Marketing your business requires a multifaceted program that addresses what occurs within and outside the organization. While many entrepreneurs are very talented at networking and selling, it’s necessary to have a longer-term plan to drip on prospects and prevent the highs and lows that can sometimes plague a salesperson.
To achieve a solid, steadily increasing pace, businesses have to create a marketing plan that incorporates six to eight robust marketing strategies. These will guide the external and internal marketing for the business through the next few months as well as the next few years.
In my last blog, I touched on creating a profile of your ideal client as one of the first steps in a marketing plan. At The Covenant Group, we teach entrepreneurs and salespeople how to define the client whom they would not only like to serve, but who also suits their unique talents and is a good fit for their business. Try to come up with five demographic characteristics and five values, beliefs or other psychographic aspects that you would like the ideal client to have.
As Norm Trainor explains in The Entrepreneurial Journey, the natural market consists of “all those people with whom you already have a positive relationship, and with whom you have influence.” This group can include current prospects, as well as friends, family members, existing clients and other acquaintances. Think about who you know, but also take some time to determine who those in your network know.
Armed with that list of contacts, start organizing educational events and other marketing initiatives that increase your level of exposure and create opportunities to meet ideal client prospects face-to-face. Seminars and concept lunches are a great way to do this, as is distributing content through blog posts, newspaper articles and email newsletters.
Consider the strengths of your business and what factors and services differentiate you from the competition. If you’re struggling to determine what makes your firm stand out, Entrepreneur magazine contributor Tim Berry suggests first making a list of all your strengths, goals and weaknesses and then weeding through everything to find the major priorities. With input from managers and others in your organization, whittle the list down to a few points that are marketable. Internal marketing also addresses promoting your business to people who are already clients and asking them for introductions and referrals. One of the best ways to generate introductions and referrals is to conduct periodic reviews and client surveys.
How do you build upon those connections and utilize them as you expand your list of contacts? Do you assess your network and question who can provide introductions and referrals to the people who fit your ideal client description? What markets do you plan to target in the future?
If you want to get serious about focusing on strategically building and growing your business, sign up for our upcoming Business Builder Playbook program cohort. When you join, you get access to a peer-to-peer coaching program that gives you a roadmap to grow your business and achieve and sustain peak performance.