect a variety of magazines (not just Oprah and Cooking Light, try to get some variety, National Geographic is a good example, so are Forbes and Money Magazine. You might also think about what magazines your ideal clients are reading.)

2. You can create your vision board on a small poster board, a full size poster board or on the page(s) of your journal. Do what feels comfortable, just make sure you create it in a place you will look at later! Here’s an example of a page that I created in my journal. Notice all the colors, the church in the background and the mother’s love: all images that for me are about nurturing and loving myself.

vision board journal Creating a Vision Board to Build Creative Confidence   Day 27

3. Grab some scissors and a good glue stick. 

4. Make sure you have some quiet time, perhaps after the kids are in bed. Collect your materials, maybe put on some music, light a candle, pour yourself a glass of wine or a cup of tea and get ready to create!

5. First, take a look again at what you wrote about your marketing goals. Then, start thumbing through the magazine, tearing out images, words or phrases that capture the feeling of what you want to create. I would do this for 15 to 20 minutes. It’s easy to spend too much time on this part of the process, so if you have a limited amount of time, set a timer!

6. Now start trimming and arranging the images, words and phrases on your board or in your journal. One of the processes that I teach is called SoulCollage®, which is about using collage to create a personal deck of cards. One of the tools that I took from this process into my vision board work is to take the time to carefully cut images away from their background and place them on new backgrounds. This changes the meaning of the image, grounds it more in what you want to create and allows you to see new possibilities. It can take more time but it’s worth it!

7. Embellish with markers, glitter, ephemera or anything else that feels write.

8. If you are using a poster board, hang it someplace where you will see it every day: your office, your closet, on the bathroom mirror. The more you look at the collage you create and focus on the possibilities, the more likely they are to become your reality!

9. If you are using a journal, promise yourself you will look at it daily!

Which of these two ideas sounds like more fun to you? Go try it! Marketing doesn’t have to be boring, it can be creative and fun when you look at it visually. Creating a visual marketing plan can remind you of why you started your business and that getting new clients doesn’t have to be such a challenge!

© 2014 Dr. Minette Riordan. All rights reserved.


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  1. Sherri Hayter on July 25, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I love these ideas Minette! I can see using these techniques to also flesh out new business ideas – that is a stage that I am currently in. I will give these a go and let you know how I make out. Thank you for always posting such useful, actionable content. <3

    • minette on July 26, 2014 at 4:54 am

      Thank you so much Sherri, you made my day. I would love to hear from you how this works out for you.

  2. Nanette on July 26, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    I’ve tried mind mapping and failed miserably. Too quickly, it becomes too much clutter (my brain goes in a lot of different directions simultaneously) and I get frustrated trying to follow the mess. I figured as a right-brained person, this would work for me, but it hasn’t. Do you have a suggestion for how those of us who have seemingly a zillion different ideas occurring at once can tame the beast?

  3. elly stornebrink on July 27, 2014 at 12:11 am

    I love mind mapping – though rarely do it now – and vision boards. However, I like the idea of doing it along the lines of marketing. Thanks for your creative idea and inspiration on this Minette. 🙂 <3

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