How to Promote Your Online Business Like a Boss
Having a clear plan of action helps tremendously. I’m sharing with you today the exact framework I’ve been using for years to grow all sorts of businesses and sales.
I like to call it the No-Fluff Marketing Planner.
It’s a 1-page strategic marketing plan that is simple, yet effective. It will help provide you with clarity and focus on what needs to be done to grow your business.
No more Shiny Object Syndrome!
Grab your free No-Fluff Marketing Planner now.
You can write your own promotion strategy, while you follow along with the post.
You’ve got your planning workbook? Alright, let’s get started.
Plan Your Promotion Strategy 3 months at a time
You can have a big profit objective for your entire year, but when it comes to actually defining your marketing strategy, I recommend working in cycles of 3 months.
Why 3 months?
Who knows what will happen in a year? Yet alone what kind of marketing strategy you’ll need by then…
A 3-month period gives you time to put in place your strategy, measure its efficacy and change course if needed.
If you really want to plan for more than 3 months at a time, by all means, go ahead. In that case, my recommendation is to have a clear plan of action for months 1 to 3, and a more generic view for the following months.
Step 1: Have a Clear Niche, Mission and Value Proposition
To establish a successful promotion strategy, you need to have a strong business foundation. Without this, your marketing results will be moderate at best.
Niche: Who are your customers?
Mission: What is your business mission?
Value proposition: What transformation do you provide for your customers?
Having clarity on your niche will ensure you’re attracting the right audience for your business.
Who is your target market? Be specific. For example, do not say “female entrepreneurs” as that’s too vague. Instead, say 35 to 45-year-old women who are leaving their corporate career behind to become online entrepreneurs and who are passionate about building a business and lifestyle they love.
Where do they hang out? For example, Facebook groups (specify which ones).
What do they struggle with? For example, their main problem is struggling with growing their business to a level that provides a full-time income replacement, without burning out in the process.
It's very important you have a crystal clear understanding of your customers’ struggles. It’s at the core of your business purpose.
If you’re not sure what your audience struggles with, stop reading this post immediately as none of the rest will matter at this point. But don't worry. Head over to my post on How to Read your Customers’ Minds and complete Step 1. Once completed, come back right here.
What is your business mission?
What do you help your customers with?
Here’s a prompt to help you define your mission: I help [who] do [what] by [what].
For example, mine is “I help online entrepreneurs grow subscribers and sales, by making digital marketing simple.”
It should be a short sentence that explains what you do for your customers.
Note that your mission might evolve as your business grows. That’s fine, as it’s the nature of being in business. Do spend time writing your mission, but strive for progression, not perfection.
What transformation do you offer your clients?
How do you help your customers solve their problems?
What are the emotional benefits your business provides your customers?
Consumer psychology research has proven over and over again that purchase decisions are triggered by perceived emotional benefits.
This means that solving customers’ problems is only one piece of the equation.
You also need to appeal to the emotional outcome for your customers.
Here’s a prompt to help you define the transformation you provide your customers.
Current Reality: My audience currently does [fill the blank], because they currently feel that [fill the blank].
Desired Future: If I can help my audience feel that [fill the blank], then they will do [fill the blank].
Step 2: Set your Profit Goal
In the next 3 months, what profit do you want to generate from your business?
I believe that revenue alone is a vanity metric and that the focus should be on profit instead.
Someone with $10,000/mo revenue and 80% expenses & taxes, is left with only $2,000 per month in their pocket. That doesn’t sound that good, right?
Start with a profit goal. Doing so allows me to be more discerning when evaluating income-producing projects and taking on new expenses.
Step 3: Define your Growth Objectives
How will you achieve your profit goal in the next 3 months?
Will you be acquiring 500 new email subscribers?
Will you be enrolling 100 customers in your course?
Will you get 100 of your subscribers to share your giveaway (advocacy)?
Will you be upselling 50 existing customers into your new high-end package or course?
I recommend picking 1 or 2 objectives (unless you have a bigger team supporting you). That’s because the fewer objectives you have, the more focused you’ll be on achieving them.
If you’re trying to do too many things at the same time, you won’t produce exceptional results. Be very focused and deliberate in your efforts, and you’ll see results pay off.
Make sure your objectives support your profit goal (don’t forget to factor in your expenses). If you’re planning on making $15,000, it might mean selling 75 units of your $97 course and 8 coaching packages priced at $975. Breaking it into chunks will make achieving your profit goal more manageable.
Have stretched objectives that are a little bit above what feels realistic to you. It’ll help you push past your comfort limits to achieve the growth you seek.
Make your objectives measurable. Don’t say “build my list”, say “Grow my email list to 1,000 subscribers by [date]”.
Step 4: Define your Strategic Focus
Now that you have your profit and objectives set, how will you be achieving them?
If you’re focusing on building your list
You could for example focus on Content Upgrades, Free Course, Webinars, Pinterest, Facebook Groups, Guest Posting, Live streaming, Free challenge, Giveaways, or YouTube channel. The strategy you choose will depend on your specific niche and where your customers are. Focus on strategies that drive traffic back to your site.
If you’re focusing on monetizing your list
Your strategic focus could be for example on creating an online course or new service packages, or promoting an affiliate product.
If you're focusing on upselling your existing customers
You already have your products and services in place but need to grow your income from your existing leads and customers. You could for example create products & services to upsell to your existing customers, focus on advocacy by asking your customers to share your giveaway, retarget with Facebook ads, or develop an affiliate program for your products.
Don’t take on too many strategies at the same time. Pick the ones that make the most sense for your business and focus on doing them well.
When evaluating your options, consider the following criteria: resources (money and team needed), your skills, and speed to market.
If after trying a strategy to no avail, don’t be afraid to readjust course. For example, when I started I had included a focus on Instagram. Since this channel didn’t yield the traffic I was looking for, I quickly switched gear. I might go back to it in the future, but I have other priorities at the moment that have yield better results for my business.
Step 5: Create your Plan of Action
Now that you’ve selected your strategies, you need a plan of implementation. I like to use an adapted version of the Scrum technique, by chunking my focus in sprints of 2 weeks.
Take the 12 weeks of my 3-month plan and split them into sprints of 2 weeks (so you'll end up with 6 strategic focus).
For example, let’s say you’re a solopreneur focusing on growing your email list via Content Upgrades, Pinterest, Email Marketing, and Affiliate Marketing.
Here’s how you could split them:
Weeks 1-2: Create high-quality, long-form Content with free content upgrades (covering for weeks 1 to 6)
Weeks 3-4: Create free email course and set-up email welcome sequences
Weeks 5-6: Learn and implement Pinterest best practices to grow traffic
Weeks 7-8: Second sprint for high-quality content creation (covering for weeks 7 to 12)
Weeks 9-10: Join affiliate programs of favorite products & services, and put in place a promotion plan
Weeks 11-12: Buffer (for vacation time, catching up and strategic planning of next 3-month cycle)
Your schedule will depend on your circumstances. For example, are you working full-time on your business or is it a side hustle? Do you have help (VA, designer, webmaster, etc.)?
Don’t agonize about what should go when and where. I like to remind myself that “Action kills fear!". The idea is to get started and adjust your sprint schedule if needed. Having a clear plan of action helps give you the confidence in your success.
The important thing is to remain focused on your strategies and move forward. Resist the Shiny Object Syndrome. If your plan doesn’t include Instagram, don’t sign up for a free class on how to grow your Instagram followers… Instead, take note of your idea and include it in your next 3-month cycle. Stay focused on your plan: you only have so much time, so make it count and stay focused!
Step 6: Keep Track of your Success
I like to keep a copy of my Marketing Planner by my desk. It reminds me to stay focused on what matters to grow my business.
As Peter Drucker, the famous business strategist, once said: “What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get improved.”
Note your progress towards your profit goal and growth objectives. It will help you celebrate the wins, or identify tweaks if needed.
Keeping track of your results will keep you on top of your business and move you forward on achieving your growth objectives.
In this post, I have shown you how to efficiently plan your marketing promotion strategy.
By following the No-Fluff Marketing Planner, your objectives, strategies, and plan of action are clearly defined for the next 3 months on 1 concise page!
Having a promotion strategy keeps you focused on achieving your business growth objectives.
Want to connect with other entrepreneurs - just like you - that are ready to use Pinterest to grow their businesses?
Sweeet! I've got just the thing for you.