Here are five small business marketing tips that can save you a lot of frustration and time when it comes to marketing your small business. Miss out on any of these steps and you will be leaving a lot of business on the table.
When it comes to marketing your business, just who are you trying to attract? To be really effective when it comes to marketing your goods or services you need to have identified a specific segment.
Getting clear on who your target market is will set you up for great success.
Please, don’t skip this step and move thinking people all sort itself out because of your fantastic service or great product. If you’ve gone through the process of defining your unique value proposition, then somewhere along the way the audience you wanted to deliver your proposition to would have been identified.
If your product or service is being marketed to everybody, then your marketing budget will need to be huge, as will your capacity for disappointment. Your audience may consist of several segments but either way you need to define avatar or profile that brings into clear focus exactly who you want to send your marketing message to.
Okay, so you know who you want to deliver the message to now. Have you worked out exactly what you want to say? By this I mean have you framed exactly what you do, who you do it for, what issue or problem do you solve and what are the outcomes for the customer.
This is another critical area to work on in your marketing and sales process. You don’t want the scenario where you have defined your audience clearly and then proceed to send garbled, confusing messages about your business, that do not resonate with your prospects.
In its simplest form your message may boil down to one line, for example:
“I help <target audience> that <issue you solve> to <outcome for customer>”.
The message must capture the listener’s attention and explain what you are providing in a brief and interesting format. There should be no ambiguity or confusion over what your value proposition is. Confused people don’t buy…
You now know who you are going to deliver the message to and the format of the message. The next step is to define the channels you will use that will give you the highest probability of having your message seen by your target audience.
In getting to know your target audience you would have also asked questions about where they gather, what they read, what their affiliations are and associations they belong to, as well as the social media platforms they frequent.
If your business sells to other businesses (business to business), then your preferred social platform may be LinkedIn. If you sell to consumers (business to consumer), then perhaps Facebook may be more appropriate.
These are important distinctions that could be the difference between getting great results for your marketing efforts and wasted money.
Now this might seem like a silly question, but here goes anyway. “Are you ready for business”? You would be surprised to know how many businesses perform the first three steps of marketing their business, but I somehow get caught off guard when the business actually arrives.
By this I mean their systems or processes for handling orders, invoicing, delivering the services or handling customer feedback have not been developed and tested to ensure that the customer experience is a pleasant one.
You may have the best product or service in the world but if your customer is made to feel unimportant or disrespected, your business and its reputation will take a severe hit. Many businesses chase sales, and once they have achieved this aim they move on and ignore the customer. This is short-term thinking and not what great businesses are built on.
By not defining and following a robust follow-up process, you are accepting that you will forgo twice your current revenues. As you may be aware, prospects are not always ready to buy immediately.
There will be a small percentage, perhaps 3% to 5% that you encounter at the right time in the buying process that will do business with you immediately.
What about the other 95%? It would be a huge waste of potential business to ignore them and move on. If you maintain your prospect pipeline and revisit them occasionally then, over time, a further 5 or 10% of them may progress along the buying cycle and become customers. By having a process in place that allows you to keep in touch and nurture the relationship, you may be in a position to double your revenues from the same prospecting base.