Not an entirely easy thing to do. But there are a few little tasks you can do to improve your chances of creating this perfect little storm of success. Here are 4 action steps you can take within the next week to improve your marketing.
1. The right product. The more exceptional and memorable your product is, the more likely people will be to spread the word about it. Great products and services create a great narrative which spreads across your target audience and drives success. You can only create products and services which are exceptional and memorable by knowing what your target audience wants and needs.
So start a conversation and maintain open dialogue with them. Find out what makes them tick and why so? In doing so you will be far better placed to deliver and exceed their expectations. This week spend some time connecting with your customers and prospects. Also consider ways you can go the extra mile in terms of customer service to make you stand out from the rest, whether that's a handwritten thank you note with a free goody bag or an e-mail on their birthday to wish them a good day. Brainstorm ways to put the customer at the heart of what you do in order to create the best products and services that you possibly can.
2. The right message. Remember, all people care about is 'what's in it for them'. Go now and look at the words within your marketing materials. Are you REALLY getting 'what's in it for them' across? Or are you saying: 'Look – we've got this product. It's great because of this. It costs this much. Come and get it quickly before it runs out?' If you offer a service doing a job that people don't enjoy doing themselves, such as cleaning, something that saves people time so that they can spend more time with their children or get on with the things they do enjoy doing, SAY SO!
For example: Which works best?
• “High quality, low cost cleaning service. Special offer: Buy four hours get one free. Call now...”
• “Save time. Let us clean your house so you can spend more time doing more of what you enjoy. Competitively priced high quality cleaning service. Call today on...”
The one which spells out what's in it for them. Right? Plus, while you're examining your existing marketing materials, make sure that you include a decent call to action and at least one testimonial from a happy customer. If you haven't included any testimonials, devote some time this week on getting some.
3. The right people. Quiz your customers or prospects. Send out a survey or post a poll which uncovers your target audiences most pressing needs when it comes to what you sell. Whether that's a class, a greetings card, a gift, a consultancy package... by uncovering core needs, you will be far better placed to find prospects with a genuine need for what you offer.
Secondly, have a look at who has bought from you so far this year. Can you segment them into groups? Who are your best customers? If you can specialise on targeting a specific niche, industry, sector or a type of issue or problem, it is easier to find those people and communicate effectively with them.
4. The right time. Timing is everything. Stop pitching at people and trying to persuade them to buy. Stop selling for a moment. Most are NOT READY to buy yet. Yes, they may well have a problem that you have the complete and utter solution for, but they are most likely not quite ready to hand over their cash just yet so, instead... do this: ***Reveal your Ultimate Value***
Ask your best customers (or if you've only just started your business – people who you believe fit your best customer profile) what they think makes you remarkable? What are the most useful lessons they've learned from you? What are the most important benefits that you have provided to help them with their most pressing needs? Next, armed with the answers to those questions, consider what you might be able to create in a few hours which highlights those benefits/that expert knowledge/those qualities?
Something free yet useful/valuable/informative/educational/appealing/attractive. Something that is not littered with "buy this" just helpful information (video/audio/blog/ebook/report) or something with perceived value, such as a pretty-looking or useful trial product for free. Work on this and get it out there: make your information or product giveaway available to people in exchange for them signing up to your mailing list or liking your fan page. Consequentially you will have upped your game and upped their opinion of you. Result.
Ordinarily you might try to convince people why they should buy from you or hire you. You say, 'Look here, I've got this – it's great because blah blah blah – please buy it.' But, if you stop pitching and start providing something which costs them nothing but reveals your value, they will start to pay attention to what you have to say in the future, when they ARE READY to buy from you. Hurrah! So spend some time over the next week uncovering your ultimate value and creating something that reveals that.
Cheryl Rickman is Founder of WiBBLE (www.WiBBLE.us) – a new social business platform and online learning library for self-employed women offering toolkits, tutorials and templates (Women in Business: Brilliant Local Enterprises). She is also the author of the best-selling Small Business Start-Up Workbook and Digital Business Start-Up Workbook.