1. What is marketing?

I quit working for big companies in 2003 and started freelancing. I was lucky, and I found my first two clients right away. They are the best clients I've ever had, and I still work with them. However, two clients are not enough to make a thriving business and feed my ferrets. So, I had to find more clients. I started thinking about marketing and quickly became nauseated.

Read more: 1. What is marketing?

5. Write your company's profile

The company profile is an important part of a marketing plan. A company's profile is the story about the company. It gives a brief history of your company and list your company's capabilities, products, and services.

Read more: 5. Write your company's profile

10. Pulling it all together

Which tools are you really going to use? Copy them to a list in order of priority. Fill in the costs to create your budget. Is there an initial cost that isn't repeated again? Put that number in the initial cost column. 

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6. Write your client profile

A customer profile is a description of your customers that includes demographic information, geographic information, what your customers want and really need, and how likely they are to buy.

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2. Why go through the marketing planning process?

Marketing is a matchmaking process that takes your products or service and find people who actually need them. Marketing is a win-win proposition, when done correctly and ethically. It takes a little planning, and that's where the marketing plan comes in.

Read more: 2. Why go through the marketing planning process?

7. Research your customer profile

Some people or companies might know off the cuff exactly what their customers are like. A client profile might be easy. Others have to do some research. Even if you think you know your clients, it's not a bad idea to do the research. Here are some tools.

Read more: 7. Research your customer profile

3. Marketing plan building blocks

A marketing plan is built of many pieces, or building blocks. You can start writing your marketing plan at any of the pieces, or building block you want. The important thing is that you start writing, not where you start. If you want to write the marketing plan in a specific order, this is a good one.

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8. Identify SWOT

Identifying your company's strengths and weaknesses can help you locate your opportunities and strengths.

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4. Write your mission statement

A mission statement is like the objective block on a person's resume'. It's philosophical. It's short. If it is done well, it's a great part of the marketing plan. If done poorly, you might be better off not including it. As a result, like the objective on a resume, some people think it is crucial to the final product (the marketing plan) and some people think it is not a big deal.

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9. Marketing tools

There are a lot of tools available for marketing, and it's important to match the advertising tools you use to your target clients. For instance, it wouldn't make sense to dress a college student up in a costume and have them dance on the corner of the street to market your business, unless your dancing college student was at a conference of your target audience.

Read more: 9. Marketing tools