Published on Monday 19 January 2015 in The Shoestring Marketing Blog
It's 2015. Time to Bring on the Marketing Basics!
By CIM Fellow Dee Blick, the UK's No 1 bestselling small business marketing author
If you've been searching for the marketing miracle that will double your sales in the blink of an eye I don't want to disappoint you but I've yet to find it. But what I can tell you is that you don't need to find a miracle to increase your sales and build a profitable business. And you don't need deep pockets.
You simply need to focus on being brilliant at the marketing basics. Here's how…
1. Roll up your sleeves and invest some time in marketing your business.
Commonsense but if you find yourself falling into the trap of trying to fit the odd bit of marketing in here and there whilst doing the day job it won't happen and, you're likely to waste money on knee jerk tactics. Find time to market and book that time in your diary. Three 90-minute sessions a week if you can! Find a quiet space; switch of all gadgetry and let your mind wander. Capture your ideas. At the heart of all great low cost marketing campaigns are fantastic ideas.
2. Become marketing savvy.
It's great that you're reading this blog. Come back and read more! Follow good marketing people on social media too. The more you can learn about marketing the better. In no time you'll find yourself making the right decisions with confidence.
3. Know who you want to reach, why you want to reach them and where you are going to find them.
Then remind yourself of the fantastic benefits you're offering prospects and existing customers. I'm often called into a small business to find out why their marketing is not working. I usually discover they're trying to reach everybody as opposed to identifying the folk with a deep underlying need for their product or service. Where do your starving crowds hang out? You need to be there on a regular basis!
4. Step out of your marketing comfort zone!
I met a small business owner recently at an event where I was the speaker. He told me he loved networking, but loathed the idea of telephone cold calling. First of all, telephone cold calling is a powerful marketing tool but this is not about what you like and what makes you feel comfortable. It's about finding the right channels to reach the people you want to sell to. Don't limit your potential by avoiding marketing tactics on the basis that you don't like the sound of them or they make you feel a little uncomfortable. Make 2015 the year in which you well and truly push yourself out of your comfort zone...
5. Plan campaigns, not one off hits.
People rarely make the decision to do business with you at the very first asking. They have to know, like and trust you before parting with their hard earned cash. This can take time. So if you're hoping to convert a cold prospect into a hot new client with just one mailshot for example you may be disappointed. As a young copywriter I was taught The Power of Three; that to clinch most sales you should target a prospect at least three times. An example could be to make a charming introduction on LinkedIn, to follow this up with a targeted sales letter and to culminate in a telephone follow-up call. Don't give up before the miracle happens!
And don't let a single day go by when you're not talking with enthusiasm about your business and doing something positive to market it. Get into the marketing habit. Look upon marketing as the engine that fuels your sales, compresses the decision-making process and elevates you way above your competitors.