Podcast Transcript Here:
Welcome to the Plain White T-Shirt Marketing show.
We’re here for you to help your business grow to a bigger business without spending and staffing like a one.
Today we’re going to be talking about steps to small business marketing success.
First, depending on your age, experience and excitement about technology you fit into a couple categories.
The first category is that you have the latest iPhone and wake up reading the technology blogs to see the latest thing to revolutionize your business.
The next is the person who simply wants to get more business done and is comfortable with the regular stuff like a CRM, outlook and maybe even your wordpress blog.
The last category is the person who feels that this online marketing stuff is Voodoo and can’t wait for the fad that is the Internet will go away soon so you can go back to newspaper advertising.
Here’s the biggest dirty little secret about marketing…
It doesn’t matter what category you are in.
Whats going to work today will be the same no matter what your beliefs and knowledge. For some, it is going to be coming to grips that chasing the cutting edge is interesting but it may be a time-waster in terms of actual results and that the “revolution” is not ty pically just around the corner.
For others, it means coming to grips that the world has changed, your business model needs to adapt and that customers and prospects now run the show and not you.
So, lets talk about steps to implement to ramp up your marketing for success.
First. Who is your ideal client? No, it’s not anyone with money. We’ve all had clients who we know we didn’t make any money on because they weren’t a good fit and we know we should have passed on them. However, sometimes, if someone comes into your store, school, or calls, you cant always just say no.
The key is defining your ideal customer from a profit and referral standpoint then massaging your marketing message to get more of them. For instance, if your ideal customer is a professional single woman, talk to their success and not simply “being a successful woman”. Professional single women are really smart and if you try and BS them or talk down to them, you will be the LAST person they select and not the first.
I just worked with a client who was using the tag line “(Insert the guy’s service here) - Keep the little lady happy and you’ll be happy”. After I got done cringing and showed him some data on the percentages of people he would likely turn off, we’re working on re-branding.
Let’s move on to the sec ond element. That is differentiating your business. Here’s some hard truth, you are not the only person who does what they do, so sorry. You have to find or create a differentiator in your business.
Here’s the best trick in the book. Call 5 of your recent past customers. Ask them why they chose you. Ask them if they would share their process of finding you. Ask them if they would refer friends to you and why or why not (now, preface this with that you wont ask for names next- youll get better responses.) You may be amazed that the reasons they chose you are different from why you think people should chose you.
These things are the differentiators. You might just need to shout loud about what they told you. Let’s say it was because you were open later than others. Maybe you need to promote an “open late night. Did they like talking to a person instead of a form ? … (We have good data that MOST of an older population like this and they may be your customers). Update your website and online landing pages to feature the thing that made people choose you.
Third – create content. You are now a publisher. Yes, sorry if this terrifies you. Today, you have to let people know you are an actual expert and that 6 of 7 people will search you and check you out before they ever think of contacting you. You could be losing out and not even know it.
Start a blog, get active on social media, and hell, even start a podcast or video series.
Ok, don’t panic, there are lots of ways to do this. The first is go through the reasons people hire you and explore those via blog or video. Heres an air conditioner, its making this noise, lets look at it and see whats wrong. Etc etc
You really need to educate your clients on the why of why they might need you and even when they don’t. If you help a prospect do something on their own that would be a low profit margin for you, they are likely to find you when it comes time to the bigger (and more profitable) job
Get reviews as well, you should have a system in place that emails everyone who did business with you a way to give you good reviews. My company does this all the time for clients and I cant even begin to tell you how well it works for them.
Finally, you need a system. No not an expensive software thing that about a hundred sales reps have called you about with the promise to revolutionize your business at $50000. This is simply developing marketing where you do certain things regularly and have a process for doing them efficiently.
The system approach to marketing assures that you do a little consistently and not wait to do marketing as a monthly “what should we do this month to get leads plan” or an “oh crap we need money this week so lets send a sale email” plan.
A system means building things over time. Look, if you are planning on being in business next year, you need to take a longer view approach at marketing and its so much easier doing a little at a time .
A system means doing some planning around who you want to be to your customers and making sure that’s the message you are giving them. A system also finally integrates your online presence with your business and stops using your website as a brochure begging for phone calls.
First, look at how your prospective customer can see you, the website, social media, reviews, who answers the phone, your sales team, who delivers your product or service and how you get referrals.
How could you integrate and improve these areas? Come up with a Utopian plan and then create a realistic timeline for tackling these areas to get as close to perfect as works for you. If you take a system approach, and put someone in charge of the plan (yes, it will likely be you), and do a little at a time, things will get better.
We have found that often the timeline for the whole enchilada is over a year for mid-sized companies, and that’s really OK, because with each little change, things get better and you improve your business and make more money.
Let me send you a comprehensive e-book on 7 ways to succeed in marketing for your small business. Its free and I don’t even want your phone number to bug you or anything.
Also, if you go to plainwhtetshirtmarketing.com I’ll have my company do a premier brand audit for free and youll get at least 3 solid ideas to boost leads you can implement. And yes, it is totally free and not a thinly veiled sales pitch for stuff.
Check me out at plain white tshirt marketing .com
And, Thanks for listening, see you next week.