A lot of the clients we help are crazy busy. We can tell from the minute they sit down with us or phone us with us how stressed and distracted they are. Our first session is always about focus on the design of their business, simple stuff like what its meant to be, do and earn – the basics of any business plan. Our clients often rail against this, they want to ask questions not think about planning and when we listen to their thoughts and actions on marketing its clear LOADS is happening but little is working.
Less Work = Better Results
The thing is marketing will only work if its planned to meet an outcome. You have to go in deep for it to work. Without that its all scatter gun, spraying work and shed loads of ‘busy’ across a range of activities that bring in no new leads, enquiries or sales. The result is almost always to attack the business idea, to cut back on marketing and to go out and railroad new customers into the business. You see such business owners at networking events and see the fear in their eyes. They are spending time, money and precious resources to travel the country to get their business known but often all people remember is their exhaustion and tiredness as they stumble through another presentation breakfast. They deselect themselves in their customers’ eyes as no one wants a manic supplier to work with. Nervous energy bouncing off the business owner is a repellent to most customers.
We all want willing customers beating a path to our doors and wanting what we offer in our business. The only way to get this is trying and testing each marketing method you choose fully. That means trying one or at the most two things at a time and seeing what works for your business over time, in different ways and letting the results bed in for your business. That’s right! It’s the very opposite of scatter gun marketing and doing loads of things, it’s doing a couple of things at a time and seeing if and how you can make them work for you.
I see busy – crazy busy – business owners working on SEO, Webpage design, back links at the same time as Google Ads, Facebook likes and Ads, Pinterest and Google+ posting, Twitter posting for hours, blogging, networking, direct mail and telemarketing with a side order of PR. No wonder they are exhausted, it’s too much! Remember that little of this menu of things to do works properly. The google ads are set up and then they are off to work on Facebook and Twitter, they spend a couple of hundred dollars or pounds on PPC before they realise it – never checking their ad and declare it as ‘useless’ for their business as loads of clicks but no orders. We find the ads are linked to their web home or contact us pages. We ask how Twitter is going, its taking hours a day and loads of conversations but no orders and not a phone call. Conversations abound on Twitter and you can get sucked in for hours but you are there to grow your business and we go back to the plan and how important it is to focus on time spent. Leading a conversation and getting known as the expert in your field is hard work and not built up by JUST having random chats, everything you do in business has to have a purpose.
Do less to get more
Simple strategy is do less to get more. Go in deep and stop swimming in the shallows. Think more about your customer than your own activity. Start with one customer in mind, the one you think is the best fit for your business. Flesh them out fully, their age, gender, where they live, what they do, give them a name if it helps to make them a real person to you. Once you are there with them fleshed out before your eyes, you will able to forecast their reading and browsing habits and find one or two channels to reach them.
Get them to sign up to something you are giving away (for free) in exchange for their name and email. You are getting a lot more, you are building a list, you are getting them to put their hands up to the item being of interest and once on your list you can stay in touch offering them value and building trust. You have to have more than this though, a name on a list will always remain just a name and its your job to convert that expression of interest into something more valuable for you and for them. That means having a great process in place to draw people into what you can do for them and hive off those who will waste your time and be difficult to serve fully.
So, enough of the busy and let’s get really clear on who we want – our dream client – what do we want them to do? Sign up to our free thing page and opt into our list? What do we want to do with them after that then? Stay in touch and add value and clearly show them how we can help. It’s the greatest sales funnel and all the other activity is centred around this one thing to get you off to a good start. Good marketing is marketing that converts and most campaigns will take 3-6 months to achieve results. Make sure you are spending the time wisely and letting your marketing channels deliver for you before you switch to something else.
What has worked for you in the past and how much of a challenge is marketing now? Join us on Social Media and let us know or comment below.