Stop and appreciate the time that we live in...
Because there has NEVER been a better age to market your business.
We have so many avenues to promote ourselves, right at our fingertips- and so many of them allow us to do so, perfectly free of charge!
Yet with this abundance of opportunity comes an abundance of options. But time remains just as limited as its' always been. So the question we find ourselves asking is:
What forms of marketing are truly worth investing the time in?
Before I list the best methods to invest your time and money towards, let me leave you with something to think about as you read what (in my opinion) are the absolutely crucial forms of marketing:
How much is a sale worth to you?
Now let's begin...
If you're a product-based business, share your latest offers or brand new products on your social media accounts- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn- wherever your business has a presence in the online village of social media, keep those who follow you 'in the know'.
If you're a service-based business- what jobs are you working on this week? Is there a 'Before and After' scenario you can share (especially if you work in maintenance or renovations of some sort)?
The trick here is to stay present in the mind of every person who you're connected with, every follower of your page. They might well scroll down without clicking. They might barely notice on a surface-level. But subconsciously?
Your name stays in their mind. Be Present!
It amazes me how many businesses don't have somebody doing this on the regular, if at all. I admit blogging is something close to my heart, and I love doing it for my clients. But I don't preach the value of blogging because I love it- I love blogging because of its' long-term value, and the principles it uses to attract new clients and re-engage old ones.
This is where the money is, after all!
There's always something to write about. You're not just sharing the 'How To's' of your business or the hot topics relevant to your industry. You're also allowing readers to peer through the window and discover what goes on every day in your business. Give them a "guided tour" so to speak, introduce them to yourself and to the people who comprise your organisation.
Even if you've never met, this makes them feel as if they know you personally. This is important because while the person reading your blog post might not be in the market for your product/ service right now- that could change 6 months, 18 months or 3 years down the track. If you've had that ongoing dialogue with them then who do you think is going to come to mind when they need somebody like you?
That's right- you. And think for a moment- on average, how much money is just a single decision like this worth to your bottom-line?
Do you have an e-mail database?
If not- the best time to get one is NOW. There are a number of ways you can do this- have a competition with a prize on offer and get your customers' e-mail address in return. Cold-call if you need to. The aim is to build up a list of e-mail addresses (your database) and to be sending them out an e-mail on the regular.
By "on the regular", I'm talking at least once a week. Yes, some people will unsubscribe. Yes, many people will send it straight to their 'junk'. But provided you're using the e-mail platform to fill your subscribers in on the latest news, offers and stories from your business?
You're present. This works the same as having regular updates on your social media accounts. Many will pass by, but they don't completely ignore you. And of course the larger your list, the greater your chance at getting people who stop to read your latest e-mail and follow-up.
Again- how much is a sale worth to you?
Never have we lived in an age where isolation is so easy. We can live in the centre of a large city, but spend most of our time alone. The internet has given us connection with people all over the world, yet at the same time we are more disconnected from one another than ever before.
Fact is, we were made for community.
If you're not involved in regular business networking, it's time to join groups through social media or platforms like meetup and find out when the next business networking event is in your area. Not only do you get the chance to interact personally with people you might have STILL missed through your consistent online communications- but it gives your business 3-dimensional presence.
We can only go so far inside and secluded from the outside world. There's only so much money we can make using our own brain and connecting with other people from behind a screen. In order to build new alliances, uncover new ideas and concepts that can unlock treasure- we need to interact with other people, get to know them and listen to their ideas and stories.
We were made for community.
This is the Grand Terminus for all the other methods listed here. If you're posting on social media, you want to make it easy for people to click a link that leads back to your website. Same with your blog, your regular e-mail or the business cards you hand out when you meet with other professionals-
Make it easy for them to find your website. This should ideally tie in with the rest of your marketing message, and have all the important information in one place:
Who you are
What you specialise in
Why people should get on the phone to you, order or send you an e-mail.
Your website is what ties all your other marketing channels together. Think of the rest as being like balloons of all different colours and with differing lengths of string- people notice different balloons first, but they all need to be tied to something in order for people to realise they're connected. This is what your website does.
The time you devote to these channels is up to you. But the question you want to remember is:
How much is a sale worth to you?
Not only that, but how much is a repeat customer worth to you, in total? 4 figures? 5 figures? 6 figures? More?
By taking care of these 5 elements, you discover the value of the answer to these two questions.
However...no matter how proficient you become at it, all of these methods take time. They require constant maintaining to ensure your message continues to reach your most valuable audience...
So if you've already got enough on your plate- but you realise just how much a sale is really worth to your business- let alone a repeat customer?