You’re a company owner – you’ve noticed a slow down in enquiries. The phones not ringing as much and you’re not getting those speculative enquiries you once were. Is it time to shut up shop and go home? Or, is it time to get serious about marketing your company? It is vital to ensure that when thinking about your business, think about how you can tell the potential customer about it. Think about ways that might stand out from the crowd. Don’t just think about tweets and search engines. Think creatively about your target market and how you can make your company real to potential clients.Think creatively about your target market and how you can make your company real to potential clients Click To Tweet
I’ve set out some ideas below that could help you get your business seen for the right reasons:
The thing is that many businesses are normally really great at the service they provide to the clients they have. It’s the first bit that they (and many other businesses for that matter) struggle with. It’s also fair to say that most companies haven’t considered a marketing budget – let alone a marketing plan – they will tell you that most enquiries come from word of mouth. If your new to the world of commerce, the chances are you won’t have thought about how to market your small business.The thing is that many businesses are normally really great at the service they provide to the clients they have. It’s the first bit that they (and many other businesses for that matter) struggle with. Click To Tweet
Many small business owners commit their time to networking and promoting via haphazardly distributing their business cards to anyone who stands still long enough and near enough to have one thrust into their hands.
According to a poll of over 300 businesses taken recently, 75% don’t have a formal marketing strategy. Which is probably code for don’t have one at all. Which means that they’re relying on gut instinct and what has gone before.According to a poll of over 300 businesses taken recently, 75% don’t have a formal marketing strategy. Click To Tweet
The trouble is that many businesses leave it late before recognising that they need a process to follow. Many are at breaking point before they start thinking about the funnel and flow.
Having an elevator pitch that you can happily level at your target audience is vital. I read an article once that suggested making it simple for anyone to relate to. So instead of stating “ we produce encryption for e-commerce platforms that use a 1028 key for the utmost security.”If an adults concentration span is around thirty to sixty seconds in length, craft your pitch accordingly. Make it around fifty seconds with the juicy stuff nearer to the start. Click To Tweet
You’d consider the listener and accept they may have no prior knowledge of your business sector – let alone your business. So you’d say something like:
“When you checkout at an online store like Amazon – it uses security software for sending your card details – that’s what we produce”. Now we know that most people on the earth have heard of Amazon and many have used the service. It makes it easy to relate to.
If an adults concentration span is around thirty to sixty seconds in length, craft your pitch accordingly. Make it around fifty seconds with the juicy stuff nearer to the start.
If you successfully engage with them, you’ve probably got a little over a minute to really sell them on your product or service. Invest the time to craft a killer elevator pitch. It makes your face to face time far more valuable and will increase your ability to guage interest and get some follow up.
It’s not all digital marketing. It’s about being laser focussed when it comes to community, but it doesn’t have to cost the earth to put your message out there.
Sponsor a local event, make small take homes like bookmarks for your local library or sponsor a kids football team. The fact is that many organisations and entities are very thankful for airtime and face-time and donations. Think how your budget, limited or otherwise could help promote your business.
Cross promote each other. It’s a simple, free to implement idea that will give your business even more reach. Look to link to each others websites. You could even look to give each other incentive to promote your business in the form of a discount or agree some form retrospective deal where they earn a commission and vice versa. It’s amazing what a bit of incentivising can do to a business relationship.
All of which come at little risk to either party.
The important thing about networking is to make it count. Make sure you see the right people at the event, get the opportunity to talk to them, make a decision and what other steps to take and move onto your next opportunity. Used wisely and for the right reasons, networking can become a very effective way of making new business connections in a short space of time.
Networking can be used for the wrong reasons too: thinking it can dig you out of an immediate hole is not realistic. The chances of coming across a knight on a white charger the first time you go networking is to put it mildly, unrealistic. Networking is like all marketing, it takes time to establish, but when it does, it can pay dividends.
If you feel that becoming a key person of influence is something you feel will better place you in your niche for quality leads, referrals and partnerships, then speaking is a great way to increase your public profile. Public speaking takes courage. I was reminded of this by Glen Carlson – one of the founders of Dent Global who provide a step by step guide on becoming a KPI. He reminded me that that those who speak practice, that those who give that amazing talk have probably rehearsed and given that speech time and time again.Dr Martin Luther King gave his “I Have A Dream Speech Click To Tweet
Dr Martin Luther King gave his “I Have A Dream Speech” hundreds of times all over America before he famously delivered it. The life coach Tony Robbins, started by delivering small speeches on giving up smoking and weight loss before he did what he does now. Start small, learn the speech and the craft and learn from the experience.
It often falls to networking afterwards and often people want to talk to you. I’ve found that you normally get a great deal of interest after a speech in what you do. I know that the co-founder of KPI, Daniel Priestley uses his speech in a really engaging way and then gives away his books to delegates. I can’t think of a more compelling way to get people curious about what you do.
If you’ve just completed a job with an existing client, there’s never a better time to ask who else they might know who could benefit from your expertise.
Some may say they don’t know anyone. Others will be only too happy to introduce you. But the best thing is: if you’ve done a great job for your client, they’ll do the selling for you.
Keeping in contact with those you’ve already met is by far and away cheaper than prospecting for a new client. All you need is an email address to give your online marketing a shot in the arm.All you need is an email address to give your online marketing a shot in the arm. Click To Tweet
The best way to keep in touch is using an email marketing list. I love them as they are platform agnostic. Meaning – it doesn’t matter what happens, you can still keep in contact with your prospect no matter what happens to social media platforms.
Use the content from a blog post or article you’ve written to send to your mailing list to keep them in the loop.
Keep them abreast of offers and new products and services you’re offering.
Giving people an incentive to come and visit you is an ideal way to get facetime for your business. There are two things however that need to be done to ensure that you get seen and that people take action.
Firstly, make sure that your offer is something that has a perceived high value, but can be bought for less. Normally a service is ideal.
The offer has to be compelling. It is no good offering five percent off things that are still expensive after the discount. It needs to be significant. Make sure that there is an expiry date on the voucher. Also, make sure it is time-bound. Vouchers that never go out of date are the scum of the business world!
When you’re creating your offer, make sure there is a way of sampling your services or products risk-free. Make a lite offer for clients to see how you think and how your business works. Once they’ve emotionally invested in you, they will come back for the next offer up or event the top of the range product or service you offer.
Kill your clients with kindness – it’s a great way of getting loyalty before they’ve parted with a penny. One word of warning, make sure that the no-cost and low cost offers don’t take up too much of your time – otherwise it becomes counter-productive.
These simple marketing ideas will ensure that your new business or existing business gets seen. With relatively little up front cost these marketing efforts will have your business known by more people, quickly, efficiently and with little cost attached.
Go for it.Kill your clients with kindness - it’s a great way of getting loyalty before they’ve parted with a penny. One word of warning, make sure that the no-cost and low cost offers don’t take up too much of your time - otherwise it becomes… Click To Tweet