March 1, 2011

Click of the Week:

This click is a team collaboration tool, an online whiteboard you can use to share your screen. Great way to discuss projects, or anything you need to talk about using a visual boost so that everyone sees the same information. Check out

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How to Write An Online Brand Marketing Plan

iStock 000004466938XSmall How to Write An Online Brand Marketing PlanCreating a branding strategy is probably the last thing on the mind of a solo business owner when they are juggling so many different things.  BUT I promise you it can be the one thing that turns your business around from lackluster to golden.

I often have people ask what it takes to put together a branding strategy. So in today’s post I’m going to give you a 7 step formula for developing your own brand marketing plan.  Mine is 33 pages long and I can go back to it any time to find things I need when I’m preparing to promote my business through a radio show, on a sales letter, in an in-person networking event, and more.

If you take the time to complete the sections I’ll describe, you will be amazed at how much clarity you have to move forward.  Oh, and if you’re having any trouble, you can always hire me to help you fill in the gaps (shameless, unabashed plug here icon smile How to Write An Online Brand Marketing Plan …only because I really do love this stuff).

Why is it a great idea to have a brand marketing plan?  Because it can help you understand where you are now, how you want your brand to be seen, and what it will take to get you there.

7 Parts of an Online Brand Marketing Plan

  1. Executive Summary – a one page overview of the main points of your brand plan; this is something you want to be able to view at a glance when you go back to look at it over and over again, reminding yourself of the type of brand you want to portray
  2. Personal Brand (Mission) Statement - here is where you outline why you are doing what you’re doing in two to three sentences; it covers who you are, what you do, who you serve, and how you serve them (see one of my previous posts on Creating a Fabulous Personal Brand Statement)
  3. SWOT Situational Analysis
    • Strengths & Weaknesses – this is a reality check, a snapshot of your current brand situation; where are things right now – e.g. market, current customer base, products/services line, distribution channels, competition, overall environment
    • Opportunities & Threats – competitive analysis, where you can be different, what is holding you back, what environmental advantages you can dig into to better position your brand
  4. Goals – what are the quantifiable things you want to achieve with your brand; include dates, times, frequency – as much detail as you can muster for the objectives you are pursuing
  5. Brand Marketing Strategy – big picture of your brand marketing (probably the lengthiest piece of what you’ll write); includes information about your strategic position, target market, your ideal client, your product & services line, pricing model, distribution channels, administrative systems, current and intended online activities, visual elements
  6. Action Plan - step by step activities to move forward; tactical moves you will make to accomplish #4 goals
  7. Budget – what you expect to bring in monthly based on activities, sales, etc., how much you will spend on business resources, net income goals for the next 12 months

Sound like a lot?  Well, it can be if you try to do it all in a day.  Remember, good planning and strategy takes time.  Look at it as a worthwhile investment in the future of your business brand.

It can also take the help of a great accountability partner to give you honest feedback.  As a solopreneur, we are not always positioned to have a full team of resources.  Tap into someone you trust to review the plan as you go – a trusted advisor, a mentor, a coach, mastermind group – find someone to partner with you in your brand success.

This is the path to brand excellence!

WANT TO RE-POST THIS ARTICLE ON YOUR BLOG OR USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE, E-NEWSLETTER OR WEB SITE? You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

About the Author: Tanya Smith of Be Promotable is a premier personal branding & marketing coach.  Her creative genius has unlocked the potential of many women solopreneurs, helping them to reinvent themselves as power players in their startup business.  Claim your free instant access to a free video download, 5 Secrets to Developing Your Unique Brand Proposition at:

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How to Know You’ve Got the Right Target Market

iStock 000004833674XSmall How to Know Youve Got the Right Target MarketI’m going to share something with you. What I’m going to say in this post is one of those things that it took me forever to understand, and most of all, to implement.  I still find myself sometimes falling into the trap of doing what I want instead of  recognizing what my market will be most interested in.

When I first started a business, all I could think of was how great my idea was and that people would line up blocks away to hear what I had to say.  But guess what? That didn’t happen.  I finally understand why.  We were totally not on the same page.   In fact, the reality is I didn’t even know who “we” was.

So I’ve gotten much better as I mature in my business about doing the research it takes to have a better idea of what a lucrative target market looks like, and then to know what my market really wants and needs.  Below, I’ll share with you three questions you should ask yourself about your market.  It will help you reflect on whether or not your offer/solution is directly aligned with your prospective clients in that group AND it will tell you if you have the right market for what you’re offering:

Does your ideal audience, or target market, have a common problem that keeps them up at night?

You may have come up with the perfect solution and plan, but unless it addresses a problem that really is pervasive in the minds of your clients, they will not care and YOU will not be able to market your solution effectively.

Are they willing to pay to fix the problem?  Will they pay what you want to charge?

Even if the solution you have is one that resolves a common problem, have you done the homework to determine the best pricing strategy?  Remember, the price is only as good as the people willing to pay for the solution.  The more annoying and clear the problem is for your audience, the more they are typically willing to invest to fix it.

Are they part of a group I can market to? Do they read certain magazines, are they members of certain associations?

Is it possible that you’ve created a tremendously helpful solution, but you can’t figure out where and how to find the people that need it?  That’s a common problem for business owners who don’t do market research up front. If your market is hard to find, it will be difficult for you to determine where it’s best to spend your marketing budget, which in most cases is not a bottomless pit.  So the key is to get super clear on who your market is, what are your ideal clients like, and then find out where they are.

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Click of the Week:

Not the least expensive project work, but they promise quality written content and that’s can make or break a business brand! Check out this option for written copy projects.

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Solo Business Brand Advice: Simple Steps to Creating Your Marketing Map

iStock 000001184887XSmall 150x150 Solo Business Brand Advice: Simple Steps to Creating Your Marketing MapSolo professionals are like big businesses when it comes to the need for a solid marketing strategy. The distinctive thing about solopreneurs, however, is that you get to be the head decision maker for every part of the business. That means it is all the more important to take your strategies from complex to simple whenever possible.

Now is a great time to develop your branding and marketing plan. While you definitely need to consider mapping out a strategy that is more comprehensive to cover you for at least the next twelve months, here are four simple questions you can answer in order to set a basic foundation for promoting your distinctive brand and services you provide:

How will I generate leads?

This is one of the most critical steps to developing a solid branding and marketing strategy.  Assuming you have already identified who your ideal clients are, you must now figure out where to find them.  Immerse yourself in studying your target market – find out what they read, where they frequent, and what they buy – and put yourself in front of them.

How will prospects get to do a “taste test” with me?

Before a potential client will buy BIG from you, they will want to know what your services are like.  Depending on the business you’re in, you will need to decide what is most effective and most practical to give away.  For example, you might offer a free strategy session, or a free audio, or even an e-book.  What can you offer that will be of interest and take little effort or investment on your part?

How will I direct them from one point to the next?

Now that your prospect has had a taste of what you do and they want more, make it simple for them to know what is next.  This involves some thinking on your part of what your marketing funnel looks like.  Whenever you engage a client in your product or service, be prepared to promote the next thing and make it easy.  At the end of your teleseminar, share the next program or info product.  This is the time where you can extend even greater value to your new customer – at the point that you have already made good on your initial promise!

How will I follow up?

The client engagement process usually follows a certain path – suspect –> prospect –> client –> advocate/evangelist.  In order to move people through these stages, you need some idea of how to continuously follow up and stay in touch.  Whether this looks like a series of autoresponder emails, a regular ezine, postcards, etc. consider how you will stay in front of your leads.  The key is to add value to their inbox, not being pesky.

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How to Set Up Your Complimentary Call Invitation

One of my clients asked for help in understanding how to set up her complimentary call to meet new clients that she might introduce to her services.  I thought breaking down my strategy into smaller steps may be helpful and now I’m sharing it with you.  Listen to this short audio clip and I’ll walk you through the image below.

You can see what this looks like here in my sample copy:

consultation ltr How to Set Up Your Complimentary Call Invitation

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