How to make your 3 step marketing plan

In this guide, I’ll explain how to create your own 3-step marketing plan.

We start with the three things clients want to know.

Marketing has three core elements: who, what and why. These elements can be looked at from two perspectives: your perspective, as the person doing the marketing, and the client’s perspective

From the client’s perspective, they want to know who are the kind of people you work with, what you work on with them, and why they can trust you to deliver.

Who

Firstly, clients want to understand if you work with people like them. Are you the kind of person who can help them? Are they in the right place? Are they talking to the right person?

They ask: “Who are you working with, are they people like me?”

What

Next they want to understand what you do and whether it fits with what they’re looking for. Are the problems you solve or the changes you help people make something they want to work on?

From the client’s perspective, they need to feel they understand what you’re doing before they can feel confident enough to believe it’s right for them.

They ask: “Is this what I am looking for?”

Why

Finally, before they say yes, they’re trying to determine if they feel ready to fully commit to the process and the work.

They ask: “Why should I trust this person to deliver on their promise?”

Your own perspective on the who, what and why of what you deliver may be different to that of the client- it’s likely you know more than them. Part of marketing more ethically is showing empathy, and understanding that the client’s perspective is important. Not simply trying to explain why they’re wrong and how you can make it right.

As you work through this book, you’ll answer these three questions that people ask and base their decisions on. In doing so, you will help prospective clients move through a 3-step journey of connecting, considering and committing.

Connect

The first step is to connect with people. You want to help them link what they’re feeling, thinking and doing now with what they want to feel, think and do in the future. This stage is about helping them to understand more about where they are now and to put into context where they want to be and why they want to be there.

This first stage creates a friendly tension – more like stretching a rubber band rather than a bungee jump. The tension you create here is: “I want to know more”. It creates tension in the sense of wanting to

know what is possible.

Consider

Next, you give those who want to learn more something to consider, releasing some of the tension you’ve built up. You show them how where they are now is connected to where they want to be, with a path in between that they can follow. You show them that there is an achievable path between these two places.

At any point, someone can decide it’s not for them and drift away. That’s the great thing about friendly tension: it motivates those who resonate with what you’re offering. For those who don’t, they’re not trapped, deceived or manipulated – they’re free to ‘leave’ and connect and consider elsewhere.

Commit

The final stage is to invite them to commit. This is where you offer to guide them through the process you outlined in the Consider stage. The change they can make with your guidance from where they are now to where they want to be. This is where you set out the promise you’re making and make clear the commitment of time, energy and money needed to get there. Once someone has decided they’re ready to commit, you make the first step as easy as possible and explain clearly what happens next.

In making this invitation, you’re offering to release the tension completely.

3-Step Marketing Plan from Reframing Marketing
Simon Batchelar holding their book Reframing Marketing in a bright office space wearing a pink shirt

This guide is an introduction to the book Reframing Marketing. The book guides you step-by-step through making your own plan and includes chapters on creating marketing content, pricing and niching.

6-Box Marketing Plan

To answer the three things the client wants to understand – the who, what and why – your marketing should follow the connect, consider and commit structure.

There are some simple things you can do at each stage. I go into more detail on each of these in the book. For now it’s important to illustrate how marketing activities are used in this process.

When you take the three stages – Connect, Consider, Commit – and combine them with your who, what and why, you build a simple and effective 3-step marketing process.

Who + Connect stage os the 3-step marketing plan from reframing marketing

Who + connect

This is where you identify your audience, the people whose attention you want to attract, and connect with them using empathy and authority, showing them what’s possible.

The more clearly you articulate your who, the easier it is for people to connect because they will think, “That sounds like where I am right now.” This will naturally create some tension as they begin to see an opportunity for change, and start to think about where they might end up. This tension will motivate them to discover more.

This stage lends itself well to social media, YouTube, podcasts and networking. It’s simply about making connections, throwing out ideas, offering different perspectives on the narrative or challenging ‘status quo’ thinking. Your aim is to get people thinking, create that friendly tension and point them in the direction of where they can find out more.

What + Consider stage os the 3-step marketing plan from reframing marketing

What + consider

Once people have made the connection and want to know more, you can help them understand what they’re looking for in greater depth.

This is where you show them that you understand where they are now and that what you deliver links them to where they want to be. Maybe they want to make a change, do something differently, start doing something new or stop doing something. You can help them understand what might be stopping them from starting or doing this on their own.

This is where you give them something to consider. The key is that this is NOT your product. It’s not about making a sale, it’s just about deepening their understanding of how where they are now is linked to where they want to be.

This stage is focused on helping people decide if where they think they want to end up is right for them. Spending time and effort helping people deepen their understanding at this stage, whilst not selling, feels counterproductive to some. The reason it is worthwhile is that once someone has decided that they want something, it’s very hard to change their mind, and it’s also much easier for them to see the value in getting what they want.

By not talking about what you deliver or focusing on the sale too early and instead talking about what it will be like after you have delivered, you are helping people decide for themselves if what you are delivering is what they really want.

You’ll release some tension by showing them what they can do to get where they want to be, and then create a bit more as they realise they may need someone or something to get them there.

Why + Commit stage os the 3-step marketing plan from reframing marketing

Why + commit

This is where you set out the promise you’re making. It’s where you explain what change you are going to help them make, when they will get there and what commitment you need from them. This could be time, energy or money.

When someone is clear on where they want to go, and why they want to go there, you often don’t have to ‘make a sale’ because all they need to see is your promise to guide them in making this change.

The idea is to separate the sale from the consideration. This means that people can understand and contextualise what they are buying before they are asked to make a decision about buying it. So the people who are ready to commit really want to take that first step because they are ready to do the work and make the change they are seeking. All you need to do is make the first step clear and simple.

When you are clear on who you want to connect with, you will attract those who are motivated to consider what you are offering. For those who feel ready to commit to the work they will be clear on why they can trust you to guide them.

Reframing Marketing book and plan on a table

Make your own marketing plan

If you’d like more detail on how to create your own marketing plan, my book Reframing Marketing will guide you through the whole process. This book will give you clarity about who you want to work with, what value you can offer them and why they can trust you to deliver it.