Laurel Anne Stark

Online Marketing Strategy Development for Custom Suit Designer / Retail Location:

Laurel Stark


Online Marketing Strategy Development for Custom Suit Designer / Retail Location:

Mid-June 2017, my contact in the marketing department was due to present a cohesive, easy to understand and implement online marketing strategy to the entire team.

Together over the course of two months, we worked to help my contact in the marketing team craft an online marketing strategy that the company could easily implement internally.

This is where they started, what we did, and the results of our work together:

About the Company:

Suits By Curtis Eliot is an up and coming, force to be reckoned with in the men’s fashion world.

Heralding from Edmonton, Alberta, with a second retail location in Calgary AB, Suits By Curtis Eliot has garnered international attention, highlighted by their invitation to New York Fashion Week.

Suits By Curtis Eliot is a custom suit designer, tailored for the modern gentlemen.

Their clients include such pro sports celebrities as the Gretsky family.  From professional NHL and NFL players, to leaders in their community, to financial, sales and legal professionals, SBCE provides perfectly tailored, completely custom suits at extremely competitive pricing.

The problem:

SBCE experienced a huge degree of success early into their company history.

The quick growth had them focused on providing their clients the best possible experience, instead of their internal processes.

In terms of marketing, they had great success on social media in terms of likes and followers, but they weren’t totally confident their efforts on social media were effectively driving in store sales.

They knew they weren’t doing the best job with search engine optimization (getting on google) or following up with their clients via email.

They knew they was room to better leverage their multiple appearances in the news media and they weren’t totally sure how to accomplish all of these goals in a way that wouldn’t take up all their time.

Why they chose me:

Founder, Sean Farmer, had his assistant reach out to me as she’d seen me present on the topic “Socializing Your Sales Funnel: Converting Fans and Followers To Paying Customers” and was impressed with the practical nature of the information I presented.

I also worked with them to create payment terms that worked for their organization, facilitating their ability to get a grant to pay my fees.

What we did together: Develop an online marketing strategy that could be used in the day-to-day operations.

We scheduled 8 phone calls over the course of two months.

In those calls we worked through my proven system for developing an online marketing strategy.

Together we got clear on the business objectives, what was and was not working, how best to and achieve the goals.

Then, we actually built an online sales funnel together: emails, sales pages, newsletter sign-up offers - you name it!.

During these sessions, the marketing team was trained on sleeves-up-get-it-done tactics for

: optimizing the website for search engines

: blogging effectively

: sending compelling email newsletters

: creating graphics for each blog post

And much more.

The final result:


  • Marketing staff that were confident, clear and trained on exactly what to do, when, in order to drive sales from the internet and measure each and every activity for effectiveness.
  • Staff that had dramatically increased their knowledge, skills and confidence in implementing day-to-day online marketing tactics.
  • A 20+ page online marketing strategy was created that could be used as the basis for the presentation and aid in staff training efforts going forward.
  • A checklist that included specific-to-the business tasks to be performed each day, week and month in order to see reliable results.

The online marketing strategy document included:

  1. Clarity on the SBCE ideal clients - who the most profitable, enjoyable clients were and how to attract more of them using online tools.
  2. What the current sales process looked like - what was working and what wasn’t- and what components should be duplicated and leveraged online.
  3. What the current online marketing efforts looked like - and how to design a system (from scratch) for the entire year that doesn’t take all day to execute.
  4. An easy to follow, clear checklist of the specific actions to take online to generate additional revenue.
  5. An automated online selling system: including the 2 most important website pages that sell for you 24/7.
  6. The social media and email list building strategy for the entire year.
  7. Integrated online assets: website, email, social, video, media, blogging, search engine optimization so every piece of the strategy works that much harder to make money.
  8. Exactly what steps to take each day, week and month to propel your business forward - and how to succeed on social media in just 17 minutes a day.

What the client said:

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Would SBCE recommend working with Laurel Anne Stark to create and develop an online marketing strategy and sales funnel?

5 signs you don’t need an online marketing strategy.

Laurel Stark

5 signs you don’t need an online marketing strategy.

An online marketing strategy can be described as a detailed written plan that explains exactly how you’ll market yourself and your business on the internet.

The development of an online marketing strategy can call for a significant investment of both time and money.

Before you spend your time and money, you may want to consider the following points to find out if you really need an online marketing strategy.  

What is online marketing?

Online marketing is an umbrella term used to describe online tools that can be used for the purposes of  marketing a person or business.

Facebook ads, email broadcasts, getting on google and your website are all online marketing tools.

These are by no means an exhaustive list of online marketing tools, though.

In fact, the world of online marketing changes almost daily.  New tools are constantly emerging, old tools dissolving and familiar behemoths changing their functionality or design almost entirely overnight.

Why do businesses market themselves online?

Consumers are savvy creatures. You know, you’re one of them!

In response to being inundated with advertising, we’ve adapted. We have spam filters, Netflix subscriptions and caller ID’s to help us avoid being sold to.

In the same breath though, we’re spending literally hours a day online. (Over 24 hours a week online in 2016 according to the Globe & Mail.)

Being in business, it pays to have a presence where your future customers are, so it makes sense to invest in a presence on Facebook, Google, YouTube and on other online marketing tools like your website.

When is developing an online marketing strategy a waste of time?

There are several scenarios when developing an online marketing strategy isn’t a good idea.

#1 - The first sign you don’t need an online marketing strategy.

The first is if you or the majority stakeholders in your business are of the opinion the internet isn’t a huge opportunity for businesses and business people alike.

Don’t laugh.

This is a reality for some people. Most commonly those who are just about to retire, those who don’t have cell phones and those who are generally resistant to change.

#2 - The second sign you don’t need an online marketing strategy

Another sign you shouldn’t invest in an online marketing strategy is when what you’re already doing is working well really well for your business, and for you personally.

Some businesses reliably experience an influx of new customers and sales from the internet. These leads and sales are willing to pay for what’s being sold and turn a tidy profit.

Sometimes this result can happen fairly easily and naturally, especially if the business owner is really in touch with their customers, where their customers hang out online and when they have an interest in learning online marketing.

#3 - The third sign you don’t need an online marketing strategy.

You're confident.

You’re measuring your results, you know what works, what doesn't and what tactics have the best return on investment.

Generating results and feeling confident in your abilities add up to an ideal situation, one where you likely don’t need any further support.

If you don’t find yourself in any of these three situations, it may be worth additional exploration to find out for certain whether or not an online marketing strategy will deliver value for your organization.

Other scenarios when an online marketing strategy doesn’t make sense are:

  1. You may find you need an online marketing strategy, but you’re not able to allocate the resources.

  2. You don’t want, or can’t handle any more business


When is developing an online marketing strategy a good idea?

The following symptoms usually indicate when it may be a good idea to invest in an online marketing strategy.

#1 You’re feeling less than confident:

You’ve been successful with your online marketing efforts to date.


Your business is making money, but you’re not feeling very confident you’re going about your online marketing the right, best or most effective way.

You may be wondering if you’re missing something. You may be worrying about whether you should have a presence on the latest social media site, or if it’s a waste of time. Any leads or sales that you're getting from the internet may be fairly sporadic, so it's not a very reliable source of leads.

#2 You’re not generating results:

You could have a very successful offline business, have an online marketing budget and believe online marketing can generate opportunities for you. But everything you’ve tried is a colossal waste of time and money.

#3 Your competitors are kicking your butt:

You may be noticing that your competitors appear to be doing a little bit better than you are. Whether it's they are ranking better than you are on Google or their social media is getting more engagement or whether you've just heard through the grapevine that they're doing better than you are financially.

#4 You can’t delegate:

You may want to delegate some of your online marketing responsibilities but you’re having difficulties doing so, because you don’t really know what to say to the person you’re delegating to.

#5 Your market is changing:

If you’re looking to expand or pivot into a different market, and you want to use the internet to drive leads, it makes sense to look at developing an online marketing strategy.

What kind of results can I expect from a strategy?

According to the Business Development Bank of Canada small business that have an online marketing strategy and are actually executing it can see revenues up to 22% higher than their competitors.

Obviously 22% more revenue is a significant increase in funds. That may be just the right incentive to invest in a strategy.

Why is a strategy that much more effective?

Without an online marketing strategy, typically anything that gets done in the area of online marketing is sporadic or reactive. It’s what we in the business call "spray and pray”. What this means is that you're out there testing everything out publicly.

Remember the internet never forgets, so being reactive and inconsistent can compromise your brand and erode the trust you’re trying to build with your audience.

Instead of building on the solid blocks of a foundation, each tactic or effort is acting individually instead of in concert where you can expect a compound effect.

Obviously I am biased, but truly and in the long term an online marketing strategy is much more effective for resource allocation if you’re at all invested in marketing your business online.

An online marketing strategy can save you time, save you money and most importantly it can going to keep those sales coming in and keep those profit margins high.

How To Actually Make Time For Your Online Marketing

Laurel StarkComment

If you DON’T feel overwhelmed by marketing your business online marketing - you may be doing it wrong.


Let me be the first to admit it, small business owners like myself already have towering to-do lists.

Many of us have deadlines that would send your average worker bee into straight up panic mode.

Add in a huge amount of information about a constantly changing set of circumstances that is the world of online marketing, and it’s pretty standard to feel overwhelmed!

People are surprised to hear me say this.  I get called a social media guru pretty regularly and I guess people think that I am calm, cool and collected and perfectly organized when it comes to my online marketing. The truth is, I’m not at all.

One of my favorite personal development truths is that if you can’t change the person, change the environment, and so that’s what I’ve done.

So, walk and talk with me!

Join me and Moe as we walk in the park and I’ll share my system with you.

Why this matters: Your job isn’t what you think it is:

If you're in business for yourself, you are definitely in the business of marketing yourself. If you don't have clients and you don't have sales, you don't really have a business, do you?

So, your online marketing has to be a priority to ensure your sales funnel and pipeline stay full!

Clarity Kills Confusion

The first thing I do is get really, really clear on my strategy.

What is it that I'm actually doing that is going to drive my business forward?

What specific actions will translate into more credibility, exposure and working with the clients that I want to work with. I also want more profit so I have enough time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine every once in awhile, you know...Because it's all about the life balance and I want to create a life and a business that works for me, not the other way around.

So before I do any marketing at all,  I get clear on:
who my ideal clients are and

  1. how I can find them online
  2. what the most effective way for me to spend my marketing time and dollars are.

Do you pencil yourself into your own calendar?

Once I'm clear on my strategic objectives, the second thing to do is then actually make time for working on and executing these objectives. Of course, that’s much easier said than done although the tactic is simple.

I basically have to book off time to work on my marketing in my calendar and I have to stick to the time slots I’ve dedicated to this.

How to leverage shame for personal gain

I find that if I don't make myself accountable to another person then I will not actually execute all the marketing stuff that I promised myself I would do.

So, I have a weekly accountability call with my partner, Wendy, and every week I tell her what I did last week that I said I was going to and what I'm going to do this week and she does the same with me.

I feel like a schmuck if I don't do the things that I said I was going to do. So I use that to my advantage.

“I basically leverage personal shame to achieve my business objectives.”

But you know what? It works like a charm because I don't want to let Wendy down and it makes me do the things that I said that I was going to do.

Those are my top tactics for getting clear on the right action, making the time to do the work and motivating myself to get it done.


Believe it or not, I have trouble writing blog posts and filming the videos I do. I am a procrastinator, and even when I have the time blocked off in my calendar, I still find it difficult to get started.

What I do in this situation is  break my tasks and timing up into little chunks, like a half hour at a time. I give myself a little break after each chunk of time, to have a snack or a coffee or go outside and I give myself a pat on the back once I've done it as well.


Because I find 80% of the effort is getting into the right headspace to get my online marketing tasks done, I want to get as much done once I am there as possible.

When it comes to videos and blog posts I typically will do 4-5 at once, all in one day.

I get my equipment set up, I'm in the zone and I can be really, really productive.That's just what works for me.

In summary.

I hope you found this helpful! If you want more online marketing tips, check out my website at and don't forget to like, comment and share this video.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on making time for your own marketing, please weigh in below!.

Thanks for watching.