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How to Create a Marketing Plan
in Under 60 Minutes
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Yes, 2022 has arrived even during challenging times, and "The Credential" has decided to jump start 2022 with encouragement and ideas for an easy straightforward proven path to grow your A/E/LA/C business. We welcome back Bill Brelsford founder and CEO of He is teaching us a simple successful strategy to achieve business growth whether you are part of a small, medium or large practice. Try it...what have you got to lose?! 
It's both a blessing and a curse.
There's never been a time when Architects, Engineers, and Landscape Architects have had more ways to get the word out about their services.
It's easy to become overwhelmed by so many options.
Worse yet, it's easier to fall victim to the "marketing idea of the week" as we search for something, anything, that will work for us.
Today, I want to share a simple process that you can use to break through the overwhelm and create a marketing plan customized to the needs of your firm.
And do it in about an hour.
First Things First
Before we begin crafting our plan, let's think about our marketing goals.
Boil it down to the bare essentials. There are four actions you need to take to grow your business.
First, you need to get the attention of your perfect future clients.
Next you need to capture the contact information of those people who "raise their hand," indicating they are interested in your services so that you can...
Make one or more offers. It's a common mistake to think that the only offer professional service firms make is their primary sales presentation or proposal. Whenever we ask somone to exchange time, money, or other assets for value, we are making an offer.
Last but not least, we need to follow up. Multiple studies have shown that when people inquire about a product or service:
  • 3% are ready to make a purchase
  • 47% will purchase within 18-24 months
  • 50% never buy
If we don't follow up, we ignore the majority of the people who will eventually buy what you offer - just not from you.
Here are those four steps again in a handy acronym, ALOF.
  • Attention
  • Lead Capture
  • Offer
  • Follow-up
I'll come back to ALOF in a minute.
There are almost as many ways to create a plan as ways to market your business.
I like to use a simple Now-Where-How thinking model.
Now - where are we (what are we doing) now?
Where - do we want to be in the future (next month, quarter, or year)?
How - will we close the gap between Now and Where?
Sort of like gap analysis with a prioritized action plan (as you will see below).
Putting Them Together
Combining ALOF with the Now-Where-How model gives us an easy way to:
  • evaluate our current marketing efforts
  • create a new marketing plan to bring us closer to our goals
Here's how:
Step 1 - Grab a piece of paper (or make a copy of this Google Sheet) and draw four columns. Label them A. L. O. F.
Next, list the activities you are actively doing for each category. For example, how are you attracting attention? Are you:
  • Advertising?
  • Posting on social?
  • Blogging?
  • Podcasting?
  • Orchestrating referrals?
  • Giving presentations, webinars, or other forms of public speaking?
Do the same for the other columns on your worksheet. List:
  • all the ways you are capturing leads
  • the offers you make to prospects, existing clients and past clients
  • all the ways you follow-up on the different offers you make
Step 2 - Give yourself a score based on how effective your marketng is in each category. Use a scale from 1-5, 1 being negligible results and 5 being it's working like gangbusters.
Step 3 - Choose a time frame for your next review/planning session. I recommend doing this quarterly or monthly. Most of my clients revisit their plan quarterly.
Return to your worksheet and write down the score you would like to have at the end of the time period you selected in the previous step.
Step 4 - Calculate the gaps between where you are and where you want to be for each column. Prioritize the gaps.
Step 5 - Determine the best next step you can take to begin to close your highest-priority gaps.
Eating the Elephant
I believe it was Desmond Tutu who said:
"There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time."
That's excellent advice for breaking through overwhelm and tackling any daunting task you face.
Use the framework outlined above to simplify your marketing planning process.
And help you determine which bite to take next.
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