You’ll have more success marketing your business online if you follow these 6 steps in order. One step builds off the last, so if you skip to the end, a lot of necessary ground work will be missed.
Step 1: Sense of Purpose
- Why are you doing what you do?
- What are you like to work with?
- How will you improve the lives of the people you deal with?
- What types of decisions do you make when nobody else is looking?
- What will customers tell their friends about you?
Your attitude and sense of purpose are what motivate you to start a business in the first place. In many ways this is the most influential step, yet the most overlooked.
Step 2: Your Approach
- How much do you understand about digital marketing?
- Do you read books, blogs, and tutorials to keep learning about entrepreneurship and marketing?
- Do you know what you can best do yourself, and what you need to outsource?
- What kinds of skills do you need from employees? How will you attract the right talent?
- When was the last time you admitted a mistake?
- Are you willing to work long hours?
- Are you bossy? Too easy-going?
- Do you ask a lot of questions?
- Are you analytical? Do you like looking at data?
Your approach determines a lot about how you work, how you work with others, and what type of work you delegate or outsource. It’s a precursor to success in certain areas, and difficulty in others (if you love data you can be more involved in your digital marketing, if you hate it, you better hire some help).
Step 3: Set Goals
- What do you want to achieve with your business and marketing?
- What are your personal goals, sales goals, and goals for you customers?
- What is the primary action you want people to take so they enter your sales funnel?
- Where do you see your business in 10 years?
Goals build off of purpose. Are you just in it for the money? Do you want to help others, make the world a better place? Are you looking to build something then sell, or do you want to manage the business over the long term?
Step 4: Develop Strategies
- What marketing assets will you need?
- How will you identify your target audience?
- Who is you competition? How will you differentiate yourself from them?
- What are your time frames and budgets?
- How will you maintain touches with leads and retarget?
- What is your conversion strategy?
- What’s your unique value proposition?
Developing your business strategy is paramount before you move on to any other steps. It’s your ground game, and determines what tactics might work.
Step 5: Tactics
Tactics are the actual tools and methods you use to market your business.
- Do you want to focus on paid search, organic search, or use both?
- How will you use social media marketing?
- What are you looking for in website design?
- How can you use video?
- How will you get positive reviews and manage your reputation?
- How will you get website visitors to convert?
- Do you need a CRM?
Step 6: Execution
- Who will be responsible for tasks and campaigns?
- How will you assign work?
- How will you track data and results?
- How will you modify your campaigns based on data?
- Who has the final say on designs and copy?
- Who is your writer?
The mistake many businesses make is to spend almost all their time on execution. We study a few things, then jump in and start taking action.
But the best execution won’t help if you don’t know your goals, don’t have a strategy, and haven’t planned your tactics. You’ll miss major components of what it takes to develop a business or marketing plan, leaving you to wonder why – after all that execution – you didn’t end-up with what you thought you would.
Follow these steps in order, and by the time you start executing you’ll know exactly what you’re doing – and why you’re doing it.