How Your Marketing Plan Makes Your Business Purpose Real

In previous posts, I have shown how your vision leads to your offer.  This next step is once you have your offer, you market it.  “Vision to offer to marketing” is the logical sequence; an observer would conclude.  However, for practical purposes your marketing plan comes before development of your offer.  How so?

Prepare Marketing before Your Packages

It makes sense to prepare marketing copy before you design your offer packages.  The big mistake many entrepreneurs make is to prioritise service delivery over marketing.  The fact is without marketing you do not have a business.

Look at this way.  There is no point developing any package until you know how you’re going to market it.  You need to test the market, check out it exists.  And to do that you need to know how you are going to reach your potential market.

So, prepare your marketing plan first, including draft marketing copy.  It is possible, once you prepare your offer, you shall want to tweak your copy.  But if you find your offer is completely different from your draft copy, the chances are you have designed the wrong thing!

Indeed, some business people do not prepare their package until they have customers.  I don’t necessarily recommend this.  You could plan a workshop far enough ahead to allow you to sign people up and allow a week or so to develop the package, once you know you have the numbers.

Another possibility is to design a basic package you tweak each time you market it.  This means you experiment with marketing campaigns, to find the most effective ways to promote your package.

Align Your Vision and Marketing

The challenge is to develop a marketing campaign that aligns with your vision.  Then your offer becomes part of your marketing campaign.  Your offer is what you deliver to further your vision.  Your marketing campaign is how you make your vision a reality.

So, usually we think of a vision leading to a package, something to offer the world.  This is then marketed to the likely people who will consider buying the package.

An alternative is to design a marketing campaign that implements your vision.  Your customers are the people you recruit to further your vision.  You collaborate because you share the vision.  Your prospects share your vision and may help you further it.

Your vision is close to the promise your offer makes to your customers.  You help them solve a particular problem.

Let’s say you worked in an industry for several decades and experienced a variety of management approaches, some good and some bad.  Your vision is to improve management in your industry.  Your prospects are managers in your industry, who share your concerns and believe in your approach.

You need to establish yourself as the industry leader in your approach to management.  This way you become known to managers who value your guidance.  They may begin to request coaching or suggest workshop opportunities.  You may find your marketing generates requests for packages you had not considered before.  Your packages are one way you realise your vision through marketing.

Most freelancers stumble upon this, having started by designing something in line with their vision.  Usually, you revisit your offers as your marketing develops, adapting them to whatever opportunities present themselves.

Please comment and let me know what you like about this post.  What would you like me to write about further?

Visit my new website, Market Together to sign up to my list so that you don’t miss any posts and hear about the exciting plans I’m working on to promote an alternative approach to marketing.

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About the Author

I've been a community development worker since the early 1980s in Tyneside, Teesside and South Yorkshire. I've also worked nationally for the Methodist Church for eight years supporting community projects through the church's grants programme. These days I am developing an online community development practice combining non-directive consultancy, strategic management, participatory methods and development work online and offline. If you're interested contact me for a free consultation.

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