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Tagged ‘simplicity‘

The purpose of a simple marketing plan.

trail map by krupp

Why plan?

Nope, I don’t mean this as a rhetorical question. Just think about the amount of paper, time, and brain power wasted on plans destined for drawers and folders, never to be seen again. To save your superb marketing plan from that unfortunate fate, get clear on the why first.

The purpose of planning is not to make a plan.

The purpose is to give you something that actually increases your chances of realizing your intention, and doing it well, with fewer setbacks and detours. It should compel and inspire you to take action every time you look at it, and make it easier to stay on track and follow through because the hard decisions have already been made.

Think of your marketing plan as your trail map – if you have one, you won’t have to bushwhack your way through the shrubbery, hoping you’ll get somewhere.

You’ll also notice the milestones along the way and know when it’s a good time to take a break and when you need to keep pushing.

The case for simplicity in marketing.

I have three main reasons for keeping your marketing plan simple:

One, chances are you’ll get going sooner. When you’re working on an elaborate 279-page plan, it’s tempting to go down the rabbit hole of endless fine-tuning. A solid, simple marketing plan will give you enough direction and inspiration to get going, and not overwhelm you with details and assumptions.

Two, it leaves room for flexibility and adjustments. If the conditions change, or if you discover new avenues you didn’t even have on your radar, it’s easier to adjust a lean, simple marketing plan than a very detailed one (also, it decreases your work-for-naught risk.)

Three, you’re more likely to stay focused. When you stick to the essentials, there are less details and options left to confuse and distract you. Better do two or three things consistently, intentionally, and with style, than 56 half-ass.

Up next: How to draft a simple marketing plan.

Stay tuned – I’m working on a little something for you to help you take the DIY route to marketing planning and design your own trail map. Leave me a note if you’d like me to send it your way when it’s hatched.

Quick and Dirty Website Basics

Last Friday, I gave a super short intro to basic website setup and design as part of a workshop for yoga teachers and studio owners at Shakti House. The idea was to show people what it takes to get a website live, and where to start. Here is what I packed into twelve minutes:

Essential Ingredients
For your sweet and simple website to be live and functional, you need:
– a domain
– hosting
– a design
– some content

Let’s look at each one of them for just a few minutes.

Domain
You can register a domain (your website address) online. Lifehacker has compiled a list of their favorite places to get your domain here. Pick a domain name that is easy to remember and to write (you don’t want to have to spell it every time). A domain typically costs $10-15 per year, but you’ll see lots of lower-price offers for new customers. Sometimes you can get a free domain when you sign up for a hosting plan.

Hosting
This is basically storage space for the files that make up your website. It typically costs $4-10 per month, depending on how many months you pay for in advance. Email me if you’d like me to recommend a couple providers to you.

Design
If you have no design background and are not sure how to best present your content, I’d say just keep your website as simple as possible. Pick a nice, clean theme and add your content.

If you have other materials (business cards, or a flyer maybe), the look and feel of your website should be consistent with those. You can do some super basic DIY branding by setting rules for how you are going to treat colors, fonts, and images. For example, you could decide that you will always use the font St. Ryde in all caps for headlines and Arial for body copy, or that your color scheme will consist of chocolate brown, pistacchio green, and cream.

Side note: With services like Squarespace or Weebly, you get a kind of all-in-one package – you get your templates, hosting service, and domain registration in the same place.

Content
By far the most important aspect of your website is the content. You can have the most gorgeous website, if people can’t figure out what you offer or how to get a hold of you… not much is going to happen beyond them appreciating your sense for aesthetics. Your website should tell people who you are, why you do what you do, what you offer and how it makes their lives better, and how to connect with you and/or accept your offer (sign up for your classes, or buy your hand-made lotion, or do that cleanse…).

If you have any more questions or would like my help with the set-up, head over to my contact form!

Version 0.1

version 0.1 seeds

Hello, beautiful people! My intention for most of my next blog posts is to share questions and ideas that come up in conversations with my clients and allies. The one I’ve heard most often over the last couple of weeks is “Where to start?”

Think version 0.1

Maybe you want to create a marketing plan, or establish your niche, or launch a new product or service. It’s exciting, but also daunting, and you’re not sure where to begin.

In that case, I often suggest “think version 0.1.” What is the smallest workable version of your project that you can create right now? I mean now as in today, this afternoon, without making any big investments, or cancelling all other plans.

Examples

For example, let’s say you are a nutrition consultant toying with the idea of specializing in nutrition for stress management. Right now, you can write a blog post on the topic, or make it the theme of your new newsletter, or add a line about it to your Services page.

Or maybe you want to finally set up a website. You can start with a clean and simple single page that introduces you and your services and gives people a way to get in touch with you.

The benefits of version 0.1

In a nutshell, version 0.1 is the antidote to overwhelm. Here is why:

1. It gets you out of analysis paralysis and into action.
2. You can start getting real feedback on your idea.
3. It gives you the opportunity to test and learn what works.
4. Your full version will likely turn out better than if you jumped right into it.

If you are intrigued and would like some help figuring out what your version 0.1 could look like, feel free to connect with me anytime.

{Photo by CIMMYT on Flickr.}