The ultimate guide to creating a marketing plan
Having a marketing plan is crucial to your business success. Here’s how you can use strategic marketing planning to market yourself as a nutrition professional.
Building a marketing plan can help you narrow your focus and keep you aligned with your ideal budget. While some marketing opportunities may involve an initial investment, there are others that simply require a bit of your time. Let’s dig into how to build a marketing plan, the benefits and the many ways you can market yourself as a nutrition professional.
Why is a marketing plan important?
Strategic marketing planning can help you with:
- Knowing your ideal client. Decide who you want to reach and build your business around that. Consider the products and services you’re offering, as well as your ideal client’s specific goals, disease states (if applicable), geographical location and age.
- Finding the best strategies. Your marketing strategies should be data-driven, so keep track of which ones have been the most lucrative. This can help you streamline your marketing outlets going forward.
- Budgeting needs. Marketing can get expensive. Once you have identified your ideal client and how to reach them, decide what budget makes sense and stick to it.
- Understanding your competition. Spend time researching what other nutrition professionals with similar products and services are offering and how they are marketing to their potential clients. This can empower you to expand on what you have to offer to your clients and strengthen your initiatives.
TIP: For more information on how to best stand out from the competition, check out this article.
What to include in your marketing plan
A marketing plan outlines a strategy that you can implement to generate leads, gain new clients, and reach your target audience. While you can add as many details as you wish, it generally outlines market research, business objectives, marketing goals, an overview of marketing trends, a description of what you’re marketing, a target audience, and financial considerations.
Here’s a general idea of what to include in your marketing plan, and what to consider for each step.
- Mission Statement. What is your vision, mission and your values as a nutrition professional? Understanding this can help you better serve your clients.
- Marketing Objectives. Which methods work best for reaching your clients, and how will you create awareness of your products and services? This will help with brainstorming ways to put yourself out there.
- SWOT Analysis. Determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This aspect of your plan can help you hone in on what your strengths are, how you stack up against the competition and how you can improve on your weaknesses.
- Market Research. What might your ideal client look like in terms of needs and interests, and what is the current demand for what you are providing? This market research can influence your product offering and pricing.
- Market Strategy. What is a specific goal that you are trying to achieve, and what is your timeline? By asking yourself these questions, you can determine certain marketing strategies to make your product or service more appealing.
- Marketing Budget. What does your budget look like for this marketing plan? Having this budget in mind can provide some guidance on what marketing objectives make sense for your business.
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Marketing strategies to consider
There are numerous marketing strategies to consider, but here are a few of the most common ones to consider.
Public relations will continuously develop your relationship with your audience. It is how you communicate with them, share information, the type of information you share and how you convey your mission and values through that communication.
Exposure is key. Building relationships with other professionals and your future clients are strong methods in increasing that exposure. Attending in-person events like conferences, trade shows, webinars and seminars help with building trust and establishing rapport with your audience and your future clients. Including an event marketing plan can be helpful in prioritizing any in-person events that you may attend.
Every event is unique and will have a unique audience. It is important to choose these events wisely to make sure it is worth your time and expense. The right event can widen your reach and provide more direct contact.
The internet has a wide reach and things like social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization, online webinars, and content marketing can be used to connect with your future clients and create a community surrounding your content. Once you have created your marketing plan, determine which method of online marketing works best for you.
TIP: How do you know which social media platform is best? Here’s how dietitians can choose.
Advertising might look a bit different these days, but the benefit of moving away from newspaper advertising to advertising on the web is that the reach is far greater.
Facebook and Instagram are great examples of paid advertising. They have a few options that allow you to boost posts and create ads for specific demographics at specific times. Utilizing websites like Yelp and NextDoor can be helpful on a more local level.
As a nutrition professional, you have so much knowledge to offer, so why not offer a few freebies here and there? Creating a one-page, free guide can build trust with your audience and leave them wanting more. You can then direct them to some of the more in-depth resources you have built and sell them directly from your website.
Examples of resources could be learning modules, PDF documents, or instructional videos.
TIP: It's also important to stand out from your competition. Here’s how you can set yourself apart in the nutrition industry and attract more clients.
Speaking and writing opportunities
Finding opportunities to partner with other professionals can be a great way to network, collaborate and reach a larger audience.
Whether it is a speaking engagement at a conference or an interview on a podcast, you can enhance your experience and create awareness of your brand and what you have to offer. You can also sharpen your writing skills and find opportunities to write an article in a magazine or blog that is specific to your expertise as a nutrition professional.
4 tips to start acting on your marketing plan
Now that you’ve created your marketing plan, it’s time to put it into action. Here are four tips on how to get started.
- Create an action plan with timelines. Deadlines can be a powerful thing, but make sure that the deadlines you set for yourself are realistic and achievable.
- Set some realistic goals. Make your goals specific and achievable. Evaluate your goals along the way to make sure that they still make sense for you.
- Choose the right channels for each action. Based on your marketing plan and the data you’ve collected, pick those marketing outlets that serve your business best.
- Plan and create in advance. There’s nothing wrong with creating content in bulk and releasing it based on your schedule.
TIP: Learn 7 things that every entrepreneur should know.
With a little planning, you have the power to create an amazing network and build rapport with future clients. Determining who you are in this space, what values you hold and the mission that you have set out to accomplish with your clients will ultimately drive the direction of your marketing and your message. Having a marketing plan to refer back to will keep you on track, on budget and connected to your audience.
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