TheMarketing PlanWorkbookfor IndependentProfessionalsby Robert MiddletonA step-by-step guide for attracting more of yourideal clients. This is for self-employed professionalssuch as management consultants, business coaches,corporate trainers, financial professionals, and marketing professionals who need a reliable system formarketing their professional services with integrityand without hype. Includes detailed instructions andexercises.the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton

publishing infoPublished and created by:Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing – www.actionplan.comCopyright - Version 5.1 - September 2015All content Robert Middleton, Action Plan MarketingCopyright holder is licensing this eBook under the Creative Commons License. You can post this document on your site and share itfreely with your friends or link on social media, but you may not resell it oralter it from its current format.You are free to use the information in this eBook for your own use.However, the ideas, principles and worksheets may not be used for clientwork.Disclaimer/Legal NoticesThe information presented herein represents the point of view of theauthor as of the date of publication.This eBook is for informational purposes only. While every attempt hasbeen made to verify the information provided in this eBook, the authordoes not assume any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions.If advice concerning implementing the ideas contained in this eBook isneeded, the services of a fully qualified professional should be sought.Note: This ebook can be viewed online, however, to do the exercies, Iadvise that you print out a hard copy.Action Plan Marketing210 Riverside DriveBoulder Creek, CA 790the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton

welcomeWant to attract more clients?Hi, my Name is Robert Middleton and I’m the creator of this eBook you’re reading right now.When I started my business in 1984 helping smallbusiness owners get organized, I wasn’t a verygood marketer of my services. I was hopeless, in fact.I didn’t know how to get the word out, differentiatemyself or even sell my services. It’s really a miraclethat I survived those first few years! I struggled a lotbut I never gave up.One marketing method that did work for me washolding workshops at a community college on getting your small business organized. People came up to me after the workshop and asked if Icould help them with their businesses. But after helping them get organized, I realized they had a much bigger problem - attracting more clients.So the things that I struggled with, marketing and selling, I had tolearn if I was going to help them. So I read a lot of books, attendedseminars and workshops and started teaching my clients what I hadlearned. Not only was I able to help them, I became so captivated by theart and science of marketing that I created a vision to be the top marketing expert in the SF Bay Area for self-employed professionals. Within afew years I became that expert, not only in the Bay Area but throughoutthe U.S. and Internationally.To make a long story short, I’ve since worked with thousands of Independent Professionals and have developed unique approaches andstrategies to attract clients such as my Marketing Ball Game and Marketing Syntax, the language of marketing. This Marketing Plan Workbook is acondensed outline of all of my eight marketing systems.To get the most from this eBook, just read and do the exercises, andyou’ll have a head-start over most of your peers. It’s not what you know,but what you put into action that counts. The information in this eBookreally works; it has been tried and tested with thousands of IndependentProfessionals, just like you. Enjoy the process; marketing can be fun!the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton

table of contentsMarketing Plan Workbook for Independent ProfessionalsPublishing Info2Welcome3Table of Contents4The Eight Marketing Principles51. The Game of Marketing62. Marketing Mindset103. Marketing Messages164. Marketing Conversations195. Marketing Currency226. Marketing Strategies257. Marketing Action Plans298. Selling Conversations34Moving Into Action37The More Clients Club38What Others Say39About Robert Middleton40Find Out More41“What you are about to learn willchange your life. But only if youtake action to apply it.”– Anonymousthe marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton

marketing principlesThe Eight Principles of Action Plan Marketing:These Eight Principles are the essence of my marketing system to attract more of your ideal clients.1. Marketing Ball – The Game of MarketingUnderstanding that marketing is an organized process, not a randomseries of activities. You’ll take your prospects step-by-step through thisprocess.2. Marketing Mindset – The Inner Game of MarketingWhat current mindsets are holding you back? You’ll learn to create newmindsets that will support you in succeeding with your marketing.3. Marketing Messages – The Language of MarketingMarketing is communication. And it’s not just what you say, but how yousay it that generates attention and interest.4. Marketing Conversations – The Heart of MarketingThe conversations you have with potential clients (whether verbal or written) determine your success in the marketing process.5. Marketing Information – The Currency of MarketingYour written marketing materials – especially your web site – are key toolsto educate your prospects about your business.6. Marketing Strategies – The How-To of MarketingMarketing Strategies consist of activities such as networking, speakingand online marketing. You need to choose the right ones for you.7. Marketing Action Plans – The Structure of MarketingUltimately you need to take all the above elements and put them into astep-by-step plan that will turn prospects into paying clients.8. Strategy Sessions – The Selling ProcessStrategy Sessions are meetings, held under favorable conditions, withqualified prospects ready to explore working with you.You’ll learn more about these eight principles and fill in the exerciseson the following pages until you have a workable Marketing Plan for yourbusiness.the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton

1. the game of marketingTurning Marketing Into A GameMarketing is a game. The purpose of the game is to turn strangers intoprospects, buyers, and clients. Marketing Ball is a model to help youunderstand this game and play it effectively. (See the model on the nextpage.)Marketing Ball starts in the “Locker Room.” This is where you developyour Core Marketing Message that lets your prospects know who youwork with, what issues and challenges you address, and the solutions andoutcomes you deliver to your clients.Once you have your marketing message developed, you are ready to“play ball” and step up to Home Plate. Every new prospect you connectwith needs to hear or read your Core Marketing Message. If it speaks totheir needs, you’ll generate attention and interest.When your message interests someone, you’re then on First Base.They’re not a buyer yet; but you do have their attention. At this point, aprospect is usually open to knowing more about your services. You needto provide them with Information and build Familiarity.Once you’re on First Base, the next job is to get onto Second Base.You know you’re on second base when the prospect feels comfortableenough to explore working with you. This usually takes the form of ameeting of some kind where you transition from marketing to selling. Weoften call these selling meetings, “Strategy Sessions.”Now that you’re on Second Base, your goal is to get to Third Base.The journey from second to third is the sales process itself. And whenyou land on third, the prospect is ready to buy; they want to work withyou. You’re almost home. Just one more base before the client is actuallysecured.From Third Base, your aim is to get back to Home Plate and score arun (a new client). This step is a matter of agreeing to terms (a proposalor a contract), and getting your first payment. When you’ve mastered thecomplete process of taking a prospect around the bases, you have mastered the game of marketing. In this eBook we’ll go into detail with all ofthese steps.the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton

1.1 the game of marketingMarketing Ball Model - The game of marketingthe marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton

1.2 the game of marketingWhere are your prospects in the Marketing Ball Game?Every one of your prospects can be located somewhere on the Marketing Ball Diagram. The following five Marketing Ball positions (betweenthe bases), will give you a better sense of where your current prospectsare and what you need to do to move them around the game.Strangers - right after Home PlateWhich prospects don’t know you yet or have any current connection withyou who could potentially be future clients? At the moment, these prospects are “pure potential.” What can you do to build affiliations with thesestrangers? (Join chambers of commerce, professional and networkinggroups, service organizations, etc.)Affiliation - approaching First BaseWhich prospects, such as member of organizations you’ve joined, do youcurrently have some affiliation with but you’re not yet very familiar witheach other? What can you do to build that familiarity? (Networking activities, individual get-acquainted meetings, etc.)Familiarity - after First BaseWhich prospects are currently familiar with you, such as those you’ve metthough networking at an organization, but don’t yet have a lot of information about your services? What information can you provide to theseprospects? (Articles, reports, videos, web content, social media, etc.)Information - after First BaseWhich prospects now have information about your services but do not yethave a real experience of what you can do for them? What can you do togive them that experience? (Talks, teleclasses, webinars events, etc.)Experience - approaching Second BaseWhich prospects have had an experience of you, and what you can do forthem, but who have not yet had a sales conversation with you? What canyou do next? (Personal follow-up calls, invites for sales meetings.)Next let’s look at where your actual prospects currently are in theMarketing Ball Game. Fill in the form on the next page.the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton

1.3 the game of marketingIdentifying Your ProspectsMarketing BallDiagram LocationProspects – Who and where are they?Prospects orgroups who arestrangers and withwhom you want tocreate an affiliationor connection.Prospects orgroups who youhave an affiliationwith but need tobecome morefamiliar with you.Prospects orgroups who arefamiliar with youbut need information about yourservices.Prospects orgroups who haveinformation aboutyour services butneed an experienceof your services.Prospects whohave an experienceof your servicesbut need to set upan appointmentwith you.the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton

2. marketing mindsetsWhat Marketing Mindsets Shape Your Current Results?Marketing starts with how we think about marketing. A great manyIndependent Professionals have mindsets about marketing that arehindering their marketing efforts much more than helping them. Amarketing mindset, is an established set of attitudes about marketing.Mindsets are our thoughts, beliefs, expectations, fears, fixed positions, assumptions, and limitations. You could say that our marketingmindset is like the “water that we swim in.”Mindsets affect us profoundly, but we don’t see it because they’reso close to us. What we focus on, what we believe, think, and assume,shapes our actions. And if these beliefs, thoughts and assumptions arenegative, we will see marketing as unpleasant, as something to avoid.Here are a few of the beliefs, thoughts and assumptions I’ve heardfrom Independent Professionals over the years. Do any of them soundfamiliar to you? Do you operate from any of these as if they were thegospel truth?Marketing leads to rejectionIt probably won’t work anyway, so why bother?If I ask for referrals it will sound like I’m beggingPeople won’t be interested in what I offerI don’t have the time to market myselfMarketing is a complete waste of time and resourcesOnly people with sub-standard services need marketingI can’t start until I know exactly what to doMarketing is a bother and an interruption to peopleNo one will read my writing – I’m a lousy writerI can’t network – it’s too embarrassingI’m not a good speaker – nobody will listen to meHow many of these are true for you? Go to the next page to articulateyour most prominent Marketing Mindsets.the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton10

2.1 marketing mindsets11Articulate Your Marketing MindsetsMany mindsets are useful: They give us a common reference point andstructure that enables us to do the work we do. Don’t worry about these!Many mindsets are limiting. They define the box we work from andwhich we cannot work outside of, limiting our possibilities.What Mindsets shape your current marketing actions and results?Write in the ones you’ve noticed that tend to stop you or hold you backfrom marketing yourself effectively. You might start with the list on theprevious page.Write Your LimitingMindsets HereMINDSETSNote: The shapeof a Stop sign isnot coincidental!the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton

2.2 marketing mindsetsIs it Really True?The big question to ask about all these Mindsets, beliefs and thoughts isthe following: Are they really true? Or are they just ideas you’ve bought intoand taken on as inflexible marketing mindsets? What if they weren’t true but youwere operating as if they were? Wouldn’t that impact your actions and results?The way to change a marketing mindset is to first tell the truth about themindset. The following four questions and turnaround, developed by ByronKatie and adapted by me for marketing, are the most effective way to do this, inmy experience.Working on Your Marketing MindsetsFirst choose a thought or belief that is opposing your intention to be a successful marketer of your services. This might be: “I don’t have the time to market myself.”Now ask yourself this first question:1. Is this thought/belief true?Answer with a yes or no. Then answer the next question if you answered Yes.2. Can you absolutely know it’s true?Answer with a yes or no. Then answer the third question.3. How do you react when you believe that thought/belief?List all of the things that you do (or not do), and other thoughts and feelingsyou have when you attach to the thought/belief you are working on.Then answer the fourth question:4. Who would you be without that thought/belief?If that thought was impossible for you to think, how would things bedifferent? Next The Turnaround.5. Now turn the thought/belief around to its opposite.A turnaround to this thought would be: “I do have time to market myself.”And then ask if the turnaround is just as true or truer than the originalthought.That’s the process. Now you are looking at your original thought in a wholenew light. You will find you are less attached or identified with this thought andhave new options. The thought loosens its grip. The thought is no longer “thinking you.”You now have the choice of what thought would serve you better to achieveyour goals. Now do this exercise for yourself on the next page. Don’t skip it!the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton12

2.3 marketing mindsetsDoing The Work on Limiting BeliefsThis is a sample worksheet to work on an limiting mindset you might haveabout marketing yourself. This is a very common one, by the way.Your limiting mindset or thought/belief:“People won’t be interested in the services I’m offering.”Is it true? (Yes or No?) - Yes, it seems to be trueCan you absolutely know it’s true? (Yes or No?) - No, not absolutelyHow do you react or behave when you believe this thought?“I feel worried about rejection. I feel a lack of confidence and secondguess myself. I find myself avoiding doing the marketing activities necessaryto get the word out. Instead, I procrastinate by doing less important things.I keep thinking I’ll get around to it someday, but that day never comes.”Who would you be and what would you do if you could no longer attach tothis thought/belief?“I’d stop worrying and just start putting the word out there. If I couldn’t thinkthat people weren’t interested, I’d do a lot more work to make what I do evenmore interesting through improving my marketing and getting in front ofmore prospects, instead of waiting for someone to call me.”Turnaround the thought/belief to its opposite. And then ask if the turnaround is just as true or truer than the original thought?“The turnaround would be: ‘People are interested in my services!’ And thething is, when people learn what I do, they show genuine interest. So the turnaround is truer than the original thought. How about that!”What are three examples of how this turnaround is true for you?“When I talked to a prospect last week about my services, when I gave a talklast year where I generated a lot of interest, and when someone called becausehe was referred by a past client who loved my work.”the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton13

2.4 marketing mindsetsDoing The Work WorksheetUse this worksheet to work on an limiting mindset you might haveabout marketing or about marketing yourself.Your limiting mindset or thought/belief:Is it true? (Yes or No?)Can you absolutely know it’s true? (Yes or No?)How do you react or behave when you believe this thought?Who would you be and what would you do if you could no longer attachto this thought/belief?Turnaround the thought/belief to its opposite. And then ask if the turnaround is just as true or truer than the original thought?What are three examples of how this turnaround is true for you? Copyright 2015 Byron Katie. Used with permission.the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton14

2.5 marketing mindsetsYour New Marketing MindsetWhat’s a new Marketing Mindset or Turnaround that would actuallyempower you to move forward with your marketing?My new Marketing Mindset is: Make it a clear, concise statement:What else would support this new mindset?Thoughts and ideas:Feelings:Plans:Actions:the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton15

3. marketing messagesMarketing Syntax - The Language of MarketingMarketing has a language. The purpose of this language is to get attention, generate interest, arouse desire, and stimulate action.But most of us don’t understand this language or even realize that itexists. I call this language “Marketing Syntax” and this is how it works:It’s simply a matter of putting your marketing communication in the rightorder. When your marketing ideas follow this order, they more clearly answer the question, “What’s In it for Me?” to your prospective clients.Marketing Syntax for verbal communications: - These are who my ideal clients are.Problem – This is the problem or challenge they experience.Outcome – This is the ultimate outcome I help them achieveStory (Proof) – Here is a story or case study that proves that I helpmy clients get the results and outcomes I promise.Continuing Marketing Syntax for written communications: – Here’s everything clients get when they work with me.Process – This is the process I use to deliver those results.Credibility – About my background and experience.Call-to-Action – What I recommend you do next, if interested.By playing Marketing Ball and using Marketing Syntax, your marketingeffectiveness will increase automatically. You now have a language thatyou can use to communicate about your services with impact.Correctly used, Marketing Syntax is what gets you to First Base. It’sthe language that makes sense out of your offering; it interests prospectsin what you have, and makes them want to know more.The best way to understand Marketing Syntax is through developingand practicing your own marketing messages. On the following pagesyou’ll develop your Core Marketing Message, develop an “Audio Logo”and be taken through the steps of a “Marketing Conversation.”the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton16

3.1 marketing messagesCreating a Core Marketing MessageYour Marketing Message is More than a USP or Value Proposition. Itis the complete message that needs to be consistently communicated toyour prospects and clients. It answers the following four key prospectquestions: this service for me? (target/ideal client)Why do I need this service? (problem/issue/challenge)What do I get from this service? (solution/outcome)Does this service really work? (proof/story)Answer these questions to get to your Core Marketing Message:Target Market/Ideal ClientWho are the ideal clients for your service? What are the demographics and psychographics - industry, position, needs, values, etc?What’s the “personality profile” of an idea client?Problem/Issues/ChallengesWhy do your ideal clients need this service? What’s not working orcould work better? What’s missing? What’s broken? What’s frustratingor what are they struggling with?Ultimate OutcomeWhat actual results will your clients be left with when they use yourservice? What ultimate outcome will make them happy? Ask, “If theygot that result, would that be enough?”Success Stories (Proof)Who else has used your services and what were the results? What’san actual story of working with a client and moving them from wherethey were to your ultimate outcome?Core Marketing Messages are used every time you communicateabout your business. This includes verbal conversations, on your website, in presentations and talks, and in articles and newsletters. Now, it’syour turn to develop a Core Marketing Message for your business. You’llwrite out the main components of this message on the next page basedon the questions above.the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton17

3.2 marketing messagesSummarizing Your Core Marketing MessageTarget Market/Ideal Client(Demographics ults/OutcomeSuccess Story/Case Studythe marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton18

4. marketing conversationsThe “Audio Logo” What do you say when someone asks you what you do? This is a greatopportunity to use Your Core Marketing Message, utilizing MarketingSyntax. The combination of Target - Problem - Outcome - Story will typically get more attention, interest and response than talking about yourlabel, process, benefits, and features.The formula is:What do you do?I work with (People in this Target Market )Who (Have this Problem or Challenge)How do you do that?I help them get (Ultimate Outcome)Tell me moreA good example is (Success Story)Construct your own Audio Logo:What do you do?I work withWhoHow do you do that?I help them getTell me moreA good example isthe marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton19

4.1 marketing conversationsSteps in the Marketing ConversationMarketing Conversations are discussions with prospective clients thatget you closer to working with them. Here are the main components ofthose conversations:1. Audio Logo – We just covered this on the page above. The Audio Logois a conversation starter and a tool to generate attention and interest.An Audio Logo gets you onto First Base. But you don’t want to follow anAudio Logo with a long monologue all about you and your business. Youwant to learn about the prospect and start moving them towards SecondBase.2. Questions – What will you ask the prospect to learn if they are qualified to be a client and purchase your services? The more you know aboutthe prospect, the better you can determine if they are indeed an ideal client for you. You won’t learn this if you are doing all the talking.3. Answers – What are the answers to the typical questions a prospectasks you about your business and services? And what are the follow-upquestions to ask the prospect? Then, if your prospect asks you a question, you need to answer their question concisely and then turn the conversation back to the prospect by asking more questions.4. Call-to-Action – If you get a sense through this conversation that youare speaking to a qualified prospect, you need to set up an opportunityfor follow-up. One of the best ways is to offer an article/report or otherinformation related to your services. Then you can make a request tofollow-up, usually by phone and email, to explore further.5. Follow-up – A call to explore what the next steps might be, includingsetting an appointment for a selling conversation. Making follow-up callsis one of the biggest fears of Independent Professionals. We don’t followup because we assume if they were interested they would follow up withus. We’re concerned that if we do follow-up, we’ll be seen as pushy andmight be rejected. The truth is, this is usually not the case. If someoneshows interest in your service, a follow-up call is usually welcomed.the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton20

4.2 marketing conversationsCreate Your Marketing ConversationsNow below, create your own marketing conversation. Write this out asif you were speaking directly to a prospect for your services.1. Your Audio Logo – to get attention and interest2. Questions to ask the prospect – to determine if they are qualified3. Answers to questions prospect asks – and your follow-up questions4. Call-to-Action – making an offer for information and follow-up5. Follow-Up Call – exploring next steps and setting an appointmentthe marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton21

5. marketing currencyMarketing Information is the Currency of Marketing.Marketing Information is currency. It’s what prospects want more ofonce you have their attention and interest. If you give prospects the rightinformation, at the right time, you buy their time, their trust, and theirengagement.What Marketing Currency Actually DoesMarketing Currency moves your marketing forward. If you have goodmarketing currency, you’ll see the following results from prospects: They will become more interested in your services, as itcommunicates the benefits of what you offer. They will understand how your services relate to them and theirissues and challenges, and they’ll want to know more. They will see the results your services deliver and want to havethe same kind of results themselves. They will feel you are credible and experienced and feel morecomfortable doing business with you. They will know what to do next to take the steps to contact youand work with you.Without marketing currency, you have none of this. MarketingCurrency is your primary marketing tool and is used with every marketingstrategy.Marketing Currency can be presented in the following formats: Web Site Content Articles and Reports Brochures and Flyers Surveys and Scorecards Newsletters and eZines Presentations and TeleClasses Audio and Video RecordingsYour job as a marketer is to conceive, design and develop all of thisMarketing Information. Below, we discuss the content of your MarketingCurrency.the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton22

5.1 marketing currencyThe Content of Your Marketing CurrencyWhat information do you need to give in your Marketing Currency?You want to provide information that answers eight key marketing questions. These eight questions and the information needed to answer themare outlined below as web pages on your website.1. What exactly is this service and why should I be interested?Home Page of a web site gives a concise overview of your business.2. Is this service for me? Will it work for me and/or my business?Is This You? Page. Talks about the needs and problems your clientsface. This page is about your clients, their needs and issues, not aboutyou.3. What kind of results can I expect with this service?How We Work Page. Gives information on the results they can expect,plus other information about how you work to produce results.4. Who else has used this product or service and what were theirresults? Case Studies Page. Includes several case studies or stories ofsuccessful clients projects or engagements with specific outcomes.5. How exactly do your services work? What’s the process andstructure? Services Page. Explains in detail how your services work.What will your services do for the client and how are they structured?6. Are you credible? Do you have the experience to help me?About Us Page. Tell about your background and experience and whyyou are qualified to do what you do. Why should someone hire you?7. What do I have to do next to find out more about your services?Contact Us Page. Explain the steps a client will take in working withyou and what will happen first when they contact you.8. What valuable free information can I get from you right now?Free Stuff Page. Give away a free article or report and capture theirname and email by signing them up for your eZine (email newsletter).Use an email list management service such as AWeber or MailChimp.the marketing plan workbook 2015 action plan marketing Robert Middleton23

5.2 marketing currencyAnswer these questions about your services:1. What exactly is my service about and why should anyo

Marketing Plan Workbook for Independent Professionals Publishing Info 2 Welcome 3 Table of Contents 4 The Eight Marketing Principles 5 1. The Game of Marketing 6 2. Marketing Mindset 10 3. Marketing Messages 16 4. Marketing Conversations 19 5. Marketing Cu