Caution: Marketing without a plan may lead to business failure.

According to Winston Churchill: "He who fails to plan, is planning to fail.”

The steps below for how to write a marketing plan presume that you have already done the important work of determining your niche, identifying your perfect clients and analyzing your strengths and weaknesses when compared to the competition. In addition, you should have already established your goals and intentions for the next 12 month period.

The purpose of the marketing plan is to provide direction for your marketing activities so that you can achieve or exceed the goals and intentions that you set. It’s a roadmap to keep you focused and in action. Without action, your goals are just dreams. If you don’t know how to write a marketing plan, follow the five steps listed below.
How to Write a Marketing Plan:

1. Determine the marketing strategies that you are going to employ to achieve your goals. For example, you might decide to grow your online presence as one of your strategies for the year. That strategy will be used as an example as we work through the “how to write a marketing plan” steps.

The best strategies provide direction, a time frame, and a means for measurement. So instead of just saying the strategy is to grow your online presence, you would say, for example, that by the end of the year you want to grow your newsletter subscribers to xxx number, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In friends to a specific number each, and improve the ranking of your blog to a certain number.

2. The next step is to determine what tactics you are going to undertake for each of your strategies. For example, what tactics will you use to grow your online presence – will you blog, create and post videos, write articles, email newsletters and press releases, use social media, or a combination of the above? Select the tactics that resonate with you and are proven to get the results that you are looking for from your efforts.

3. Once you’ve determined your tactics, you need to schedule them throughout the year. Some tactics might be done annually, for example you might host a tele-summit once a year. Others might be quarterly, such as online press releases, and some might be monthly, weekly or even daily, such as posting to social media sites.

I encourage my clients, especially those that want to be perceived as experts in their field, to be strategic in their online efforts by choosing a theme for each week, based on a keyword or two. That way they can create all of their online efforts for that week around the keywords. For example, their blog posts, weekly video, and posts to social media would all be about the subject for the week. To get a better understanding of how you could use this technique to increase your bottom line, visit my website and download the FREE tool, entitled Monthly Online Visibility Worksheet. You can use a worksheet such as this for other marketing strategies as well. Contact me if you’d like more information about how to use this form.

4. The next step in how to write a marketing plan is to implement your plan and follow through. Many entrepreneurs enjoy the planning process but then fail to implement their plan. If you find yourself procrastinating when it comes to taking the actions you have chosen and scheduled, don’t wait - seek help. Perhaps there’s something holding you back that a sales coach could help you discover and release or possibly get into action by joining a mastermind group that holds you accountable to your plan.

5. The final step is to measure and analyze your results every month. By consistently reviewing your results, you can see what needs to be tweaked and/or what’s working well for you. Remember, however, that the key in marketing is consistency, so don’t be too quick to abandon something that isn’t giving immediate results.

Use this five step How to Write a Marketing Plan process to keep yourself in action moving daily towards your goals. This will ultimately increase both your satisfaction with your business and your bottom line.

Author's Bio: 

Pat Altvater partners with solo entrepreneurs to implement a sales and marketing process and plan that brings them joy and increases their bottom line. She is the author of Choose Success - Ignite the Power Within and President of Transformations Institute. Teaching women to embrace personal growth and success in a FUN, joyful manner is her mission which she accomplishes with group presentations, accountability circles, and coaching as well as through her books and blogs, numerous products, and monthly videos.