Do you have a communications plan?

For those who have ever worked in the corporate world, you may be wanting to close this post down now and ignore it completely. Don’t worry, I am not talking about creating a boring, formal communication plan. I am talking about creating a plan that you can refer back to any time you start getting lost or sidetracked with your marketing. A plan that you can pass onto a VA or any other contractor to carry out work for you and know that your brand message will still stay the same. Once created, this plan will save you so much time.

A great place to start with this type of simple communications plan is to start with your ideal customer. Do you know who they are and how they like to interact?

First, think about your business goals, what is it you want to achieve? Do you want a huge database, a big social media following, to make more sales or to build brand awareness with the goal of making sales later?

Now with your goal in mind and your ideal customer start thinking about how they like to be communicated with, what type of voice [conversational, direct, short and sharp facts] do they want to hear? This is the way you will communicate going forward. You may be a very social person and want to have that chatty banter in your emails, social media posts etc but if your ideal customer wants their information quickly and matter of fact – then that’s how you provide it. This is why many people outsource their newsletters and social media once they can afford too – it’s not easy changing your communication style!

You will also need to consider the frequency of your communication – how often does your ideal customer want to hear from you? Do they need to see the odd post popping up throughout the day to cheer then up or give them a welcome distraction via social media or do they only want to hear from your once a week via a newsletter that they can decide when and where to open.

When they contact you via email or on social media, how quickly do they expect a response? Are they happy to wait 24 hours or do they expect to hear from you immediately. A good rule of thumb is to try and respond to all social media and emails within 4 hours of receiving the notification although if something is sales related, the quicker the better to get that impulse buy. Obviously this is not always possible, especially when you are juggling children and working from home.

Where is your ideal customer looking for you? Do you need to be on social media or are you better putting your efforts into another form of marketing? Social media can be very time consuming and if your audience isn’t there, are you better off putting that time into blogging or newsletters?

This document is also a good place to store your logo, colours, fonts and any other information about your brand as any staff members or external stakeholder will have all the information they need at their fingertips to take over your marketing if you get too busy to do it yourself. It is also a useful document to have to give to graphic designers to use as part of their briefing.

Remember always write everything down, if it’s not written down it’s too easy to get distracted.

You can compile this information any way you want to. In my workshops we have a formal document we add too throughout the day but I have also had clients who use a simple word document or hand written in a notebook. It is completely up to you how you prefer to work and store your information.

Do you have a document like this?