Secrets Of Preparing For A Great Marketing PlanSecrets Of Preparing For A Great Marketing Plan

Does a consultant really need a marketing plan?

Most consultants have read about marketing and all that it entails, but still fail to be consistent with executing a solid marketing campaign that goes beyond a couple of months. The real problem is not the ideas that have gone into how to connect with potential customers; it is failing to develop a plan that spans over one year or more. The plan needs to be detailed enough that action steps are placed into a calendar. This means, besides the appointment calendar, a consultant needs to have a calendar for all avenues of the marketing plan. This means placing dates and times when certain campaigns including advertising, PR, radio interviews, seminars, or other tools into that calendar. Some may be a long way off; however, by putting them into the calendar it is easier to plan other activities around marketing.

Marketing plans are the crucial tool for avoiding the ups and downs of cash flow in the consulting business. A plan needs to be well thought out and have components that allow for testing methods plus a way to measure the success of each campaign.

A plan needs to include the what, who, and how components:

First, is to determine what the offer is for potential clients. As a consultant, you need to be very specific about what you are offering. Even though your expertise may be wide, by focusing on one specific talent, the chances of obtaining the client will be higher. Once inside the client's organization you may then diversify. The real key to marketing success is to hone in on the core competency and maintain that expertise throughout the marketing campaign.

Second, who is the potential client? This means demographics, where do they exist geographically, and psychographics, what are their particular behaviors. Both of these items need to be factored into the definition of the idea client. Your definition may also include an analysis of past clients whom have spent the most with your service. Dissecting every little piece is ideal and if this is done upfront before the campaign then the marketing efforts will be far more effective.

Third, how will you conduct the marketing campaign? This step is to determine all the tools you can use to be effective. It also includes keeping track of each campaign so you know what is effective. Test and re-evaluate everything you do in order to conserve dollars and be able to place those dollars in the most effective component of your campaign.

Once you have been able to put some thought into the what, who, and how then you are ready to start putting the marketing plan together. The marketing plan will take the answers to the above questions and place them into a format that makes it easier to execute. The marketing plan does not need to be complex, it needs to be simple and executable.

by Bette Daoust PhD
References and Bibliography

Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the ?Networking Queen?. Blueprints for Success - Networking: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprints for Success Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2006. For more information visit http://www.BlueprintBooks.com.

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