If you're a typical new business owner, you'll likely feel overwhelmed by all the marketing you have to do in order to promote your business.
While it may not be your favourite activity, marketing is essential to every successful business. There's just no way around it. The simple truth is that you won't be in business for too long if you don't market yourself.
But is there a way to work smarter when it comes to marketing, and still get great results? I believe there is. You can spend less time and effort - but with a lot more focus - when it comes to your marketing strategy.
Here are my tips on how to get more mileage out of your marketing efforts:
(1) Stop marketing to everyone
Everything you do with your marketing starts with targetting the right potential clients. If you try to market to everyone under the sun, your marketing message will be too vague and generic, and therefore ineffective.
Your marketing needs to appeal to a well-defined segment of your audience. In fact, the more well-defined your niche is, the more you'll be able to connect with the desires of that audience, and the easier it will be for you to provide the exact solutions they're looking for. Your marketing will become more effective, getting you more sales in less time and helping you reduce marketing costs.
(2) Stop doing stuff that doesn't work
So many people fall into the trap of thinking that we need to market ourselves everywhere - and to everyone. However, not every channel is going to work for your business. The key is to make time to pause and analyse what marketing methods are working for you, and which are simply a waste of your time, then focus on the activities that bring you results.
How will you know? You have been measuring some kind of metrics, haven't you?
You need to find ways to measure your return on investment (ROI). And don't forget that this investment isn't always just money. It could be your time, your commitment and the sacrifices you're making. Only you will know what these are.
(3) Stop doing stuff that doesn't align with your core values
Doing stuff that doesn't align with your core values can be draining, overwhelming and, ultimately, project the wrong type of energy to your potential clients. This, in turn, will mean that you either won't get the desired results for your marketing, or you'll attract the wrong type of clients. Either way, it's a waste of your time and energy.
So, if you don't feel good about using fake urgency in your marketing (for example, saying that you have limited places on your coaching program when it's not true), then don't do it. I strongly believe that potential clients can sense when your claims are really true or are just marketing ploys. So don't feel that just because some "guru" out there is advocating a particular marketing "technique", that you have to follow it. You don't. Follow your own intuition instead. If it feels icky, stay away.
(4) Become known for one thing
When you become known for one thing and stop spreading yourself too thinly, you can focus your time and energy on promoting that one thing. Over time, you'll start to get more and more referrals for that one thing too, as your name become synonymous with your special topic.
One way to achieve this is by creating a signature program where you solve one specific problem for your clients. Your signature program is your unique "how to" system that helps your clients achieve a set of predefined outcomes. It's a solution based on your own success in solving a problem, whether for yourself or for past clients.
(5) Get your clients to market for you
There's nothing quite like word-of-mouth recommendation to boost your marketing. Use this to your advantage.
Showing client testimonials is one of the most powerful ways to get people to buy from you. What your past clients say about you is much more persuasive than any other form of advertising. And they are proofs that your services are worth the investment.
Leverage the power of social proof by showcasing your client testimonials. Make sure they're easy to find. Insert them throughout your website and social media platforms.
(6) Build a community
Building a community provides a platform for those who identify with your brand to come together, exchange ideas and support one another. It's a great way to build brand loyalty and help spread your message.
Ask yourself the type of community you want to build. It could be related to a cause you're passionate about, or centered around a common interest. Make sure it's in line with your core values, your services or products. And it needs to be one that your potential clients find value in and want to actively participate in.
For example, if your target audience is women business owners who have young children, you may want to build a community that promotes and campaigns for better childcare options.
(7) Let the experts do it for you
If marketing really doesn't light you up, and you think your strengths lie in other areas, then perhaps it's time to outsource or delegate your marketing to someone else. Paying an expert to do it for you may be one of the best investments you make in your business. Not only will it free you up to focus on what you love doing the most, it'll likely yield much better results than your own haphazard efforts. So if you've got the budget - then what are you waiting for?
(1) Go through your marketing activities and identify (a) those that are getting you worthwhile results, (b) those that are aligned with your core values, and (c) those that are either a waste of time or not aligned. Then focus more on those listed in (a) and (b), and forget those in (c).
(2) If you don't have a well-defined niche yet, block out time on your calendar to work on this. I promise you once you have clarity on who you serve, your marketing will be much easier and more effective. Need help with niching down? Read this.
(3) Sort through your client testimonials and show them off on your website and social media channels. Read this post if you need help getting killer client testimonials.
(4) Consider building a community around your brand. Brainstorm ideas and see what you come up with.