If you do not build a business that is successful and financially sustainable, then you cannot help us move towards a vegan world.
Most of us start a vegan business as a way to further the cause. It may be your way of moving towards a vegan world by providing better vegan products. Or it might be that you want to do something to make it easier for people to live a cruelty-free life. But it is fair to say that most vegans who start a business do so without thinking enough about actually making money! As vegans, we can often feel guilty about trying to make money out of other vegans. We might feel that making money is unethical – after all, many people blame growing commercialism for a lot of today’s problems. But the reality is this: you can do a lot more good in the world with a profit than with loss.
If you do not build a business that is successful and financially sustainable then you cannot help us move towards a vegan world. This is really important and something that needs to be ‘baked-in’ to your business from the start. You need to succeed with your vegan business to actually make a difference, and for most of us that means having regular paying customers for what we’re offering.
Even if you are a charity, you still need to attract income. You need to connect your organisation with enough people who believe in what you do to enable you to keep on doing it.
That’s why it is your duty to the vegan movement to get better at doing business. There’s no point in having an amazing product that will change the world if that product never gets into anyone’s hands. There’s no point in having a voice if it’s never heard.
What you will get from completing this course
By working through this ‘Viploma’ you won’t just improve the marketing and promotion of your business, you will also improve your passion and motivation for your business.
This course is for two kinds of people – those who already have a vegan business but want to learn how to promote it better, and those who don’t yet have a vegan business but understand that a good marketing strategy is just as important as having a good business idea.
Each module can be completed at your own pace. An individual forum is also provided for each module; here you can pose specific module-related questions to our experts Lisa and David, and also to our wider vegan business community. We will be with you every step of the way.
You don’t need to complete the entire course before you can start making a difference to your business. Completing the exercises as you go will give you real world information and advice that you can start to apply right away.
When you finish this marketing ‘Vipolma’ you will:
- Have gained a thorough understanding of the vegan marketplace
- Have identified who your customers are and know what they want
- Know how to be genuinely remarkable in the vegan market
- Understand how to build a ‘tribe’ of loyal followers and brand champions
- Understand how your company can also benefit from non-vegan consumers
- Have gained an entire vegan marketing toolbox, including:
- The right brand and brand voice
- A website that converts browsers into buyers
- Google PPC
- Email marketing
- Content creation
- Social media (free and paid advertising)
- Networking and events
- Selling by creating a personal brand
- Getting your vegan company in the news (PR)
- How to approach and work with vegan influencers
- Have decided what you should do next and in what order
- Know how to create a funnel by moving people from awareness of you to engagement, and then becoming your customers and advocates
- Have created a full vegan marketing plan with a timeline, as well as knowing how to carry it out and stay motivated
Is the course any good?!
We’ll let David answer this himself…
It’s brilliant. You’re going to not only learn everything you would from studying a marketing course at a college or university – you’re also going to come away just being glad to be alive. OK, I understand I’m going to need to break that down for you to believe me. First, the course has been put together by myself, David Pannell, and my partner (in all things in life) Lisa Fox. Lisa herself spent a decade in a busy marketing department in a large manufacturing business, she writes the monthly business column in Vegan Food & Living Magazine and now advises high street brands and manufacturers on registering their product with The Vegan Society’s Vegan Trademark scheme as their official UK agent.
As for myself (David), in my previous life I was an official ambassador for the Chartered Institute of Marketing, have co-written award-winning marketing and design courses for university centres, have delivered high-impact marketing bootcamps over several years which have been attended by thousands of people (dare I embarrass Lisa here and say that’s how we actually met!) and have set up, run (and even sold) my own marketing agencies for over 20 years, working with some of the biggest companies in the UK.
Going vegan ourselves led myself and Lisa to sell the successful marketing agency we were running and launch Promote Vegan, which works with some of the biggest brands in the world to help them better understand the vegan consumer and improve their vegan offering. Everything that they pay the big bucks for us to help them with, you will find in this course. We read the ‘Mintel reports’ and pour over the latest industry research data on vegan trends so that you don’t have to. However, you also get something in this course that they don’t. You get the raw, unfiltered, vegan Lisa and David. You can only teach someone who isn’t vegan themselves so much about successfully marketing to the vegan sector. For you, we can go really deep. If I deliver a marketing seminar to a room full of executives from non-vegan companies, then I have a different set of slides to those I show to a room full of vegan business owners. The seminar will be twice as long also – not because I’m holding anything back from the execs (he hastily adds in case any of them read this!) but because I know that you will really understand and connect with what we can teach you.
How much does the course cost?
You’ll pay nothing to access the course – it is part of the £12.99 a month membership to Vegan Business Tribe that will be launching its paid tier in October 2020. As part of this, you’ll also get access to all our content, our weekly articles and advice, as well as our vegan business owners’ forum and monthly Zoom networking, and live Zoom Q&As with Lisa and David.
You will also get access to all future vegan business courses as they are released.
Understanding your customer and the market (Expand each section for more)
- Who is this course for?
- Why are you doing this?
- Is this course any good?
- Keep a notebook
- Time to start keeping a notebook
- It doesn’t matter if you are selling a physical product, your time, a service or looking for donations
- A note on language
- Auditing where you are now
- You are not your customer
- Why should you care about the vegan marketplace?
- Plant-based vs Vegan
- Mapping your product on the vegan marketplace.
- Understanding the vegan journey
- Understanding entry points to veganism
- Positioning your product to match your customer’s vegan journey
- Mapping how your vegan message connects with different types of vegans
- Why you need to create a remarkable business
- Creating a difference other than ‘vegan’
- Case study: Bloom & Wild
- Case study: Kings Grooming Products
- Case study: Mummy Meagz
- Case study: Peasholm Park Vegan B&B
- Case study: Cottonsafe Natural Mattress
- Over to you: what makes you remarkable?
- Defining what makes you remarkable
- Defining your point of difference
- The changing face of veganism
- Why you need to do customer research
- How to research your customers
- Creating your customer profiles
- Using your customer profiles
- Creating a ‘value proposition’
- Linking your value proposition to someone’s vegan motivation.
- Why people don’t buy
- Using social media adverts to find out why people are not buying your product
- Nurturing potential customers
- Timeline of a buying decision
- Engaging your invisible customers
- Don’t build a business, start a movement
Your vegan marketing toolbox (Expand each section for more)
- Choosing your tools
- Why your company need to be online, regardless of your views of the internet
- Finding and learning the right channels for you
- Is your brand right?
- Should you use the term vegan, cruelty-free or plant-based in your brand?
- Defining your vegan brand voice
- Mapping out what kind of vegan company you are
- Your visual brand – how should your company look?
- Vegan branding case study
- Researching other company’s brands
- Veganising your current brand
- Create a brand you love
- Why should you have your own website?
- Deciding how to make your website
- Analysing other people’s websites
- Reviewing websites you love to work out what you like about them
- Planning content and customer flow
- What your customers want from my website
- What you want from your customers
- Capturing customer details
- Creating confidence in your company
- Why Google?
- Getting people to your website
- Getting technical
- PPC (Pay Per Click)
- Researching keywords and finding out search volume for a term
- Google My Business
- Google Shopping
- Know your figures before you start
- Starting out with email marketing
- Nurturing a no into a yes
- Creating an email marketing calendar
- Keep your mailing list growing
- What do you send your email list?
- What is ‘content’?
- Planning your content
- Finding things to say
- Case studies of vegan companies who produce great content
- Your content doesn’t have to be digital
- Brainstorming and planning out your content plan
- Writing out your content plan
- Taking a closer look at social media
- Why be social?
- Advertising on social
- Testing, tracking and tweaking
- Paying to build up your audience
- Targeting vegans
- Learning more
- Getting results without paying
- Auditing socially successful companies
- Choosing your platform
- Building your followers
- What to post on your social media pages
- Using social media to connect with other businesses and their audiences
- Handling anti-vegan comments on social
- And finally, keep talking and measuring
- Why LinkedIn isn’t social media – just yet
- Understanding the basics
- Building your credibility on LinkedIn
- Finding and making connections
- Paying for LinkedIn
- Using the power of the ⓥ
- Getting out there
- Finding the confidence
- Creating your elevator pitch
- Structured networking meetings
- Can’t find a network to join – build you own!
- Local vegan fairs
- Trade shows and bigger vegan events
- Creating an event strategy
- Offline versus online
- Postal marketing
- Your physical environment
- Asking for referrals
- Paid offline advertising
- Collecting ideas
- What is a personal brand?
- How to become an expert
- How to build a personal brand
- Vegan companies with great personal brands
- Creating credibility
- Mapping out your personal brand opportunities
- The results of having a strong personal brand
- How companies get in the news
- If Apple made sausage rolls
- Finding your story
- Identifying who to approach with your story
- What to put in your pitch
- Template: writing your pitch to journalists
- Journalists love stats
- Journalists love photos
- How to follow-up with journalists
- PR stunts
- Vegan PR stunt case studies
- Using a professional PR agent
- Why you should look to work with vegan influencers
- Finding an influencer that aligns with your brand
- How to approach a vegan influencer
- Giving influencers content
Creating and carrying out your marketing plan (Expand each section for more)
- What we’ve learnt so far
- Why you need a plan
- Don’t spend – test
- A budget is not just money
- Funnelling customers to a buying decision
- The funnel in…
- …The funnel out
- Funnel strategies
- Example one: a physical product
- Example two: a service
- Example three: a charity of not for profit
- Creating content and campaigns for different stages in your funnel
- Deciding what you are going to do, and in what order
- Matching your activity to your customer research
- Drawing up your marketing mix
- Sticking to your plan
- Breaking down your plan into separate tasks
- Mapping your tasks onto a timeline
- How to set and hit deadlines
- Using review sessions
- Pulling it all together
- Creating the time to make it happen
- Testing (yes, again)
- Your final audit
- Keeping your momentum and enthusiasm