How to make creating a marketing plan fun
How to make creating a marketing plan fun
Wow, I just got off the phone after a powerful brainstorming session with a friend about an event she has coming up in September. I am so jazzed, I love these sessions where I get together with clients and drill down to the core of the message they want to share and how they want to serve. I shared with her about this color wheel marketing I have been blogging about and how I felt it applied to her situation. What I discovered was that she wasn’t clear about her unique brilliance or about her ideal client and the problems she can solve for them. By the end of the call, she had more clarity and we had a blast talking it through. But how does this story relate to you, to this post and to developing a meaningful marketing plan?
First of all, it made me want to paint so I took a few minutes before starting this post to paint an abstract version of the color wheel. Love having paint on my hands and happily, lots of my clothes have paint splatters, too. You can see how all of the colors flow together, mix and mingle. That’s how marketing works! Here’s a sample of what mine looks like, it’s a work in progress.
The core essentials of your marketing plan
Your marketing has to start with the core structure of you, your ideal client, and the problems you solve. I equate those to the primary colors of your marketing plan – you(yellow), red (your ideal client) and blue (the problems you solve.) You can read all about this first step in creating your mix and match marketing plan here. At the end of this post you will find links to the others articles in this series on the secondary colors of your marketing plan as well as the beginnings of the conversation around our tertiary colors. And if you are following this series and still haven’t made time to identify your primary colors, stop reading and do it now. Really, I won’t be offended. I will celebrate you and your success once you know these three things and start sharing them with the world
More strategies with the tertiary color yellow-orange
This is the point in our color wheel where we are really looking at tactics. So far we talked about red-orange (referral strategies and red-purple (in-person marketing strategies.)
Today I want to switch to talk about the yellow-orange segment on your marketing color wheel.
Remember that yellow is about you. Orange is about you and your clients (yellow + red). So today’s formula is focusing on two parts you and your unique brilliance plus one part your client.
There are two strategies that I use in this section of my marketing plan – strategic partnerships and affiliate marketing. These are a combination of in-person and online tactics that both result in generating more referrals to your business. Strategic partnerships could include personal connections with other entrepreneurs but could also include joint venture partners working online to promote you or to create reciprocal promotional experiences.
The trick is to spend time cultivating great relationships with other people who serve the same target market you do. For example, graphic designers and web designers who don’t want to do planning and strategy are ideal strategic partners for me and I for them – I don’t design websites or do graphic design.
The goal of yellow-orange is to put relationships in place that generate more referrals. At the end of the day, referrals are the most fun way to build our business!
Here are some questions to ask yourself about your marketing plan:
- How are you using these strategies currently in your business?
- Do these strategies make you go, huh? I don’t get it?
- Are you scared to reach out and ask for referrals?
As you build out your personal color wheel of marketing strategy, it’s inevitable that some doubts, fears and questions will arise. Right now, take a deep breath and remember we are in the planning phase. Anything is possible at this point so just have fun dreaming about having a steady flow of clients from your existing relationships and current clients.
So pull out the paints, colors or crayons and start playing with your marketing plan!
If you are feeling confused and overwhelmed, let’s connect. I would love to offer you a complimentary strategy session where I guarantee you will connect to your marketing plan with more clarity and more enthusiasm! I only offer a few of these sessions each week, so shoot me a quick email if you are interested in learning more. Here’s what my friend Kathy said after our conversation today, “In our conversation, Minette brilliantly guided me to the core of what I want to do. She masterfully asked questions so I uncovered my perfect niche and helped me translate my ideas into a tangible benefit for my ideal client.”
This whole color wheel marketing analogy is brilliant, Minette. I’m really enjoying watching you play with this.
On the referral/affiliate/partnership side, I found I could build a much stronger business by working with other (high quality) business owners than employees. Finding people who are excellent at what they do that compliment (or in my case, offered deeper skills in areas of the same niche where I was weak) can be so liberating as you strive to develop creative concepts for expanding your business.
Of course, I think marketing done right is a ton of fun so believe creating that marketing plan should have everyone giggling. Never have tried to stake out normal as my turf, though ;-).
Thanks, Nanette, I am having fun!!
I didn’t have time to read the entire series of posts, but this one applies directly to my situation. Although I’m not trying to earn a living through my blog, it is important for me to reach new people – that’s the whole point. I am not shy about asking people to recommend me to others. I’ve been reading other related blogs for years and by commenting and mentioning my blog, I have established a relationship with a few other writers. I didn’t know I was following a marketing plan, but I guess I was.
Cathy, love when life works out that way!! Reaching out and connecting is the best way to grow your business.
Indeed, your ‘color wheel’ is a FUN and UNIQUELY creative technique to build a sustainable marketing plan that relies on relationship-building and referrals!
I don’t have a business yet, but I am definitely curious to go back and check out your previous posts.
Thanks for these ‘colors of marketing wisdom’ #HUGSS
Love and BEST wishes
PS: Keep painting…there is nothing more fulfilling for an artist than evidence of their joyous creation – in your case, splattered paint on your clothes and hands! 😉
Thanks, Krithika, for the fun feedback. Are you planning on starting a busines?
I love this because it’s visual and beautiful. Many years ago, I wrote a lot of business plans for clients. They were always created in a very traditional manner. Frankly, it didn’t work for many people (especially the creative types) and it was never close to fun. I love what you’re doing and the success you’re having with clients.
Thank you Sue! And I am one of those people that traditional business plans didn’t work for 🙂 That’s why I am passionate about finding a better way for my clients.
Minette, I’m loving this series! I can see an online course developing out of this work, an interactive and creative one. I think people would really enjoy it, because I know for myself as a creative entrepreneur, planning is probably my least favourite activity, but this is just fun, and well, creative!
Thanks for the motivation, Sherri!
As a new blogger, I’ve been struggling with the strategic alliances and partnerships. Since join the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I now understand the importance of such relationships even for the online marketing industry. I’m starting to look at this as a business than a hobby, all thanks to applying sound business and marketing principles like your here on this post.
Very informative. Keep up the good work.
Way to go Zee, have fun with your business!
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