Strategic marketing plan part 2 (where to start)
This is part 2 on a series of articles about strategic marketing strategy. Part one can be found here: Strategic Internet Marketing Strategy Part 1 (introduction). This part is going to go over some basic stuff so you super affiliates out there probably won’t need to read this. If you’re not making over 5K$ every day, then this article might teach you a thing or two.
Where to start? Well that depends on what stage your marketing plan is in right now. If its old and rusty with cobwebs all over it, then you might as well forget everything in it. If you have a plan but instead of bringing in customers it’s turning them off and scaring them away, you might want to consider completely destroying your plan and burying it six feet in the cold ground. Ok, seriously now, the first thing that you really need to figure out is your business model.
What the hell is that you may wonder…the business model is basically how you plan on actually generating income. Check out this great list of online business models. With a grocery store their business model is to: One, run a store with employees. Two get customers to frequent the store. And three sell groceries for a profit. And four buy more groceries to resell. This is the basic retail model that all retail stores are based around. So are you going to be a drop-shipper? Are you going to become an affiliate? Will you sell your own products? Ultimately to become successful you’ll end up using a mix of different business models, but you gotta start somewhere. Each different way you earn money or each business model will need a different marketing plan. After all your customer will go through a very different process of thought and decision making if they are buying something that costs lets say 999$ verses filling out a free car insurance quote. Here is an overview of the different business models that I like. I’ll link to it here when I write it.
So once you figure out your business model, then you’ll have to decide what your budget is going to be. Today it is impossible to run a completely free sustainable online career with out some sort of cost. Woah! I see you shaking in your boots! Or if you’re wearing what I’m wearing I see you shaking in your pajamas. Don’t worry, I’m not talking about major expenses. I got into internet marketing because of the almost non-existent overhead costs. Right now at this moment in time I spend about twenty five dollars a month on all my essential internet expenses (excluding my cable bill). I bet you spend more on coffee or gas. In the beginning I would say it’s a good idea to have 300 a month to spend. I started with 5 dollars a month budget, but the bigger you budget the faster you can grow your business. Read more about choosing a budget .
Lastly you need to choose your niche. What’s this another vocabulary word! Yes, unfortunately you actually have to learn this stuff. It’s not like the college courses that teach you useless crap that you take for your “degree.” (never-mind my tangents) A niche is the field that you are going to focus your marketing plan on, and it’s also the category of products you will be promoting. For example weight loss, or car insurance, or car parts for the XK400 Toyota ( I just made that up). Niches can be broad or narrow. When you’re starting out the smaller the niche the better usually, because it’s easier to start generating some kind of income. There’s usually less competition in small niches too.
As corny as it may sound the best practice is for you to choose a niche that you have a passion for. As long as the niche is going to stick around and has some commercial value, and you have passion for it, I say go for it. But don’t choose something like “doing fancy paper cut out’s” or movie trailers because nobody is going to spend chunks of cash on these subjects because they have low commercial value. I’m sure you could profit off of these but I doubt you’ll make a living. Read more about choosing a niche.
Ok, now that you have you niche, budget and business model. You can start getting nitty gritty. I’ll be putting a link to different tutorials on things like setting up your website and that sort of stuff. But since this is about your marketing plan these three things are what you need to decide on then you can figure out what to do next.