While there may be a hot, new marketing tool that does dramatically help your business grow, most marketing know-how boils down to three basic elements:
- do it
- do it consistently
- figure out who you’re marketing to and tailor 1 and 2 to suit their preferences.
The worst thing you can do for your business is sit around and “hope” someone will buy your stuff/show up to your event/suddenly know who to call when they have a problem you solve. There are lots of marketing gurus that will tell you how to do marketing—how to write it, how to design it, where to put it—the key is: you have to actually do it. If sales is all about managing rejection and staying resilient, marketing is about monotony. You have to show up AND actually do it. You’ll often get little feedback about what is working. You may potentially get some feedback that people actually see it (online, in person). And it will surprise yourself when there is a direct, tangible connection between some piece of marketing you did resulting in an actual sale. Otherwise marketing is a grind. Show up, do it, do it again, results come SLOOOOWWWLLLLLY.
Do It Consistently
Hand-in-hand with #1, you can’t just do it once. You have to do “it” over and over and over again. Unfortunately you can’t do it sporadically and expect lasting results. Establish a schedule—every day you post, tag, share, comment, write, design, network or do something for your business that markets it to someone. Some days you’ll have great success and some random thing you posted will have a million views and “go viral.” Other days for weeks on end you’ll watch your marketing seemingly stagnant. Track what you’re doing. Track as many analytics as you can so that eventually you can derive a pattern and improve what you do to maximize the POTENTIAL that people will spend money on you. Until you graduate to that step, commit to doing something, anything EVERY DAY that tells people about your business.
Know Your Audience
Chances are, you started selling some product or some service because it appealed to you. Maybe you were good at it; maybe you were convinced this was the way to cure all of society’s ills. You bought in mentally, spent some time and/or invested some money and now it’s time to share the good news with the people who will actually buy it.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are these people?
- Why would they like this product/service?
- What other stuff do they like?
- How do they make buying decisions/how long does it take them to make a buying decision?
- Are they more likely to buy something if a spokesperson/ambassador bought it and talked about that experience?
- How do you explain what is so cool about it so these potential customers will actually care?
- Where do they get their news?
- Is anyone else buying or selling something similar to what you’re doing?
The answers to these questions feed back into #1 and #2 forever, creating a never-ending information loop. You’ll know how to tailor your materials in words and images (what is professional to one industry/demographic is crap to another) and where to put your materials (social media, radio ads, press releases, etc.). You’ll get an idea of what times of day and how often they might need to hear your message from the answers to these questions. Marketing gurus say it takes an average of 8-10 touches (hearing about your company, seeing your ads, getting an email from you, etc.) for a person to decide to buy. THAT’S A LOT OF MARKETING and it won’t happen overnight. Consider putting all this research into an official Marketing Plan so you can create a cohesive and structured approach.
Continue to Improve
Keep reviewing/improving your materials, keep looking at who is actually buying your stuff (because that might change over time), keep reviewing how you market and replicating your successes, try new things and keep learning and growing. It can be overwhelming at first and without a guarantee of success; spending hours (and dollars!) to market your business can be a disheartening grind. Sure, there are a few people that are “instant successes” but more often than not, you’ve just noticed those successes now and didn’t see the years they invested in providing quality products/services and consistently telling the world about it.
Keep your marketing simple and remember to do it, do it consistently (you make that schedule) and always keep your target audience in mind.