By Trevor Shorte
We are living in unprecedented times right now. There are so many things that are happening all around us and it seems like there’s no end in sight. The one constant for business owners is trying to figure out how to keep their business moving in a forward direction.
A while back I had come across a study of small businesses in the US that had concluded nearly 50% of them hadn’t created any kind of marketing plan for their business. The part of the study that stuck out the most was that 25% of the respondents had no idea on how they were going to grow their business.
Even though that report was done for US businesses, we see a similar story playing out with the entrepreneurs and business owners that we meet on a regular basis. When we talk to them about their marketing plans, we are typically met with a shrug. It’s like they are literally hoping and praying that potential customers are going to magically find out about their business and buy from them. Which can’t be further from the truth.
However, when you think about it, why do people start their businesses in the first place? It’s mostly because they saw a gap in the marketplace and developed a solution to meet that need.
So, you’re probably wondering, what does this have to do with kickstarting your brand marketing? The answer to that is actually quite simple. If you want your business to grow, then you have to make an effort to market it. There’s no way around it. People can’t buy your stuff if they don’t know you exist.
Here are five things that you can do to remedy that:
Start with “why”
Why does your product or service exist? Write down all of the things that make your product a great value for your customers. If you are having trouble articulating it, then just ask your customers. You can gain a lot of insight from your customers if you ask them this one simple question, “Why did you choose to buy from us?” When you look at their responses, you will start to see a pattern as to why your customers love your brand and what they value most. This insight is what you can use to form the key messages of your brand marketing communications.
Think about how you sell your product
When you are talking to prospective buyers, how do you describe your product? Do you just talk about all of the great features that your product has? Do you talk about how those features relate to those buyers and how it benefits them? Do you ask questions to try and find out what their problem is and offer your product as a solution? People buy benefits, not features. If you can demonstrate how your benefits will get them the results that they are looking for (solve their problem) with your product, you have a better chance of getting them to choose you.
Spend some time defining your target audience
Do you know who you’re trying to sell to and, more importantly, do you know how to find them? If you don’t know who you’re selling to, how can you understand how to appeal to them with your marketing messaging? Let’s face it, your product isn’t going to appeal to everyone, no matter how much you want it to. So you want to focus on delivering your marketing messages to the types of people who understand your value and are in a position to do business with you.
Embrace the need for testimonials
When talking to our prospects about why they don’t use testimonials as part of their marketing strategy, the typical response we get is that asking people for testimonials somehow means you’re begging someone to give their opinion of you. Plus, there’s the awkwardness of just asking in the first place! Trust me, it will only be awkward if you make it that way. It’s just a simple request for feedback from a person who you did business with. No more, no less. You can even make it easier for them by asking 2 or 3 specific questions in an e-mail. The other place you could look for feedback is your Social Media. People like to post how they feel about businesses on social regularly so when you see positive mentions in your feed, share them with the rest of your community! Remember, when people are looking to buy something, one of the first things they are going to look for is what other people are saying about you.
Focus on gaining the trust of your prospect
Have you ever had a telemarketer call you out of the blue to tell you that they’re in your area doing duct cleaning and want to come over to your house to clean yours? What’s your first reaction? You don’t want your prospective clients to put you in that same category. Trust is an essential ingredient in the sales equation, and you will need to gain their trust before they will buy from you!
BONUS: Don’t wait for things to be perfect
Lastly, don’t wait for things to be perfect. Life is messy, so is running a business. If you are searching for the perfect moment to market your business, you may never find it. If you’ve got an idea for marketing your business, try it. What’s the worst that can happen? You get nothing but crickets? Well, that’s actually helpful because the reality is that there’s no magic bullet that can make every marketing tactic you try successful. You will find that there’s going to be a lot of trial and error so don’t give up if you don’t see the results you expect. Choose a different tactic and try again.
There’s an old adage about success that we try to encourage our clients to adopt:
There’s no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs!
If you’re looking for more tips and tricks on how you can kickstart your brand marketing and business success, check out the SongBird blog on our website. Or if you would prefer to have a quick chat to find out how we can help you climb that staircase, take 5 minutes out of your day to book a call with us!