Friday, November 22nd, 2019

6 Tips to Marketing Success!

By Cathy Kuzel on Jan 25 2010 • Filed under The Connected Woman

The business name is registered; the logo has been designed and the business cards and brochures are printed.  Check

A list of all the networking events around town have been entered into the blackberry and scheduled into the calendar.  Check

Your business plan has been carefully crafted and you understand the importance of marketing and to succeed in business: you’ve got to market to reach your customers.  Check

Due diligence has been done and the target market demographics and statistics have been taken into consideration to develop a marketing strategy/plan.  Check no, wait – what?

There is ONE major reason most small businesses and solo-professionals are not successful with their marketing: they have no strategy in place. 

Handing out flyers, attending networking events and placing an ad in the local paper is NOT effective marketing. It's gambling. You're hoping it will work but you really don't KNOW if it will because you haven't taken enough time to understand who to talk to, where to find them, what to say or how to measure effectiveness of your campaign. 

There are some very fundamental things to do BEFORE you start marketing if it’s going to be effective.

Tip#1 – The Key That Opens The Door To Marketing Success?  A Marketing Plan!

If you have your own business you know how essential a business plan is. It’s your map, your goal sheet, the plan to make your business successful. But you've probably never been told you need to have a marketing plan. 

"One major reason businesses are not successful with their marketing: they have no strategy in place."

And you may be asking yourself, is it REALLY that important? Is it absolutely necessary? YES!  

Perhaps you've found yourself in this very situation. You're working hard and even though you're marketing, the business isn't growing the way you want it to.

Hmmm…how much research did you do? 

Determine:

WHO your market is. Who is most likely to want to buy from you, or hire you? (Target Market)

WHERE they can be found (Demographics)

WHAT are they currently buying (Trending)

WHY are they buying and…

WHEN do they buy (time of year/season/month)

Tip #2 – Choose Your Clients Carefully!

When you own the business, YOU have control over who you take on as clients. So why do so many small business owners take on clients who are less than ideal? 

Unfortunately, because they're usually hungry (a.k.a. ‘desperate’!) for business, they take on anyone who appears to be looking for their services.  

So, your job as a marketer is to identify who your IDEAL CLIENT is from the TARGET MARKET that you determined. What kind of person do you most enjoy working with? Who can you best help with your products and services? 

Understand who this person is and get to know her well. Knowing who you're looking for and where to find them are two very important planning steps you must complete BEFORE you begin to market 

"Clients don’t care how ‘shiny’ your widget is or how ‘fast’ it can do XYZ – what they care about is how YOU can help THEM."

Tip #3 – Choose Your Words Thoughtfully!

Now that you know who you need to be talking to in your marketing campaign, the next big question is, "What should I say?" 

Think about the last time you had a conversation with a very good friend, someone who knew you very well. What was that conversation like? 

The other person probably said things that resonated with you and made you feel like they really understood you. THAT is what you're going for with your marketing message.  

Clients don’t care how ‘shiny’ your widget is or how ‘fast’ it can do XYZ – what they care about is how YOU can help THEM. How you can solve a problem they have. How you can fill a need, make their life better, help them feel better, etc. 

You have a brief window of opportunity to grab your prospect's attention. If you can talk about what's important to them in your marketing they'll be a lot more likely to pay attention and take the action you want them to take.

Tip#4 – It's Important To Be Uniquely YOU: Authenticity!

Be professional in your marketing, but don't be afraid to let your uniqueness and personality shine through. Avoid the big words and industry jargon. Just speak plainly about the problems they're facing and how you can help them.  

Don’t pretend to be something you’re not – it’ll come back to bite you (possibly with a nine iron!) 

It'll make a world of difference in your marketing success. 

Tip #5 Get More Bang For Your Marketing Buck: on a Shoestring Budget!

The three most overlooked areas of marketing are the following: 

■ Press releases/Articles 

■ Public Speaking 

■ Social Media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook (just to name a few) 

An ad in a magazine would cost thousands of dollars – definitely NOT in my budget!

Social media has opened up thousands of possibilities to promote and market yourself and your business at no cost to you. 

I have one client in particular who was afraid of marketing when I met her. After showing her the benefits of no-cost marketing, she went out and convinced her local newspaper to write a feature article about her business. 

Then she went to another local paper and talked them into letting her write a weekly column. She joined LinkedIn and tweeted about her articles and her conversion rate for sign-ups on her website jumped considerably. All this accomplished by a total newbie when it came to PR and marketing. 

If she can do it, so can you! 

"Create an ongoing action plan that allows you to get your marketing message out."

Tip #6 Work Your Marketing Plan Consistently!

If you want to be successful, you cannot try random marketing activities once or twice and expect great results. Marketing takes consistency. 

Your job as a marketer is to keep your message out there. You might get tired of it, but your prospect isn't seeing it nearly as much as you are. 

Your job is to generate awareness of your products and services so when an ideal client is in the market for them, they remember and contact YOU. 

If you've only spoken to them once, six months ago, how can you expect them to think of you now when they're ready to buy? 

Create an ongoing action plan that allows you to get your marketing message out in a variety of ways over time. And make sure you stick with your plan even when you get busy. You've got to make marketing a priority.  

This takes a shift in thinking. Very often people stop marketing when they get busy because they never learn to think bigger and  find ways to handle increased business. When they get busy, they either don't have time to run the business and focus on marketing, or they're afraid they'll get more business than they can handle. So they stop. 

This is a very stressful way to run a business. It makes for some very unsteady cash flow and it's next to impossible to really grow. 

So make your marketing a part of the way you do business. Put your marketing actions plan on your "to do" list. 

Whatever it takes, start doing it now!


8 Comments

  1. Great article. Some great tips, especially highlighting the importance of strategic marketing.

  2. Great article. Tips 2 and 4 definitely resonate with me. I’ve found marketing to be the hardest part of running a beauty brand but it’s also probably the most important aspect of business. I’ll definitely be using these tips to step my b-game up! Thanks

  3. Great article! I especially like tip 2. It’s easy to get clients that you don’t need, don’t want, and should never have had in the first place.

    • So true Steve.
      Another part to Tip #2 is how to fire clients you don’t want. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve coached my clients on how to get rid of customers/clients that are costing more to keep in time, money and energy. Be professional and tactful but let them go!

  4. Great points here. Like Cathy, I too encounter countless biz owners looking for PR but having no clear idea of who they’re marketing to or who their competitors are. This is such a crucial step that just can’t be overlooked if you’re going to run a successful business!
    When it comes to PR strategy it is also very important to understand that blanket emailing of press releases won’t get you media coverage. If you can’t afford working with a PR firm I’d suggest focusing on building relationships much like described in the article here – with local media, offering your expertise, writing articles and being active in the community. Social media such as twitter, facebook (fan page) and YouTube also offer amazing opportunities to connect and engage with current and potential customers.

  5. Cathy;
    Great information! With the way the internet works today, it just isn’t enough to put up a website with good keywords anymore, you have to have a good solid strategy to market your website and your business. I don’t think people realize just how important their “list” is. You have to keep in touch with your clients so they don’t forget about you.

    Good info! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Loved your article, Cathy; especially the part about making marketing a priority. Book it into your calendar and make it non-negotiable rather than leaving it to your “left-over” time, of which there is usually NONE!

    It really IS all about what your transformational value is to your prospective clients. Vision+Consistency = Tons of Clients!

    Thanks for sharing such great marketing tips!

    • Thanks Karen, marketing is such an integral part of any business whether you’re a dentist or a software developer. Many of my clients are successful business owners but I’m always amazed when I hear the answer to my evaluation question: “What is your marketing strategy?” I just might write a book about it! 🙂

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