Welcome to the 5th installment of our Breakthrough Bizness Planning Series (BBP). If you are joining us for the first time today, be sure to go back and get started with installment #1 Insiders Secret to Business Breakthrough.
In the last post we explored the importance of having a clear and inspiring vision for your life and business. We also raised the cold hard fact that no matter how inspired or brilliant your vision for your business, you need to combine it with savvy business models and kick butt marketing strategies if you want to reach lots of people and make loads of dosh.
There is so much info out there telling you how to market your business and get clients. In this post we've done the sifting and sorting so you don't have to!Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalImages.net (Salvatore Vuono)
Marketing yourself and getting clients to 'raise their hands' can be a real grind if you don't set things up well and use clever systems. Sure, there are some people who have a business idea that practically sells itself, but for most of us it's a little harder than that. At worst, the struggle with 'marketing' and 'selling' causes heart palpitations and sows the seeds of self-doubt, slowly eroding your confidence and belief in what you have to offer ('Why isn't this working?', 'Will I ever sell anything?' or 'No-body wants me!')
On the other hand, taking the steps you need to take to become a successful marketer and 'seller' of your business can also be liberating. Facing up to the reasons why you fear this part of your business can free you of the limiting beliefs that have been holding you back and give you the confidence to take huge leaps forward.
So today we deliver Sales & Marketing 101. Read on to find out how you can spread the word about your business and start attracting clients like a magnet – not just any clients either, but your ideal clients!
Wait a minute. Are you telling me I have to be a sales person as well as an entrepreneur?
Pretty much, yes! You can kid yourself that you don't need to be a marketing expert to succeed in your business – after all that is not why you started a business right? You wouldn't be the first to tell yourself 'if my offer is good enough it will sell itself'' or 'there's no way I'm going all salesy, I hate that pushy stuff! or words to that effect.
That attitude has got to go!
As the leader of your business you need to stop avoiding the big, fat, scary 'S' word and start selling! And yes, this may involve facing up to some of your biggest fears as you embrace your new role as the 'champion' of your business (you thought you were done with all that challenging internal stuff from earlier in the series didn't you?!)
After all, if you really are as passionate about your business as you say you are and you really do believe whole heartedly in your vision, then it shouldn't be hard to tell others about it right? In fact, why aren't you out there shouting off the rooftops about it? Only you can answer that question, but one thing is certain.
If you want your business to bring home the bacon then you should pay heed to our top 5 marketing lessons.
If you invest a little time now and take these steps, it will give your business a huge boost. Ok, here we go!
1. Stand up and become a leader of your tribe.
To successfully translate your passions and interests into a profitable business you need to gather a tribe of loyal followers about you. These wonderful people are your community, the key stakeholders in your business. They believe in you and your vision and they want to hear what you have to say. By practicing ineffective marketing techniques (or avoiding marketing altogether) you are doing these wonderful people a HUGE disservice. Many of them will benefit greatly from your work. By hiding behind whatever reasons or excuses you are using NOT to get your marketing sorted, you are withholding your brilliant self and what you offer from them. But don't worry, you are destined to connect – it's just that you haven't figured out the time and place of your meeting yet. That's what we're here for!
2. Decide who you want to attract.
One of the first and most important marketing lessons we have learnt: Get crystal clear on your target market. You will also hear these people referred to as your ''niche' or 'hungry crowd' but these words are simply another way to describe the members of your tribe. Without a clear idea of who you want to attract to your community of followers (your tribe, niche or target market) it is infinitely harder to market yourself. After all, how do you pick the most effective marketing strategies for your product or service if you don't know who you are selling to?
Do not be tempted to ignore this step. You may find it hard to narrow your community down to a targeted niche or market. What if people miss out? Surely it's better to cast a wide net and catch as many people as you can right? Wrong! You need to let go of the belief that being 'everything to everyone' is best. And you have to trust us when we say: the more defined your niche or target market, the easier it becomes to attract them.
If you want help to clarify your niche or target market, one of our guest experts has provided a fantastic resource to help you. Simply sign up to this blog series (at the bottom of this post) and you will receive it for free!
3. Discover that 'sweet spot' where your offer collides brilliantly with a clear customer need.
There is no point offering your tribe something they don't want. This is a recipe for disaster. So you must go on a mission to discover what your target market really really want and need. Research. Research. Research. Find out their likes, dislikes, problems, hobbies, demographics, where they hang out online, offline etc. These people are going to be joining your tribe and as their leader you need to find out everything you possibly can about them.
As you do this, you will discover where to find them and what you need to do to capture their interest in your product or service.
Please note: Whilst market research is very important, don't let it paralyse you or stop you from taking action (this can happen sometimes!). Market research and customer feedback is an ongoing journey that will never stop – identify tasks and actions you can take alongside your research and get on with it so things don't stall along the way.
4. Create an Internet Savvy Marketing Strategy
Now that you know all you need to know about your 'tribe' and your ideal client, it's time to start reaching out to them. Whether your business is based online or offline, it would be foolish to ignore the power of the internet as a tool for attracting customers and developing your business.
Today, entrepreneurs use the internet to connect with a global market via interactive websites, forums, blogs, social media, and affiliate marketing to name but a few. If you are serious about a business that leverages your time effectively, then spend time surfing the net and educating yourself on how savvy women entrepreneurs use the internet and incorporate these strategies into your business plan.
TIP: This is a huge topic and we can only touch briefly on it here. If you are really clever, you will save yourself that time 'surfing the net' and simply sign up for the free resources that go with this blog series. They include a lot more info and will get you a large part of the way there!
5. Speed Up Your Success with Mentoring and Strategic Partnerships
I'm like a cracked record with this one! You are not alone. Seek out mentoring and support for the marketing side of your business. Often it's free and if you end up paying, it will be worth every cent in the long run. Get help and expert advice in the areas of the business you don't understand. Seek a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who will egg you on and inspire you to reach your full potential. Look for the leaders or 'go-to' people in your niche or business community and build win-win partnerships and joint ventures with them. We are still learning the most effective ways to do this ourselves, so look out for future blog posts sharing our learning in this area!
Are you ready to shout your business offer from the rooftops?
Great, because you are in the right place! I said it last time and I will say it again. It is time to stop living day to day and thinking small and to start thinking big. Schedule some time in this week NOW (an hour or so should do) to get started on your new marketing plan. Follow the steps outlined in the free resources that go with this series to accelerate your progress – they are particularly awesome this week!
Look out for the next installment in the series, where we will be looking at the art of becoming someone that everyone wants to work with!
And don't forget to sign up below for your free resources (they are particularly awesome this week!). Sorry folks, this offer is now offer. The great news is that we have created a fantastic e-course out of the series materials – and it's incredibly good value for money. Click here to find out more.