I attended a great seminar yesterday organized by Cort Grey of Business Partner NJ and the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, titled “Ignite Your Marketing”. It was great to hear more experienced marketing professionals give their opinions on the state of marketing. It was also great that they reinforced a lot of what I tell my clients when they ask me about marketing their small business particularly when they don’t have access to large sums of cash.
- Realize that marketing is not optional! All too often small businesses “do” marketing only when they are in a crunch to find new customers, if they do it at all. “Too expensive”, “not enough time”, “too complicated” are all the usual excuses. Just remember that if you aren’t marketing there’s a very good chance that your competitor is marketing their services RIGHT NOW and that they are taking your potential clients RIGHT NOW because those clients don’t know you exist.
- Realize that marketing is not easy! In this interconnected wild web world marketing is all about building relationships and as any dysfunctional family will tell you – relationships are hard! It takes time and inevitably money to build relationships properly such that they start to pay you back. You have to stay the course because otherwise your earlier efforts are wasted.
- If you don’t succeed try, try and try again! To quote the great Cort Grey – “50% of all marketing efforts will fail – you just don’t know which 50%!” So there’s no right or wrong with regards to marketing – it’s what works and what doesn’t that’s important. Try a variety of different approaches, analyze what works and discard what doesn’t.
- Brand, brand, brand! Whether you are a soloprenuer or owner of a multi-person, multi-location business you need a brand that people identify with you. You think you know what you do but it’s very common for your clients to have a different view of this. Use your client’s view to construct your brand – it will help to attract more similarly focused clients. And then brand everywhere!
- Think different! It’s really important to differentiate what you offer from the hundreds or thousands of other providers of the same service that are out there. You can’t be just another “________” (fill in the blank). You have to have that special something that’s memorable enough to differentiate you from the other guys. Work on your Unique Selling Proposition until it really is unique.
Do you have a successful (or unsuccessful) marketing story to share? Let us know in the comments below.
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