Do you have a great service or product to promote but you’re not sure where to start? The best place to start is by creating a marketing plan.

A marketing plan includes figuring out your business identity; determining who your competition is, who your target audience is, what your unique selling proposition is, as well as a way to quantify all of the above. Then it includes deciding what marketing channels you’ll use as well as what methods you’ll use to penetrate those channels.

You’ll need a separate marketing plan for each channel you plan to use:

Each type of marketing you plan to do needs its own plan and it will likely include more than one of the channels above. For instance, if you have a contest you may use many of the other ways to promote the contest, which is really to promote a particular product or service. You may write blog posts about the contests, social media updates about the contest, mention the contest in a webinar, and so forth.

Don’t just think about the marketing plan, actually put it in writing. It can be just one page. For instance, let’s write a marketing plan for your 12-week course on “How to Create a Widget”.

  • Create an awesome sales page that allows the purchase of the product.
  • Include great product information and imagery for our affiliates who will be excited about the new product and ready to go the moment the sales page is live due to your pre-launch emails to them educating them about the new product.
  • Ask our affiliates and customers for testimonials.
  • Interview 3 people about how the widget solved their problems, post them to the blog and post an announcement about them to our email list. Each interview points to the sales page.
  • Create testimonials out of the 3 interviews and put them on the sales page.
  • Write 6 blog posts educating our audience about the problem the widget solves, linking to the sales page.
  • Write a social media update about the blog posts.
  • Send out 6 Newsletters discussing the problems the widget solves, linking to the sales page.
  • Encourage people to sign up for our newsletter on our blog and on social media to learn more about How to Create a Widget.

marketing calendar

Put these actions into a calendar, such as Google Calendar, or a calendar you made in Google Docs so that you know exactly what day you will do each thing that you’ve decided to do. Be very specific with your calendar so that you can easily go to each day and do the tasks listed and/or hand them off to a contractor. If you have a team, share the calendar in your project management program (I recommend Asana) so all members know what is expected and when. The more carefully you plan each step of your marketing plan the more likely it is to get the results that you want.

When you break the process down step by step in writing, you will have a clear plan to follow. You will also be able to clearly see if you have missed anything and make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Carefully planning your marketing in advance will supercharge your chances for marketing success.