It’s so easy… so easy to get caught up in the web of confusion when it comes to what to do with marketing for your business, right? There’s certainly no shortage of information on the interwebs when it comes to how to promote your business. However, what’s tried and true often gets forgotten for the more flashy “what’s hot now” approach to marketing, which people misconstrue as being the potential “silver bullet” that can shortcut our way to online success. Truth is, what I’m going to share here is not hot, not sexy because it’s instead laden with marketing fundamentals that will never go out of style. Here’s the thing though, I know that these few ideas will serve you well long-term. Do the work to incorporate these into your marketing and you will leave a longer lasting footprint than that hot new app where EVERYBODY is allegedly making a gazillion dollars.
One note of caution, whenever I start a coaching engagement with a new client I always say, “Promise me…for 100 days you will not look at any other marketing noise!” Not because it may not be valuable but because it may cause major red shiny object syndrome. Then, inevitably this leads to confusion, more overwhelm and then people just freeze.
Fact is there is no one silver bullet in marketing. For a while, I would be so consumed with reading information on different button colors impacting conversion rates, or the latest changes in the Facebook algorithm, or what video marketing hacks are working right now. Now, I’m all about starting with the basics. Let’s first set the foundation then we can add the tactics.
Just focus on timeless sound marketing principles and realize that there will always be a myriad of “hot” tools that can deter you from the bigger foundational picture. Tactics come and go. Tactics, in the absence of a strategic foundation, is the equivalent of throwing monkey dung on the wall, hoping something sticks.
Here are a few examples of sound marketing principles that you can add to your offline and digital marketing efforts. Some of these may even be very basic for you, but again let’s level set on fundamental principles that are evergreen in importance. Just like Vince Lombardi would allegedly start the first day of training declaring, “this is a football.” (btw, I seriously cannot believe I’m making a football reference right now, “look at me, dad!”)
So if you are a coach, consultant, self-employed entrepreneur, do a quick self-check and if you are consistent about implementing these ideas into your marketing outreach.
Brag a Little More
Do your clients constantly sing your praises? In other words, do you “know like you know” that you are damn good at what you do and definitely have the knowledge and know-how to best serve your audience? Personally, I went through an evolution in this area because I was apprehensive as coming across as “too braggy” and when one of my mentors mentioned that I was making it about me and not my customers, I switched my thinking on this topic. Take advantage of good comments such as Facebook posts, surprise emails that a happy client sends your way and clients who are willing to state their love for you on a video testimonials (which are the best). Keep a folder in Google drive or similar and use a tool like Skitch to snapshot those good comments so that you are creating an archive of testimonials. Then with every piece of communication that you put out, see where you can insert a couple of testimonials. These examples of social proof are important on your freebies, sales pages (of course), order forms, blog posts, etc., This is a powerful way to build the know like and trust factor with your prospective customers. It moves their internal buying confidence compass so that they feel good about their decision to do business with you. Think about when we read the reviews on Amazon or Yelp before we hit the buy button, it’s no different with our own business.
Before you gush at unsolicited praise, stop and remember, “thank you… will you do a video for me really quick? It would mean the world to me” Ask and ye shall receive. I personally start the ask by requesting a video testimonial then if my clients say, “no way, I’m not doing video” I move to a written form of a testimonial. When you have completed a project or session, make sure to ask your client for constructive feedback, building on the opportunity for them to make a positive statement so that you can ask for a testimonial. Don’t discount this simple step. Social proof is a very powerful marketing tool.
Remember, a video is great and screenshots of live testimonials grabbed from social media are second best in my opinion. Start with the ideal ask and move down from there to a written form of a testimonial. (by the way, there’s a freebie on the best way to ask for a testimonial, formats that have proven to work [scroll down to get your copy])
Build in Scarcity
I believe FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real driver for people, they just don’t want to miss out. Think about building scarcity, I mean look at Black Friday and all the madness that ensues when in fact it turns out that the deals aren’t that great anyway.
Scarcity is a way to encourage your prospective customers to take action on your offers. A calculated nudge for people to move on an offer that is relevant, timely and value-based is important to help them make that buying decision.
Build in different situations to create scarcity and urgency, such as with webinar invitations. When making the invitation, whether in an email, live or video, make sure that you mention that there is a limited number of seats. When I do my webinars, I only have 100 seats available. Mentioning to people that there’s “only 38 seats left” helps them take prompt action. The same holds true when you are offering group coaching packages or similar, mention that there is a limited amount of spaces available.
Give Them What They Want
When was the last time you surveyed your customers? When was the last time that you asked them “where does it hurt?”. It’s important to remember, that while you brought in your clients at a certain point in time, your biggest marketing (and revenue) opportunity is in extending the lifetime value of your customer. Because as the marketing genius Dan Kennedy says, “a buyer is a buyer is a buyer…” The point is that it is way easier to sell to your current customers as opposed to bringing in new customers (not that there should not be a funnel in your marketing strategy, more on that here).
One additional idea on this topic, take the opportunity to ask your customers to self-sort. So for example, if you are a health coach, you can ask your customers to self-sort based on their response back to you: “I’m focused on new health trends”, “I’m looking for meal planning”, “I’m interested in Exercise hacks”. The response that you will get back will be vastly different based on meeting your prospect’s needs in that moment. Only then can you best serve up some valuable content that is relevant, timely and potentially actionable for your prospect. There’s a huge road of opportunity for this type of content creation. This process takes an effort of course, but the important concept behind this is in meeting your clients where they are. Mass marketing no longer works and prospective customers are looking for a solution to their problem (once they’ve identified the problem).
Remember, the truth is that marketing to your customers is a moving target with all the tactics out there. Incorporate these few sound principles into your business, make them a habit and understand that they are building blocks that will create a solid foundation for you / your business.
If you enjoyed this blog post, “Coaches, Consultants: Don’t Forget These Easy Marketing Fundamentals In Your Business”, I would greatly appreciate a share or two to your favorite social media platform. Thanks a bunch!