How to Create a Promotion Plan: Template + Strategies

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The $100 Startup" by Chris Guillebeau. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here .

Looking for advice on how to plan a promotional campaign for a small business? What are some things you should consider as you put together your first promotion plan?

In order to stay afloat and make a profit, you need customers. In order to get customers, you need to put some work into spreading the word about your business. But before you go ahead and start advertising, you need to create a promotion plan.

Use this promotion plan template to help you flesh out your first promotional campaign.

Promotion Plan Template

The work doesn’t end once you’ve launched your product. Once your initial launch cycle is complete, it’s time to build your promotion plan. Here are some questions you should ask yourself as you create a promotion plan for your small business.

  1. Goal
    1. What is the primary goal of your promotion? This could be to bring in more customers, to increase sales, or to develop relationships.
  2. Daily Promotion
    1. Maintain your company’s presence on social media by creating 1-3 posts, responding to customer comments, and addressing any concerns.
    2. Monitor 1-2 metrics. These can be anything from cash flow to website traffic. Keep it limited to avoid overwhelming yourself with data.
  3. Weekly Promotion
    1. Collaborate with business partners on joint promotions.
    2. Communicate with your clients and potential customers. 
  4. Monthly Promotion
    1. Reach out to existing customers about their satisfaction and ask if they need anything else from you.
    2. Prepare contests, events, and product launches. 
    3. Develop a long-term marketing plan that connects different promotions.

4 Strategies to Consider in Planning Your Promotion

As you create your promotion plan, use the following four strategies to help expand your audience and spread the word about your business.

Strategy 1: Reach out to Friends and Colleagues

When starting a business, use the allies you already have by sending a message to your friends and colleagues about your business. Don’t spam them with marketing materials or try to “sell” them on the product. Instead, explain what your company does, the primary product you’re trying to sell, and the goals that you’re trying to achieve. From there, provide one to three ways that they can help you if they’re willing. Be sure to thank them for taking the time to read your message.

Strategy 2: Help Others Without Expectation

Offer your services free-of-charge or at a low cost when you see friends, colleagues, or customers in need of assistance. Don’t put conditions onto your help or demand something in return. If you show that you sincerely want to help others, not just sell them on your product, you’ll be able to build long-term relationships that may help you in the future. 

For example, if you run an interior design company, you could offer online consultations free of charge. If you use the time to genuinely assist the client instead of trying to make a sale, you’re going to form a stronger relationship.

Strategy 3: Say “Yes”

Saying “yes” to requests from both customers and other businesses can help you develop new relationships and reach unique audiences. While you may need to become more selective as your business grows, allow yourself to explore different avenues while your company is young. For example, if another business reaches out to you about a cross-promotion opportunity, agreeing to the request will create connections with both the business owner and their audience.

Strategy 4: Give Something Away for Free

While you’ll have to embrace a little cost or time upfront, giving away products or services can help you build your audience. There are two reasons for this:

  1. More people engage with your business, creating word-of-mouth promotion in the process.
  2. People will be more likely to buy from you if they’re given the opportunity to use your product before committing. Fear of “wasting” money often keeps people from purchasing a product they’re not familiar with. 

There are many ways to go about providing a free product, including a free consultation, a contest, or a giveaway. Experiment with different methods to see what works best for your business.

Note: There is a difference between contests and giveaways. Contests include some form of competition between customers, where giveaways only require customers to provide a name or email to be entered into the draw. Contests require more work but usually generate more engagement than a giveaway.

How to Create a Promotion Plan: Template + Strategies

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Chris Guillebeau's "The $100 Startup" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full The $100 Startup summary :

  • How to start a microbusiness
  • How to start a business without needing to borrow any money
  • The 6 simple steps you need to follow to launch your business

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.