So you’ve got your marketing plan, now what?

You’ve got a 110 page marketing plan sitting in front of you, filled with 110 great ideas. But where to start? You’ve heard people throw words around like SEO, WordPress, PPC, Conversion Optimisation and all it makes you want to do is turn right around, apply for the next mediocre job that comes your way and sacrifice your life to ‘the man’. Surely that would be easier wouldn’t it?

Well, perhaps. But how boring is that!? Think about all the reasons you wanted to start your own business in the first place. It might be that you want more control of your time, more control over what you can earn or more time to spend with the family. Do I hear an ‘all of the above!?’ Yes please!! That thought should be the first thing you think about when you wake up and the first thing that you think about when things get a little tough.

For business owners going through this for the first time, it is quite overwhelming. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Once you’ve got your marketing plan in place, you can go about marketing your business in three steps:

1. Prioritise
The to-do list is never ending. It happens to everyone. The best thing we can do is accept it and then work with it. Prioritising can be just the thing you need to stop you from getting overwhelmed. I always include a checklist at the end of each of my marketing plans. Use this. Scribble all over it if you must. The first thing to do is work out the marketing activities that need to happen first. Then I create a ‘to-do timeline’, which is basically just a to-do list that is arranged in order of what needs to be done first. For example, it wouldn’t be worth spending any money on advertising if your website needs to be re-designed. Work out a timeline that is going to give you the best return on investment.

2. Allocate budget
Rather than spending small sums of money here and there, it is vital to have a comprehensive overview of where your money is going to be spent in the coming months. It is often a good idea to work backwards. Start with your budget for the time frame and then work backwards. Distribute the budget between each of the marketing activities in your to-do list for that timeframe. Do this whichever way works for you, but having a rough idea of how much each marketing campaign is going to cost will help prevent any surprise costs.

3. Implement
Now you should be all ready to go! If you are struggling with implementing certain activities, there are plenty of resources online you can go to get help. You can always post a question on the forum Flying Solo. Alternatively, there are plenty of blogs that can help you with a range of specific topics.

Here are some of my favourites:

• Email list building: Bryan Harris’s blog on Videofruit
• Digital Marketing: Neil Patel’s blog Quicksprout
• Entrepreneurship: The Collective Hub and Tim Ferris’s Blog The Four Hour Workweek
• Social Media: Derek Halpern’s blog Social Triggers
• Networking: Keith Ferrazzi’s blog

There are so many more – these ones are just my favourites!

So just remember when feeling overwhelmed > Read the marketing plan > Prioritise > Allocate budget > Implement > Ask for help/find resources online when stuck!

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