These seven steps are meant to guide you through formulating a marketing plan that’s realistic and attainable, one that you can use to actually grow your business. This plan needs to be personalized to YOUR business. You don’t have to do the same thing as everyone else!

Hosted By
Monica Maye Pitts
Monica Maye Pitts Chief Creative Officer
Katie Guinn
Katie Guinn Designer & Content Developer

These seven steps are meant to guide you through formulating a marketing plan that's realistic and attainable, one that you can use to actually grow your business. This plan needs to be personalized to YOUR business. You don't have to do the same thing as everyone else!

Transcription

Hello again, this is Monica Pitts and Katie Guinn. Welcome to Marketing With Purpose. Today, I am going to do my very, very best to answer the incredibly elusive question. How to create a marketing plan in like, less than an hour. 

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I mean, it sounds like a feat.

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I think that this could roll out into a whole semester worth of content course. We are going to have a course based on this whole blog post now, we might. Maybe someday, if ever get that LMS installed in our website.

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Nervous laughter. Learning management systems are hard. Yeah, you just let us know. Hey, you know what, seriously, if you listen to this podcast, and you're like, Man, this stuff is real, and I need to know more about it. You should make an online course about it. Let me know because I would Yeah.

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Contact us while we're saying Yeah. Okay, so I talked to business owners all the time, and especially small business owners get very intimidated by the thought of making a marketing plan. There are so many pieces, and it's very, very easy to get them all tangled up. It's hard to wrap your mind around all of the individual pieces and make sure you've done enough covered everything, not done too much. And don't even get me started.

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So from a big picture perspective, I want you to think of a marketing plan like a flowchart. Everything starts at the top and big, it's like why and who, and then it breaks into smaller supplemental parts with what and where, then when, how budget and outcomes. It's a flow chart, it flows down.

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I do actually have a worksheet that you can download

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to build these lovely flowchart parts. Now here's the challenge, though, is like I'm calling it a flowchart. But an actual robust marketing plan, like in our office consists of a series of documents, processes and calendars and even a project management system to keep it all organized. So like a flowchart of flow charts, yeah, something crazy like that. But I do have a template that you can download and use for these beginning steps. And then you'll probably though need to go out into

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a different area to really document all the individual little pieces of your marketing plan.

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Because I mean, I wish it could be like this simple little flowchart, but these little boxes, like imagine so and it does, it flows down right? So you have why and who and then you have what and where.

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Well, you could have 21 what and wheres sure and then you could have a when underneath each one of those and multiple hows, a budget, and outcomes underneath every single one of these things. And eventually, you would have like these teeny tiny boxes one pixel by one pixel with one letter the barely shows part of it in there. Like it fits in L looks like the edge of a T, but nothing else. Two dots, I think it's I don't know, and it won't let it to dot letter be like a backwards E, I don't know. Or just an S like the back curve of the top part of the yes bottom. That's all you're gonna see. The Z would have two dots. Yes, we would have lost sleep over this.

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We digress. So the flow chart is

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like this big picture thing that I use to help you understand how it all connects with itself. And whether you start in a flowchart and use the template

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That is downloadable at Mayecreate.com/resources or you build it all in separate documents. All marketing plans need to have the seven things that I just talked about. The first is why. And that's your goal defining what you hope to achieve from your marketing activities. Number two, who now this has two parts, one part details your target audience explaining who you plan on reaching with your marketing. And the other part outlines your brand message, who you are, and how you represent yourself in all of your marketing activities.

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Three is the what and the where these are the activities you plan to do and where you plan to do them. You know, one was way easier than the last one.

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But the good news is that once you outline your who like number two, you can use it like it's you only have to really do it one or two, unless your services or products change or your brand changes.

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Yeah, what else you'd have to do, but you can use it for probably multiple years, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't go back and visit right? And think about it before you do all the other things. But yes.

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So number four is the when. This is the deadline for every activity. Five is how now each activity is going to have two hows these are like two different pieces. You have the deliverables. So what you need to do the activity and complete the creative work. And then you also have ideas like the creative to make the deliverables connect with your audience. So one of them is very black and white. That was a deliverable thing. The thing Yeah, the checkbox, and then the other one is that gray area that messaging and the creative component of it.

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Number six is your budget. This is the time and the money to complete each activity of your plan. And then number seven,

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which is one of my favorite part of marketing plan is

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 analysis. So how often you'll review your outcomes, the metrics, you'll physically review and then other indicators of your successful plan.

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We're going to start at the top with number one.

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Why come? Why?

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So, the why behind creating your marketing plan is your goals.

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It's defining what you hope to achieve from your marketing activities.

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This is absolutely imperative that you do outline this. It really is. It could be one thing, it could be a series of whys.

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And let me tell you a story. I love telling stories about why the Why is so important. So I'm working with a law firm, and they called me and they said, Man, I need to know should we run an ad in this local magazine? that's doing

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an issue about law firms. So I went through their goals. I was like, Well, one of your goals is to reconnect with your current clients and your current clients do they read that magazine? And she said, Yes. And I said, well, then maybe this is a good spot for you, you know, because they'll see your name again, they will tell you that they saw you, you will be in their minds, right.

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The other thing is they want to do more family law. And so before I could answer whether or not she should be in the magazine, I need to understand what they're doing with this magazine. Is it just going to be a gigantic glossy ad sheet with like advertisements for every single lawyer in town because you're just gonna get lost in the shuffle? In which case, it doesn't really make sense to do it. But if this issue is going to touch on a lot of family law questions, how to choose the right lawyer for adoption, if they're answering those questions, then the people who open the magazine would be interested in family law.

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Right. So then it would make sense to place this ad and it's the same thing like should you put you know sponsor this event should you put your logo on the back of a T ball t-shirt? It has to go back to your why I don't advertise in any local magazines because I'm not actually prospecting my local community. I am advertising reaching people outside of my community. So when they call me and ask me if I'll be in the magazine about marketing, I tell them no. With love, with love. No, but thank you. No, but they lovely magazine but thanks for asking, but it doesn't match my why. Right? So ask yourself why are you considering doing a particular activity or a set of activities? What do you want the long term effects of these activities to be? The goal should be specific. And you might have more than one for example, if you have more than one division of your company, you would probably have a goal for each division. So

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that means the top of this flowchart would have multiple whys, almost everybody has the goal of getting more business. I mean, probably why your marketing, but you might have more specific goals about whether you're trying to generate new business or return business, whether you want business in a specific industry or in or out of your community. Think through all of these things, we want them to be as specific as possible. I also like to divide out those individual goals. Because as I'm building out the rest of my plan, I can see where my activities might actually support more than one goal. And that's great. Those were definitely activities I want to invest my time, right? Your goals in this section don't necessarily need to be full-on smart goals. And it sounds like I'm going against everything that I ever say about goals if I say that they don't need to be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound, Tom bound time-bound

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idea I loved it. But the reason that you actually don't have to make them full-on smart goals is because you're going to outline the time frame and how you'll measure them and how you'll get them done.

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Like your kind of achieving that goal just by doing this, that's the rest of your plan, right? is really making sure that you can reach those goals. So that's your why. Once you have got your why all settled through here going to move on to who. It's a second part of your plan. Now, people don't want to do this with me, not the band, The Who who but they don't do the who part the business owners come in and they not want to specify who they want to work with. They're like, Oh, yeah people that were humans, people who have houses.

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That's it. Business owners.

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Oh, my goodness, like pulling teeth. You need to stop, take a step back. You gotta recognize and get real with yourself.

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Your target market is not everyone.

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One I have a whole rant that I wrote about it one day because I was so mad at somebody who kept telling me that their target market was everyone your target markets just it's straight up not everyone, you might have more than one target demographic that you want to serve. And if you do provide services to like, for example, residential and commercial clients, then you'll certainly have two audiences. And or, like if you work in different industries, you might document the audience for each get specific here. Because in this part, this is kind of where the connection starts, like where you can craft a message to really connect with your target market. And if you don't really think about them, then you don't understand what they're facing and how your product can help them overcome their challenges in life or at work. If you've done buyer personas in the past, this is the time. You pull them out and you review them to define your target audience for each audience.

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You're going to define their demographics, the location, and the job role, the title, their goals, the challenges. And really, I know I'm belaboring this point, but it might be worth it. I just gave a talk to a group of public utilities professionals. And at first, I was like, Well, I don't really need to tell them that they need to look at their target market because their target market is clearly everyone. I was thinking about health care, but it's like, everyone needs healthcare, but like, but then I thought, No, because they actually do have to find the ways that they can connect with their target audience every day. So what is it? Is it the sports team that you all love? Is it that because their target market truly is not everyone? You have to be living in a house, right? Like you need more utility? utilities? And yeah, there are people who are the decision makers for who's gonna be the utility provider versus the you know, I get it and who do they want to connect? Right? What did those people look like who they want to have relationships with? So it's really not everyone.

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Talking about it anyway.

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And you'll do the outline for each audience separately, thinking through them, seeing how they overlap and how they differ. Because they will overlap. And when they do, this is where like the money is because you can then speak one message to connect with multiple types of people. Alright, so that was them, right? Because there's two parts of who, and then there's you, which is important as well. Yeah, it's your brand message. You people also don't like to document this.

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 I get that because I mean, some people love to talk about themselves, other people just they just don't want to talk about themselves at all, or they just haven't created a story or they like to talk about themselves too much. I don't know. Like, this is tough.

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 It does take energy, though. I mean, you're going to have to make some decisions in this space, but you can use it for a few years and just revisit it. It's not like you have to do it every day. No, I mean, we have a brand message like even

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just our website, we sat for whole day and wrote a bunch of stuff. We use it throughout all of our marketing activities as much as possible. And it's still talking to the same people, still resonates. I think you're right.

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 You gotta do it. So your brand message, this is the who this is the you, how do you want to talk about yourself? Like, what are the rules? Who are you? Who do you want people to know, when they come in contact with your brand, you'll include your identity guidelines, this was something that we actually we are continually solving as a company because we manage the brands of like hundreds of people. So it gets muddy sometimes. And initially, we just did website designs and then moved on from there. And that's what it was. Now we had multiple designers who were updating the same website and some of them would use it like this and some of them would format stuff like that. Okay, well, then I'd get in there and I'd have a complete meltdown because things don't match. It's got to be all matching match this isn't consistent. 

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We started making what we call an assets page, the assets page of every website outlines, the colors, the styles of paragraphs of bullet points of links, it tells you all the fonts that will be used what a button looks like, everything. And then from there, that is what's used throughout the entire website. And then when a new designer comes in to update the content, or the client goes in to update their own content, they can go back to that assets page, find what they need, and use it because I used to have to like, I would have to look up all the styles of all the fonts for the website that I was getting ready to update, and I'd write them down. And then I do the website update. And like fill in blanks, little styles that I had just written down because there was no such thing as an assets page. And I do love the assets page. Yes. So do this for yourself. You want to provide everyone with a unified vocabulary that's going to be doing your marketing, tell them what you call clients, staff or members. What do you call 

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your service types Do you ever abbreviate your company name, share words and phrases that you frequently use to describe your brand, products or services, and then also outline any words that are banned from your marketing content. For example, assisted living centers are no longer referred to as nursing homes, and I was just proofing website content for an assisted living center. It didn't even dawn on me that they had been called a nursing home throughout all of the website content until finally I was like, whoa, wait a second here. We can't do that. We call these people nursing homes, this is not kind of work, you're going to have to revise all this. Now we're on to part three of your marketing plan, the what and the where. So these are the activities you plan to do and where you will do them. And before I dig into the activities themselves, I want to calm your fears and let you know, everyone gets to choose what they do to market their own business. You don't have to do the same

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thing is everyone else, it is your plan? And no two plans are alike. when you're thinking about what you want to do and your plan. It's not all about the budget that you have, haven't even talked about budget yet. And we're still building a plan. I like people to first consider their strengths. What are the things that make them great as a company? What are the things that make them greatest people? What are their talents? What are the things that you can pull together to make a great message and then pair them with your assets? These are the things that you already have. And assets are interesting. I mean, what an asset is clearly money, right? You might have trucks, you might have billboards, you could have like a sign outside of your business, you might have a printer, you could have. Okay, here's a great example, one asset that I have our little kids who run fast and like to be zooming and so

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my husband just last night was like, Hey, you know that month long giving campaign that you're doing for and just a minor 138 nonprofits in our community, Monica? Yeah. He's like why see all of these booklets that you have that are left over? I think that we should give these booklets to our children and make them zoom between all of the aisles at this gigantic company that I work for, and put them on everyone's desk. I love it. My children are now an asset

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towards your marketing plan yet, my husband is also an asset, because he works for a gigantic company where we can talk to lots and lots and lots of people. That's awesome. Yeah, that's true. And so assets come in all shapes and sizes. Take your time. We have a whole list of potential assets that you can look at on our website. And I'll give you a link to that down in the podcast notes because off the top my head there's so many one that I  really encourage people to look

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At is their process because you have someone's captive attention. One of my favorite processes that people always overlook are bathroom stalls. You go into a bathroom stall. You have a captive audience. put up a sign in the bathroom stall.

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You have free advertising space. Yeah. On your bathroom stall. Yeah. And then you walk out and you wash your hands because you're not gross. Okay, thank goodness. That's the next process. On the mirror, put a sign up.

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Like right where their head goes, Yeah, that would be so annoying. I can't see my face.

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So look through your assets. Consider your strengths. And with those two things together, you're going to start building your plan. As you're picking your activities, I suggest that you pair active and passive activities. We've done a blog post where we talked through choosing the activities from your marketing plan, active activities or things like social

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Media email marketing, paid online advertising, even traditional marketing like direct mail and TV commercials, YouTube ads, these are all active marketing, you are taking the initiative, you're reaching out often interrupting people to gain their attention.

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These are awesome because they get you in front of people that you would not have met otherwise. And then I paired them with passive activities, which is an activity that's available to people when they're ready. They find these things on their own. And that's your website, all of your directory listings, your blog articles, your podcasts, your videos on YouTube, all passive advertising, ready for people when they're searching for it. So you're going to reach out and talk to people with your active, you're going to sit back and just come in with your passive. Now notice that you know you have all these activities. And I didn't just call this what I called it what and where

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Because you can't just say, I'm going to do social media.

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Not anymore. Well, not used to be myspace. And that was it.

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Or something. AOL. It was AOL social media. I don't know be there was the instant messenger. It was a media and you were social on it. And I had an email. I don't know. Dating ourselves. Yeah, a little bit. Can't just say social media. Yeah, you can't just put what and then social media is underneath there. You need to say, which social network and what you're doing on it. So it might be LinkedIn ads or posts on Facebook. If you're going to attend networking events, you don't just say trade shows. You're going to document the actual trade shows that you will attend.

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Alright, so we're on to part three, on the part four of your marketing plan. That's the when. So you've got all the things you're going to do outlined.

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And now we're going to have to break them down into bits. And we're going to have to put a deadline with each activity. So in your timeline, because this is what you're making, you're making a timeline. When are your events? When will you run your ads? When is the ad due to the printer? When do flyers need to be printed in order to be mailed on time? When do you plan on mailing them, I like to work backwards. I start with the due date. And then I work back so that way I know when I need to start it. That way, I've given myself enough time. And this is another reason why having a plan is so important. Because if you just if you don't plan anything out, and you don't have any deadlines, next, anything and you haven't thought through what you need to do for your trade show, then it's going to be the day before the trade show. And you're going to be like, Oh my gosh, remember that idea that we had at the beginning of the year about how we were going to have like this little app and that people were going to be able to fill it out and we're gonna get all kinds of leads and it's gonna be so great and we're gonna see like, so like fashion forward and amazing and it's going to take 100 hours.

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To build the app, and the trade shows in two days. Guess what, you don't have? That app. Yep. I think I'll bring it. No, you ain't got it. Sorry. 

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Also In this step, you're going to outline the frequency with which you'll do the activities. So this section of your marketing plan might look similar to like there's a title at the top, it says, one printed brochure for Association trade show August 1, the creative is due June 15. You have to send it to print July 1, and then you need it in hand by July 27. Because you're going to the trade show on August 1. And if you're doing tons of activities, then you'll probably need a house your timeline someplace else. The challenge with creating a timeline in a Word document or in a spreadsheet, which is a lot of the times where your marketing plans start, is that they don't time block themselves very well. I really, really suggest that you put this on

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A calendar to make sure that you have enough time to do all the things that you want to do. If you have everything just hanging out in this lovely document that you spent all this time making, if you're not checking that document regularly, you will forget your deadlines and then they won't happen. So putting them on the calendar just makes sure they get done. If you don't set your due dates, then don't be mad when they don't happen, because life is going to get in the way. And your accountability is going to slip. And you'll work in your business instead of on it because the squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? What part are we on now? This is number five. When was four then how is five. So how has two parts.

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You have deliverables. And you also have creative. So when I talk about the deliverables of your campaign, these are like the physical things that you'll be producing and the items that you'll need to make that end product. Like we said

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before deliverables are checkboxes. They're black and white. Did you do it? Did you not do it? Do you have it? Do you not have it? You'll leave all the gray area for the creative section.

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You'll outline the end products and all the things that you need to make it. I know it seems crazy, you feel like you should just be able to put newsletter.

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You know, right, like, newsletter is the deliverable, right? And so like, I'll just put it on the calendar, it says newsletter, I'm going to make the newsletter. Here's the deal, though. There is nothing worse like it is incredibly defeating, to sit down to design something and realize that you don't have all the things that you need to put in it. Oh my gosh, I've never experienced that. Just kidding. It is awful.

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It takes forever. It does. And then you're not going to get it done on time. Yeah, sorry. Because if you have to write four articles for your newsletter, and you have to go out and take photos of employees on the job.

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That doesn't work. Yeah. And then not to mention, like, have you thought about how long it's going to be?

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What is going to be printed on and like, you wrote those four articles, and then you found out it had to be printed on this paper. And it can only be this long. And I had to go through and read all those articles and edit it. And crop it loooooool.

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 or you didn't check the price for the printing, and you made it whatever size that you wanted to. And then you realize it's good to pay twice as much than you thought, quite frankly, $3,000 more to print the custom size thing. And you're like, what just happened? Expensive mistake. All right. So resize that thing. Yeah, sorry. Welcome to the never ending project. And then it goes from something that you were kind of excited and jazzed about making. Or maybe you were loathing just a little bit not wanting to do but you were going to tread on through it and then it becomes like this massive headache. Can you never want to do it again. Yeah, you just Yeah. No. So it's in the planning and we will definitely do more podcasts on project management because I actually want to bring in our project managers to talk about it because there's

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Katie and I are, are graded a lot of things. Project Management is probably not on my list at the top of our list of skills.

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So if you were going to do a printed newsletter, you would need to know how big is it going to be like physically the size of it for the template of the document, how many you're going to print? Do you have all the mailing addresses? Are they ready? Where they going? Are they in boxes in the garage? Or are you going to export them out of your billing software? Anything about these things? Because they take time? How are you going to handle the postage? With that newsletter, you're going to want to outline what's going to be in it. And these are checkboxes. Remember? It's not the creative so much as how many articles will be in there. How many words will each article be? What types of photos? What orientation? Should those photos be? Should they be horizontal or vertical? Are you going to do illustrations if you are are you going to make them yourself where you're going to hire somebody to illustrate for you. Really think through all of these

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individual things so that when you get ready to do this work, you don't have to rethink it. We are not, we are not invaluable beings, over here, we make mistakes, best part about being human. We just make less rookie mistakes now, what we've learned, we've learned from our mistakes and therefore are passing this wisdom on to you. The second half of the How is the creative. And this is my favorite part.

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Hey, me, too. It took us forever to get down here. Really, really like it's not but it's less important. It's just this is where it belongs in the process. People. This is my favorite favorite part two. And okay, so some people start with deliverables in the house. And then they work down into the creative and then other people start with the creative, and then they work in the deliverables. Hi, I'm like 50/50 sometimes I'm going to be like, I think this is the message that we need to tell people to make sure that they really understand what's going on.

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How am I going to spread that message? Hmm. And then that turns into my deliverables. But there's other times, like just yesterday where I'm like, Alright, we've got an event on Facebook, we're going to boost the event. We're going to run an ad on the Google Display Network, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

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All right, what's going to be on those things? You know, yeah, it doesn't matter which way you do it. You just need to do it. And that creative is this awesome gray area, and it's not filled with checkboxes. You can outline everything from colors to tonality here. So things like social media topics to post about ideas for blog posts, timelines for ads, concepts for your trade show banners, all those things go in this creative section.

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I encourage you to document every single idea that you come up with even the stupid one. So yeah, you need to get the stupid ones out of the way. Otherwise, they just loop around and around and around in your head.

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You just keep coming back to them, get them out. Yes. And then don't erase the ones that you didn't pick. Because you might need those for Plan B.

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And then document why. That is one of the most challenging things is when we don't document why. I'll come back to it. And I'll be like, why did we optimize for this term? Like, what? What was our goal here? Yeah, why are like, we have this title for this blog post that I'm supposed to be writing right now. But I don't. I don't even know if it's important. And it was important because it had a huge search volume. And there's all kinds of people looking for this information. But I didn't document that and so I can't remember.

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And I do feel like that documentation is really important. Even just any little details that you come up with as you're outlining these creative ideas, whether it's left aligning a photo or going back to an old presentation and pulling out those slides as graphics for whatever you're making.

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Put that in your creative section. When you're in the mindset of planning, like all this magic happens and you like are in this spot where you can really concept this stuff. And it's, it's great. Like I said, it's magic. It's like their fairy dust just like floating around. And there's like, people like fairies floating and singing and then wonder woman comes in, and she gives you a high five. And there's all these amazing things that happen. And then, when it's an ordinary Tuesday, and you just dropped your kids off at school after like a terrible morning when they refuse to eat their breakfast and refuse to go to school, and then you couldn't find one of their shoes.

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And you find their sandwich underneath the seat of your car after you already dropped them off is not magical. 

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A very specific example, Monica. That does not magic like everybody has those mornings. Yeah, you come in and you're like, All right. Well, I'm slated today to work on this marketing stuff. I have to have scheduled creativity time. I know and then the attitude that I'm in

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I look at this, this task, and it says, write a blog article about how to make a marketing plan. And I'm like, that is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. I don't even know what I would say in that article. But

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I have all the details already outlined and then, you can like recapture that sparkling moment and bring Wonder Woman back and like put her on the page where everyone else can enjoy her. Yeah, otherwise you're gonna be mad at yourself the whole time because you have this great idea. And now you don't have it anymore. Or you can start drinking tequila. That's also a good plan. I feel like drinking tequila or whiskey or you know, whatever is your choice. Mojitos. Whatever- really inspires creativity. Sometimes that sort of puts me to sleep. It can do both.

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I always joke about drinking tequila in the office, but I never do because after like two shots of tequila, I'm ready to take a nap. So that creation I was talking about it creates a very tired feeling

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very creative in that way.

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Okay, so instead I get coffee and chocolate. That is those are my work vices of some kind, you know, I leave the tequila for at home or at the beach and someday, that could be one in the same. As like if we ever fulfill our goal of having a MayeCreate Beach House You know, speaking of beach houses, if we were ever going to have something like that, we'd have to put that in our budget. It's true. And our budget is the six thing on the list I think it is. So budget is the time and the money that you need to complete each activity in your plan. Now a lot of people think of budget as just money. Now in all cases, money definitely needs to be documented as part of your budget. How much money are you going to spend on each ad? How much does it cost to print the newsletter? Those costs all affect your bottom line and your productivity at work

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 also affects the bottom line. At a certain point, if you're not seeing returns on marketing that you're investing a ton of time in, even if that marketing is free I'm doing like the air quotes yeah like blogging, like it's yeah free to write. Yeah, I mean, but it takes what it takes four to six hours to write a blog posts. That's billable hours, people. That's like, and for me, I can bill out at $100 an hour so every time that I write a blog post, I'm paying like myself, -

34:32  

I don't get $300

34:35  

maybe I should.

34:37  

I should talk to my boss about that. This is falling apart a little bit, but go on.

34:43  

skewing away from that main point there but nice. A lot of things in common.

34:50  

Hold on Monica is writing yourself a check right now for $300, hold on. It is an opportunity,  cost of

35:00  

$300 to $600 every time that I choose to write a blog post, so it's not really free, no. Then take each deliverable from your house section and you're going to make a guess about how long it will take you or whomever it's assigned to, to do each item. So you'll either have a cost associated with each deliverable, or you will have a time element associated with each deliverable. How long will it take you to write four social media posts month? How long will it take you to photograph your staff or your staff how highlight you do not want to underestimate.

35:33  

You could be feeling optimistic, just add a minimum of a half-hour to every single thing. Because it always takes you longer than it think than you think it will like the file might not open right or the internet could crash. All these things happen and it just is what it is. You're not only estimating your time, so you can understand what it costs you to produce your marketing. You also need to estimate your time so you can set expectations

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for yourself, and for your managers, if you're the worker bee, who's producing all of this marketing stuff, and management just thinks you're like poof, creating it out of thin air, because they think you are, yeah, they don't have any idea how long it takes to do the things that you do.

36:17  

Done. Like we're not exaggerating. I know.

36:21  

It's difficult to set their expectations about how much they can receive from you in a given timeframe, if they don't know how long it takes you to do something. So if you understand how long it takes you to do something, then you can share with them and help them understand how long it takes you to do something. And then together, you can compromise about what needs to be done. Now, what needs to be done later, when they realize two days before the trade show that they need to have an app built. I just break it down to the smallest things and then I assign time to every single little thing. That makes sense. And then you can even if you're in if you're doing it in a spreadsheet, then you can have it automatically total at the bottom and you have a total number and you know exactly what that'll take

37:00  

Spoken by a true spreadsheet worshiper. And I also feel like tracking your time. And estimating your time in a project helps you quantify some of your feelings of defeat in the middle of the project because it can go from, oh my gosh, this feels like it's taking forever. It didn't take me this long last time to it is taking more time than last time because of x. You don't know unless you track and if you're a marketer, and you're ever going to like try to get a job with a marketing firm, you're going to have to have a clue of how long it takes you to do things. This is a skill that a professional marketer should have that a mature marketer knows you know, how long it takes you to do something. We're on to number seven. This is the final second favorite piece for me at least, of building a marketing plan. You're going to outline the key metrics and the success indicators of your effort. Has any marketer worth their salt understands that tracking

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is the single biggest component to a successful marketing campaign. You can be super creative and have all kinds of creative ideas. But if you're not looking at whether they're working or not, you won't know. It just don't understand the point of throwing something at a wall and hoping it sticks. If you have control over making it stick anyway.

38:22  

Marketing with purpose,

38:24  

which includes reviewing your marketing data requires a strong constitution. I'm not saying it's easy. Sometimes it hurts your heart. When you look at something that you thought was so right, and it's wrong and it hurts.

38:39  

You will get it wrong. Humility is a really key trade at this point. We get it wrong.

38:47  

We told you right now literally pay us to get it wrong. Yep.

38:51  

And fail fast and fail forward because that's how you learn. And that's why we review Google Ads every single week.

39:00  

We're looking at that data, we're looking at the keywords that come through every single week. Because if we are belly flopping on thousands of dollars for someone else, we need to know, we need to know fast, we can turn them off. And it's not a problem. But if you're not looking at it, if you're backing away from reviewing your numbers, could be wasting a lot of money and time. Yes. And marketing is just like a grand social science experiment. You try one thing, and then you try another and you see if it worked out, you don't know if you're winning if you're not tracking. Yeah, and my husband always says he always gets really upset about like diets and fads and whatever and he's like, I don't care what you do. If you're going to do something, track it, of course, but also dedicate a little bit of time to it before you just hop around. Give it three months and see if it works or whatever your time frame is make your decision. Try it, track it, see if it works, but if you're gonna make the decision, push forward. Give it your all because you're making a commitment to your marketing by making a marketing plan. And now you'll have to decide

40:00  

How often you'll review it, and what success looks like. If you don't outline what success looks like before you start reviewing it, reviewing it becomes really daunting because you're not sure what to look at and you get lost especially, especially if you're looking at it in its native environment. So if I don't know what the measure of success is for Facebook campaign, I get in there and I just get lost. Yeah, there's so many places to click so many things to sort through but I don't really know what I'm looking at, not to mention our metric seems to change every month like I don't know, I'm just saying. They do keep changing their algorithm. 

40:37  

was like, What is this metric? I've never seen this before. Anyway,

40:42  

God, sometimes I wish I could never do Facebook. Sorry, Facebook. We did. I mean, we mean it, but every month I'm like, do we have to keep doing Facebook? And then Julie looked at me the other day, she's like, well, Monica, we have to meet people where they are. And they're on Facebook. You have articles that say that that you wrote our link. You wrote those articles.

41:00  

Julie,

41:02  

I just don't want to do it anymore. She's the one who has to deal with the interface. She's the one building the adds and everything. She just wants job security.

41:11  

How dare she? How dare she. And so for each activity you outline in your plan, you'll have different data available to you to determine the success of those activities. The more traditional mediums like print, or even networking events, offer really limited tracking, but you can look at things like call volume, website traffic as well as leads and see if you can correlate them between the dates of when you're running those ads or going to networking events. For online marketing.

41:42  

Oh my goodness, I'm going to have to like really dig into this and another podcast because there are so many things to look at. It is very very trackable. It's like a vortex of tracking. There's so many metrics you can review. So many In fact, that taking in my head its eyes wide open right now. That's how many

42:00  

They are. But I really like to make sure I understand what those metrics are what's important to the success of the campaign so that when I go in and I review things, I actually know what to look for and I don't feel lost, I feel in control.

42:15  

Now, not everything that you review has to be reviewed at the same frequency. I like to look at online ads weekly or bi-weekly, depending upon what the budget on those ads are. If you're spending a lot of money, you should look at it a lot.

42:29  

And especially if you just started it, if you're spending a lot of money, and you just started it, you should look at it a lot. I look at things like social media, email list growth, sales, website metrics monthly. Now if you have a huge social media following, and get thousands upon thousands of impressions for every single thing that you post, then you may actually want to look at that weekly or daily. We do have people that look at social media every single day. I don't because I'm the main

43:00  

Manager, I'm not actually the doer, but understanding how frequently you need to look at things is important.

43:07  

So those are the seven. Obviously the big seven, we reached the end. Yes, it's real. Those are good seven, though. So final piece of advice from a lady who has messed it up clearly a time or two some of our horror stories earlier. Um, review your plan, right? And don't be afraid to go back and adjust it. You can't be emotionally attached to your marketing plan. Your first answer could be wrong and that's okay.

43:36  

Because you're going to document all the alternatives as you document your plan.

43:41  

So that way, when something fails, you have option B to go to. And all the details are there for you to pick it up and move forward with it quickly.

43:53  

All right, so I feel like I need to like just relist the seven before I let you guys go.

43:59  

It'll help.

44:00  

Okay, so one is why what do you hope to achieve from your marketing activities? Two you're going to document who that's you and your brand message and also the target audience you're trying to reach? Three is the what and the where it these are the activities you plan to do and where you will do them. Four is when your deadlines. Five is how, what are the deliverables? And what are the creative ideas that are going to make those deliverables awesome.

44:26  

Six is your budget. That's the time and the money to complete each activity in your plan. And then seven is the analysis. How often will you review the outcomes? What metrics Will you look at? And what are indicators of a successful plan? When you're creating your marketing plan, if you're feeling overwhelmed, remember you can just break it into smaller steps. These seven areas are meant to guide you through formulating a plan that's realistic and attainable one that you can use to actually grow your business.

44:56  

Thank you so much for listening today. This is Monica Pitts and Katie Guinn.

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Now get out of here. You've been with us for almost an hour and you have lots of stuff to do. Yeah, those pancakes don't scrape themselves off the ceiling. Go forth and market with purpose.

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