Are you a reluctant rainmaker? You’re great at what you do and would rather much spend your days doing that… than having to beat your own drum, and rattle neighboring trees to make new business fall into your lap. If you view marketing as a pesky, annoying activity you have to get done rather than something that makes you leap out of bed every morning as you live and breathe (like me), then my friend, this article is for you.
Chances are if you groan when you think about marketing, it might be because at some level you think sales and marketing is about pushing, coercing or manipulating people into buying your services.
I don’t blame you if you feel less than thrilled if that’s what you think. Fact is that’s still the way most people teach marketing but to me that’s annoying, sneaky, and very outdated.
And, in case you needed any more reason to abandon that train of thought, in this new economy, that kind of approach just doesn’t fly.
Our clients are savvier than they’ve ever been in the history of marketing. They’re far more demanding, And they’re far more skeptical. Real marketing is about building relationship and establishing value first. If you’ve done a great job doing that – they’ll be the ones coming to you asking “how do I get more?” No magic tricks, hypnosis or voodoo involved. Just plain old-fashioned value combined with a dash of integrity and a good dose of creativity.
Here are 5 easy strategies to climb back in the saddle and make promoting your business a breeze:
- Give up chasing the sale (that’s the old school, old economy method). Most companies are so busy focusing on lead generation and finding new customers, they completely ignore the ones they have, and those customers wind up never buying from them again. That’s backwards, especially when you remember it costs five times as much money to sell to a new customer than it does to get an existing customer to buy again. Invest at least as much time and money into developing relationships with your existing customers as you do trying to find new ones.
- Get very clear about who you’re selling to. Don’t think of your target market as a target market. Think about them as a single individual – your ideal client. Give them a name, create a profile for them so that they’re a living breathing person. Now write all your marketing as if you’re writing just to that person. This will prevent your marketing from sounding like a boring mass marketing.
- No more marketing one night stands! Forget firing off just one marketing piece and expecting the poor little guy to do all the heavy lifting for you. At the bare minimum your marketing should be a 3-step campaign. Some of the most biggest (and most successful) campaigns I’ve ever done have involved as many as 49 different steps – in a range of different media. Repetition is key. You have to be like Waldo in your target market – popping up everywhere your prospects are looking.
- Create a marketing calendar for your business. This is a monthly and then weekly breakdown of all your marketing activities that you need to be doing in order to be filling your marketing funnel with qualified leads. Marketing is a process, not an event. It’s highly likely that if your marketing isn’t scheduled to happen in advance, then it doesn’t happen (unless you’ve got a cash flow crisis).
- Learn how to market your business but if it’s not your true love, then, outsource it fast and get out of your own way. Some of my best private clients are themselves very good marketers, so why do they hire me to help them? Because while they might be good at marketing, they’re not great at it – and it’s not their one supreme skill. Their time is far better spent doing what their supreme talent is – that might be face-to-face relationship building with giant accounts, beavering away in the back room creating new products, or implementing processes and systems to make their businesses run like a well oiled machine. Whatever your supreme talent is, that’s where you add the most value to your clients, and to your business. If marketing isn’t what you live and breathe – that’s ok. You don’t have to. There are plenty of great copywriters you can outsource it to (ahem!).
But what you do need to know is what great marketing looks like, and how to tell a great marketer from just a good one.
And one final word of advice, no matter who you use to help you with your marketing, never, ever hand over the reins to them entirely. This is YOUR business and as business owner you always need to keep a watchful eye on your marketing. It’s the lifeblood of your business.