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BBP 062: How to Create an Effective Marketing Strategy with Doreen Vanderhart


Your marketing strategy should be more than just a checklist you take care of each week. If you don’t know why you are doing something, it’s meaningless. Listen in to this week’s episode, to find out the basic things you need to build a true marketing strategy. 

Guest Info

Doreen is a designer and strategist who inspires and empowers you to create marketing that your customers will love—igniting real results for your brand. Her team works with small businesses worldwide and specializes in teaching and implementing down-to-earth marketing. She’s thrilled (really, actually thrilled) to run through some of her favorite social media strategies so you can stop spinning your wheels and get traction in your marketing. Learn more about Doreen at her site.

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[00:00:07].620] – Liz Stapleton, Host

When it comes to marketing, you probably have a list of tasks that you check off every week. Well taking care of this to do list doesn’t do you any good without a marketing plan and strategy to back it up.

[00:00:17].320] – Liz

Hi, I’m Liz Stapleton from and host of the Blogger Breakthrough Summit. Welcome to the Blogger Breakthrough Podcast. Today, I’m sharing knowledge dished out by marketing strategist Doreen Vanderhar during the 2021 Blogger Breakthrough Summit. Let’s jump in.

[00:00:31].000] – Doreen Vanderhart

A marketing to do list is not a strategy unless it all works together to turn your community into paying clients. So tactics are kind of, like I said, it’s like your engagement, how many followers, the new features, all the things that are constantly rolling out can be extremely overwhelming, and it can be very hard to keep up. Those are tactics. So the strategy is kind of the foundation underneath it. So I always look at this kind of like an ice cream cone, where the tactics are the sprinkles.

[00:00:58].010] – Doreen

Like, they’re great to have. They’re delicious, they’re lovely, but they’re not the most important thing. So you want to get the ice cream in the cone first, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. So we’re not going to get into the specifics on a lot of tactics because those change every freaking second. So, we’re not even to get into that. We’re going to get into the foundation. That’s the most important part. Once you have a handle on that, the tactics are like the sprinkles, and you can just kind of do what works for you and what feels for you, good for you. And I promise it will work

[00:01:28].180] – Doreen

First thing we’re going to step way back to the very, very, almost before the beginning. But this is something that probably doesn’t pop into your head when you think about your marketing plan. But it’s the most important part that is your client experience. So at the end of the day, this is what really matters. You can spend so many hours and so many dollars on marketing or on your social media. But if your client experience sucks, honestly, you’re not going to get anywhere.

[00:01:55].950] – Doreen

Whereas on the other side of the coin, if you have a really impeccable client experience, people are going to be shouting your name from the rooftops. You’re going to get referrals. You’re going to get that word of mouth you haven’t even opened to social media app. You haven’t had to stress about it for a second. And you already have a marketing strategy in place. So best marketing strategy ever is to, truly from the heart…I know it sounds corny. It totally is. I’m all about that, is to care about your client and the people that you work with.

[00:02:22].820] – Doreen

And I should even say, not even your client. But if you’re on social media or anything like that, about your readers. Like whether they’re going to buy from you or not, you have your perfect fit person. Really, just put yourself in their shoes and do whatever you can to be helpful. We’ll get into that stuff later. But really, it comes down to caring about your person.

[00:02:45].330] – Doreen

So, once you’ve done that, once you do know that you have a really good client experience, and I know that nothing is ever perfect, but, you know, knock their socks off as much as you can. Then you want to do the stuff that you think of when you think of marketing.

[00:02:58].370] – Doreen

So let’s jump into that. The first thing that we always, always start with is goals. So the first thing that we’re going to do with our goals is kind of, I guess, a gut check. So what you want to do is you want to jot down what you’d like to see more of and less of in your life. So legit, just two columns like more and less, some things that are overwhelming you or things that you would like to opt out of go in the less column, obviously. And the things that you want to lean into going the more columns.

[00:03:24].560] – Doreen

So what do you want your life to look like? Because if you’re not thinking about that when you’re creating your goals…that’s the most important part. So make sure that you are really looking at what you want your actual life to look like and not just at your financial business goals or the impact that you want to make things like that. But just like the day to day little minutia that you want your life to look like, we need to make sure that we’re checking in with ourselves on that stuff.

[00:03:53].330] – Doreen

The next thing, we’re going to get a little bit more technical and a little bit more business. We want to look at the last twelve months. So the first thing that you need to check is what drove the most revenue. Yeah. What was the biggest income driver in your business? And then the second thing, like revenue and profits can be two very different things. So make sure that whatever is driving revenue is actually profitable as well, because we just need to make sure that we’re aligned on those two things.

[00:04:20].400] – Doreen

And then you want to look at the other side of the coin, too. What about the least revenue? So I know as entrepreneurs, you can have a lot of ideas, and some of them are awesome. And some of them, they feel awesome at first, but then they don’t really land the way that we want them to land. But it can be very easy to get attached to those goals. And I’m speaking from personal experience here. So look at those things. Like, what is not driving revenue in your business?

[00:04:45].710] – Doreen

How much effort does it require? Like if it’s costing you a lot of your bandwidth and it’s not really driving revenue? Maybe it’s time to let it go. Yeah. I know. It can be emotionally attached to these ideas. But maybe you can let it go for now and revisit it in three months or six months or a year. But maybe now it’s just not the time for that particular offer. So then once you have that information and of course, there’s going to be stuff in between, but just kind of evaluate what’s working and what’s not working, then you want to use that information to break down your offerings for the next little bit.

[00:05:17].910] – Doreen

So some people are really good at setting five year goals or one year goals or doing the big picture stuff. And some people that’s a lot to bite off. So I say look at at least the next three months and then kind of have a general idea of the next year-ish if you can but do what works for you, obviously. So you want to break out the next three to twelve months. And here’s what you want to look at. So you want to first look at you actually want to first look at what your sales goal is, how much money do you need to or want to make in the next three to twelve months.

[00:05:51].870] – Doreen

Then you want to look at your offer and the price of that offer. And then, you’ll know, once you have those three things, you’re going to know exactly how many of your offer you’re going to need to sell in order to make the revenue that you want to make. And then again on number four and five revenue. You need to look at that, obviously. But also make sure that you’re not forgetting about your take home pay because you need to make sure that you are being compensated for all of your hard work.

[00:06:14].400] – Doreen

Absolutely. So very important. So then this is going to give you a really good idea of what your goals actually are. That’s a really good place to start. So once you have that, then we are going to look at the seasonal shift in your business. So you want to take note of any important dates. And this is also applies to your life. Right. So if you want to take a vacation on a certain day, make sure that you you’re making note of that when you’re creating your marketing plan, you want to look at national holidays, launches, promotions.

[00:06:42].680] – Doreen

Like if you have any seasons that are particular busy for selling, maybe you’re super busy in the summer and it dies off in the winter or the other way around. Maybe Christmas is really busy or fall. If you’re a photographer, fall is really, really busy. So just depending on your industry and what you do, you’re going to have seasons that are, you know, a little more packed than other ones. So one thing for the year at a glance is that I do is that I actually have it jotted down.

[00:07:09].090] – Doreen

You can see it’s a total disaster. But I write down the kind of vibe that’s happening for my perfect fit customer at any point in time. So I know that on the third week of June, the mom’s already to throw dog treats and their kids lunches because they’re so ready to just be done with all of it. September is like a mini New year. It’s really a fresh start. It’s really like a mini New year for a lot of people that are in business. On September 27, the leaves are perfect in Southern Alberta where I live.

[00:07:43].210] – Doreen

You know, just like making note of all the things that are happening, this is going to be hard to do right out the gate. You’re going to have a general idea, but make sure you keep track of this throughout the year and you are going to have this is marketing gold for you. Like, the longer you do this, the better it is. So, I definitely recommend just printing off a piece of paper and keeping the handy. I always have this sitting on my desk, like, for years and it’s been really good because I can be very proactive about what’s happening in my clients’ life.

[00:08:12].680] – Doreen

Instead of waiting for the feeling to come and then addressing it then or even missing it all together.

[00:08:18].300] – Liz

Alright, I hope Doreen’s tips gave you some ideas on how to craft your own marketing strategy. Be sure to join me next time when we take a look at how to grow your community effectively. I’ll catch you next time!

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