Time and time again I hear people complaining that they don’t have any clients, nobody ever visits their website, or nobody ever buys their products. My first question back to them is, “What are you doing to market your business?” Most of the time, they can’t really give me a definitive answer, because (like so many of us) they don’t really know how to effectively market their businesses. Marketing is such a crucial element in a successful business – no marketing, no clients!
The following article was written by marketing maven, Denise Michaels. She is the author of a wonderful book, “Testosterone-Free Marketing: The Yin and Yang of Marketing for Women.” Here are Denise’s top 10 marketing tips.
Top 10 Marketing Tips
By Denise M. Michaels
1. Know Your Market
Many entrepreneurs have no clue who their customers are and why they really buy their product. If you say, “Everyone is my market,” that honestly means no one is your market. The more specific you get about the kind of person who buys your products or services – the more you can zero in on the perfect message and venue for that message that will make those people stand up and take notice.
2. Create Your Product or Service Around Their Needs
Some people come up with something they believe is a great product but they never take the time to determine what needs it fills and what problems their product solves. They talk about features and gizmos no one really cares about. That’s an expensive mistake. Find out what problems your customers have that are in need of a solution. Not the other way around.
3. Offer Real Value
Ask yourself honestly, “Would you buy it?” And, “Would you recommend it to your best friend?” Make it a value that’s just too good to pass up. Don’t undercut yourself. You deserve to cover your costs and make a fair profit. If people aren’t biting, don’t assume the price is too high. Instead assume you’re not doing an effective job of communicating the value. My 30-day Quick Start teleclass can help you with that. Even if you’re not an Info-preneur, you still have to market your real estate, your website or any other business you may be involved in and this EMI teleclass can really help you. It’s held every Tuesday at 4:00 pm, Pacific Time. Check your class schedule for details.
4. Be Passionate
Your enthusiasm, positive energy and problem-solving skills are sometimes exactly what it takes to save the day and the deal. Also, chances are what you offer is something you’ll be offering for a long time. Be passionate first about serving the customer, not just from a customer service standpoint but also in the marketing message that you build.
5. Love Your Customer Not Your Product
It’s easy to love your product. Perhaps you even use it personally. Maybe you enjoy all the features. However, cash flow doesn’t come from the product. Your product can’t love you back. It also can’t reject you the way you might feel a customer can, either. Learn everything you can about customers and potential customers. Ask questions. Let that caring and love reflect back to your customers in your marketing. They will “get it” and want to do business with you.
6. Don’t Rely on Word-of-Mouth Advertising
When I ask new entrepreneurs how they plan to market their business they frequently reply, “word-of-mouth.” Yes, it’s one of the strongest forms of “advertising”, but you could starve waiting along the way. To me it means they have no marketing budget and no clue. There are free and inexpensive options out there. Create joint venture partnerships, network online, get articles in ezines. Do something!
7. Build a Clear Marketing Message
A confused mind always says, “no.” As you create your marketing message ask several people to read through what you’ve written to see if it’s clear. Listen with an open mind. If they have to ask you questions, your message is unclear. If you must explain something, that’s information that should go in your sales letter. If they’re ready to buy, you’ve got a winner.
8. Make Cause and Effect Links
Don’t just tell them a feature or benefit about the product. Come full circle and tell them how that feature or benefit will make their life better. People are busy and stressed these days. They often don’t have time to make the connection. If you don’t show them how your product or service will improve their life in a real way, who will? Don’t expect them to sell themselves.
9. Create Joint Venture Partners
Team up with people who have something you want and you can offer value to them. For example, a person who has an email list for a product or interest that’s complimentary is a good friend to have. Write an email from the trusted list owner that guides his or her opt-in list to your website or sends them to your sales letter via autoresponder. They get a commission on each sale.
10. Test, Test, and Test some More
Find out in a small way if people will nibble at your idea before you spend a lot of time or money on it. Talk up your idea. Many people will give you surprisingly good inputs. Gauge their reactions. Post clues about your idea on a message board in an appropriate way with people who you think might be your customers. Ask, ask, ask and then listen openly.
Denise Michaels, is a trainer and coach for the EMI protégé program. She’s also the author of “Testosterone-Free Marketing.” Denise is a marketing mentor with over two decades solid experience in advertising, public relations, market research, planning and sales.