It’s not easy for the average business owner. We’ve got so much on our plate, we are told we need to do all these things to stay on the front line of our Industry, yet we get confused by all the options, and end up plodding along, missing out on potential income and the chance to really thrive in business. The weird thing is, confused people actually do nothing. Many times we remain confused and continue to flounder.
If you were to sit some Business Strategists down for a session, and ask them where you should be spending your time & money, these are the areas they would focus on.
Education. Marketing a business is all about education in 2016. If you can educate your Industry on why they need your product or service, how to make the most of it, and empower them with enough knowledge on a topic to get excited about using it, you’ve got a customer. Build big vision, show them what’s possible. This can be in the form of blog posts passing on a technique, a DIY how to, a resource that will make their life easier. Our target market are screaming out for education, empowerment, and they also need to know, that you are there in the background, should they need help. Think webinars, free option downloads, cheat sheets, templates, workshops, e-courses.
Email Marketing. No, it’s not dead. There are 3.5 email addresses for every 1 social media profile. It’s also a fairly key way to continue a conversation. You need to be building a list, with every marketing move you make. If your Facebook page went down all of a sudden, would any of your fans be on your email list? It seriously happened. The Social Media Examiner page (hundreds of thousands of followers), recently went down. They are the biggest advocates of Facebook and other social media. They were not sure what happened but it was a huge loss. Social Media is about conversation, but many times, our posts aren’t even seen. It’s super important to continue the conversation outside of social media where it’s not so ‘noisy’. There are many ways to build a database, think competitions, free opt-ins, and special offers for your email contacts.
Word of Mouth (WOM). This has, is and will continue to be the most effective way to generate leads and service more customers. A person is 71% more likely to choose you over a competitor if a person has recommended you, over a person seeing an advertisement. So, what does this mean for Business? It’s important to do a great job, provide a great service, a great product. Know that if you offer your best, your reputation will go before you, and you always benefit in the end. Do you have a WOM strategy? A Referral program? These don’t have to be complicated, but it’s definitely a good way to grow Business. The reach on WOM advertising, is 1000%. Quality of customer will also be high as are the ratios of successful connections.
It’s more about you, the business owner now. It’s about the community you create, it’s about the person not hiding behind their brand and rather it’s about being relational, showing up, being seen. There’s a surge in the amount of people who are ‘self-branding’, and there’s good reason too. People connect with people, not a service or product. They connect with all things relational. Good customer service will grow your business (remember that WOM is extremely powerful and can also ruin a brand, fast!). Bad customer service, can undo many years of effort and success. How can you become more relational? We don’t have time to create a campaign and sit back and wait for the customers to roll in. Our target market, want it NOW. If they can’t have it NOW, they will go where they can have it NOW! Hang on, they actually wanted it YESTERDAY!
Storytelling. Wow this is a huge one. Businesses need to say goodbye to expensive marketing campaigns that ‘tell’ us we need something, and move to involving our target market in the journey of our brand and our product. Storytelling is a way to share what you offer and how you offer it, in a way that is much more engaging then simply marketing or advertising ‘at’ someone. It’s about getting them involved, about doing something creative and unique. It’s about image and video over content. Give people something to want to follow you for. In fact, go the extra mile, and get them to generate the content for you! Involve them in the journey. Storytelling is powerful. It’s worth looking into.