Don’t get overwhelmed; get inspired marketing your business.
For some, the marketing side of the business is not exactly their cup of tea, and I can’t blame them. If you don’t know where to start, trying to market your business can become a slippery slope to avoiding that part altogether.
Marketing is not as big of a hurdle as you make it in your head. It’s the art of winning and retaining customers — nothing more, nothing less.
If you are starting, you probably wonder what steps to take and how to make them effective. Unfortunately just letting your work speak for itself isn’t enough, this is why I collected my favourite commandments that avoid you to get overwhelmed and ignites inspiration.
Are you ready? Let’s go!
- Know thy customer
The most important aspect of your business is your customer profile. Learning all the ins and outs of your target audience is the foundation of everything you decide to do and don’t do. Get to know who the people are that you would like to search for your service actively. What makes their heart skip a beat?
Research, investigate and give them what they want. If you, for instance, are offering your (copy)writing services for lifestyle-oriented customers, you need to showcase your ability to write compelling content that functions as evidence of how their customers’ lives could be if they own that particular product.
Evaluate your offering through the eyes of your customer. Is your portfolio grabbing their attention, or could it be bolder or more niche?
This step should not be overlooked since it will become the foundation of your business.
2. Show thyself
Congratulations, you’ve launched your website! Now what? I’m sorry to say your customers won’t magically end up on your landing page. You have to show that you are there!
Your social media presence doesn’t mean a thing if people are confused about contacting you or finding your website.
Now, don’t worry. You won’t have to go to SEO school and spend a fortune on learning all the ins and outs about findability on the world wide web. Let’s start with some content to showcase your personality and what you have to offer. Genuine content performs better than any SEO shortcut; there is no fooling Mrs Google!
Make your website as welcoming and user friendly as possible with a clear CTA on the top AND the bottom of every page so they won’t forget to take action. Show people who you are and why you do what you do.
When people relate, they activate.
3. Thy shall stay in touch
You have website visitors, yay! Well done! Now, how will you make sure they stay connected and won’t navigate to your competitors, or even worse, forget about you? The answer: Newsletters.
Website visitors that vibe with your content might bookmark your page if you’re lucky, but even then, will they ever remember you’re there? Make sure you remind your visitors who you are on an annual basis.
That visitor who was not ready to make use of your services might be right now. Your newsletter with a delicate reminder might be the reason they eventually reach out.
There is one catch: while it’s an easy way of reminding potential customers you are there for them, you should be consistent once you commit. Sending out newsletters just now and again makes a sloppy impression and won’t make you feel accomplished but incapable.
4. Thy shall network
Especially for the introverts, this seems like a scary next step after nailing the ones prior. But it doesn’t have to be. Networking in 2021 is way different than a few years ago. If you don’t want to go to events and make small talk you don’t have to. (What a relieve, right? I know!). There are many ways to broaden your scope: start an online community around your services on social media. Reach out to your prefered media for some press coverage. Write a guest blog for an acknowledged blog in your niche.
Do what feels good for you, and it will work out.
5. Thy shall listen
Even though you made it to this final step and your business is flourishing, you need to keep aware of your marketing mix. What has worked out for you, in the beginning, might not work anymore. Listen to your customers, to yourself and your community.
Is there another path that would get you more motivated? Are your customers missing something in your services?
Not being flexible or open for feedback is the pitfall for any business owner. Improve your business by being open to new opportunities. Pay attention to what works and what does not and navigate accordingly.
Even though these are not the average marketing 101’s, these are the pillars of marketing an authentic and personal business. We learn by failing and know what is good by first experiencing the bad.