Banks aren’t interested in funding companies who don’t know their marketing plan from their elbow. They will want to look at your marketing strategies and vision. And, of course, what the return on their investment will be …
PR and marketing is about educating your target market about what you do, communicating in such a way that they are influenced to buy from you and want to stay with you.
I witness many companies who start off their marketing with great gusto only to take their foot off the marketing pedal when they perceive that everything they need to do is in place. This undoubtedly leads to frustration and confusion when the great initial success starts to slow.
At all points of your journey, whether you are seeking funding or not, you have to focus and refocus your PR and marketing, realigning your messages in light of what you are learning and the new pathways you are taking. Test, re-test and measure.
If funding is what you are after, your funder will be delighted to see that you are working hard to ensure that you communicate what you do well, consistently.
However … are you communicating your message with passion? Are you even passionate about what you do?
Passion, whether personal or organisational, connects and engages people both inside and out. Customers buy for many reasons, one of which is that they connect emotionally to your brand. When they deal with you they experience that passion.
Your bank or funding angel not only wants your marketing plan, to know that the numbers add up, that the available market is there, you know what you are doing, they want to feel and witness your passion. If you can share from your heart, what do you think they are going do?
Without passion, you don’t have energy; without energy, you have nothing. Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.
– Donald Trump
Passion gives you focus and orientates you. When you put passion in the plan and you deliver the plan with passion, it is infectious. At the same time you understand that passion needs discipline, which creates a focus. Almost like tunnel vision, focus on the end goal, sometimes enduring the slings and arrows of misfortune to keep the passion alight.
A word of caution – when people are passionate their perception can be altered, sometimes for good, other times not so good. A blinkered passionate person can be dangerous, unpredictable and a risk taker. Whilst taking calculated risks can be more acceptable, off the cuff risk taking can lead the business off plan and into the wilds – into unbalanced chaos.
Discovering your passion
To discover your passion or passions, first you have to dig deep and do the inner work. When you know who you are, and what wonderful things you have to share, it makes it easier to get out there and rock.
For me, the process is working out what your values are and asking what would I love to do if nothing was standing in my way? Values and passion lead you towards your vision. Without a vision you do not have a direction. Without direction you cannot take meaningful and purposeful steps.
The way I see it is that our essential truths (values) create the fire in our bellies and are what drives us as humans. Passions are what keep the fire burning. When you connect these, you can create a vision for the future and this will light your path and drive the direction towards your purpose, aka your big WHY and mission.
Only when you know your WHY and can communicate it are you able to inspire others. Your WHY is rooted in knowing who you are. Everything you have ever done, all of your experiences, create your core values and beliefs. It is essentially WHO you are and it is what inspires you. It is from your passion that you do WHAT you do. It is the heart and soul of an authentic brand, where your WHY, WHAT and HOW you do IT are all in balance and perfectly aligned.
People work with you based on an emotional connection to your why, when they feel your passion. That’s when they are inspired and, with any luck, along with your brilliant marketing plan will be prepared to give you funding.
Remember that any goal worth achieving is worth getting out of your comfort zone for.
So you have passion. What else?
Marketing and PR is not free, and all organisations who are looking for growth should look to set aside a budget for their marketing activities. Businesses fail. Not because of their great products, they fail because they fail to inform their markets in the right way and that takes time and money. No quick fixes, I am afraid!
Don’t waste your time writing a marketing plan if you are not going to get connected to your passion and set aside time, effort and budget.
I for one hate writing long marketing plans that kill trees and serve only as door stops. Make your plans simple, memorable and easy to implement and deliver them with passion.