What can I say about Marketing?
It’s the foundation of the work you need to be doing all the time.
What do I mean by that?
Listen here, as we say in the south.
Marketing groundwork you need for your business
Marketing is such a broad topic.
Entire books, courses, businesses and agencies have been developed based on Marketing.
Because it’s so broad, I’m going to give you the most basic of basic bits of advice.
You can listen to the audio version here:
Let’s start with 5 basic systems.
1.Communicate with people You could do everything that every book and advice column tells you to do about business but if you don’t have your communication—I mean the way you actually talk with people—going in the right direction, none of the other stuff will matter.
How do you communicate?
First of all, be clear and concise about what you do. When asked, answer that you help your clients do (whatever benefit they get).
For example, if you’re a massage therapist, tell the person you’re talking to that you legally help people feel a whole lot better in just one hour without medicine.
That’ll create enough curiosity to have them asking, “how do you do that?”
And that’s your cue to speak intelligently about your business to them.
2. Give more than you receive We live in a new era of business, one in which people expect, and appreciate in return, that you give them lots and lots of information.
You might think this is a hassle or that this is simply giving away too much. You might think, “Why should I give away my important information for free?”
To answer simply, to create the “know, like and trust factor.”
When people feel like they get to know you and like and trust what you tell them—hopefully useful information that you believe in—they’ll want to keep hearing from you.
This relationship is what creates the best kind of customer base in the long run. Your “peeps” will either be purchasers one day or they’ll refer people to you because they really like what you’re sharing with them.
Either way, you both win.
That’s the new way of doing business, as opposed to the old competitive model.
No one’s really in competition with anyone anymore. The more that’s shared, including even sharing jobs with your former “competitors” –jobs you might not have time for or jobs that come your way that you’re not inclined to want to do—the more everyone wins. The client, the former competitor and you.
3. Listen Some people can’t keep their mouths shut. Make sure you’re not one of them.
The best thing you can do when you’re meeting people or even talking with folks you already know is listen. Deeply.
Dale Carnegie said it more than 70 years ago—people love to be heard.
It really is true that if you spend much more time listening to people, they will think you’re a fabulous conversationalist.
And when you listen, you’ll learn an awful lot about someone. Their hopes, their fears, their plans. Not just about their business, but their life in general.
And that’s where you can really spend some quality time later.
I can’t tell you how good it makes people feel when you remember their birthday, when you send them an article or link you think they’d be interested in, when you congratulate them on something they’ve done or their kids have done.
Most people don’t do that any more. If you do, and if you’re sincere, people will notice. And you’ll hold a special place in their mind.
This isn’t some touchy-feely stuff or extraneous action to take.
This is the way to create real relationships.
If you look at the service clubs that people used to belong to in record numbers until recently—Kiwanis, Rotary, Masons, Shriners—that’s exactly how great businesses of the past made important business connections. Not only business in the sense of customers, but business in the sense of partners and referrers.
This is real business connection—and its result is real business success.
4. Strategize Your marketing efforts are made up of a lot of actual marketing outreach practices—having a website, sending out a regular email, posting on a blog, doing social media, giving talks, sending postcards, sponsoring events.
But any or all of that really is wasted if you don’t have an overall plan.
A plan of how you’re going to relate each action to others.
For example, if you’re holding an event six months down the road, you need to note on an editorial calendar when that event is, exactly what you’re going to say in which emails and blog posts and social media posts exactly when.
These types of marketing efforts really will reap the highest rewards when they’re connected in a sensible way, with each one revealing just a little bit more until you’re ready to announce the big event and how people can take part.
This creates excitement. It creates expectation. And it creates desire for readers to be a part of it.
So plan accordingly. Plan for all your marketing to address what you’ll be doing, and address it in an organized and structured way.
That’s the best way you can come off as looking as though you’re being spontaneous, yet still have great success.
5. Plan Planning your month, your quarter, your year and even further out—your next 2 years, 3 years, and more—will give you great marketing goals to work for.
Literally put these big dreams on your schedule.
Want to have a live event next year? Put in on the calendar now and you’ll be able to see exactly when to place specific marketing drives and tasks right now.
You know that old saying, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”
That really is true because you can’t just pull of an event with all the necessary emails, blog and social media posts you’ll need if you think you can just put it all together in a couple weeks.
Believe me, I know. I’ve tried to do that before. And it just doesn’t work. It will backfire in your face.
These big goals that you want to reach can only be reached if you do your marketing calendar and assign tasks by dates to different people, if you have them, or even just to yourself.
Marketing and planning go hand in hand. They’re never far apart if you want success for your efforts.
This week, these “must-do’s” are less task driven and are more related to overall ways of getting things done. They’re the elemental basic foundation of marketing.
They require that you develop new habits. Instead of hemming and hawing about what you do, be clear and precise.
Instead of keeping your business secrets a secret, give them away. The trick here is to know just how much to give away. You definitely don’t want to give away the store, so to speak. Just give away the most valuable information but not all of it.
Begin to keep your ears open, as well as your eyes. You’ll never know what great tidbits you’ll learn that could help out your speaker in the long run. This is so much easier, really, than spending your time talking so much.
When you strategize, your communications make more sense to the reader or listener. Instead of sending out whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, you’re making a push to interest people via an interconnected string of information.
When it makes sense to them, they’ll respond instead of ignoring you.
And that’s exactly what you want.
And planning, instead of leaving it to the moment, will definitely take you towards your goals, not away from them.
All of these marketing strategies—communicating, giving, listening, strategizing and planning (and I sneaked in sharing and connecting) are really changes of habit.
And a habit takes a while to establish. Some say 21 days, some say 28 days.
The best thing you can do now is work on one of these strategies per month.
If you take them seriously and implement them, your business will most likely look very different from a marketing standpoint in just 5 months.
And that will take you much closer to being THE go-to expert in your field.
And please—tell me about YOUR experience with any of these habits in the reply section below. If you have any questions about them, ask. And I’d love it if you’d tell me about any experiences you’ve had because you didn’t have these habits in place.
I really do want to know! Tell me more. Now, please . . .