I’m not a “marketing expert,” but I have learned over the last 25 years of being a solo entrepreneur what’s worked and what’s been a waste of my time, money and energy. The key to a successful business is finding and retaining loyal customers and clients. Honestly, without my clients and customers I wouldn’t be in business.
Where do you find those loyal customers? Here are six marketing and business-building “truths” I’ve discovered:
1. Know what you want – write out your marketing plan in as much detail as possible. What results do you want to see from your marketing efforts? Do you want more sales of a specific product, to become an expert in your field, or maybe you want to build your newsletter subscriber list?
The key to turning your marketing efforts into money is beginning with the end-result in mind. What actions do you want your target market to take?
2. Know your target market – who is your ideal client or customer? Make time to describe in detail your target market. What are their ages, likes and dislikes, concerns for the future, what do they do for relaxation and fun, where do they shop, what will make their lives easier, happier, fuller, more productive and/or less stressful?
Why is your ideal market an ideal market for your business? Why do you want to work with this particular market? On a scale of 1-10, how excited or passionate are you to work with this market?
3. Know your message – how exactly does your product or service best serve your target market? What can you offer that will enhance their lives, solve a problem or help them “feel” better about themselves personally or professionally? What personal and professional experience do you bring to this market? Why should your target market choose to work with or buy from you? How will they benefit from doing business with you?
When your target market reads your business card or flyer, what do you want them to know about you and your business? Why should they choose you over anyone else?
4. Keep your image the same – this is known as branding. All your marketing materials should have a professional look. Your business cards, flyers, website, etc. should be representative of your brand message.
Consistency is key here. That’s why it is important to understand yourself and your target market. A successful business doesn’t change their brand often – Pepsi® and Coke® are recognizable brands because they’ve been consistent over the years. The consistency of your brand will help your market get to know you, like you and trust you as a business.
5. Keep to your plan – once you’ve written your marketing plan, stick with it. Don’t become distracted by the latest and greatest – keep doing what’s working. That doesn’t mean you should be inflexible – just use your best judgment regarding what’s working and successfully growing your business.
6. Keep a record of your results – know where your marketing efforts are paying off. Time is valuable. If something isn’t producing the results you’d like, then it may be time to go with a Plan B. It’s a wise businessperson who keeps accurate up-to-date records of their marketing efforts.
Marketing is more than passing out flyers and business cards – it is understanding how to reach the right people at the right time with the right product or service.
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I’m Sharon Michaels and I teach you how to do business successfully. http://SharonMichaels.com
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