Updated: Jan 4
We invited Dana Magnus, from The MKTG Brand, and we’re excited to share with you the incredibly helpful information that she shared with us during our August session of le petit BLABLA.
A little bit about Dana - she went to Advertising school and received a Marketing degree from DePaul University. She takes a unique approach to Marketing in that she uses mission-driven marketing and embraces the human-to-human interaction. She prefers focusing on connecting with those within your community as a way of growing your business, using thoughtful language, and thinking about ways to engage with your target audience.
Did you know that 50% of small businesses around the world do not have a formal marketing plan? Sales, branding, and your service offerings are all an integral part of your business, including marketing.
“Marketing is the gasoline to our business. It brings life into our business. It keeps us moving forward.”
Dana walks us through 10 steps to making a stellar marketing strategy to help bring our businesses forward. Here they are, are you ready for it?
1. Define who you are talking to
When writing your strategy, it's a good idea to think about it on a human level and ensure we're understand others. When you’re building your client avatar (or target audience), think about the following:
- Who is in your community?
- Who is in your audience?
- What kind of conversations does your target audience have?
- What kind of ways do they challenge you?
If you don’t have a clear intention of who those people are, it may be difficult to craft messages to those who will listen. So think about Marketing as a way to sell to people, rather than selling to those who are on your list. When you begin to build a business based on building a community first, you’re looking at the people who form them, rather than just a sale.
LE TIP: Take about 10 minutes a day to manifest the people and clients that you want to attract.
2. Define your message
Your message needs to speak volumes, not just on the types of words. Think about more powerful language than just, “I help people…”. Using more powerful language helps ignite your community more than ever.
Suggestions here would be to work with Dana, or another Marketing professional, and a Copywriter to help think about powerful ways to communicate your message. Consider including a little bit of your mission when crafting your message.
LE TIP: When you talk about where you’re going, you’re going to be further supported by those who are like-minded to you.
3. How will you get your message out there
I don't know about you, but my best ideas come to be when I'm about to go to sleep at night... and oftentimes in the shower. How and where do you harness your best ideas? In the shower? While driving? Or when you’re trying to go to sleep? Thinking about writing marketing content when you’re able to explore your best ideas.
The vehicle of how you want to get your message out there comes with self-awareness, looking for who you really are and how you show up in the world. There’s no right or wrong way to be a Marketer. Just be who you truly are.
LE TIP: Don’t do what you don’t like to do, focus on what you love.
4. Identify non-business related parts of you
The non-business related stuff is what really makes you human. Dana had a story about a client who loved dogs and took that passion and integrated it into his business. By going outside of the normal realms, this is where you get to create a more balanced life. There is life outside of work! How can you incorporate your business into the other passions within your life?
LE TIP: You’ll get burnt out really fast if you don’t make marketing fun for your business. Give yourself permission to make it fun!
5. Keep up the momentum
Make your Marketing strategy sustainable for you to keep going and doing. Identify what works for you, what you’re going to need, and how you’re going to show up that week.
Keep in mind that you really only need to spend about 2 - 3 hours a week total on Marketing. Be intentional, have a plan, and really know who you’re talking to and what you’re saying. The week could potentially be broken down like so:
- 30 minutes to be intentional about what’s happening that week. Map it out on your calendar,
- 30 - 45 minutes of engagement. If you’re putting things out on social media, make sure that it sparks conversation. Dana likes to carve out a few minutes a day on her calendar to go back and respond to comments and be on top of her messages. Engage with other people as well - like, comment, share.
- Spend an hour on creating your content - videos, e-mail, sourcing photos from unsplash.com.
LE TIP: It doesn’t take a lot of time if you have the right processes and procedures in place.
6. Define your themes
Think about how you want to break-out your marketing content every month. Create a theme for each month so that you can focus on one event, workshop, or promotion.
For example, August and September are Back to School months. This event could be relevant and timely for your business, right? How can you use that towards something that you’re promoting or sharing about?
- What are your values?
- Why did you start your business?
- What are some challenges you see in the world?
- How does your business speak towards that?
LE TIP: Think about taking people on a journey. Map out what next year is going to looks like and create a glance of your year to come.
7. Ask for help
Don't be afraid to ask those in your community for help. Think along the lines of who you can co-promote with! Is there a part of my business that you want to expand into? Where can you go to talk about that? Podcasts? Seminars? Partnering with another business on an event will give you exposure to a whole other community that you may not have been able to reach out to otherwise.
This is so important because this is how a lot of businesses can get ahead a lot quicker. This is why influencers are so helpful for growing your business.
LE TIP: Find somebody with whom you can create a unique workshop. Host an event and bring other people on to get that wider reach.
8. Break it down
Don't be afraid to repurpose your content. There truly is no need to re-invent the wheel. Break down all of your ideas and take a few key pieces of your content and break it into smaller pieces. Dana has a template for this. If you’d like one, please reach out to her.
LE TIP: Take an hour or two each month to break down your plan. Indicate which content should go where and think about what are you focused on this month/ this week.
9. Define a process
You have all of these amazing ideas to implement and if you don’t create a step-by-step process, you will get lost., your excitement will fade. It’s so empowering to make sure you write down the process that you want to follow with your strategy.
Aug 1 - create a dashboard for September.
Aug 10 - start conceptualizing posts/e-mails. What do you want to talk about and share?
Aug 12 - break it down and start writing your posts/e-mails.
Aug 15 - find images and create graphics.
Aug 20 - proofed and ready to go.
Aug 25 - put into social media scheduling tool/ schedule e-mail blasts.
Aug 30 - celebrate! Don't forget to celebrate your achievements!
LE TIP: Create the dates and times of what you’re doing and when. Then add these dates into your calendar.
10. Review your results
Now that you've invested all of this time on your Marketing, look back at what’s working and what’s not. Angela Lynn is amazing for helping with this piece (www.sexydashboards.com). She takes all of your analytical information from your website to see how people are using your site and can help you come up with ideas for driving more traffic and higher sales.
If you're well versed, look at your Google Analytics, Facebook, and Instagram Insights. What do you find to drive higher engagements? Then think about creating more of the same for the months to come.
LE TIP: Your data will tell you so much about how your efforts are working for you. Find somebody to help you understand which direction you should take with your company.
So there you have it! All 10 tips for building that amazing Marketing strategy. You can do it! But if you'd like a helping hand, please don't hesitate to contact Dana Magnus to see how she can help you elevate your business to the next level. Good luck! And keep us posted with how these tips have helped you.
~ your design studio team