There are so many choices when it comes to spreading your message these days: social media (Facebook, twitter, linked in, you tube and more), traditional advertising (radio, TV, yellow pages, direct mail, newspapers and so on), websites, blogs, tribe syndication, Local directories, forum marketing, podcasting, SEO to name just a few. With the plethora of choices out there what are you, the small business or home business owner to do? How can you attract more customers to your business both efficiently and profitably? I hate to say this, but, you need a marketing strategy.
As a marketer I immerse myself in understanding all the choices out there, that's my job, so I can provide the best solutions for my clients. However, as a small business owner I know that you just don't have the time when you're running your business day to day. Let's take a step back in order to help you deal with all the choices you're presented with today.
What is marketing?
My favourite definition of marketing is “Getting the right message to the right people using the right media effectively, efficiently and profitably” I meet too many business owners who believe that their market is ‘everybody', and use a scatter gun approach to getting their message out: A little of this and a little of that. If you want success in business this approach simply doesn't work. A successful business has systems and processes. A marketing strategy is a way to systemise your marketing efforts. Deciding ahead of time what your message is, who the message is for and the most efficient and profitable way to spread that message to the right audience.
Believe me; I know where you're coming from. For years I thought blah to a marketing strategy. That's too theoretical for me or a waste of time. I discovered the hard way that it’s not. Your marketing strategy which is written down in the form of a marketing plan doesn't have to be pages and pages and take hours and hours to do. It simply needs to be done so you can follow it, track what works and what doesn't and adjust accordingly. So if you don't have one already go grab a piece of paper or open up a blank document on your computer screen and write down your marketing plan:
Who is my product or service for?
remember it's not everybody!
What is my message?
Think what do I want to tell people about my product and service? What are the benefits I provide and what is my solution to their problem?
Which 3 or 4 different methods should I use to start with to spread my message to my audience? Stick with 3 or 4 ways to attract customers and track the results. Keep what works and stop what doesn't. Replace what doesn't with a new method and again track the results.
Don't get overwhelmed with choices. Create a marketing strategy; write down your marketing plan. Try 3 or 4 different ways to see what works and adjust when necessary.