By Terrie S. Wheeler, President & Founder
Believe it or not, you can actually create a successful marketing plan for your practice in just twenty minutes per day! This blog post and corresponding webinar will help you develop a marketing plan that will guide your activities throughout 2014. Let’s get started.
Step One: Identify Your Best Contacts
Create your top ten lists of three types of contacts: current clients, prospective clients, and referral sources.
Step Two: Create Your A-Level Client and Referral Source Criteria
If you are marketing for new business, aspire to only add high quality – – A-Level – – clients and referral sources into your practice. Questions to consider:
- Would you refer business to this individual or company?
- Do you like, trust, and respect this person?
- Do they see the value you deliver as a professional?
- Are they responsive and engaged in the process?
Step Three: Define what Makes You Unique
Chances are there are many people in the marketplace offering very similar services to those you offer. A large part of your success in marketing is found in being able to clearly define what makes you unique. Think about feedback you have received from clients and referral sources and think about:
- What unique areas of expertise do you possess?
- What makes you a better choice than your competitors?
- What are the highest level skills you bring to your clients?
- Practice your answer to: Why should I hire you?
Step Four: Identify Your Target Audiences
It is likely you will have a number of different target audiences in your practice. For each target audience you identify you will need a “mini-marketing strategy” for each group. When identifying your target audiences for marketing consider:
- Current clients
- Other business or personal advisors your clients work with (CPA, lawyer, banker, consultant, therapists, chiropractors, etc.)
- Industry groups attracting your ideal client types
- LinkedIn contacts (see our blog post on this topic)
Step Five: Define Your Key Messages
For each target audience, create messages around the value you bring to your clients, why clients hire you, and why you are the best choice for each audience’s particular needs. Use these marketing messages on your website, when you meet new people, and on your LinkedIn profile.
Step Six: Create Your Marketing Objectives
Marketing objectives are a critical component of a marketing plan. Objectives provide the specific and measurable intent you have in 2014. For example: Build 3-5 new referral source relationships in the financial services industry, or Increase revenue by 25%, or Achieve a client satisfaction rating of 99%. Objectives are specific and measurable. Tactics are what you DO to achieve your objectives. As you consider your marketing objectives consider creating objectives within the Four Pillars of Marketing.
Step Seven: Define Your Revenue Goal
Revenue forecasting is not just for businesses. In fact, as a professional you are operating a business and need to approach your growth as any business owner would. First, identify the revenue you can count on in 2014; clients you know will continue to work with you in 2014. Then, pick an overall gross revenue goal for yourself and your practice. From this exercise you will identify your REAL new business development goal.
Step Eight: Take Specific Action to Create Success
For each objective you have identified, you need to create the activities that will allow you to achieve the objective. For example, if you want to achieve a 99% client satisfaction rating, your tactical plan will likely include conducting a client survey so you can measure your client’s satisfaction with your services. If you want to attract five new referral source relationships your tactical plan will include increasing your activity on LinkedIn by mining your contacts, attending targeted networking events, building relationships with those you can also refer business to. In general, this part of your marketing plan should be organized as follows:
Objective: WHAT you want to accomplish; needs to be extremely specific and measurable
Tactic : HOW you will achieve your objective
Tactic: HOW you will achieve your objective
Most professionals would rather skip the marketing plan and dive into just “doing stuff!” At PSM we know the key to your future success will be achieved by developing and following a strategic growth plan.