The Business Plan Project: Lesson Seven: Marketing

Is marketing scary?

When I started out in business, I hated the thought of marketing. I’m shy, I’m not good at talking about myself and I’m constantly questioning and second-guessing my decisions. In addition to this, I thought that advertising my photography – my art – somehow cheapened it.

And I think a lot of creative minds have these same misconceptions when it comes to marketing. Let’s look at the three biggest misconceptions when it comes to marketing.

1. Promoting my business means I actually have to talk to people…about myself! I am the original introvert. I get all hot and sweaty when I think about meeting new people. And promoting myself? Hell no! I can’t do that!

2. I can’t market my business because I don’t have lots of money! I need a huge advertising budget in order to market my business right? Newspaper adverts, mail outs, online advertising…Marketing is only for the big boys.

3. I’m a creative mind. I don’t understand marketing. I’m not good at business-y things. My work will speak for itself.

Stop thinking like that!

Let’s break down these myths…

1. Marketing is simply getting other people to talk about your business. And there are heaps of ways to do this. Heaps!

  • For a start – talk to your friends and family about your business! It’s not bragging or showing off…it’s sharing something you’re passionate about, something that’s important to you. And friends and family can be your best cheerleaders!
  • Next, network with local businesses. Always approach other businesses with a “What can I do for you?” attitude. How can you help out other local businesses? Remember to target businesses with the kind of clientèle you want to attract to your business, even if they’re in a very different industry.
  • How else can you get people talking about you?

2. Marketing doesn’t have to cost a lot. Or anything at all.

  • Start an email database for all current and potential customers. Direct marketing is hugely effective and really low cost. You can send messages direct to people who you know are interested in your business!
  • Start a referral program. Get your current customers to talk you up and recommend you to their friends. Give them a reward for doing this. Make it easy for them to do this.
  • Try Facebook advertising. It can be low-cost and highly targeted (especially when compared with traditional advertising such as newspaper and television). NOTE: I’d recommend you research the ins and outs of Facebook advertising before you start. It’ll only take a couple of hours and you’ll be in a better position to get the most out of it!

3. Marketing is creative.

Creative minds are often the best at marketing. That’s because the marketing ideas that work the best are new, creative, different and funny. They stand out and quickly become viral. Stop thinking of marketing as a business thing and start thinking of it as a creative thing.

Let’s share in the comments – what’s your favorite marketing campaign?!

The Business Plan Homework

  1. Open your freakin’ awesome business plan document.
  2. This section is about what marketing you will be doing over the next year.
  3. Brainstorm all the marketing possibilities you have in the next year.
    - Can you create a promotion around different holidays?
    - Can you put on an event or two for customers?
    - Will you start an email database?
    - What kind of social media promotions can you run?
    - What businesses can you network with? How can you run a promotion together?
    - Be creative…think outside the box. The crazy ideas are the ones that work!
  4. Now open your calendar and schedule them in! Also schedule in planning time (1-2 months before promotion starts, depending on how big the promotion is), and start promoting the event or campaign 2-4 weeks before it starts.
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25 Comments on The Business Plan Project: Lesson Seven: Marketing

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy)
    April 4, 2014 at 8:12 pm (4 months ago)

    I took a marketing class in college and it was totally not what I expected, but I learned SO much that I use today with my blogging.

    Reply
    • Rosie Hunter
      April 6, 2014 at 11:45 pm (4 months ago)

      Oh that’s good! You’re one step ahead already!

      Reply
  2. Pam
    April 4, 2014 at 8:47 pm (4 months ago)

    Although I hated every marketing and economics class I ever took, I have to admit that they helped me a lot today with my blog. I almost wish I had taken more. Almost.

    Reply
    • Rosie Hunter
      April 6, 2014 at 11:47 pm (4 months ago)

      Haha Pam…well the good thing about marketing these days is that it can be fun! Sometimes classes and courses take the fun out of it, but once you’re left alone, you can go crazy with your own ideas!

      Reply
  3. Debbie Denny
    April 4, 2014 at 10:57 pm (4 months ago)

    Very good ideas! this works with any project

    Reply
  4. Lois Alter Mark
    April 5, 2014 at 12:09 am (4 months ago)

    I love every time you mention “your freakin’ awesome business plan!” I got my master’s degree in public relations, and it’s helped so much in promoting my blog. You don’t need a lot of money to do good marketing.

    Reply
    • Rosie Hunter
      April 6, 2014 at 11:48 pm (4 months ago)

      Haha thanks Lois :)
      And that’s so true – you don’t need a lot of money to market anymore do you?!

      Reply
  5. Sandra
    April 5, 2014 at 12:21 am (4 months ago)

    For me its all about networking. And I agree you don’t need a ton of money to make a good marketing campaign.

    Reply
    • brett
      April 5, 2014 at 3:31 am (4 months ago)

      i find my mouth yapping is a great marketing tool !!

      Reply
      • Rosie Hunter
        April 6, 2014 at 11:49 pm (4 months ago)

        Haha Brett…I wish I was good at talking and networking! I’m getting a lot better, but I’m envious of people who can do it naturally!

        Reply
  6. Shauna
    April 5, 2014 at 12:58 am (4 months ago)

    I think that talking to friends and family is one of the hardest things to do… it kind of leaves you opened to people saying no… ha

    Reply
  7. Lisa Jones
    April 5, 2014 at 1:11 am (4 months ago)

    Great Tips I Agree It’s All About Networking!

    Reply
  8. Mama to 5 BLessings
    April 5, 2014 at 2:33 am (4 months ago)

    Networking is what helps us grow and educates us especially me as a blogger !

    Reply
  9. Karen @TheMissingNiche
    April 5, 2014 at 3:02 am (4 months ago)

    I think marketing myself is the hardest. Although I do try to work it into daily conversation!

    Reply
  10. Rachael
    April 5, 2014 at 4:11 am (4 months ago)

    These are some great ideas. I need to do some marketing for my business.

    Reply
  11. Debbie L.
    April 5, 2014 at 4:14 am (4 months ago)

    Marketing is so important….I am always telling people about my glass and my blogs.

    Reply
  12. Lexie Lane
    April 5, 2014 at 6:44 am (4 months ago)

    I think there is so much involved with marketing. Social media definitely rocks, but you definitely need to do a lot of research. Know your audience, know your competition, and deliver according to your best findings.

    Reply
    • Rosie Hunter
      April 6, 2014 at 11:51 pm (4 months ago)

      Exactly :) That’s why the marketing part of the business plan was saved until after figuring out who your perfect client is and who your competition is…it makes it a lot easier doesn’t it?!

      Reply
  13. Jennifer B
    April 5, 2014 at 9:24 am (4 months ago)

    This is very good advice! There is so much that I don’t know about marketing!

    Reply
  14. Janeane Davis
    April 5, 2014 at 12:18 pm (4 months ago)

    Business plans are a crucial part of business success which is why I make my clients help prepare them.

    Reply
  15. Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas
    April 5, 2014 at 12:35 pm (4 months ago)

    I worked in corporate marketing for a large retail company for many years before I went out on my own. Marketing myself is a whole different ballgame for sure!

    Reply
  16. AJ
    April 7, 2014 at 12:15 am (4 months ago)

    I love marketing…..now. When I 1st started in business I didn’t have a clue, even hiring people to do it for me. DON’T DO THAT! By all means outsource the jobs behind marketing & get advice but no one will know your business like you. Know one else will have your passion. £6000 on a marketing executive who bought in exactly Zero work is an expensive lesson. :-/

    Reply
    • Rosie Hunter
      April 7, 2014 at 12:19 am (4 months ago)

      Ouch :( I’ve seen similar things myself…And I think it’s because people think of marketing as some scary beast that only professionals can do.

      But you’re right – you know your own business best. You know your own customers best. You just need to reach your customers and get them talking about you!

      Reply
  17. Kelly
    April 12, 2014 at 10:13 pm (4 months ago)

    Marketing is one of those things that can become very expensive if you go about it wrong and with out a clear plan. Planning is key, it’s all too easy to say promote a post here and there on facebook without a clear strategy, and before you know it you’ve spent a small fortune.

    Reply
    • Rosie Hunter
      April 13, 2014 at 9:50 pm (4 months ago)

      Yes so true Kelly :) I think that’s why you need to sort out marketing far in advance. So you know where you’re going to be putting in the time and money. I think making a marketing calendar, by scheduling in all the marketing events you’re going to be doing in the next year, will really help you see where you’re going.

      Reply

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