Some marketing elements are foundational to your business. They function as the building blocks on which everything else is constructed. If you were building a house, this would be like pouring the concrete to make a solid foundation which you build everything else on top of.

Laying bricks

These elements are things like having business cards, a good answer for what you do for a living, a website, a free giveaway, or a go-to speech. As a business owner, you’ll want to figure out what’s foundational for your business, and how to get those things done.

Figuring Out What’s Foundational to Your Marketing

What foundational items you choose is completely dependent on the type of business you have. In my case, most of the people I work with have a service based business, which lends itself to foundational items such as:

  • 30-second introduction
  • Business cards
  • Website
  • Model marketing letter
  • Clearly-defined marketing niche
  • List of prospects to contact
  • Networking venues
  • Online profiles
  • Professional photos
  • Contact management system
  • Testimonials
  • List of go-to articles

What type of business do you have? What items come to mind as basics that a business such as yours might need for a marketing foundation?

Picking What to Focus On

Now that you have an idea of what items might be appropriate for your type of business, it’s time to pick what you’d like to focus on. Which items you pick is heavily influenced by who you’re marketing to (your niche), your strengths, and what type of marketing strategies you enjoy using.

For example, let’s say you’re a writer who helps people create strong social media profiles; you enjoy writing and want to use it as your main marketing activity. Some foundational items you might choose are:

  • Online profiles (yours)
  • Website
  • Professional photos
  • Clearly-defined marketing niche
  • Portfolio of profiles you’ve written
  • Referral partners
  • Testimonials

What items make the most sense for you, your market, and your personal interests?

Getting the Foundational Items Done

You now have a list of items you feel are appropriate for your type of business, which you’d like to try based on your strengths, interests, and who you’re trying to reach. Let’s look at how to get those things done!

When it comes to getting things done, look again at your strengths. Do you enjoy making a list and checking it off? Are you the kind of person who responds well to deadlines? Is it easiest for you to get things done when you’ve got an accountability buddy? Is there a certain physical location where you feel most productive? What about a time of day when your brain is active and you won’t be interrupted?

First, pick three things you’d like to start with from your list of foundational items. Choose whichever items feel like they’re closest to the bottom of the foundation, the things that the other items will be built off of. Using the example of you being a writer, your three items might be:

  • Online profiles (yours)
  • Professional photos
  • Portfolio of profiles you’ve written

Second, choose one item and make a plan. Your getting things done plan might look like this:

  • Do online profiles first.
  • Start with LinkedIn.
  • Write a rough draft of profile by Friday.
  • Tweak so that it’s complete by the following Friday.
  • Post profile to LinkedIn on Monday.
  • Use the best photo you’ve got for now, knowing your next to-do item is to get your professional photo taken.

You might make the writing easier by:

  • Setting aside one hour each day to devote solely to writing the profile.
  • Going to your favorite coffee shop for that hour to do the writing.
  • Rewarding yourself by having a latte.

Figuring out which items will lay a solid marketing foundation for your business — and creating a plan to get them done based on your strengths and your target market — will help you stay in motion and build a foundation that will stand strong. Put your plan together today and you’ll be out there marketing in no time!

For more about how to get projects done, see How Do You Get Things Done?

To learn more about defining a target market (niche), check out Your Market Niche: an Essential Key to Success.

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