Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links
No matter if you are a dog trainer or a business coach, you should not expect customers to just come knocking on your door. In fact, you will need to go out and find them, searching for ways to engage with them and communicate your offers. Your business idea might be great, but without marketing it will be pretty much dead. You will have to make the most out of your reputation and your branding tools, so you can create a system that will generate business leads automatically and turn them into customers. Below you will find a few skills you will either need to learn or gain though outsourcing to make your marketing work for you.
Have a Clear Vision
Before you are able to communicate your offers, you will have to come clear about what you stand for. One of the most common mistakes people make when they set up their website and online presence is that they talk about what they do, their products and services, but not the benefits for the customer. You will have to answer their question: “what is in it for me” in just a couple of seconds, or they will leave your pages never to return.
Do Your Research
Having a business idea will not guarantee success. There might be other companies out there that do the same thing, even cheaper. You will also have to find out what the size of the market is, how you can add value, and how much it will cost you to deliver the services and products. After all, you go to business to make money, not to lose it. You can find loads of free industry reports and statistics online, or conduct your own survey if you are targeting a specific niche.
Identify Your USP
To create effective marketing messages, you will need to make your brand stand out from the crowd. You should sit down to find out what your unique selling proposition is, and how you can best communicate it with your potential clients. It is crucial that you do this task first, so you don’t find yourself shooting in the dark or barking up the wrong tree. Once you have identified what makes your offer special, you will find it easier to locate the people who will appreciate the features that are unique to your brand.
Find Out Who Your Ideal Client Is
If you have ever said that you can work with anyone, you will have to think again. There is a specific niche market that is much more likely to appreciate what you offer than the rest, so you will need to target them, speak their language, and address their most urgent problems through your content marketing. You can brainstorm ideas, read review sites, or simply check question and answer sites such as Quora, so you can find out more about the market and the customers’ buying triggers.
Setting up a website is not enough if you would like to get traffic and conversions. The cheapest – but also the most time consuming – way to get traffic is search engine optimization with your niche in mind. You can learn basic SEO from Google Digital Garage, or other alternative training sites, but you will need to double check that you are not provided with outdated information. Search engine algorithms change, so does customer behavior, so you need to have the latest tools and technologies to make it work for you.
Invest In Your Learning
Apart from SEO, there are plenty of skills you can learn in your own time. Every business owner needs to learn what makes a successful marketing campaign, even if they are planning on outsourcing it. You might enroll in a marketing course online, or take private training from someone who has already cracked the code of social media marketing and content creation. You can never stop learning, and investing in your own skill development is likely to give you the most return on investment.
Create a Sales Funnel
To automate your processes, you should create an advanced sales funnel that will keep your audience and leads engaged, so you don’t have to manually follow up every query. This step, however, should only be completed after you have a clear target market and brand message. You can talk to a digital marketing sales funnel expert who will look at your market and help you get your messages right. You can get a startup marketing funnel designed by an industry expert so you can focus on getting traffic and leave the rest to automation.
Provide Value Before You Ask for the Sale
If there is something that can make your audience turn away from you, it is delivering the sales pitch before time. It is crucial that you make your prospects know and trust you, and the best way to do this is by providing value all the way. If you are good at blogging, provide them information that will help them improve their lives. If you are a video person, create a series of quick tips to educate your audience and to position yourself as an expert in the field. Once you have created reciprocity, your leads will convert much easier.
Manage Your Reputation
It is not enough to build a strong brand; you will also have to maintain it. If you don’t keep an eye on your comments, feedback, and ratings on various review sites, you can lose the trust of your market without knowing. You can sign up for alerts from your Google account to get notified every time your brand name or company is mentioned online, so you can respond and manage your reputation. Once you have a few customers, you should ask them for a review or recommendation, so you can strengthen your online visibility and brand.
Consider Your Marketing as an Investment
Most business owners, especially those who are new to the world of entrepreneurship consider marketing as a necessary expense. It is not just about ticking the boxes to run ads or get a brand image and website designed; it is an investment in your business future. If you are spending a dollar to get a lead and every 20th converts, you will need to make at least five dollars on a sale for your marketing to be worth it. The better your conversion is, the more money you can make using digital marketing.
Know Your Competitors
Knowing your market and your ideal client is useful, but you will also have to get to know your competitors, so you can find out what you can do better and how you can provide more value than them. Your strategy should not be reactive, more like proactive, still you want to know when your competitors are running a promotion, so you can focus on increasing loyalty and come up with a plan to prevent your clients from leaving you. After all, no business exists in an empty space.
Track Your Conversion Rates
If you don’t know where your visitors and sales are coming from, you will never be able to come up with an effective marketing plan. There are plenty of free and low cost tools online that will track the engagement level on your social media pages, your website, and your ads. If you would like to take the guesswork out of your promotions, you will have to create a system that will give you a snapshot of all your campaigns, so you can make adjustments and focus on the traffic sources that are the most likely to get you sales. Some people say that the fine line between success and failure lies in business intelligence.
Use Email Marketing
If you generate leads, but cannot turn them into buyers, your marketing investment will not deliver the results you expect from them. Instead of spending hours following up leads, you should implement an autoresponder and use a copywriting service to craft your messages professionally. It is crucial that you make technology work for you; not only delivering your emails, but also tracking open rates, clicks, and conversions. This will help you make the most out of your business without having to spend too much time with administration and customer service.
Tweak Your Campaigns Continuously
It is crucial that you know where your website visitors are coming from, where they land, and which pages they leave on. If you don’t have Google Analytics set up yet, you should integrate it in your site, so you can tweak the campaigns and set up AB testing on your pages, finding out which headlines and images your readers are the most likely to react to. Marketing is a numbers’ game, and – thankfully – you don’t have to do the number crunching yourself; there is a software for that.
Many new business owners struggle to come up with an effective marketing strategy. It is crucial that you educate yourself on the basics and get help with the specialist marketing tasks to achieve the best results possible.