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.
These elements can be looked at from two perspectives, your perspective as the person doing the marketing and the client’s perspective as someone on their own journey. From the client’s perspective, they want to know who are the people you are working with, what are you going to work with them on and why can they trust you to deliver.
Firstly, clients want to understand if you are the kind of person who can help them. Are they in the right place and talking to the right person? They ask questions like, ” Do you work with people like me?”
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 that they understand what you’re doing before they feel confident enough to believe it’s right for them. They’ll be thinking, “Now I understand it’s exactly what I’m looking for.
Finally, before they say yes, they’re trying to determine if they feel ready to fully commit to the process and the work involved. At this stage they’ll ask questions such as “This all sounds great, but can I trust this person?”
Your own perspective on the who, what and why of your work is likely to be different to the client’s; it’s likely to be much deeper. But part of marketing more ethically is showing empathy and understanding that the client’s perspective is important.
As you work through this plan, you’ll be answering the questions that people ask and base their decisions on.
In doing so, you will help people move through a 3-step journey of connecting, considering and committing.
The first step in the marketing plan is to connect with people. You want to help them connect 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 than a bungee jump.
The tension you’re creating here is the “I want to know more” tension. It creates tension in the sense of wanting to know what is possible.
Next you give those who want to know more something to consider. This releases 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 journey between these two places. Now at any point someone can decide it’s not for them and drift away, and that’s the great thing about this friendly tension, it motivates those who resonate with what you’re offering.
For those who don’t, they’re not being trapped, deceived or manipulated, they’re free to go and connect and think elsewhere.
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. This is the journey they can take with you from where they are now to where they want to be.
This is where you set out the promise you are making and make clear the commitment of time, energy and money needed to get there.
In making this invitation, you are offering to release the tension completely. Once someone has decided they’re ready to commit, make the first step as easy as possible and explain clearly what happens next.
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
Now that we have these six elements, let’s put them all together.
To answer the three things your 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 and I’ll explain these now and go into much more detail about each of these stages in the book.
For now, I want to illustrate how marketing activities are used in this process.
So when you take the three stages, connect, consider and commit and combine them with your who, what and why, you build your simple and effective 3-step marketing plan.
Who plus connect
This is where you identify your audience, the people whose attention you want to capture, and connect with them using empathy and authority, showing them the journey that will get them where they want to go. The more clearly you can articulate your who, the easier it is for people to connect because they’ll think, “Hey, that sounds just like me” or “That sounds just like where I am right now”.
This will naturally create some friendly tension as they begin to see an opportunity for change without necessarily fully understanding how to make that change, they will want to learn more. This stage lends itself to social media, YouTube, podcasts and networking. It’s simply about making connections, throwing out some ideas, offering different perspectives on the narrative or challenging the status quo. Their aim is to make people think, create a bit of that friendly tension and point them in the direction of where they can find out more.
What plus consider
Once people have made the connection and want to know more, you can help them consider whether the journey is right for them. You can show them your path to where they want to be. You can help them understand what might be stopping them from starting or getting where they want to go on their own.
This is where you give them something to think about. It could be a guide, a short video series, a worksheet, a diagram of your process or a video of you explaining how it works, like this one.
The key is that this is not about your product, this is not about trying to make a sale. This is about looking at the process to deepen their understanding of how it works. You’ll release some of the tension by showing them what they can do to get where they want to be, and then create a little more as they realise they need someone to guide them.
Why plus commit
Now you show them how much time, energy and money it will take to achieve the change they want. Then offer to guide them on this journey.
This is where you show them that they can trust you to guide them and invite them to take the first step. You talk about others you’ve worked with and where they ended up. This helps them to make an informed and considered decision.
The key is to make that first step super easy. If you want them to book a call or fill in a form so you can talk to them, make it super easy. Save the details for later. The idea is to separate the sale from the consideration. This means that people can understand and contextualise what they’re buying before they’re asked to make a purchase decision.
The people who are ready to commit really want to take that first step because they’re ready to do the work and make the change they’re looking for.
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. It will show you how to be yourself and get paid for it. You can order your copy direct from me or from Amazon.