Strategic Launch Sequence

The beginning of a New Year marks a time when everyone is goal orientated. This can involve getting organized, re-evaluating product or service development, and launching new products and/or services.

Launching new products, services, and events is exciting, but you should be strategic about it.

Organizing your launch or release via strategic promotional efforts includes:

  1. Release – determine your release date, then work backwards to establish your promotional start date
  2. Content – know all the details of your product or service in order to create valuable promotional content
  3. Audience – defining and understanding your target market will help to improve promotional results
  4. Plan – be strategic in your promotional efforts by creating a plan and calendar that outline your activities and efforts
  5. Record – take good notes on your activities and the outcomes in order to improve the success of your next launch

Promotional avenues can include blogs, social media, e-newsletters, print newsletters, press releases, posters and flyers, radio interviews, TV interviews, a web page or splash page, a release party, affiliate marketing, and good old fashion word of mouth and networking.

Timing these activities can be crucial, especially if you want to offer special discounts for early subscribers or pair it with any other programs.

Consider a minimum of 6 weeks when planning a launch sequence for any new product or service. Ideally, you would have 8 to 12 weeks for promotion and marketing.

An example of an 8 week schedule for an email campaign or launch is as follows:

Email sequence for a product launch

Of course much of your strategy and the promotional avenues you choose in your launch sequence come from knowing your customers and ideal client profile.

Proper planning yields proper, successful results.

Do you have examples of successful promotional activities, or stories of launches that have not gone as planned?

5 Ways to Identify Ideal Clients

Do you know who you want to work with? Have you defined your ideal client?

Target MarketAs you grow your business, you will be more effective and satisfied with your work if you spend more time on what you consider ideal clients and less and less time on everyone else.

So, who is your ideal client?
What do they look like? How old are they? Are they male or female?
What TV shows do they watch, radio shows do they listen to, and magazines do they read?
Where do they buy their clothes, eat dinner, and spend their down time?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help make your marketing efforts much more effective. It will help you set your target market and direct your steps toward gaining ideal clients every time.

A great way to start figuring out the answers to these questions is to look at your past and current clients.  Determine the clients that have been the best to work with and why.

Consider the following in your analysis:

  1. Communication – what is the nature and means of the communication with the client? Are they direct or indirect? Do they prefer email, phone calls, or in person conversations?
  2. Demographics – what is the clients’ age, gender, education level, geographic location, etc…
  3. Personality – is the client an introvert or extrovert? Are they a leader or a follower? Do they tend to listen or talk?
  4. Strengths – what are the clients’ strengths and weaknesses? What are their interests? Are they organized and detail orientated or creative?
  5. Work – also consider the scope and nature of the work that you are performing for each client, as this can be a factor in the relationship – this may lead you to refine your niche.

Then analyze what your best (and worst) clients may have in common. This will give you a very insightful view into your ideal client persona. You may also consider conducting a survey of your current clients to see what they have in common.

Once you’ve determined the profile of your ideal client, go after them! Working with these people will improve your business and your outcomes. While you should remain focused, this is not set in stone; your ideal client may change as your business grows or changes so remain flexible.

An example of understanding our ideal client persona comes with the new collaboration that we have formed with Luma Coaching. We recognize that our ideal clients tend to be those who have business coaches, so it seemed obvious that we should partner with a business coach.

What have you done or will you do to identify and attract more of your ideal clients?

Image courtesy of jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

10 Trade Show Prep Tips

Trade Show BoothTrade Shows are an amazing way to market, network, and sell your products and services. When going to a trade show, having a project timeline will amplify sales and marketing efforts as well as put the best possible face on your business. This also allows you to test the market in a public forum and gather much needed feedback.

At a trade show, you can gather intelligent marketing information about your competition, directly contact and show your product or service to potential buyers, and save valuable time and money by reaching prospects without having to rely upon individual meetings and demonstrations.

Here are some tips for preparing for a trade show (starting 4+ weeks before the event):

  1. Organize your information in a binder or folder (virtual or physical), keeping phone numbers, schedule, and any other information in one place.
  2. Prepare a project timeline as soon as you book the show, with a checklist for easy preparation. See the Helpful Tools list below to find online checklists and calendars which will help you stay organized.
  3. Obtain a list of attendees and learn about those contacts you are interested in. Researching the audience and other participants ahead of time in order to prepare for questions and have relevant material will bring you in direct contact armed with info you need. Nothing beats a face to face meeting.
  4. Ask questions of the event management, such as what is provided with the booth, and the booth dimensions. Ask if there will be wi-fi capability, water, and other needs you may require.
  5. Organize your marketing materials; business cards, brochures, banner, your website, and any presentations.
  6. Create a way to collect information from people: names, phone, email, etc… Having a “give away” item is a great way to entice people to give you this information.
  7. Prepare the booth and demonstration materials. Having promotional items such as key chains, pens, etc… and using decorations to draw attention to your booth.
  8. Bring a digital camera to document the event for your website and blog.
  9. Tweet or comment on Facebook from the event.
  10. Have a follow-up plan to reconnect with people you met or collected contact info from.

Use checklist tools to keep your project organized. These services are free and are accessible through your phone as well as your computer. Some great checklist and task list tools are:

Remember the Milk
Toodledo
Workflowy
Todoist

There are wonderful marketing material web sites and tools readily available to help you create business cards, fliers, questionnaires and more:

Vista Print
123Print
iPrint

The most important part is to follow up with potential clients after the trade show. Sending an email to thank your new contacts for stopping by your booth, and let them know that you will be in contact shortly is a great way to start.

Please contact Office Solutions ME today for more assistance in setting up your trade show, creating marketing materials and copywriting, or for any virtual assistance you may need.

Plus, check out the upcoming trade show training program being offered by the Maine Small Business Development Center.