Graphic designers are in a unique position. You have to be creative, you have to be strategic, and you have to understand the fundamentals of marketing. There is no way around it. However, not many graphic designers know how to create a 1-page marketing plan that will help them achieve their goals with clarity and focus. It’s time for this to change! With Amazon affiliate links to make it easier to buy for yourself, I wanted to share the wisdom I’ve gained from a fantastic resource: The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Alan Dibb.
Why Talk about The 1-Page Marketing Plan?
I wanted to write an article that teaches graphic designers to increase their chances of success as business owners by up to 300%. So, if you read this article with me today, I’m going to talk about something I’ve never talked about in any article before–it’s something I use in my business and it’s made me hundreds of thousands of dollars as an agency owner. This is a process I was really honestly hesitant to share, as it’s so valuable to me and to my continued success, but my goal is to really help you guys make a breakthrough and that’s what matters most. This is something I’ve never shared before that goes back to you documenting your processes, which I have mentioned before. The 1-Page Marketing Plan is a method of documenting your marketing processes and making the best use of the myriad marketing strategies available to graphic designers.
Understanding the 1-Page Marketing Plan Framework
So, in documenting your marketing, you need to understand that you have to have a framework. The frameworks that I’ve learned that I’ve paid that I’ve studied from books and coaches and mentors have really paved the way for me and allowed me to get to where I am today. So, I’m going to share a lot of these things with you on our YouTube channel; that’s what I’ve been happy and successful at—just sharing the stuff that I’m learning along my journey. So, I’m going to continue that by sharing my 1-page marketing plan. Now, the one page marketing plan is a simplified version of what I do for consulting but as a component of my marketing strategy for my clients that have given me a lot of success that have been able to provide a framework that is simple that my clients can understand and that I’m able to sell so once you put something in writing it gives you a 300% increase in chances of having success.
Buy the Book: The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Alan Dibb
Alan Dibb’s marketing planning tool makes it easy to succeed in your branding and graphic design marketing efforts. I’m going to advise you to read that book. That’s where I discovered this marketing plan, and I’d like to go through it in further detail today to explain what it is, how it operates, and how you may put it into action. I wanted to make sure taking the first step is as easy as possible, so the affiliate links in this article take you directly to the book.
Why the 1-Page Marketing Plan Works
So the next thing that’s really important for you to understand before we jump into the marketing plan, is that you have to have a simple plan. That’s what I like about the one-page marketing plan, it’s very simple. And when I explain this to you, you’re going to see exactly what I’m talking about, as you don’t have to over complicate your business. You simplify things, and this cuts down on your learning curve. You cut down on your learning curve by keeping things simple, like focusing on one niche, one offer, and one audience.
Cutting out the learning curve allows you to go a lot faster, and that’s obviously what you want. You want to succeed quickly—you want to have a lot of success—and you want to do so as soon as possible. I took the long road—15 years—to get here, but I’ve now developed processes, systems, and an understanding that will enable me to reach a seven-figure agency level. So this marketing plan is going on for sure to be lots of fun; we’ll go through each part section by section. If you buy the book or watch the video above, you can see they’re in different colors.
The Before Phase
The sales process consists of a number of different phases. The first phase is the prospecting period, during which you contact individuals who are not yet clients and try to get them interested in what you have to offer. This portion is referred to as the “before” stage because it’s when you first learn who they are. It’s also known as the prospecting phase since it’s when you first contact individuals who aren’t yet clients and attempt to pique their interest in what you have to sell. This is the initial step of sales, and it’s extremely crucial.
Who Is Your Ideal Client?
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of marketing? The most important component of your marketing is to figure out who your prospect is. Who are they? Who do you want to help solve their problems? This whole idea should originate from there: what problem are you going to solve for someone? It should be about solving people’s issues. Why does your business exist if it’s not intended to fix problems? Understanding who your target consumer or audience is will allow you to identify what your target problem is that you can assist with.
What’s Your Message?
Once you’ve figured out what the problem is, you can figure out how to address it. Once you’ve discovered what the solution is, you’ll be able to understand what message you are going to use to communicate with your audience and let them know you can help. Are they frustrated? Are they underpaid? Are they losing their jobs to overseas workers? Once you identify the problem that needs solving, and how to solve it, how will you communicate that you have a solution to those issues? It’s crucial for any successful marketing technique to comprehend and empathize with your target audience so you can effectively get your message across and show them you are the best solution to their pain points.
What Media Will You Use?
The last component of this phase is the media you’ll use. So are you going to utilize blog articles? What about a classified ad site like Craigslist? Have you considered LinkedIn, Facebook groups, and other types of social media? What type of media will you utilize to reach this audience? It may seem like a matter of preference, but this should be a carefully calculated choice in your marketing strategy.
There are already conversations among your audience happening online that you must join. They could be in a forum or a private community somewhere online. I can’t tell you where they are. That’s research that you’ll have to do on your own based on who you want to reach, but it’s critical that you understand the kind of media they consume and where your target market hangs out and communicates. This is one of the most important phases in your content marketing strategy. Maybe it’s on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, but this is a crucial stage that many people overlook and I want to ensure that you guys know about it.
The During Phase
The first phase of the campaign is all about establishing credibility and trust. This is when we move on to the second stage, which is the during Phase. Now they’re aware of you, and you need a method to capture them. This is how they become a lead and how you get your leads to convert into clients. Nobody says, “How are you doing?” It just doesn’t work that way; instead, you must make sure that you’re nurturing the connection and growing confidence in your prospects. You have to make sure that they know, like, and trust you and your brand, and lead nurturing is an important factor in relationship management.
Creating a Lead Capture System
There also, in order to do that, you’ll need a lead capture system. So that could be a funnel or it might be a landing page from an ad campaign. It could be a YouTube video or an article like this. This is part of my funnel; this is part of my lead capture system where I’m providing valuable information in exchange for people joining the Instagram Pro Network and doing other things. And really giving insight into our lives, drawing comparisons and parallels between our experiences and our prospects’ needs, that’s a lead collection method.
Nurturing Your Leads
So now I’m going to talk about lead nurturing. My email marketing is a CRM, and that is how I nurture my leads. Should you use a CRM system and email marketing? Would it be better to have a Facebook group where you discuss topics under your expertise on a regular basis to build those connections? Are there consistent YouTube videos or other types of content that you’re putting out? These are all questions you should ask yourself.
Converting Your Leads
So, for me in the previous example, let’s say it was a lead generation strategy that went from one phase to the next. So there was my sales conversion approach that I’m going to bring people into a free group or a free dinner right now to nurture that lead. Then comes leading them to the next stage, where I’ve got an offer or opportunity for them. This is a really essential aspect that many individuals miss when they’re in business. They never really make the ask; they don’t have a good conversion strategy, and they don’t close as many deals because of it. You have to make the ask a part of your company’s marketing plan.
The first step is to figure out what the company’s goals are. Ensure that you’re meeting them. The second step is determining how much money it will take to meet those goals, while the third and fourth steps are coming up with a solid strategy and then executing on that strategy by placing ads in your local media market depending on where you want to go with this message. It’s a marketing and sales approach as well. How do you make that ask? Is it genuine and real, or are you attempting to be pushy and say, “This is a one-time price offer,” positioning your brand differently? When you take those different paths, things become quite clear. So documenting your strategy is really going to help you determine which path is best.
The After Phase
Now, the last phase comes after you make the sale, hence it is the “after phase” of the 1-Page Marketing Plan. I know this could be confusing but this is an important stage even though the sale is already made. Ongoing business is the lifeblood of a successful creative agency and your marketing efforts shouldn’t stop as soon as the transaction is over. You should be encouraging repeat business and there are some things in this step that people also miss all the time when I’m working with them. Even if you know that you should be continuing your marketing, many business owners struggle with the “how”.
Making an Impression
How do you deliver a world-class experience? Not only is that part of your brand but it’s an important part of the experience and the story that your customers are going to tell. If you’re selling cars are you going to wax the whole car? If you’re doing design are you sending them a handwritten thank you card? Are you giving them a framed version of their logo? What are you doing special for your clients? Are you giving them an experience they’ve never gotten anywhere else? Is it the personal phone calls just to say hi? That randomness in a business can be an important part of your marketing strategy as well so take those things into consideration.
Building Lifetime Value
The second piece of the after phase is learning how to increase your lifetime value. Obviously if I’m delivering free value on YouTube and other platforms and then I have courses and other content mastermind groups and trainings things like that that’s how I can increase the lifetime value by having other offers. Let’s say your initial offer is something like a business card design and business card printing package deal. Well once you get their business cards delivered, what’s the next step for them?
Where are they trying to go from there? They may want to get a vehicle wrap. Maybe they need a website. Advertising could be their next step, and that could fall into your wheelhouse. If you handle each of those steps, your value continues to increase over time. Your solution starts with strategy then moves into design then it moves into growth. Those are the phases that I use in my business and that’s just an example that you guys could implement into yours.
Asking for Referrals
The last phase here–and this is one that you really need to implement if you haven’t already–is orchestrating referrals. The best way to get referrals is to have your current clients or customers provide them. Don’t be afraid to ask them. Whether through a text message through email or through a phone call, the worst that can happen is they say no. I find that text messages are a lot more effective; it’s quick and the open rates are ridiculously high. So asking them for a referral shouldn’t be a terribly difficult task. Simply say, “Hey, customer! I’m so glad you are happy with our work. Can you think of three people that I could help or that would use the same service I just gave you?”
If you’re delivering a world-class experience and if you’re bringing them a lot of value–like I’m doing here–they’re going to follow through. This is another example of the 80/20 rule, and you shouldn’t have to ask for every referral you get. So how do you orchestrate and stimulate referrals? Another way to do that is by getting testimonial videos from your clients and posting those up on your website. That will get you a lot of referrals because that’s the social media aspect and there’s something powerful and moving about hearing an endorsement directly from another customer. Reviews and reputation management help with this, too.
Final Thoughts on the 1-Page Marketing Plan
So these are just some things that you want to document with the 1-Page Marketing Plan. To reiterate, you have the Before Phase which is your prospecting, you have the During Phase which is your lead, and you have the After Phase which is your customer. You just move them through that cycle. It’s simple, it’s clean, and it’s going to help make you a great deal of money. Once you document this and you go through this with your clients, this framework is going to give them a better chance of success, too. It’s going to elevate your business as well as the graphic design industry and that’s what I’m after.
So this simple marketing plan is what I’m using for branding within my business but it’s been incorporated into a larger, more complex process that I’ve created. I call this my Marketing Consulting Blueprint and this is what I use to dig really deep with clients. I’m able to go so deep that I can really find out who they are as a person, what makes them tick, and what their social impact marketing goals are. Thank you for reading and learning with me. I’m Adrian Boysel and as always, keep looking up.