They think they can grab a bit of advice here, add a little marketing there, throw in some social media there and poof! - presto magic internet business.
I'm sorry it just doesn't work that way.
Could You Find Your Way Around a Foreign City Without a Map? Imagine you are off to visit a friend you haven't seen in years, and they live in a city you've never been too.
The city is big and you're going by yourself.
So, do you just head off with no map (no GPS either) and no clue where your going and just hope you'll make it there? Of course not! Then why do so many people think it's OK to just head in any direction with their internet business and hope they'll 'make it'? You Need a Strategic Marketing Plan Writing a marketing plan isn't as bad as many people might fear.
I think one of the main reasons most people don't start a marketing plan is because they don't feel like they know enough about internet marketing to make a good plan, or they're not really sure what they want.
While marketing on the internet in many ways is very different from offline marketing, in many ways it's very much the same.
You need to be strategic about your marketing or time will just fly out the window, you'll have tons of 'busy' work but really achieve nothing and you're business won't grow like you want it to.
How to you create an internet marketing plan? Let's assume you've chosen your market, you've got a product or service to sell and now you're ready to get customers or clients.
Here are a few quick action steps to get started on an internet marketing plan: Step 1 - Do a SWOT Analysis - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.
Do a Google search on this and you will find lots of information on how to do this analysis.
It will really get you thinking about your business and make sure you understand what you are good at and where you need help.
Step 2 - Get personal with your target market - Spend a lot of time writing down everything you can about your target market.
Get as personal as you can and really get down to the nitty gritty of what they need, what pains them and how your business can help.
Step 3 - Determine your USP - Your Unique Selling Position - Get very clear on what makes your company different, why should people buy from you? This needs to be an integral part of your marketing plan and materials so get clear on this! Step 4 - Set your prices - Many people get stuck on pricing.
While it is important to research your market here and place yourself accordingly, cheapest is not always the best seller.
Set your pricing and then TEST your pricing to see where your best sales come from.
Step 5 - Marketing Strategy - Here you will write down everything you plan to do to promote your business on the internet.
Put them in order of potential ROI (return on investment).
You want to work on the activities that will give you the greatest ROI first, and then work your way down the list.
Step 6 - Product Distribution - It doesn't matter if you have a service, a physical product or a digital product - it needs to be delivered to your customers or clients.
Make sure you're marketing plan goes into detail on how this will be delivered and evaluated to provide the most reliable and fastest product distribution for your customers.
Step 7 - Testing, Tracking & Improvement - This is the last but certainly not least.
Testing, tracking and making improvements will make you a lot of money.
Don't miss this step.
Look at every product, every process and every promotion to determine how you can easily determine what works for you, what needs work and what you should drop.
Following all seven steps will help get you in the right mindset to be constantly watching your business for flaws, opportunities and areas of improvement.