You most likely started your business because you love what you do (taking photos, giving massages, helping people lose weight) and not because you love the thought of sales and marketing. But the reality is that we should learn to fall in love with marketing, or we may quickly go out of business.
The good news is that sales and marketing is not about making the hard-core sales pitch or “working the room” at a networking event and grabbing as many business cards as possible. Instead, marketing is about building relationships, getting to know people, and teaching them how to solve their problems and challenges.
Identify your ideal client and get to know them like the back of your hand
Marketing begins with identifying the group of people you’re most meant to serve. You may or may not have heard of the concept of a target market, but it’s critical. Instead of marketing to everyone, let’s instead try to truly connect to the heart of those we’re most meant to help.
So if I have a skincare business, instead of feeling like “everyone with skin” is my target market, it’s much more effective to focus on a smaller subset of the population (i.e. such as stay-at-home Moms.) When my marketing message is trying to talk to everyone (seniors/retirees, busy working professionals, brides, college students), I risk not connecting with anyone because they all have different skin challenges and concerns. My message may be too watered down (i.e. “look great and feel great,”) so I might sound like “just-yet-another-sales offer.”
Yet, if I’m all about teaching stay-at-home Moms how to look great in 5 minutes, with the “mommy makeover,” and teaching them how to put on their makeup with one child hanging on their right leg and one child hanging on their left leg, I’m talking their language and directly talking to their heart. I could be seen as a passionate teacher and someone who really “gets them!”
Being seen as a teacher (i.e. showing them how to solve their problems) versus a seller is a subtle, yet huge, change in perspective.
Create a marketing strategy
When it comes to marketing, less can actually be more. Instead of dabbling in a little bit of everything, I encourage my clients to pick just three marketing strategies and to work at getting really good at those three strategies.
Consider strategies that will: 1. connect with your target market, which 2. fit your personality and which you can 3. commit to doing consistently.
Do you love to write? Then consider writing blog posts, articles and e-books.
Or what about speaking? Do you love the thought of creating teleseminars, webinars or podcasts?
Or how about creating videos; on-line social networking; live, face-to-face networking; vendor fairs; cold calls; placing on-line Ads, you monitor with Google Analytics; etc.?
Some business women are being very hit-or-miss with their marketing. For example, they may say that they’re using Facebook to market, but they haven’t made a post in a couple of weeks. Or, they take months off of marketing (over the holidays; during the summer.) That’s not going to be effective.
Some women move from one marketing strategy to the “next shiny idea.” When we move from one thing to the other, we’re not giving our efforts time to pay off and we’re not gaining any traction. Marketing isn’t about instant results! People do business with people they know/like/trust and that type of relationship takes time.
My goal for you is to learn to love marketing! See it as simply a way of connecting and being a “giver” to your target market. See yourself as an educator and problem-solver.
Find strategies that feel authentic to you and get really good at them. Be consistent and be visible. Measure which strategies are working and which aren’t working. And most importantly, have fun with it!
Clare Luffman helps women who are growing in-home businesses and who are feeling confused and overwhelmed by the information overload. She leads them through her step-by-step, signature program called “Six-Figure Success Habits.” She helps them replace their unproductive work habits with new success habits, so they can have businesses they love, that are extremely profitable and very well run! Please check out the free training resources on Clare’s site at www.SixFigureSuccessHabits.com.