Virtual Assistants – do you have a marketing plan?

This is an extract from the 30 Day VA Challenge by @HelenStothard

I know you are only just setting up but you do need a marketing plan. Even more importantly, you need to stick to your marketing

Social media logos

Social media logos (Photo credit: macloo)

plan.

Now don’t panic and think I am suggesting you embark on expensive ad campaigns. I would hope by now you realise that I only suggest spending money when you can afford it and when it is justified.

Marketing is not just about advertising. Marketing is everything that you do to make people aware of your business. We’ve covered various aspects of it over the various challenges including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Networking and Newsletters.

Marketing is you telling people what you do and what you can offer.

If you have a budget that you can spend on marketing you need to make sure that it is written into your cash flow projection. I know a lot of companies who never allow for marketing when they write their budgets and react to situations depending on the cash flow at the time.

Look at the various events that take place in your area. Are there conferences you need to attend? Trade shows you could attend as an exhibitor? Networking events you can participate in? Write all of these into your marketing plan.

Next look at the costs that are involved with each event and ensure that they are in the relevant month on your cash flow projection and that, most importantly, you can afford to participate.

Now look at when you should start promoting your attendance or participation in these events. What do you need to take with you? Business cards, promotional materials etc.

You need to ensure that you order these in sufficient time and at a time when you can afford to purchase them.

Now plan your blog posts, tweets, and Facebook mentions for before and after these events. Do you need to send out a press release before or after the event? Ensure that all these dates are included in your calendar.

Look at the blog topics you wish to cover over the coming year and add these into your marketing plan, along with the frequency that you will blog at.

Decide on the frequency of your newsletters and have a rough idea what theme/topic you will have for each one.

Look at the list of events/activity you have already considered and see where you can incorporate these into your blog posts and newsletter activity to complement your marketing message.

You may wish to use video marketing to advertise your business. Again, include this in your marketing plan.

Look at your social media activity and plan this into your marketing plan. Whilst you may be using free resources and social media sites you really need to consider the time you will need to make available to utilise them properly. After all, while you are marketing your business you are not earning money, so even a free resource or activity is still a cost when you take into account your non fee earning time.

Challenge Twenty Eight

This challenge will take several days to do, and should be regularly reviewed in order for it to be of benefit.

I want you to write your marketing plan, and to review it on a monthly basis. Don’t be afraid to adjust your plan as you go along, you will learn what works for you and what doesn’t.

Want the other 29 days, plus extras? Get the Challenge below:

30 Day Setting Up As A VA Challenge - eBook
With the 30 Day Setting up as a Virtual Assistant challenge author Helen Stothard will share her experience of running a successful business and help you over the pitfalls that many start up Virtual Assistant businesses encounter. Out now!

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