Marketing. We know we need it, but sometimes just the thought of it is overwhelming. But there is a way to have marketing that matters. That adds value and changes your customers lives.
What Exactly is Marketing?
Marketing is everything that involves the customer. Its definition should be, “the act or instance of doing business.” If a thriving business is what you want to have, then marketing is what you need to do. Simply put, if your business isn’t exceeding your expectations or meeting your goals, then marketing is where something has gone wonky.
Having a good marketing strategy is crucial for the success of your business. Most likely, you’re severely overestimating the reach of your online presence. Your brand is most likely recognized as inconsistent and as the saying goes – out of sight out of mind. You think you’re showing up in your potential customers’ lives way more than you actually are. You think your outreach is way more significant than it actually is. And all the while, you probably even fear you are overdoing it.
Marketing has become a very general term that leaves most business owners feeling overwhelmed. Especially if you fall into the category of business owners who are running your business day-by-day, and all by yourself. I refer to this frenzied approach to business as “the daily scramble”. Most small business owners wake up today and ask, “What am I going to do today to get more sales already?” And then the scramble begins. “Why, I’ll send an email! I’ll promote this post on Facebook! I’ll make four new items and list them in my storefront, and then I’ll tweet and Instagram each of them so everyone will come to check them out.”
Sound familiar? I have been right there in the same shoes. And that is where a marketing strategy comes into play.
Showcasing your expertise with strategic marketing is the counteraction to the daily scramble. So if you’re ready to cure panic and chaos once and for all, a marketing strategy is what you need.
Think of a marketing strategy as your business’s game plan to reach new customers, keep your customers, and satisfy your customers.
A marketing strategy is created with your business objectives and goals in mind and is grounded on your company values and brand image. It is developed using promotional campaigns directed toward increasing your sales. Your marketing strategy works as a framework, a plan that’s connected to your entire business. It’s about seeing the bigger picture, how the pieces connect toward achieving your vision, and then, planning each step carefully.
Without a marketing strategy, you lack focus and without focus, you will fail to reach any of those goals and objectives you’ve set. It’s like going on a road trip to a place you’ve never been and not having a map.
A marketing strategy is your roadmap, not just for your marketing but to help you reach your business goals. You need it in order to create priorities and make actionable goals. A quality strategy should guide you through each step of your business growth (and take away the overwhelm and stress out of your marketing).
There are three foundational rules to marketing that matters
#1. A consistent message. Your business is sending a perpetual message to the world whether you set it up intentionally or not.
#2. A customer-centric focus. Your customer is the hero of their story, you are the guide. Shift your headspace to a place of giving.
#3. A long-term strategy. Your commitment is the only thing that can guarantee your strategy wins.
Your Marketing System
At the heart of your efforts is always this formula:
ATTRACT > CONNECT > CONVERT
In order to achieve this formula, your marketing is made of a six-part framework.
Meet the SSB6 Framework
We use this framework to develop a marketing strategy and plan for your business. Here is a list of ten steps I recommend you follow if you want to give it a go.
- Develop your messaging framework – here is where we find out how to position ourselves in the market. I like to do this through messaging. Create a clear message leveraging the power of story. From this, you will create your unique value proposition or elevator pitch, or one-liner.
- Next do some research – this is where you will want to research your ideal customer (your messaging will help you do this), research your market, and your competition. You’ll want to know what you’re up against so you can cut through the noise in the market.
- Build a great website. It is critical in this digital age to have a website for your business. It is your business’s digital storefront + allows your customer to find you 24/7. It is important that you don’t skimp on this part – it’s essential to provide a great first impression. Need help getting this setup? Check out my One Day Website.
- Design a strong brand. Your brand consists of your mission statement, personal story, and a brand style guide. These values will guide your business’s tone and brand presence, as well as help you with creating and curating content.
- Create offers and package your services. First, you’ll want to focus in on one specific service. Your budget will ultimately need to be split between offers, so a single focus to start is best. I would then suggest that you could add a “value” offer or loss leader as well. This can be a free or low-cost item that is useful but incomplete. It should naturally lead to being able to upsell your core offer.
- Write a marketing plan that includes your objectives and targets. A marketing plan needs to have your objectives or what you want to achieve; the activities you are going to undertake to achieve your goals, and the targets you are going to set yourself so you can measure and track your performance.
- Build a content platform. Your core content builds a platform or a voice for your to showcase your expertise and position yourself as an authority. The format for your core content could include a blog, a video series, a podcast, live Facebook or LinkedIn video, Instagram Live, special events, online webinars, and an email newsletter.
- Grow your community and email list. Growing a following on your selected social media platforms is an excellent way to build awareness, provide value, and nurture your sales prospects. At any given time, there’s only going to be a certain number of people who are ready to buy from you. Often, ideal clients may need to see or hear from your business many times before they trust you enough to give you their money. That’s where growing your community and email list comes in.
- Seek out collaboration opportunities. When looking for collaboration partners, take a strategic approach. Develop a marketing strategy that is focused on trying to build fewer, but more thoughtful and deeper business connections.
- Collect testimonials and ask for referrals. There’s a very high level of trust required in a service-based sales transaction, as your client is making a purchasing decision based on what value they think they’re going to receive. Therefore, they’ll be looking for evidence of results from past clients to give them confidence that they are making the right decision. Implementing a strategy for collecting client testimonials is essential for a service-based business.
When you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to developing a marketing strategy and plan that will build a solid foundation for your business. Just remember to take it one step at a time when you are developing your marketing strategy and stay focused on the end goals and objectives that you want to achieve. Before you know it you’ll have marketing that matters and not just a scramble of random posts.
Want some more help putting together your marketing strategy? Check out my Marketing Strategy VIP Day. We can get your marketing strategy put together in a day!