When you hear the word “marketing,” how does it make you feel?
If you’re like many business owners, it doesn’t exactly cause you to jump for joy. Why? Because for so long, it has conjured up images of the sleazy used car salesman trying to get you to buy something you don’t need. No one wants to inflict that on someone, right?
The truth is, marketing today doesn’t have to come with a side of slime. The real deal is that modern marketing is simply compelling, effective communication that has nothing to do with manipulation or sleaze. It’s about meeting your client or customer’s deepest needs, and no matter what business you’re in, it’s NOT optional.
The good news is, it’s not about lying or being out of integrity to make sales, no matter what you’ve heard in the past. Happily, you can still kick butt and really profit while still being completely truthful and ethical.
Remember, it’s your job to remind people that you’re in business and that you have a solution to offer them. Marketing is simply the vehicle that allows you to do that, and without it in your business, you’ll stay broke. (It’s the hard truth.)
If that’s the case, how can you really rock it out with your marketing? Here are five simple ways to keep the cash flowing while remaining sleaze-free.
Schedule it and be consistent.
The only way your marketing is going to get done is if you make the time to do it. Put it on the calendar and DON’T move it! If you’re lacking in clients and cash flow, it usually means you’re not marketing enough. Be brutally honest about how you’re spending your time. Schedule at least three hours a week to do it and beware the temptation to stop once the money begins to flow. Yep, to ensure your success continues, market even when you’ve got a full pipeline.
Ask your market what they need.
Find out what your market needs and how they want to be served by simply asking them. Survey your list, email or call past or current clients, ask probing questions. Ask them what their biggest challenges are, what their perfect solutions would be, and what they’ve tried that hasn’t worked. Find out how critical it is for them to get their problems solved, and listen carefully to the words they use. You can then position what you offer as a solution to the needs you’ve discovered.
Be curious about copywriting.
Copywriting chops are not just for the pros! Because it’s one of the most expensive things to outsource, it’s wise to sharpen your word-slinging skills. Practice writing headlines and bullets. Use words that evoke emotion. Especially online, much of your communication will occur via the written word. Learn how to use your writing to pique curiosity and showcase the benefits you offer.
Track and tweak.
Tracking your results shows you what you need to change and improve. It also helps you understand your market and what fuels their behaviors. Don’t be super-hard on yourself if something doesn’t work—think of it as a learning opportunity and a chance to do things better. Do more of what works!
Keep soaking up the knowledge.
I’m a big believer that the learning never stops. Read blogs and books, attend workshops and seminars, and take courses. The more you learn, the better you can serve your market.
These days, the absolute best marketing is relationship-based, honest, and best of all, it has the power to change the lives of others. Sounds a lot more appealing, doesn’t it? Keep these five ways in mind and you’ll be a marketing rock star in no time.