You Need A Plan
@freelamcer4u | | #freelancesuccess

I do not care who you are, how long youve been in marketing and how amazing you are. EVERYONE needs a marketing plan. Today Im sharing an easy general marketing plan template with those of you that fear what is simply a To Do List in depth with a different name. Enjoy!

Sample General Marketing Plan

This is an example of a general marketing plan that you can adapt for your own business. Be sure to substitute the specific marketing activities you have found to be most effective for your personality and your specific niches.

Yearly

Attend at least one writers’ conference
Attend one national marketing conference
Attend one local marketing conference

Monthly

Review your LinkedIn profile to add new niches or clients
Update your website with new clips and check links on older clips
Search for new networking groups or opportunities in your niches
Attend one local Meetup, marketing or industry meeting in your nicheHave lunch with a contact, either another local writer, potential client or
marketing professional
Create list of 40 businesses or agencies to contact
Reconnect with one editor or coworker that has moved positions
Connect with another writer online or through email

Weekly

Add new contacts, such as clients, sources and other connections, to your
LinkedIn and Twitter accounts
Review job ads and apply to any for which you are uniquely qualified
Find contact person and email for LOIs to send next week
Follow up on LOIs previously sent
Read and reply to online writers’ forums or blogs

Daily

Send out two LOIs to either agencies or directly to businesses
The beauty of a marketing plan is that you can increase or decrease the
activities based on how much you want to earn, how many hours you want
to work and if you need more work quickly for financial reasons. The
sample plan is one that I would use if I were starting my business; ramping
up after extended time off for maternity leave, sabbatical or other reasons;
or if I was in a serious dry spell.

I also suggest creating your own version of this plan if you are at the end of a project, suspect you are about to lose an anchor client or already have lost a client.

Since this is a higher level of marketing activity, I recommend setting a
time limit to keep yourself motivated—it’s hard to imagine doing this
amount of work forever.

I suggest committing to this level of activity for
three months and then you can scale back as the work starts to roll in. The
time it will take to get the clients you are looking for depends on your
niche, experience and current marketing condition.
The actual marketing activities you perform each day will depend on your
specific circumstance.

If you have been freelancing for a few years, I
recommend starting by contacting current and former clients to ask for
more work.

This is by far the fastest way to get new work. For specific
ideas on ways to identify specific potential clients that are likely to hire
you, sign up for my consult .

However, if you do this level of effort for three months and do not get
results, then you need to revise your approach instead of powering on with
more of the same. The problem is likely one of three things:

1. You have not done enough outreach.
Most writers give up too soon. I can’t tell you the number of writers who
have told me that they have sent out a lot of LOIs and gotten no response.
When I ask how many is a lot, they usually say 20 or 30. This is nowhere
near a lot at all. In fact, I personally think that this is very few. There are
two benchmarks where I recommend evaluating your efforts. At 50 LOIs,
you should have gotten some responses from editors, such as “Thanks, we
will keep your information on file” or “What are your rates?” And at 100
LOIs, you should have landed a gig. If you have not reached these
milestones then keep going.

2. You are not contacting the right clients.
If you get to the benchmarks of 50 without response or 100 without a gig,
then you need to pause to reevaluate. One common reason is that you are
not contacting clients who need your experience and expertise. try to refine your target clients. If possible, try to
brainstorm with another client or in an online writer forum to get some
ideas and other perspectives.

3. Your LOI is not resonating with your potential clients.
The other possibility is that your LOI isn’t selling yourself well enough.
You may have the experience that the clients want, but you aren’t
communicating yourself effectively. You might not be putting in enough
details about your experience in the niche or you might be including the
wrong clips. Maybe your LOI is too long or not written well enough. Ask a
few writer friends to look at your LOI as a favor and then revise your LOI.

Here are five tips to help you market consistently throughout the year:
1. Write it down and track your progress.
There is something more official about having it written down. After that,
use whatever system works for you to track your progress. I create a Word
doc for the week and then delete the tasks as they are done. Other writers
use an Excel sheet or the To-Do function in Outlook. There are also tons of
task management apps available, such as Asana and Trello.

2. Build in rewards.
I love to get takeout from my favorite grill on Fridays so I have started only
allowing myself to call and place my order if I have met my marketing goal
for the week. For me, having a set number written down really increases my odds of meeting it. And I have to say that the reward of eating my favorite hamburger doesn’t hurt either.

3. Look for markets while watching television or waiting in line.
If I am watching mindless television or waiting in the carpool line at my
kids’ school, I will often pull out my smart phone or tablet and search for
new markets at the same time. Then, I copy the information into Evernote
so I can easily access it later. Sometimes I will do Google searches and
other times I check job boards as well.

4. Do marketing activities during your low productivity days of the
week and times of the day.
I am slow on Mondays. It usually seems that I am waiting to hear back from
sources or trying to figure out my direction for a story. So I will often try to
kick off my week on the right foot with a marketing blast. I have also found
that my most productive writing times during the day are typically early in
the morning or after lunch. I will often take a few minutes late morning
(when I find myself opening Facebook as a distraction) to send out some
emails. Taking advantage of the time that I used to waste has been a huge
key for me.

5. Hire a virtual assistant.
This isn’t possible for everyone, but if you are in the position to do it, it can
be a huge help. Marketing is a great use for a virtual assistant (VA). A VA
is a person you can hire for either an hourly rate or retainer to do tasks
ranging from emails, social media, editing, research or pretty much any
administrative task on your plate. For marketing, you could use a VA to
find names and contact information as well as send out your LOI to target
markets. If you use the VA for sending out the emails, be sure that you still
customize each email. I prefer to use a VA for the research and actually
send out my own emails, but I know writers who have used a VA for both.
Build Your Business: Draft a marketing plan that addresses your needs,
goals and time constraints. Your efforts will be much more successful if
you customize it to your own situation.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:
Create a Marketing Plan Keep marketing, even if you are swamped with work.
Create a marketing plan to help you focus on your tasks and keep moving
forward.
If you are not getting a response, you have not done enough outreach

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