Does marketing terrify you? Are you left in a cold sweat when you think about how to market and sell more of your service? Do you feel that if your network doesn’t help you find work, you’ll be a hobby owner instead of a business owner?
Provided you believe in what you’re offering, marketing should be fun. After all, you’re sharing how you solve problems and bring value to the exact group that needs your help. Or are you? Are you targeting the correct prospects with the correct message or are you telling anybody within shouting distance or on the internet what you do and why they should buy from you?
Not only should marketing be enjoyable, it should provide a steady flow of customers, produce predictable results that you can measure, and should be replicable. With a bit of thought and organization, your marketing can make the transition from frustrating to fruitful.
Marketing Systems Remove Randomness
Some small business owners will wait to begin marketing until they need new work. Others will rely upon their networks for everything. If either of these methods fail, it quickly results in problems. Too much marketing is done ad hoc or too many methods are done at once based on the philosophy that the more lines you have in the water, the more likely you are to catch a fish.
Unfortunately, this scattered manner rarely succeeds smoothly and leaves you unfocused. Instead, develop a system for your marketing. A system is nothing more than a group of processes. For instance, you may have a process for writing and publicizing a blog, developing a social media presence, sales, copywriting, etc. and when you integrate them into a cohesive unit, you have a system.
Having a marketing system helps your focus and prevents you from reinventing the wheel several times over. You capture what works, leave out what doesn’t and repeat.
Attract and Convert
Your system needs to be efficient at gathering leads and converting them to clients. Your process needs to be structured to consider where your prospects are, delivering value to them along with the appropriate message and transitioning them to customers.
These outcomes are essential to understand as you build your processes and system. Who are your ideal clients, where do they spend time so you can message them there, what are their problems, how does your offering solve their problems, etc. Do your research and make your marketing specific, don’t try to be all things to everybody!
If you have a great marketing system and it is oriented towards your clients and how they are reached you are prepared for success. But, if you start your marketing with only those considerations, you’re in for a rough ride. Your results will still be a bit random and your costs in time and money will still be too high.
Measure Your Results
You need to develop a measurement system that will help you understand at the most basic level, if I put $1 into my marketing system, how many dollars will I see in return. Without measuring, it’s easy to fall for shiny object syndrome where you try out new ideas constantly and are never more than vaguely aware that a particular initiative is working or not.
By measuring your marketing efforts and results, you’ll understand the cost of acquiring a new client, how long it takes on average, and the best way to market. Useful information! With that information your business becomes more predictable and you can plan for: growth, slow times of the year, make hiring plans, etc. Much of the mystery and stress will disappear and you can make decisions that are well considered.
It’s at this point in the discussions I have with people that they are nodding their heads in agreement and smiling. They get it. Then I can see the smile fade as they start to consider how to implement the suggestions and build a system, analyze their customers and message, and measure every step of the way. It seems overwhelming and an entirely new field to learn to many.
My response – find somebody who knows how to do this and model their behavior. What are they doing that works, how do they analyze and adjust and what are their results? Find several and pick and choose techniques. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, marketing is a tool in your business tool kit and while you have to be good at it, it isn’t the primary way that you deliver value.
Another way forward is to find a business coach who specializes in small business marketing and with whom you are compatible. Use their knowledge to jump-start your marketing and succeed much faster. Learn how to fish and execute the system and adjust. You’ll be set for the long haul. Don’t just ask them to do it for you unless you have a budget to keep them around for a long time!
If you’d like help with your marketing and if you’d like to explore receiving that help from me, sign up for one of my free marketing sessions. Together we’ll work through some of your marketing issues and come up with a few ideas you can begin implementing immediately. We’ll also both learn if we’re meant to work together. You don’t have anything to lose, after the session is free. Click here to view my schedule and pick a time that fits in your schedule.
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