At the core, marketing is a reflection of your deepest passions and beliefs. It represents who you are. And because you are constantly growing, evolving, and changing as a person, your marketing must follow suit. In short, your marketing strategy is an evolution, just like you are!
I talk to a lot of people about websites. It’s funny, when I tell people I am in marketing, the first thing they ask me is “Do you do websites?”. The conversation most often reveals a dissatisfaction when it comes to the look, feel and content on their website. Can you relate?? I know I can! It begs the question, why have a website if we don’t feel confident sharing it with others? Isn’t that the whole point? YES YES YES!
So before you go jumping into the deep end of the website pool, make sure you are ready for that next step in your marketing evolution. Because here’s the truth about websites… they are a living and breathing part of your marketing strategy and there will always be something to update or refresh on your site. Just like anything in life, the website is not a “set it and forget it” type of thing. You have to be prepared to make working with your website a monthly or weekly ritual, as part of your marketing strategy.
Therefore, marketing is not static, marketing is dynamic by nature.
We have to let go of the belief… “If we build it, they will come”. We have to let go of the expectation that once we put energy into something, it can be done forever. Plants need soil, water and love to grow. Kids need a safe environment to explore, nourishment and love to grow. And your marketing plan (including your website) need fresh ideas, content and love to stay relevant.
Nothing happens overnight, so give your marketing plan space to grow and evolve!
Just like you can’t force a baby to grow into an adult in 2 years, you can’t force your marketing plan to be in its maturity in 2 years! Patience! This is not a race. Before you get overwhelmed and go down the rabbit hole with the old stories…. “I can barely keep up with my business to-dos, let alone my marketing strategy!” “If I have to put time into marketing, I am never going to make it as a business owner.” “I don’t have the resources for marketing”….take a deep breathe.
Those stories are no longer serving you. I do get it though, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all. Here’s the good news…. you don’t have to have it all figured out right now in this moment, nor do you need all the moving pieces right away to be successful. And you probably have done a lot of the foundational work already!!
Let’s break your Marketing Evolution it into stages.
Please consider a few things as you read through these. One, trust your intuition in knowing where you currently are and when it’s time to move and evolve into the next stage. When you know, you know!
Two, remember that no marketing plan or business is the same, so each stage will take you a very different amount of time (more or less) than it takes Sally Photographer. Don’t compare your plan to someone else’s, it’s a huge waste of your creative energy.
Three, before you move onto the next stage, take some time to go through the stages before and make sure they are solid and are updated to your current growth and beliefs. Remember, nothing is “set it and forget it”, so going back to do some clean up and maintenance before moving forward is a must!
Fourth, never forget that this is not a race.
Your focus will be on building your brand, who your audience is, and what you offer. This includes imagery, colors, clarity of offers, creating offers, who you want to serve and how you serve them, and what your overarching message is.
Start the building process of a simple website that reflects your brand and offers. Keep this simple with 4 main parts: Homepage, About, My Offers, Get in Touch. This site does not need to be complicated!
Start working on building and nurturing your email list. You can do this by creating an opt in offer or a newsletter of some sort. Check out this blog for more info on starting your email list.
This is where you will start really focusing on building your free content and sharing it with people, for example starting a regular blog that you are committed to. This will be an easy transition if you have created the habit of writing to your list consistently in the stage above. Take your emails and repurpose them into sharable and consumable blogs!
This will start to build brand recognition and continue to build your email list and sell your offers. In this stage, you are also making sure your offers are easily accessible to people. For example, one click purchase, access to videos or paid content is simple for students, people can learn about your offers without having to search for more than 5 seconds, your onboarding process is a good experience!
PreTeen/Jr. High Stage:
You begin to use advertising to reach more people. Since you have spent years developing a solid foundation of your brand and building your audience, advertising at this stage will be easy and you will not waste a bunch of money like someone who prematurely is using advertising. It is also wise at this stage to start looking for a mentor, coach or course to help you with your advertising efforts!
Young Adult/High School Stage:
You are looking for partnerships and collaborations with others. At this point, you have a lot to offer a brand partnership or a joint effort course launch, so it will be easy to find someone who in exchange, also has a solid foundation and followers to offer to the partnership. This can include, but is not limited to… brand partnerships, podcast interviews, guest experts for courses or offerings, joint effort course launch, co-writing a book.
Full Blown Adult Stage:
This is the best and easiest place to say I am ready to hire this out. I am ready to call in an expert and hand over my marketing vision and plan to them. Why is it easiest here? Because you have clarity and knowledge of all that is included in your marketing plan, so you will not be taken advantage of or waste money on hiring it out. You will also be very ready for some fresh ideas and someone to take a load off of you, so you can focus on some other more important things in your business!
This is not the end all be all of marketing evolution… just a quick reference guide to give you perspective about where you are and where you want to go! I would love to hear from you about where currently are and if this blog gave you any ah-ha moments. Thanks for reading!