By Barbara Gill from Team Hook
When I first work with a new customer, whatever their stage in businesses, I like to take their marketing back to basics. Going all guns blazing, doing everything you can think of, rarely garners great results and often leads to individual and business burn out.
My target with marketing is always to have fun and bring focus. Its Marketing, its supposed to be the good bit of running a business, the events, the social media, the gorgeous and glam photoshoots and creating gorgeous brands that talk the language of your business.
But without a plan its HARD. Looking at an empty sheet of paper every morning is tough. And bringing the energy to marketing can seem like a chore.
But imagine having a plan, brilliantly crafted for your business, outlining the perfect channels to tap into your audience.
Of course this is something I can help you with, but in the meantime, let me talk you through three steps that will help bring clarity to your marketing activity.
Step 1: What do you want to achieve?
What are your goals for this year? Where do want your business to be in 12 months time, 2 years or 5 years? And yes, we all want our businesses to be profitable, but what else matters to you? Do you want to work flexibly around your family? Does the ethos of your business underline every decision you make? Do you want to give to charity, be able to volunteer at local schools? Or simply go to that fitness class every Wednesday morning.
What is important to you? I also want you to think a bit deeper. You may initially think, ‘Id like more customers, or make more money’.
How many more customers? How much money? Within what time frame? Do you have the tools in place to record the output of your activity?
Make your objectives SMART
Specific – more sales, how much more? Put a number or % on it.
Measurable – have you got the tools in place to actually quantify your goals?
Achievable – do you have the resources (time/ money), to reach your goals?
Relevant – do your objectives move your business in the direction you want?
Time-bound – what timeframe are you working to?
Remember that your goals need to suit you. You don’t have to aim for multimillion ££ turnovers or world domination. Want to work part-time around your childcare sitch, or service one client per month, or keep production to your in-house studio, that’s totally valid as a business objective. Don’t get caught up in unrealistic expectations of what you SHOULD be achieving. You do you.
Being super clear on what you want to achieve not only helps you create a clear plan, but it also helps when it’s time to reflect. How can you tell if you’ve reached your goals if you haven’t outlined them properly?
Part 2: Identify your customer
So, you’ve got your goals and targets sorted, next up, clients, customers, community. Do you know who your ideal customer is?
And by that, I don’t mean, female, small biz owner.
Like, WHO are they? What is their family dynamic? Do they live in a rural or urban area? What are their religious or spiritual beliefs? Where do they holiday? Where do they do their supermarket shop? What sport do they enjoy? What is important to them in their lives?
Build a lovely full picture of your ideal customer – even give them a name!
This is your key persona, your ideal customer, your primo target.
Keep this person in mind through all of your marketing and comms.
Remember, if you’re targeting everyone, you’re targeting no one!
Part 3: Why does your customer need you?!
What is their problem?!?
You’ve got your ideal customer clear in your mind. You know who they are and what makes them tick, but do you know what problem they have that you solve?
Because that’s the key.
What keeps them up at night that YOU can help with?
And why should they choose you? Top tip: the answer to that isn’t, because YOU love what you do. Of course, you might be super passionate and energetic, but that’s not the ultimate reason why people want to work with you.
It’s because you are good at what you do, you get results and you want to help your target customer smash their goals. You’ve done it before, you can do it again. You are trusted. If you do it with a smile, all the better!
But your key element here is communicating how you help your customer solve the problem they have. And to do that you have to know what that problem is.
Once you have the first three elements above clear, you can start building out what the next months worth of marketing activity looks like. And don’t fall into the trap of thinking that producing content for social media = marketing. Think about other channels you can use. Email marketing, pinterest marketing (yes, that’s a thing), networking events, fairs and show, even old school direct (junk) mail has a valid place for certain types of businesses.
If this post has left you even more bewildered than at the start, don’t forget that there is always the option of working with a marketing pro…. I happen to know a pretty good one that would love to help you.