10. Market, market, then market some more
The question: What single thing you wished you’d done more of?
The answers: Marketing! Marketing! You have to ask? – Marketing!
The answers surprised me. Not that “the marketing answer” was unexpected but I did not expect it to be the answer from so many of the respondents.
But what is marketing?
Never mind the highfalutin definitions you hear, simply stated, marketing is everything you do to place your product/service in the hands of potential customers in return for a profit for yourself.
Even as they acknowledge marketing as a powerful business solution to explode their business success, many small business people are actually afraid of marketing. As a matter of fact, many will avoid it at all costs.
I can relate to this fear.
When I started my business over 17 years ago, the one thing I was sure I was going to outsource was marketing. And I tried. But repeatedly, the marketing experts just kept trying to market my service business like I was selling products.
Very soon I discovered that no marketer I tried could quite translate the passion I felt in my belly and present it to the world as I wanted it presented.
So, I had no choice – kicking and screaming - but to learn how to market myself and my business. This was necessary because however good my product and or service is, if no one knows about it, then I will make no sales.
For services the approach has to be different. But what is a service?
Simply put, it's an activity or benefit that is essentially intangible and does not result in the ownership of anything. Its existence may or may not be tied to a physical product.
Incidentally, have you ever tried returning a service you didn’t like?
This means that effectively marketing a service depends on building a series of relationship at which, you the service provider, are at the core. This requires you to learn how to differentiate and sell yourself. No excuses.
Here are 3 great marketing tips provided by Clate Mask, Co-Founder and CEO of Infusionsoft:
First, you need to be consistent in your marketing.
The majority of small businesses are inconsistent in their follow-up. They might send an email or direct mail piece and then wait months before sending another one. Without consistency, your prospect has no idea who you are.
Furthermore, inconsistency can cause a perception of ineffectiveness. Nobody wants to buy from a company they don't trust.
Second, establish your expertise.
Too often entrepreneurs, struggling to survive, send emails and direct mail pieces simply to promote their products.
Now, promoting your products is great. But you need to do a lot more than that with your marketing. Your marketing messages should be positioning you as a respected authority in your industry.
Be sure to include testimonials, endorsements, and awards your company has won, along with your sales message.
Third, educate your prospects.
Your follow-up must be informative. You need to provide valuable information. If you're showing up with no value, you'll wear out your welcome fast. You need to communicate that you are on their side and deserve to be trusted. You'll accomplish this if you provide them with accurate, insightful information.
Just remember, when your marketing becomes consistent, promotes your expert status, and educates your prospects, you will soon have prospects knocking at your door, rather than you knocking at theirs.
Which one of these signature business solutions will most explode your business growth? Marketing will do it for you!