It seems like a rather simple and perhaps even stupid question BUT I am preparing a presentation on ‘marketing’. I want to do something different so my thinking cap has been well and truly on for an inspiring presentation on that huge topic that is marketing.
There are so many buzz words, terms and methods that it can feel quite daunting, especially when you are the owner of a small business or solopreneur (that’s us folks who work for ourselves). It is an ever changing beast from traditional to digital, inbound to outbound and can leave us feeling quite deflated.
The most important consideration before you place an ad, open a social media account or launch a website is .... your end user. The customer really is King or Queen and it’s essential that you know them inside and out, have walked in their shoes and know everything you possibly can about them. By understanding what keeps them up at night and the issues or problems they face daily, you can begin showing yourself as the solution. It’s then a matter of finding where they hang out and marketing yourself to them:
• in a way that resonates
• that catches their attention
• or makes them sit up and say (in my case) ‘this person gets me’.
In many ways, this leads us nicely into a quick paragraph about – please don’t groan -sales funnels. If your shoulders have slumped and you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders just saying ‘sales funnels’ then let’s look at this another way. Your business needs a constant stream of lovely new customers and you need to bring them in from the cold and into the warm bosom of your family.
Just like meeting someone new, you might have a chat outside the school gate or on the golf course and this continues for a few days or even weeks and progresses to a coffee or pint. This relationship might not progress further than the odd meet up or you take it up a level and invite them over for dinner, join a family BBQ or out on a date (depending on the type of relationship you are building). Bingo you have made a lifelong friend or even met your future husband or wife!
Your marketing and sales funnel are intrinsically linked, together they work to move your leads to prospects and finally we hope customers. Once you know who your potential customers are and where they hang out you can develop your marketing strategy around cultivating that relationship. A marketing plan really can be a side of A4 and three columns clearly setting out which methods you are going to use to build your leads or contacts, how you will communicate with them to create prospects and finally moving them to customers.
This is a rather simple view I know but seriously why can’t it be this simple? Providing you are clear on your objectives you can create a strategy or blueprint for marketing your business. With goals in place you can easily monitor success, learn from what didn’t work and tweak as necessary. You can write a simple plan in this way for product launches, service offering, projects - the possibilities really are endless.
The key is consistently working in a way that keeps your sales funnel topped up and work coming in. Drop me an email if you would like to find out how my programmes can support you in developing a marketing blueprint for your business.