I had the pleasure of speaking to the Catholic Business Network and gave a presentation on 5 keys to marketing success. For small business owners, marketing is a risk taking adventure, and they focus on what could go wrong. It’s hard to visualize how the investment will pay dividends. I explained that marketing success starts with an attitude of believing in your product and realizing that your goal is to present your product in it’s best light. This is a process, not an all-or-nothing gamble. So, if you want your business to grow, here are the 5 biggest keys to success that I see in working with our small business clients.
Goals – your business plan must include a marketing plan. If you don’t know where you are going you can’t get there. Set some specific objectives for new clients, new business, business from repeat clients, and some specific activities, such as “blog weekly”, or “1500 facebook” followers. Break those objectives down by month and by day. Plan campaigns to make them happen. Measure the results.
Personal Branding – you, as the owner, or as a sales rep, are the face of the company and your attitude and behavior are your #1 marketing tools. Understand your values, and exhibit those values in everything you do. Today’s consumer will evaluate you at their own pace on the internet and can instantly figure out if you are being authentic, in other words, if your stated values and your actual values are not in alignment. The good news is that they also reward authenticity and will gravitate to companies that stake out a position and stay with it.
Message – The single biggest mistake made in marketing is trying to be everything to everyone. What is the one thing you do better than everyone, for your best clients. Why, on a personal, emotional level do those clients buy from you? I guarantee it is not because of your product, or your breadth of product, its because of how safe they feel that you will deliver a positive experience for the one thing they want right now. Concentrate all your marketing on one unique value and get more of those clients, and write your message around their needs. Constantly evaluate how your clients define what a “positive” experience is.
Platform/Content – It doesn’t do any good to have 1500 Facebook likes if your clients aren’t on Facebook. The right platform is the one where your customers are, not the one that costs the least but won’t be seen by your prospects. Write compelling stories that engage, and market with the goal of building a relationship with your customers. Today’s consumer wants to feel like they have joined your family, not just made a purchase. It is better to create a relationship with a few unique clients than hundreds who will rarely buy from you.
Customer Service – don’t just create customers, create raving fans who can refer you and evangelize for you. Make it easy for customers to give you feedback so they don’t badmouth you on social media. Respond in 24 hours. Service is about doing for others selflessly and the more you can do that, with less regard for your gain, the more you will develop customers for life.
Marketing is hard, don’t make it any harder than it has to be. Stick with these five core principles and your business will grow more than you imagined it could.