If you struggle with marketing your business, you’re not alone.  I would guess that a full 97% of companies have no marketing that they have any sense of control over.

The very idea of writing a marketing plan is enough to make your eyes roll and wonder how many pages it will take.  If I told you that you can do it on just 1 page, would that feel better?  In this post, you’re going to get a whole new way of thinking about marketing.

By the time you’ve read every word on this page, a few pennies will start to drop for you.  Do the exercise at the bottom and you’ll have started your marketing plan.  Follow the next 4 posts as well and you’ll have a complete marketing plan for your business that could transform things.

Like the client whose business doubled from £200,000 per month to £400,000 per month, within 12 months, for example.  This is powerful stuff, so pay attention!

Let’s start by giving you a new and easy way to think about marketing…

It turns out that marketing has a lot in common with fishing…

If you fancy a bit of angling, the smart fisherman goes out to catch a specific kind of fish, because he knows that will make his life a lot easier.

With that fish in mind, you need to think about where you’ll find them: in shoals at sea, or in particular pools and lakes, for example.  You’ll also want to know what they’re hungry for – there’s no point trying to catch a white shark with a little worm from your garden!

Next, you want your bait to be the most enticing, mouth-watering tidbit in the water, so that the fish chooses your line and hook, not somebody elses.

Finally, if you really want to catch fish, you’ll put half a dozen lines into the water so that you give yourself an unfair advantage over your competition.

So let’s start writing your marketing plan now, …

Core Marketing Plan Section 1 – Niche

This is the fish you choose to catch for your business, as customers.  The more clearly you target a specific group, the more able you are to talk in their language, about their problems.  This makes it far easier for them to understand you, to relate to your solutions and products.

If you’re a restaurant, are you trying to get people in your local town, or tourists?  Are you after younger people, or the grey pound?  Do you want high income, or students?  All of these factors come into play when you’re thinking about a clear target market.

Remember that for your niche to be worthwhile, you’ve got to be able to find them in worthwhile numbers to make it pay.  There’s no point going after a tiny group of customers with no spending power, for example.

You’ve also got to be sure that there is space for you in the market, too.  The whole point of finding a niche is that you want to specialise and focus on a group that have been a bit neglected.

So for example, if you’re a chiropractor you could specialise in office workers.  Your marketing could talk about the problems of spending so many hours sitting in an uncomfortable chair, using a computer screen.  You could start a blog with tips for being more comfortable around the office.

For the group of people with back pain who work in offices, your marketing would really hit the spot, which is precisely the point.  If they decide they need some help with their back, who will they call?  The specialist for office worker back pain, or the generalist chiropractor?

To complete this section properly, you’ve got to make sure you’ve found a “hungry crowd”.  Here are the four key questions to answer in this part of your plan…

  1. Who are your niche or “chosen fish”?
  2. Where can you find them?
  3. What are they hungry for – what’s their problem or need?
  4. Is there space in the market for you to compete for their business?

Answer these 4 questions clearly and in depth, and you’ve got a powerful start to your marketing plan.  In Part 2 of writing your small business marketing plan, you’ll learn about baiting your hook – that is, how to make your bait the most enticing, tasty meal for the fish you want to catch.  At the end of the series I’ll also be posting a template for your 1 page simple marketing plan.

Oh, and as always, if you’d like some help to get your business on the fast-track, call the number at the top of the page…