Craft your own marketing plan – 6 steps to keep in mind when working on your tactics
Have you finished defining your marketing strategies?
Congratulations. You’ve now increased your chances of business success by a whopping 313%!
That means you can start planning the now and future of your business using tactics unique to your short-term and long-term business goals.
Tactics are actions used to achieve a specific goal. Don’t start your marketing plan until you’ve distinguished your strategy – a blueprint for your business goals. Not sure where to start? Check out my previous post on creating your business strategy, setting goals, and defining your mission and vision. Believe me, clarifying your marketing strategy beforehand will make this process a whole lot easier and more logical.
In fact, it would be kind of hard to develop a marketing plan at all without goals.
A marketing plan is: your roadmap for delivering your translation or interpreting service to potential customers. It is a step-by-step process that involves understanding your target audience, branding, goals and messaging and mapping out marketing tactics that you’ll implement to accomplish your big picture business goals.
A marketing plan is not (or at least doesn’t have to be): a boring, hard task that takes weeks to draw up. It also isn’t just something you create and then happily put at the bottom of your drawer *snap!* gone. Once you identify your goals and produce your plan, stick to it! Of course, feel free to revise it every 90 days to track your progress and work on areas that need improvement, but try not to forget about it. Indecisiveness and lack of persistence kill even the best plans.
So, let’s get started on your roadmap and see where it takes you. Grab a latte if you like – the caffeine fix may sharpen your thoughts! (Or a tea. Or a decaf. 😉 ) Just make sure you try to make this a fun and interesting activity (everything just flows better when it’s less of a chore). Find a time of day where you can devote a couple of hours to it and go!
Break down big goals into small steps
What are the big goals behind your translation business? Are you working towards them or are you ignoring them, procrastinating, reassuring yourself that you’ll get to them one day? The thing is, when we’re postponing tasks because they’re too big, things don’t get done. For that reason, try to scale down those goals and break them into smaller chunks.
Bite-sized goals are much easier to reach and far less intimidating. Just take one bite every day. 🙂
For instance, let’s say it’s your goal to create value for your clients through an informative blog. Creating a whole blog with 10 posts in a day sounds daunting to say the least, but you can make things less scary by setting the goal of writing one high-quality blog post every two weeks. And then you assign an hour on Monday to write, half an hour on Wednesday to re-do and an hour on Friday to proofread it. That doesn’t sound so hard, does it?
By the way! Content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional marketing, so don’t neglect your copy. When the time is right, hire a copywriter to polish off your texts if you aren’t too confident in your own content writing abilities.
Establish Long-term plans
They might take a little longer to establish and implement, but long-term plans and actions are more sustainable and will continue producing results further down the road.
Ask yourself: where will your business be in a year? Five years? Remember the general strategy but focus on the next 12 months.
What tactics are you going to implement to reach your goals? Lowering your prices for a limited time to get a few assignments will no doubt trigger interest, but it’s the big goals and the long-term plans that are going to really transform your business and keep it growing and thriving. And I’m sure you would like to raise your rates in the long term anyway!
Split it into Short-term plans and actions
Short-term marketing plans tend to produce short-term results, which is why I prefer to stick to long-term overall plans like a 12-month plan, because they are the ones that lead to a bigger and better outcome. However, to keep on top of things all year round, taking care of your short-term success is still useful for overall growth and that’s where a 90-day plan comes in.
A 90-day plan should be a part of your 12-month plan and be revised every 3 months to adjust the course.
Remember that short-term tactics like reduced pricing promotions for a limited time can spur clients to act and especially for small businesses, this can be highly beneficial in boosting customer interest, but you also need something more sustainable in the long term.
To be perceived as a trusted go-to translation company in the medical field for English to Polish translations in the UK within three years.
Rank on the first page of Google for “English to Polish medical translations” (and other, similar keywords) within one year.
Tactics to implement:
- Hire an SEO specialist
- Optimise your website for keywords
- Get testimonials from present clients
- Increase trustworthiness of your online presence
- Hire a copywriter to write high-quality, SEO-friendly content for your website.
- Ensure the copy is engaging for your target audience.
- Schedule and manage social media accounts and share the content with relevant audiences.
- Write guest posts for language-focused and medical translations blogs and websites to build website authority on Google.
And so on.
(Did you know: It takes around 4-6 months to start seeing SEO results!)
Feel free to steal these tactics for your own plan!
Set your budget
Your budget is how much money you’ve allotted the marketing side of things to pursue your strategies. Marketing expenses may include software, events, promotions, SEO copywriting etc. Don’t miss out your budget in your marketing plan. It’s better to learn to embrace it. After all, it’s always good to know how much you have to work with! Once you have established a budget it’s important to stick to it and work with it, not against it.
Establish your team and their job roles
It may just be you if you’re a freelancer, but consider additional help you may hire, like copywriters, designers, bookkeepers. For instance, if you’re going to be hiring a bookkeeper to handle your accounts, make sure that’s there in the plan so you don’t have to waste your own valuable time on thinking about it. If a sector is filled, spell it out clearly in the plan so you don’t accidentally do someone else’s job.
By now I bet you’re ready to start creating your marketing plan. I hope I’ve successfully introduced you to the basic tactics and planning and I’m certain that, with a detailed plan in place, you’ll feel more confident in reaching your goals and start seeing a successful outcome.
I know this sounds kind of obvious, but to really make this work for you, you do need to write down and implement your plan. It doesn’t need to be done a certain way or be too rigid. As long as your goals, your strategies and your tactics are established, you can start implementing them straight away!
We’ll be covering marketing planning as a module in Language Services Marketing Academy: https://lsmarketingacademy.com/ launching soon! If you want to become a founding member and get special waitlist offers sign up today!
What marketing tips do you live by? Do you already have a plan in place or are you just getting started? Wherever you are right now, I’d really appreciate your feedback!