Archive for March, 2012

2 great ways marketing helps grow your business

2 great ways marketing can help you grow your business in a gentle, non-sales-y, yet very effective way!

  • Attract more new clients
  • Maximise existing relationships

Let’s concentrate on the first one: Attract more new clients and start with what should be the easiest methods of marketing, yet most of us don’t capitalise on:

Word Of Mouth

And there are 3 main things to take into consideration and be absolutely clear on here:

  • Know your niche target audience
  • Know where your target niche hang out
  • Have an irresistable offer

Your niche target audience

Know your niche:

Be able to draw a word picture of who your clients are that easily helps people self-identify or think of a person or persons who ‘fit the bill’.

How many times have you been to a networking meeting, asked someone (or several someones) what they do and been no wiser at the answer as to why you should refer them to someone you know?

Accept that your target market is NOT everybody – or you’ll likely attract nobody because you’ll be too bland… Don’t be afraid that your message might repel some people if it’s clearer and more attractive to the ones who will become your clients.

How do you know it’s a good niche?

  • It has people in it who are hungry for what you provide – and will happily pay you for it
  • There are enough of them to keep you in business for as long as you could possibly want
  • There are already well established, high quality hang out areas where these like minded souls get together

– which brings us onto the next component:

Know where your target niche hang out

  • Networks they’re members of
  • Associations &/ or Institutes they belong to
  • Conventions (or any events) they go to
  • Magazines they read
  • Websites they visit and sign up to

And so on – anywhere you establish that they congregate

Why is this important? Well, which do you think is easier: Finding one potential client at a time or going to a place where there’s a whole load of them hanging out???

Having an irresistable offer

Before you get into your fabulous offer you need to demonstrate your understanding of the problem/ pain you solve. I know, I know, it can seem like a real graunch and yuk! that many of us Brits feel it’s distasteful and somehow tacky to identify, expand and home in on. Yet unless all of us can get our clients to face the gremlins and obstacles that are a real pain to them, they won’t take action to get over them.

The more you can demonstrate understanding of the impact of these issues to your (potential) client, without pushing you, your product or service, the more you will be building rapport and a potentially trusted relationship.

Let’s have a mini recap

  • Identify your niche
  • Know what their biggest hassles are (that they’ll pay to get sorted and you can help with)
  • Become great at (genuinely) empathising with them

Based on that, have a brilliant and irresistable offer… and remember:

People love discovering a product or service that could almost have been tailor made for them – but they don’t want to be sold it. The want enough information to make the right decision for themselves.

So you have some great tips – let us know how you use them!

How Does Your Business Acumen Score?

I came across this at the back end of last year and thought I’d share it with you. I was making notes while listening to this presentation so it’s not word-for-word transcript but the gist and meaning is accurate.

Score yourself whichever number most closely describes your situation then we’ll look a little more closely at this exercise 😉

  1. You’ve studied a lot, done nothing and made no money
  2. You’ve studied a lot, done a few things and made less than you’ve spent
  3. You’ve studied a lot, tried several approaches, made some progress but no real money
  4. Some things are working, you’re making some money but doing everything yourself
  5. Some things are working, you’re making decent money, you’re gathering momentum but you’re flying solo
  6. You have a business that’s not growing enough; you’re making decent money but working too hard
  7. You’re working 80 hour weeks and growing a good business but you have no life
  8. You’re growing the business; it’s a full time job with weekends off
  9. The business is growing; it needs little attention, you’re making great money and you have a good life
  10. The business is growing without you; you have more money than you can spend and you’re loving life

What do you notice?

It’s very hard hitting and very obvious: Not much in the way of subtlety here! Unless you score yourself a 9 or 10, or possibly an 8, this little beauty is designed to make you feel uncomfortable and thoroughly dissatisfied with your lot.

But, and for me it’s a big but, it’s a very masculine approach. As an aside yet following the same thought, I don’t know if any of you have been following the Dan Kennedy Renegade Marketing video series recently? If you have it probably hasn’t escaped your notice that each of the people giving testimony to his brilliance is a bloke – there’s not one female entrepreneur in the line up! I wonder if that’s a comment on the number of successful male entrepreneurs versus female or the number of male clients he has versus female? I’m not questioning DK’s ability to help his clients make money but he certainly comes from an era when major buying decisions were made by men. Heavens – many women didn’t even have a bank account! :-(

All change!

I’ve heard data that cites up to 80% of buying decisions are now made by women. So, even if you think your target audience is male – you’d do well to address the feminine ‘hot buttons’, too. That includes your approach.

With regard to the questionnaire, I’ve been on this particular guy’s mailing list for a few years and there’s no doubt he’s made a name for himself as a successful entrepreneur who’s made the majority of his money selling programmes to help other entrepreneurs become successful. Yet over the last few months his communications come across as one who’s trying too hard: not far from coming right out with it that: if your business isn’t precisely where you want it to be, you’re an idiot if you don’t take him up on his offer – and pretty quickly, too as there are only so many places… yes, that old chestnut is still being trotted out! 😉

To be fair, the newer ‘kids on the block’ – blokes and, increasingly women – are taking a softer line. Their approach is more: “If this resonates with you and feels a good fit, let’s explore working together!”

I guess that’s a lesson for us all and it’s one I may explore some more in future posts because it’s not as straightforward as it may seem. For example, does it mean the questionnaire I’ve shown here should no longer be used?

What do you think? Leave your comment and share your view with us!

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