A marketing strategy is not a single marketing activity but a series of tactics strung together in an organized process. The purpose of a strategy is to initiate, develop, and consummate a business relationship. Ideally, marketing strategies are implemented as very focused campaigns with the intention of attracting new clients.

Often marketing strategies are looked upon as activities where you put yourself out there and hope you get some results. For instance, networking, speaking and publishing are all marketing strategies, but they can be done in an aimless way that produces little results, or in a very intentional way that produces consistent results.

To understand Marketing Strategies better, we need to go back to Marketing Ball. Marketing Ball is the game or process you use to implement a strategy. Let's review the steps of marketing ball.

Locker Room - This is where you develop your marketing message and your marketing materials. This is learning the rules and the plays, and suiting up for the game so that you are ready to interact with prospects. If you are not prepared with the basics, you'll have a tough time playing. The fundamentals are all about communicating about your services with clarity and impact.

Home Plate - This is where you start playing the game by finding prospects to interact with. Your first step is always to find and develop affiliations, such as professional groups, where you are not seen as a stranger. Then you have the opportunity to communicate to those you are affiliated with (using your marketing message) and generate some attention and interest. Once you do, you're on First Base.

First Base - This is where you've made an initial connection, through a personal meeting, or perhaps through your web site. You've made an impression of some sort and you now need to work at developing the relationship.

Familiarity, Information and Experience - This is the baseline between first base and second base. This is where most of the marketing happens and where you implement the heart of your marketing strategies. This is a process of getting known, building trust, providing information and giving more of an experience of yourself and your services.

Second Base - This is where the selling process takes place. Selling happens under favorable conditions where the prospect is ready to explore working with you. This may be a phone conversation or an in-person meeting. Selling conversations ideally result in prospects deciding to work with you and becoming clients.

This is the framework for every single marketing strategy. Up to this point, we've worked on much of the foundation of marketing and given you the information and tools to build that foundation. Let's quickly review that foundational information again.

Marketing Ball - The Game of Marketing that we've just outlined above.

Marketing Mindset - Developing the most effective attitudes for effective marketing.

Marketing Syntax and Message - Learning the language of marketing that results in attention and interest from prospects.

Marketing Conversations - What to say once you have the attention of a prospect so that you can move them to the next step.

Marketing Currency - The written and online marketing materials that engage a prospect, moving them closer to a selling conversation.

Selling Conversations - The interactive sales process in which a prospect converts to a client.

Once you are grounded in this marketing foundation, you have everything you need to start to develop and implement strategies.

In developing any strategy, you need to create a plan of action that sets the direction of the strategy and the steps to implement it. For each marketing strategy you'll be following this outline:

Strategy - The outreach activity you'll use

Target Market - Your ideal clients

Purpose/Objective - The main result you want to get by using this strategy

Intended Results - Other results you'd like to achieve as well

Materials Required - Especially written materials

Resources Required - Time, time, people

Heart of Plan - The main activity of this strategy, I.e., giving a talk

Call-to-Action - What you want your prospect to do

Basic Game Plan - How you'll roll this out and make it work

Timeline - Steps you'll take and when you'll do them

Make sure to get the Marketing Plan Workbook

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