My 2017 Marketing & Branding Plan

“This article was originally published by the International Coach Federation”

With the New Year quickly approaching (and my birthday right behind it), I always recommend that coaches spend the next couple of weeks putting together a Marketing Plan for the upcoming year.

Why?

Because it sets the stage for your future growth and provides some structure behind a potentially overwhelming activity: Marketing and branding.

So with that said, I wanted to not only share my own 2017 Marketing and Branding Plan, but also wanted to provide the exact steps you can take to make it happen yourself.

STEP #1: IDENTIFY YOUR MARKETING AND BRANDING OPTIONS
This is a big one, since for today’s business owner, there are soooo many options out there that it’s real easy to get overwhelmed into inactivity! So as a first step, I like to identify the “tools,” or marketing options, you have available to you as a coach. These include, but are not limited to:

Blogging (video, audio or written);
Online Newsletter;
Social Media (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter);
Third Party Article Submissions (e.g., to outside blogs or publications reaching your target market);
Networking;
Referrals;
Speaking /Presentations;
Podcasting;
Webinars; and
Strategic Partnerships /Affiliates.

STEP #2: DECIDE WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO ON A WEEK-TO-WEEK BASIS
Now that can sound overwhelming, but it’s actually very easy, provided you have the right tool: A marketing calendar.

For those who’ve heard me speak before, you know I’m big fan of having a separate, hardcopy marketing calendar (with associated colored pens) to write down exactly what activities you’re going to do over the weeks ahead.

So for example, during the week of Jan 2, I might have:

Publish a Blog Post (Jan 3…my birthday!)
Attend Networking Events (Jan 3 and 5)
Publish an Online Newsletter (Jan 6)
For the week of Jan 9, I might have:

Publish my Podcast (Jan 10)
Make follow-up calls regarding potential strategic alliances (week of Jan 10)
Post on Facebook and LinkedIn (Jan 12 and 14)
You get the idea.

You’ll also notice that I don’t load my calendar up with 15 activities a week either. I think that’s where a lot of coaches get into trouble; they say they want to market and then sign up for all of this stuff, only to be overwhelmed by other aspects of the business that inhibits their ability to market as much as they wanted.

Been there, done that!

That is why I recommend three to five marketing activities per week on your Plan.

STEP #3: TIE THOSE ACTIVITIES BACK TO YOUR BUSINESS FINANCIAL GOALS
In other words, if your financial goal for the quarter (and I always like looking at it that way because it’s less overwhelming), is say $20,000, then you want to make sure your marketing activities match up with that.

For example, I know that for each workshop I do, I pick up at least two to four clients. And for the sake of discussion, let’s say my average client is $1,000. So with those numbers, and assuming I didn’t do any other marketing, then I’d need at least 10 presentations in my Marketing Plan to get to $20,000.

(10 Presentations X 2 Clients on average = 20 Clients X $1,000 Average Client = $20,000).

And don’t worry if you can’t tie back every activity directly to revenue (e.g., publishing an online newsletter).

Instead, you can is tie that action (publishing a newsletter) back to an intended result (more traffic to your website), and then link that to a business benefit (increased exposure and branding for your practice).

Make sense?

Alright, so now that you know the steps, let’s take a look at my 2017 Marketing and Branding Plan.

Just remember, I’ve been coaching and speaking since 2001, and it took a loooong time to get to this point. So don’t feel like you have to replicate it exactly in terms of frequency.

Here’s what I’ve got:

Publish my online newsletter 2-3 times/month;
Post on Facebook 1-2 times/week;
Post on LinkedIn (long form blog) 1-2 times/month;
Host 1-2 live webinars/month;
Deliver 2-3 live presentations/month;
Create a Formalized Referral Strategy and actively engage in that 30-60 mins per week;
Produce 5-10 YouTube videos each month;
Submit 2-3 articles per month to external blogs/websites;
Publish my “Brand & Grow Your Coaching Practice” podcast 1/week; and
Interview 1-2 people/month for my podcast.
Now obviously there’s more detail behind these activities, so I’d encourage you to really dig deeper on each one of these items, but this should give you a real good start for building your own Marketing and Branding Plan.

So take care, and Happy (early) New Year!