Posts tagged business marketing
A marketing checklist for your business launch
business launch marketing checklist

Launching your own business involves an endless amount of tasks. Between business planning, budgeting, developing out your product or services, licensing, supplies to purchase and on and on, you may struggle to catch your breath. Looking for a way to make it easier? Allow your fellow boss babe to lend a hand.

Here’s a quick checklist of the primary branding and marketing assets you’ll need for a successful business or product launch.

  • Name

  • Tagline

  • Business description (think elevator pitch)

  • Branding

    • Brand colors

    • Logos

    • Fonts

  • Website (a basic home page, about page and contact page is fine to start with!)

  • Marketing budget

  • Marketing plan

Do you need social content? Maybe. Emails ready to go? Maybe. A Facebook page? Possibly. Everything outside of the list above will be determined by your marketing plan. What you don’t want to do is throw time and energy into an extensive list of marketing must-haves before you map out goals, a budget, a strategy and a plan.

If you want pro guidance through the launch of your business or a new product or service, grab my 3-month marketing plan from The Marketing Plan Shop. It will help you go step-by-step through planning and even includes a nifty branding checklist so you can identify exactly what your business needs and keep track of all the marketing details.

Why your business needs a marketing journey, ASAP

Have you created a marketing journey for your audience, or a marketing maze?

Marketing Journey

If there’s one potent marketing lesson I could offer small business owners - and even some inexperienced marketing professionals - it’s that you want your audience on a journey, not forced to navigate the mess of a maze to buy what you’re offering. Here’s the difference.

A marketing maze leaves out important steps your perfect client is likely to take in their relationship with your business to shift from stranger to follower to fan to customer to repeat customer to referrer. A maze is inconsistent in brand identity, timing, message and/or calls to action.

A marketing maze is created when you get caught up in trying to attract new leads or clients without planning out the path you’d like to put them on once they respond. It’s confusing, and it’ll lose people along the way - oftentimes without you even realizing they dipped out.

A maze is not only messy for your followers, it’s deceiving for you as a business owner - you may think it’s working because a few people will persist and find their way to the end, but what you may not be aware of is how many you’re turning off with its twists and turns. (This is where reading marketing data is vital, another essential aspect of great marketing.)

A marketing journey is a clearly mapped out path from attraction to conversion. It’s a carefully considered plan that ties everything together from who you’re wanting to go after to where you’ll attract them to that first piece of content they’ll see to how you’ll keep them engaged, how you’ll push for response and where they’ll go to respond. Then, how you’ll continue to communicate so they’ll keep buying or give you a great testimonial. A marketing journey is very intentional and reduces the work your audience member has to do to get to each next step - preventing them from bailing along the way.

You know what I’ve noticed leads many small business owners to a marketing maze? Patience.

Not great ideas. Not creativity. Not budget - although if you’ve got the money for it, I HIGHLY recommend paying a professional to help you with a marketing journey. Not smart business goals and decision-making. What keeps most of us (I can be guilty, too!) from truly effective marketing is the patience to pause, reevaluate, and be as intentional with marketing planning as you are with your business planning.

If you’re concerned your marketing is more of a maze than a journey, here’s what you should do, immediately.

  1. Put a half-day block on your calendar.

  2. Get a marketing plan.

  3. Spend some concentrated time planning your marketing - from business goals to budget to which platforms you’ll use to how you’ll follow-up after purchase. The marketing plan will help you think through every aspect of an exceptional journey.

Of course, I’m always here to help you determine what’s next for your marketing. Sign up for a consultation.

When to hire a digital marketer

Should you hire a digital marketer? Is the investment worth the money? Is your business ready to support a full-time or part-time digital marketer?

As your business grows, you’ll go through alllllll kinds of growth pains and have to make alllllll kinds of decisions. Let me make this one a little clearer and easier for you.

First, there’s a difference in outsourcing your digital marketing and hiring a digital marketer to your company team. I believe in most cases, if your business is healthy and growing, you’ll eventually have to do both. Which is why I want to speak to both scenarios.

I have experience working as a full-time director of marketing in the corporate setting as a part of a team. I also know what it’s like to provide outsourced digital marketing support to small/medium businesses that don’t have a dedicated marketing team yet. Here’s a checklist to help you confirm when you should outsource to a digital marketer and when you’re ready for a dedicated team member or two.

When to outsource to a digital marketer

  • Early on, when your business needs a few online marketing tasks managed but not necessarily the full-scale marketing treatment.

  • When you can no longer justify spending your time doing marketing and you need to turn it over so you can make more money focusing on what your business bottom lines are.

  • When your own marketing approach is simply.not.working - get some pro help!!

  • When you can afford to spend at least $250/month on marketing management of some sort. This could be email marketing, social media marketing, website management, social or Google ads management, etc. Disclaimer: $250 isn’t necessarily my rate or someone else’s rate for a marketing service. To me, $250 signifies about where your business profit needs to be to start thinking of regular monthly outsourcing. Honestly, this is the lower end of many digital marketing services and you’re not going to get “the works” for that amount (beware super cheap vendors!!) but it’s a good place to start as you’re considering whether or not your business can begin to support outsourcing something and taking a little off your plate.

  • When you can afford to spend $1,000+/month on marketing. Um, if you’re profiting enough each month to put some serious dough into your marketing - DO IT. DO IT YESTERDAY. That means your business can’t afford for you to keep spending time on its marketing. Outsourcing will free you up to keep doing what you’re doing - and even better - and get you some knowledgable, professional marketing help that will take you to new heights in no time. This is a no-brainer.

digital marketer

When to hire a digital marketer to your team

  • When you can afford a digital marketer salary - and it’s less or equal to what you’re spending to outsource. This number will depend on where you live (you can easily look up local salary comparisons online) or how much you want to spend if you search for a remote team member. If you’re unsure, it wouldn’t hurt to put some hiring ads out and do a few interviews to get some confirmation that’s the route you’re ready for.

  • When you’re ready to manage/lead a new team member. Remember that leadership also requires a time investment, so consider whether you’re ready to lead them, cultivate their career, bring them into the culture of the company and facilitate their interactions with you and other team members first.

  • When you’re ready to have an in-house marketing team. If you run a company that could truly benefit from dedicated, in-house marketing, a digital marketer is a must. There are many roles that can still be outsourced but someone to oversee your digital marketing plan and work with those outsourced vendors is a good foundation for building a full team upon.

I hope this was helpful! As always, put questions in the comments below or let me know if you benefitted from this blog. I love feedback and to know someone’s reading :) Best wishes as you invest in your business marketing!