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How to Write a Start-Up Marketing Plan

In a recent article on, Marketer Michael Troiano removes all confusion for marketers and entrepreneurs who aremarketing process tasked with creating marketing plans, by comparing this often convoluted process to the work of the great Prussian military strategist Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke, considered by some to be the father of modern battlefield strategy. What follows are excerpts from the original article and a clear-cut way to create decisive marketing plans to accompany any of your upcoming business planning/strategies.

A startup Marketing Plan “Moltke-style” starts with defining 6 terms that are too often conflated by young marketers:

  • goal — what we hope to achieve.
  • objective — how we will measure success in reaching our goal.
  • strategy — an approach we think will meet our objective.
  • tactic — execution to convert our strategy into action.
  • program — a collection of related tactics.
  • plan — what needs to be done when, given the above.

A great startup marketing plan starts with a clear-eyed consensus on the specific Goals of your marketing effort. Think big for now, about what you’re really setting out to accomplish over the next months.

…You can take each one of those goals and translate them into specific and measurable Objectives. This won’t always be easy… but remember the purpose of objectives isn’t to provide legal proof of success. It’s just to get consensus on specific metrics that will be useful in focusing the strategies you’ll define next with the goals you’ve already put to paper.

Next come the Strategies themselves. Expect a range of high and lower level ideas here, but keep it simple and stay focused on what will be required to meet your agreed-upon objectives.

Under each of these strategies is a set of Tactics, actual stuff people need to go do to make it happen. Those tactics tend to be grouped in natural clusters called Programs that require some kind of coordinated execution. Finally you need a Plan to assign resources to these tasks, and keep everyone on the team aligned with everyone else.

But remember your Moltke, folks: No plan survives contact with the enemy, so strategy is a system of expedients. Focus your time and energy on getting alignment on and clear definition of your business Goals and Objectives. After that make sure the quality of your execution against Strategies and Tactics is good enough for you to learn what works and what doesn’t, then adjust your plan accordingly as you go.

That’s how you win the war, baby. And that’s what makes you a Startup Marketing Pro.

[click to read the full article with examples.] 

We hope you loved this post as much as us. Happy building, creating and marketing.

[BONUS: Read more from the author.]

Michael Troiano


7 Ways to Plant the Seeds You Want to Harvest

Builders absolutely love the media for moments like this, when we randomly run across jewels shared by those who live for wisdom and growth. Today’s message is courtesy of Dr. Mike Maddock at I found it very powerful. What are your thoughts? 7 Ways to Plant the Seeds you want to Harvest. [Title courtesy of #TheBuildUp Lab]:Seeds

1. What you tolerate you cannot change. You must hate the present to qualify for the future.

2. What you respect, you will attract. What you don’t respect, you’ll move away from. You can only collect, what you respect or value. Everything you see was created by things you don’t see. Whatever is missing from your life is something that you have not truly valued. [Respect is the invisible attitude that God allows you to have to be equal to any other human being on earth.] Contrarily, you can’t learn from someone you resent or envy, you can only learn from someone you admire.

3. What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you.

4. The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine. -Creativity births your future. -Structure sustains your future. “Men don’t decide their futures, they decide their habits and habits create your future.” Successful men do daily, what unsuccessful men do occasionally.

5. Your rewards in life are decided by the kinds of problems you are willing to solve for others.

6. If you insist on taking something God did not give you, he will take back something he gave you.

7. An uncommon seed will always create an uncommon harvest. A seed is anything that has value: love, patience, money, etc. “Stop inventorying your need and start inventorying your seed. If you don’t like your harvest, sow a different kind of seed.

How effective are New Age PR Stunts?

Originally posted on Public Relations & Advertising: Who's Got the Power?:

Public relations is known for doing stunts to get publicity. Traditionally they have relied on journalists and media gatekeepers to publish media for them. They have also had to rely on new stations to pick up their story.

With the New Age PR stunts companies don’t need any of that. No need to contact journalists, gatekeepers or worry about buying costly media space.

Companies have found a new way to hone in on the highly digital age that we live in.

I have been thinking a lot recently about the changes that have been made in public relations just over the last five years. Public relations relied so much on others before, but now when it is done right you can have a successful PR stunt done in-house.

The latest PR stunt recently that drove me to write this blog was done by Ubisoft to promote their new game Watch…

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How to Find Freelance Writing Clients

“When starting off as a freelance writer, it can be difficult to find well-paying clients. You won’t be able to put food on your table only scouring job boards, content farms, or Craigslist, unless your table is inside McDonalds.

Instead of joining the freelancing rat race and competing with people who only write as a hobby, you need to be proactive and use different tactics to secure clients. Here are some tips from successful freelance writers that’ll help you grow your portfolio and your bank account.” –

  • Reach out to fellow writers
  • Get LinkedIn
  • Know who you’re pitching
  • Reach out to your connections

Now for #TheBuildUp: The article cited above elaborates on each bullet, attributing freelance writers who use these tactics. I’d like to offer a few more of my best practices that have increased my personal and company’s revenue, reach and portfolio in various industries. After reading the post, I’d love to know your best practices for finding freelance writing clients, so please share!

  • Search local - In 2012, I set out to get new writing clients, where I could share my personal thoughts on culture, arts, entertainment and humanity. I searched Twitter for local sites, using artists in my network as the research tool by seeing who had published them before. I came across a new site at the time – I searched the site, noted the voids in their content and sent an email with samples of my work and proof of my knowledge and position in the communities they wanted to reach. What resulted was a paid, weekly column, “Sophisticated Sunday” written by yours truly, and also an opportunity to serve as a major strategist for the site.
  • Stalk CraigsList – Don’t underestimate the power of CraigsList, as they do in the quote above. Each day dozens of new postings for writers, editors, marketers and more are posted. Also look in the “non-profit sector”. Writing and communications gems are hidden there and often they are out-of-office consultant positions, like one I just seized with the Humanities Council of Washington, DC.  I found this position on CraigsList on a humbug and it’s turned out to be absolutely perfect given my love for the arts, culture, humanities and people.
  • Register with staffing agencies – This simple tip can actually change your entire life and social status in less than a month. If you don’t mind short-term 9 to 5 positions, you’ll be great at this. I’ve worked with several staffing agencies geared specifically toward marketers and they’ve all been rewarding experiences, landing me short-term contracts in fields that I hadn’t previously considered such as manufacturing, engineering and the wonderful world of associations.
  • Pitch with article excerpts – If you’re one of those writers whose head is buzzing with ideas, or perhaps your electronic or composition notebook has evergreen or feature articles that would fit certain publications, depending on the publication, it may not hurt to pitch an editor (after you engage and connect of course) with an excerpt from your article along with a great cover letter. Unsolicited manuscripts are often not accepted, but today – given the free-range, less traditional society that we live in, it’s not hard to spark conversations via social media, engage and connect on a level where you will feel comfortable sending a short DM asking for permission to pitch an article, especially if you’re sure it will fit a publication’s readership perfectly.
  • Contact managing editors of associations – While on assignment with an association I learned that many of them outsource for their publications management, meaning a small writing and editing firm feeds freelance assignments to writers that he/she knows. This can be a way to add another revenue stream, simply by customizing one perfect pitch letter per editor.

My suggestion is to integrate all of the above tactics into the business development plan of your freelance writing business, also write regularly on your own blog or web site. No one method will allow you to eat like royalty, but implemented in unison, you might spark a ton of new clients and leads.

Happy Building!

-Natasha Brand Builder. 

Be sure to join me @NBrownINK on Twitter and Instagram and my new Facebook page.  


Creative Routines


Creative Routines. Compare yours to the masters.

Originally posted on Info We Trust:

“We all have the same 24 hours that Beyoncé has” and its various iterations took the web by storm in late 2013 as the megastar became the figurehead of not only having it all, but being able to somehow do it all too.

How do creatives – composers, painters, writers, scientists, philosophers – find the time to produce their opus? Mason Currey investigated the rigid Daily Rituals that hundreds of creatives practiced in order to carve out time, every day, to work their craft. Some kept to the same disciplined regimen for decades while others locked in patterns only while working on specific works.

Creative Routines Poster

There are enough data to visualize a portion of the hundreds of creative lifestyles. Click the poster to discover:
Gustave Flaubert
Ludwig Van Beethoven
W.A. Mozart
Thomas Mann
Sigmund Freud
Immanuel Kant
Maya Angelou
John Milton
Honore de Balzac
Victor Hugo
Charles Dickens
W.H. Auden
Charles Darwin

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