fiveAs I mentioned in a previous post, I recently attended Ali Brown’s 3-day Shine Event in Las Vegas.  Shine was a seminar all about marketing, entrepreneurship and personal development. The second day of the event was devoted to one of my fave topics—marketing.

Ali shared with us her top marketing “mantras,” and I thought they were pretty spot-on so I wanted to share them here:

1) The marketing is more important than the mastery. I first heard this from Ali a few years back, and I recently wrote an article on this very topic. It doesn’t mean that what you do in your business isn’t important, it just means that mastering marketing is just as important mastering your craft. You can be great at what it is you do—but if you are not marketing consistently, your skills and abilities won’t be enough to keep your business afloat.

2) Always be marketing. Marketing your business is necessary all of the time—not just when your revenues are down or the economy is bad. Unfortunately, many business owners are learning this lesson now in the recession. Their bottom line is suffering because in the past, they never thought they really “needed” to market.

3) Emphasize benefits over features. When you market your services or products, think of benefits as being what answers the customer’s question of “what’s in it for me?”

4) Be original, but clear. Adding your own personal flair to your marketing can help you stand out among the crowd, but make sure the message of what it is you can do for people doesn’t get lost in your quest to be unique or memorable.

5) Work your best methods. There are countless ways to market a business, both online and off: books, blogs, press releases, live events, advertising, direct mail, giveaways…and on and on. You don’t have to pick just one method, nor do you need to be doing a little of everything. As it was described at Ali’s event, “marketing’s a buffet.” Choose a handful that work for you and work them continually.

So, what does marketing come down to? Marketing is really just communication and relationship building. Your job is to use that communication to accomplish four main things:

1. Attract leads
2. Collect leads
3. Follow up
4. Close the sale

Sometimes business owners make marketing more complicated than it actually needs to be. Follow these five mantras and you’ll go a long way toward simplifying the path to closing that all-important sale.

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