You have a dream for your business. You know you can reach it.
But marketing keeps getting on your way. It feels overwhelming or confusing with so many different options and things to consider.
It doesn’t have to be like that. You can understand marketing and make it work for you.
If you don’t feel like you understand how everything fits together in marketing, it’s just because you haven’t learned a “framework” that would make sense to you. When you know a good framework, everything fits together effortlessly.
So, here goes. One framework that can help you. If it doesn’t feel right to you, look for another one that feels better to you.
But if this one makes sense to you, then get comfortable with it, use it, grow your business, and make your dreams come true.
The 30,000-Foot View
A “framework” is essentially a way to understand how all pieces of a topic fit together.
The better you understand the framework, the easier the pieces fit in. And the simpler the framework, the easier it is to understand.
So, here’s a simple 3-step marketing framework. Everything in marketing fits into one of these steps.
When you know the right place for every tactic, consideration, method, strategy, option, and trick, marketing gets easier. A lot easier.
But before we get to the framework, you need to know what marketing really should do. Otherwise the framework won’t make much sense.
Marketing aims to move people closer to buying from you. And people buy your stuff when they feel like they have great reasons to do that.
In other words, your marketing should give people as many compelling reasons to buy from you – or at least pay attention to what you do – as possible.
The framework you’ll learn now – or any other marketing framework – should help you understand how all the different pieces of the marketing puzzle help you do that.
Step 1: Craft Your Value Proposition
This step includes most of the marketing fundamentals.
Develop a clear target customer (description of the kinds of people you’re primarily trying to attract to your business), so you can figure out what ideas would make them want to buy from you.
And analyze your competition, consider your products and services, see what’s good and unusual about you, and what benefits you create, so you can see what makes you the best choice.
In the end, you know the ideas that are most likely to make people want to buy your stuff. That is, you know your value proposition.
Those reasons – your value proposition – is all that your marketing should communicate. When people understand it, they’re as likely to want to buy as they can be.
Step 2: Build a Simple Marketing Strategy
This step includes almost all marketing tactics. Anything that creates results, rather than improves existing results, belongs here.
When you know what ideas you need to communicate with your marketing, you need a way to do it effectively.
By the end of step 1 you already have a specific target customer, so understanding how to get your message in front of them isn’t very difficult. And you know exactly what you need to tell them, so most of the guesswork is already gone.
But the tricky question is, of course, “What kind of a marketing strategy will grow your business the fastest?”
Your marketing strategy should be as simple as possible. If you make it any more complicated than it needs to be, getting results will be unnecessarily difficult.
For example, your marketing strategy could be:
- Write guest posts to grow your email list.
- Provide useful content via email and promote your products and services among the content.
That’s it. You’d still need to learn two things: how to grow your email list with guest posts and how to make sales with email marketing.
But that’s manageable compared to learning how to use guest blogging, email marketing, Facebook, Twitter, AdWords, networking, referrals, and 42 other marketing tactics.
Step 3: Perfect Your Marketing System
This step includes any activities that are focused on improving the results you’re already getting – not creating results from scratch.
For example, this could mean learning to write more effective guest posts – if that was the tactic you used to grow your email list. Or learning to write better emails – if you chose email marketing as one of your tactics.
Or you could do webinars to improve the results you get with email marketing (it’s generally easier to get people to register for a webinar with emails than it is to make sales directly from your emails).
Or you could do some advertising to reach more people in addition to the ones you reach with guest posts.
Or you can look at something even more specific, for example, your opt-in landing page, and find a way to improve its conversion rate.
The point is: when you have a clear marketing strategy, it’s easy to see if and how a specific marketing tactic is worth the time and money it takes to learn and use.
And as long as your marketing strategy is simple enough, figuring out which parts of it require the most attention is easy.
Where to Start if This Makes Sense
If this marketing framework makes sense to you, great! It will help you get clear about what you need to do and have confidence in taking action.
If this framework doesn’t make sense to you, find another one. Marketing is confusing – and even overwhelming – without a framework that you can agree with.
Now, if the 3-step framework made sense to you, start by listing the ideas you have of what would make people want to buy your products and services.
Consider whether your ideas, at least a few of them, are so persuasive that even alone they could compel people to join your email list and/or buy your products and services. If you don’t have at least three ideas that are that persuasive, creating effective marketing messages will be very difficult – no matter how good your strategy is and how well you use any tactic.
If you want to be sure you’re evaluating your ideas correctly, download this quick 5-step exercise that walks you through the process.
And if you have any questions about the framework, ask it in the comments. I’m happy to help.