Facebook Advertisements, Twitter, SEO, Pay Per Click, Magazine, Radio TV where should I promote my business? Many small business owners ask themselves those same questions. The reality is none of that matters until you get the right message for the right audience down.
If you look at the back of many publications at the advertisements from small business owners what you find is a copy of their business card. It shows the name of their company. It says they deliver the BEST service and how to contact the business.
Doesn’t every business say they are the BEST?
All prospects and customers want the exact same things
- they want to feel confident their money has been well-spent
- that their decision has been made to the best of their ability
- they want to get the best deal
Your job is to figure out what is important to them. Then to educate them as to how you can deliver that at the BEST value and then show them some proof.
What do most marketers do? They tell buyers to buy from them because they have more experience, better quality or they have the best price. And there are some very clever ways to do that.
The key is how do you stand out. Consider this: Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s are all making billions of dollars selling the same thing, Pizza. Yet, each of them has staked out a unique position in the market.
- Domino’s delivers fast (They don’t claim to be high quality)
- Pizza Hut offers variety and either pick up or delivery
- Papa Johns is all about picking it up with the fresh ingredients and baking it yourself.
Each of these companies has taken the time to get clear on who they want to serve, how they want to serve and then the innovated their operations to meet their market. The challenge is most small business owners don’t take the time to do this.
Slow down. Yup slow down. Take the time to think about your business. Why are you in business? What problem were you going to solve for your customer? How were you going to be different than the others?
When you stop and consider why buyers want your product (category) They have some concerns. It is not just should they get Pizza but, rather what kind of pizza, what do they want it to do for them? Do they want it delivered fast? Do they want variety or is fresh important?
Then based on where you are, who your competition is and your passions around Pizza, (Pizza by the way is a metaphor here for your business), what is your position. And then you create your message.
Once you have your message you can decide where to promote your business. If they are of a certain generation (retired) Facebook Pay per click is probably not where they hang out. They are probably reading the local newspaper. If they are young and mobile perhaps Instagram is where you will find them.
But until you know:
- Your market
- Your position in the market
- How you will differentiate yourself
- And your message
The medium does not matter. Do yourself a favor and schedule an hour a week to step back and think about your business.
There are three parts to creating a marketing message that delivers new customers. The first is getting clear on who your target market is. (We will get to how you solve their problem and the message in subsequent articles.)
Let’s look at a Real Estate Agent as an example. They may be able to sell commercial and residential real estate. And they could sell to anyone. But as they communicate their message many people won’t hear it because when they hear “Real Estate Agent” they have a concept of what that is. The rest sounds like Charlie Brown’s mother “Wah, Wah, Wah Wah, Wah.”
Now when the agent gets very clear on who they can serve the best. The clients that best fit with their talents, skills and personality, now they can create connections. For example, “I help millennials find the Loft of their Dreams in downtown Denver.”
The fist step is to identify who qualifies for your target market. There are four things to look at:
- They have a need, want and or desire for your service or product.
- They have the budget for it.
- They have the decision-making authority
- They have access to you and your business
First look at your product or service. What need, want or desire does your product fulfill? What does your product cost? Who can afford it who will be willing to pay for it? Who tends to make this buying decision?
Did you answer the questions?
Do you have a better sense?
Demographics also play a role in developing your target market. Who does my product cater to in terms of Age, Income, Generation, Occupation, Education, Is ethnicity important?
Then there are the Psychographics. These tap into the beliefs and emotions of your target buyers. What is their lifestyle, who do they listen to, what do they read? What is their motivation are they leaders or followers? What values and beliefs do they hold? Will they be supportive of the environment or do they care? What are their hobbies?
Now that you have this information you can begin to describe your target client your ideal client. As an example, it might be something like:
“My target customer is a senior manager in a health system who has risen through the ranks to her position. She has earned her degree through night-school and now that the kids are out of the house, she is ready to move up to the next level of management a Director role. She wants her team and organization to thrive.”
Now for the research. Does this target customer exist, and do they want what you are selling?
You can research this through a variety of ways. Beginning with the resources at the library. A librarian can point you to the resources to see where this demographic exists. Are they in the zip codes you serve? If not do you want to adjust your target or move your location? You can also buy research.
Then there is primary research. That is, you out in the environment where your buyer is hanging out. What are they doing? How are they spending their time? What do you notice about them?
Then there are surveys. If you have a list, you can survey the market to see what their preferences are. If you have a website, you can have some tracking analytics to help you identify who is finding you and what their characteristics are.
Another method might be a focus group. Here you gather likely buyers and interview them about the offering, their motivations, what they like and don’t like.
Once you have done the research that you can determine, is there a market? How does the market want to interact with my product or service? Is the market large enough to support my dreams?
Now you know who they are and what they want. In our next conversation we will explore how we can uniquely solve their problems so that we are the choice for their business.
If you would like help identifying how you can identify your target market or if you are interested in my 45 minute break through challenge (we will find $10K – $50K perhaps $100K in 45 minutes or less.) Contact me at CALENDLY LINK
Image Courtesy pf Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
Today I’m going to talk about the life cycle of your business and how to get the most out of each cycle while also extended the lifespan of your mission and purpose.
The four different stages of an organization are what Michael Gerber calls:
• Growing Pains
We’ll talk a little about what each of these stages means and how they can each help expand your organization’s lifespan.
This is generally considered the technician’s phase, which is the owner/founder. At this point, the relationship between the business and the owner is that of a parent and a new baby. There is an impenetrable bond that is necessary to determine the path your organization will follow. This is where your vision is blooming, where you can see the impact you will make, and you are perhaps starting to do good work. This phase is identified by the hustle. You are doing everything. You are selling. You are delivering services, you are doing the books.. You are awake at night in the wee hours of the morning wondering, “is this worth it and can I make it work”?
You ask yourself, “If I add value or services or more clients, can I handle it”? It can be tempting to stop here. And it is perfectly OK to do so. I know lots of organizations that are a lifestyle brand. They allow their owner to make enough money to be comfortable. So, they don’t want to expand.
But if you are driven by your purpose and your passion you have to recognize that your organization must grow in order to flourish. You cannot stay in this stage forever.
In this stage, you need to start bringing on support staff and you want to delegate to this staff and allow them to grow into their positions of service. The first hire is probably another technical person, with the skills to deliver. So that you can step back and out to work on your business. This cycle really belongs to the manager. The manager is the professional that brings order and systems into play to sustain the operation. This is where policies begin to come into play, a business model; (how will we raise money and deliver value for our donors, advocates, and clientele?) This is also where you create operating procedures that can be rreplicated.
There’s a point in every successful organization when business explodes and becomes chaotic. This is referred to as growing pains. It’s a good problem to have, but a challenge, nonetheless. You are often faced with several decisions:
• Avoid growth and stay small
• Go broke
• Push forward into the next cycle
The last cycle is maturity, though this doesn’t mean the end of your business. Your passion for growth must continue in order for your business to succeed and continue to serve your noble mission. You want to continually assess where you are, evaluate the impact you are having, and recalibrate for the times and for where the organization is going. You need to keep an entrepreneurial perspective in order to push your business forward. This is the perspective of vision, of where is our need growing and where is it contracting? How do we need to change? All too often the leaders (the Technicians and Managers) get stuck in how things are or worse how they used to be. The entrepreneurial leader is looking at the horizon and identifying what needs to be done between now and then to continue to be of service 5 – 10 – 100 years down the road.
You see how all three of these cycles are connected and depend on a strong foundation for each one of them for your business to be, and continue to be, successful. All three of your key roles (the technician, the manager, and the entrepreneur) must also work together to work through these cycles.
Almost every business owner or founder that I have met is doing this for something beyond money. They are driven by a sense of purpose, passion, and desire for a better world. Do not let that light or vision flounder. Step into your vision. Work through the various stages of growth with all of the excitement, fear, and frustrations. The work you are doing is literally changing the world.
John Gies is a Coach and Business Growth Strategist. He lives in Denver Colorado with his wife of almost 30-years. You can learn more about John at
Originally Published in SynerVision Magazine
Have you noticed how the successful business’ and leaders have grown their business?
They find a way to capture the attention of the buyer and then they engage and educate them. Often with a series of information-based messages. They could be advertisements, emails, conversations. But each interaction brings new knowledge and more value to the buyer until they make their offer.
You too can leverage this approach to grow your business. Here are some ways to put together and execute a professional, effective message campaign:
- Create a short report that you’ll send to prospects when they contact you. This should include a short description of your business and what you specialize in. Don’t forget to include case studies, samples or other proof of your success.
- Newsletters are a great way to engage and educate. Make sure your content is focused on your buyer and not you for the most part. You want them to feel you are educating them, NOT selling them. (This does not mean you can’t invite them each time with an offer).
- Seminars and Webinars also re ways to engage and educate. Just make sure you are delivering value versus trying too hard to sell.
- Consistently test different versions of your ads to find the most effective ones.
- Direct mail still has its place.
- Stay in touch with previous customers offering them insight, updates and offers. They bought once from you. It is likely they are willing to buy again..
- incentives such as frequent purchasing benefits, loyalty programs, referral programs or others often create value and new business.
- Donate time or materials to local charities to show support and gain visibility in your area.
- Create seminars your customers/clients can pay to attend by putting together a high-perception value package.
- Offer local newspaper by offering to write a weekly column about your area of expertise.
- If you are delivering valuable seminars turn them into a product that can be recorded, packaged and sold to your clients.
- Approach large companies and offer to give seminars to their employees, investors or management.
- Be willing to bring in new clients, even at a lower fee, it will likely pay off later. And, you can create a less intense offering for these clients.
- Work with others in your market that call on your ideal clients. Offer them a reward for clients and vice a versa.
- Can you provide loaner products to replace equipment that’s be repaired or refurbished? And of course have it branded so people see that you are getting and serving customers.
- Want to see which ads or messages work the best? Give away something free to everyone who brings in a print version of your advertisement.
- Always be considering and innovating what new products/services you can offer to current customers/clients.
- Offer a “you-choose-the-price” program. This is especially good for product you just can’t seem to sell. Or for entry level programs on the ladder of engagement.
So, there are 18 ways to market to other professional and businesses. Some other great ways to get your name out there for little or no cost are:
- Get involved you in your community-volunteer, donate to local events, etc.
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend the networking and other activities throughout the year.
- Join a local, state or regional professional associates for further networking opportunities.
- Become a board member of a local organization.
Advertising should never be your only method of marketing, there are a myriad of ways to get your name out there in a way that feels personal to potential customers/clients.
“Effective advertising…must be used to get your name out to the public. If your name is not familiar to people, they will not come to you.” Jay Abraham
If you are wondering where you start with your marketing plan or how to reach out to your local community, competitors, customers/clients and others who could influence your business, try our FREE test drive to experience the tools and resources we have to boost your business to the next level and beyond.
Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com
The E-myth was written in 1988 about the myths that entrepreneurs hold about success in business. And the cost of those myths on their lives, their, business and their well-being.
The book pointed out that many small business owners start their business believing these assumptions or myths. The feel that all that is needed for success is:
• Some capital
• Projected a targeted profit
This sounds great and then reality sets in. Running a business as a marathon. Not everyone pops out a Unicorn like Facebook or Uber. In fact while business start out fast and the owners have passion and are willing to do it ALL, there is only so long you can maintain that pace.
There are a lot of different factors to a successful business and you can’t ignore them if you want success.
Let’s talk about entrepreneurial seizure. This defines the roller coaster of emotions that comes with starting, nurturing and the potential failure of a business.
The emotions that occur, in order, are:
• Sense of self-loss
These feelings are the result of the assumptions, beliefs (e-myths) that we spoke to earlier. You can get your hopes so high on success that even the smallest lag can send you into an emotional tailspin. This is also brought on by the realization that you can’t do it all and will need help in the areas where you don’t have the knowledge. Now, faced with limited choices you may feel like you need to back out and hide, but don’t do this.
Use myFREE test drive to get the business coaching you need to avoid feeling overwhelmed and defeated.