planning-185Kids are counting the days until school lets out for summer. Too bad you don’t get a summer break, right?

Well, if you can’t get a break, you can use the time to learn more about how to market your services.

Last week, Rick Yuzzi wrote a Marketing 101 post. This week, I’m inviting you to stick around for a “second semester” and a set of workbooks from ZCorum’s Marketing Manual.

First, Plan

The very first thing Rick advised businesses to do is to make a plan. After all, it’s hard to get to a new destination without a map. So, follow his advice and map out your plans for the next month, next quarter, next year.

If you haven’t written a marketing plan in awhile (or if you’ve never written one), download Module 2: Creating a Marketing Plan of ZCorum’s Marketing Manual. The module explains how to do a situation analysis, so you can figure out where you stand in relation to the market and your competitors. Then it walks you through defining your goals and strategies and setting a budget.

Then, Promote

You’ve got a plan. You’ve worked out pricing for your services. Now, you’ve got to spread the word.

You know your market better than anyone, so look back at the situation analysis in your plan and use that information to select the tactics that are most likely to be effective in your market. For some areas, billboards are effective because residents are sitting in traffic or driving by frequently. For less densely populated areas, you might find that newspapers or direct mail are more effective. Online marketing tactics, such as email and banner ads, can work in both large and small markets.

So, how do you choose? How do you execute those tactics?

Simple. Refer the the modules below from ZCorum’s Marketing Manual:

Keep Tweaking

Nobody gets creates a perfect plan on the first try. Your plan is going to need adjustment.

As you try different tactics to promote your services, remember to keep checking those results against the goals in your marketing plan. If something isn’t getting the results you want, try something else. If something is working well, try doing more to see if results continue to improve.

Whenever you learn something new or the situation in your market changes, make a note in your plan. Keeping track of your activity will make your future planning sessions easier.

Need Help?

If you have a question about creating a marketing plan or choosing promotional tactics for your market, leave us a note in the comments section below.