Marketing is a crazy world. Imagine you're walking down an overly crowded street with vendors outside of shops with sales men yelling at you and pointing to their flashing neon sign trying to get customers to come inside. It's straight chaos! Everyone has a different method and everyone is trying to say that what they're doing is the BEST way to do "X." So I imagine that you've probably felt pretty dang overwhelmed when it comes to figuring out how to market your business. How do you choose the right path? What if the method you choose wastes a ton of time and money? Talk about stress!
One thing I've learned is that not every marketing method is as good as it's sold to be. And after watching hours and hours of webinars and trainings, talking with other entrepreneurs, and just living in this world I've come to the conclusion that good marketing at it's core is simpler than most people make it, and that the real gold mine is in the implementation.
Marketing is all about one thing - reaching your ideal customer and helping them get to your sales funnel. It's like fishing, and as an entrepreneur you are now in the business of fishing for people.
I do want to mention one glaring issue that I think precedes ALL marketing issues and that is thinking that business and marketing is ALL perfectly formulaic. What I mean is that business isn't always completely straightforward. Understanding people's mindsets and behaviors towards buying a certain product or service can be complicated. That's why big companies pay super smart people lots of money to try to figure this out for them. And navigating the issues you will encounter will challenge you to dig deep.
Business is a journey of discovery and evolving. You start with one idea and work through it until you have worked out all the kinks and have a stream-lined offering that your dream client will love and actually pay you money for.
So tip #1 is...
Create a detailed ideal client avatar
I repeat...create a DETAILED ideal client avatar. Don't skip this! Put in the time to think through who you really want to buy from you. This is an exercise is self discovery and is about learning about what you really want, what you're good at and the type of person you imagine receiving this. If you don't know WHO you're marketing to and how they receive information then you're going to end up wasting time and money.
What type of person do you dream of working with? Who are you solving problems for? If you could have ANYONE walk in your door and buy from you who would it be?
Put real flesh and bones on your dream client. Think personality, likes, dislikes, habits, learning preferences, dreams, fears, lifestyle, demographics, even personal style. What are their problems? What solutions are they looking for? What will they pay money for? Heck, what type of car do they drive? And remember this is not about outlining what type of client you have now (unless you're absolutely in love with every detail about them), it's about figuring out who you really really wish you could work with.
Write down your answers and review them frequently. The details you put down don't have to stay the same forever. In fact, as you learn and grow it most likely will change. No sweat! Just amend your avatar.
Now tip #2
Figure out what type of offer your ideal client would fall head over heels for.
This is usually step 1 for a lot of people. They come up with their business idea or offering and what type of thing they want to do, but they forget about making sure it's something their ideal client would want. I believe that knowing what you want to do and who you want to do it for work hand in hand and often the answer to one might change something about the other.
For example you might find that you love to care for and style hair and you have clients with all types of hair, but you realized that when you thought about your dream client she has curly hair. Now instead of creating an offering for a woman with naturally straight hair, you decide to create a special conditioning treatment to help your curly girl tame her frizz that you know she struggles with on the daily. You made an offer that spoke directly to your ideal client.
Speak her language! And if you find that what you are currently offering doesn't align with your ideal client it might be time to try to bridge the gap and make some changes. And if you find that you want to have multiple avatars that can work too, but you might be making different offerings, and different content for different people. If you can, still try to find the things that could tie your avatars together.
Learn how and where your ideal client likes to learn and where they might be more receptive to your offering.
There are lots of ways to ingest information. Some people like to hang out on Pinterest, others choose YouTube, and still yet some love to scroll and scroll on Instagram and are very invested in those tiny squares.
If you know where your ideal client is hanging out online, and how they like to receive information you will have much more direction about the type of marketing campaign you should create. Are they searching for answers to an issue on YouTube? Are they typing in a local search on Google? Are they looking up hashtags on Instagram, or perhaps they're invested into Facebook groups.
There are people out there that will say you should be hyper active on every single platform and that you should be posting multiple times a day. And while there are arguments for that that I appreciate, when it comes down to real life you might not have the time or means to accomplish that in an effective way. So being able to focus in on one place that your ideal client is will yield more meaningful results.
Make content that is searchable.
When you make content that is searchable such as a blog post, Pin, or YouTube video you're content can be found long after it is created. Now, I am all for staying up to date on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, but I suggest that you don't rely solely on it.
You can spend a long time crafting a post that might get buried in the stream of hashtags or someone will physically have to find your page and scroll down to find that post. Creating searchable content means that you can create something that will still be drawing in people years after you've made it.
Make content that will help you build an email list
Email marketing is huge, because the person subscribing is on some level self proclaiming that they want to hear from you. Now the key is to create an offering or piece of content that your ideal client would actually like (tip #2), get them to say "yes" and hand over their email. That means your content needs to be targeted towards them.
But you want to get that email, because it puts you in a position to show up in their inbox without having them go to you first. Long after they forgot they downloaded your freebie you can show up and offer them something else that's valuable to them staying front of mind, and showing them that you are still there offering helpful solutions to them.
Be flexible, be okay trying something new, but don't feel pressured into the latest marketing trends.
Your marketing is about you and your people. If you can stay in the know about your ideal client and can learn what actually brings you revenue then you can avoid all the glittering "new" trends for marketing. You will learn to speak to your client where they're at and in a way that they'll receive and it won't feel like you're chasing your tail.
You will eventually have a clear path and you'll be able to walk it without constantly feeling blown around by every new "have to try" marketing trend. That being said, if your people move then you should move with them. Don't stay stuck in old methods that no longer work. Get into the numbers, and find out what works from an analytics perspective.
You can do this!