Connecting with your People

One of the best ways to ensure long term success and sustainability for your business is to connect with the people who you are doing business with.

Your customers are your people, your tribe, your family even at times…

You need to build and nourish these relationships.

The problem is, how do you do this. You cannot be everyone’s best friend.

This is a business remember.

I am not saying in any way that if become good friends with some of your clients that it is a bad thing… that is awesome, good friends are hard to come by.

But in business, you are serving many, and cannot be good friends with them all.

But you do need to connect with them all, make them feel special, all the right communication to happen. That can only happen when they know and trust you.

So in a business situation, how do you do that, how do you effectively build your tribe, and have fun doing it.

It comes down to them getting to know that they can count on you, and also that they understand that you care about them.

You need to build up your credibility, your expertise, and finally the trust factor.

This happens through good communication and thoughtful dialogue.

There are so many tools available for you to do this. The best is to pick the ones that work for you.

A blog is a great tool to allow you to tell your personal story. You can also establish you as an expert and help you stand out from others. Blog articles are great for attracting new customers. And it allows you to keep in touch with your people on a regular basis. They can comment on your blog posts and a dialogue can commence.

Social media is another valuable tool for connecting with your tribe and building that relationship. It allows spontaneous conversations, allows personalization and flexibility. Social media is also great for adding to your group of people as sharing is so easy, when done the right way.

Email is probably one of the best, yet most overlooked method to build relationships, credibility and trust. Email allows the most direct communication path, and can also be the most personalized. Yes you can send one to one emails, that can be very powerful.

So take a look at your business, your life, and see where you can reach out to your people to enhance that relationship.

Marketing comes down to Communication

That is it in a nutshell – communicate to a potential buyer what your product or service can do for them.

Lately I have been re-watching some episodes of Mad Men. It is a netflix series about an advertising agency on Madison Avenue in New York.

The show starts in the late 50’s, some might say the start of the Advertising age. It goes through the 60’s and into the 70’s.
You see the rise of TV advertising as well as the start of the data analysis that they are beginning to do. An interesting episode was when the agency got its first computer to analyse the data they were generating.

The show is interesting, has some great character development.

But what I like about it is the underlying thoughts and ideas about marketing and advertising.

Various discussions that the idea man – Don Draper has with his various copywriters and other colleagues.

What comes through is that he has a unique understanding of the human psyche. And he has the ability to take a product and build a story around it that really conveys the essence of why someone would need that product.

But what he never does is lie, or tell any type of untrue stories.

No manipulation.

No high pressure tactics.

It is about communicating ideas.

That is the core of marketing, communicate the idea to the right person, and let them decide what to do.

If your communication is clear, then they will be able to make the right decision for their personal situation.

Target Market – Do I need one?

Your target customer is that person that matches these two criteria.

They are most likely to buy from you, not only once, but over and over again.

They will get the most value from what you offer. Not only from the actual product, but also from everything extra that you give your customers.

You cannot afford to target everyone with your marketing.

It will be ineffective. It will be expensive. It simply will NOT WORK!

By having a clearly defined target market, it is much easier to create effective marketing strategies that are a long term investment.

Knowing your target market will also help you to offer a higher amount of value to those customers.

You will know exactly what they want and how they want it.

Another reason why you should intimately know your target market is that it will allow you to communicate much more clearly with those customers.

Less misunderstandings, few complaints, more happy customers!!

The more you can know about your perfect customers, the more you integrate your business into that community of people, the better your business will do, and the more they will love you!

Yes, ever business needs a clearly defined Target Market.

Marketing – Doing it Right

Marketing is the lifeblood of any business.

Without Marketing – you won’t get new clients nor retain old clients.

Here is my definition of Marketing

‘Marketing is EVERYTHING related to (that affects) the sale and transfer of Your Product to Your Client‘

(read more here > http://www.zedpromarketing.com/js-ramblings/basics-of-marketing/)

So that includes any type of selling, it includes referrals, it includes word of mouth, in includes telling friends about your business.

It also includes how you interact with your clients and customers. It includes matching the products you sell to what your clients need.

It includes having the right quality of products and services at the right price.

It includes timing, and includes your location and how that can impact sales.

So where to start so you never run out of clients, keep sales high, and revenue even higher.

Here are my top 5 things you need to do:

  • Clearly determine your target market
  • Define your key marketing message
  • Choose 2-3 easy marketing strategies
  • Tie all three marketing strategies together into one holistic marketing plan
  • Implement over and over and over

Target Market – who exactly are you selling too. The more clear you can be on exactly who is your perfect customer, the better you will be able to serve that person.

Key Marketing Message – you need to tell the world, or at least your target market about your business. What is special and unique about you, your products and services, how you sell, the value you offer and how it relates to the price your customer pays.

Marketing strategies – figure out what works for you. This can be anything from newspaper ads, flyers, word of mouth, referrals, signage, events, social media, digital marketing, sales people and more…. the sky is the limit. But find something easy, effective, that you are comfortable with and that you know works. If you don’t know if it works, get someone to help you determine that.

Once you find those marketing strategies, keep doing them over and over. Keep tracking how good they do, and how you can do them better.

Tie it all together. This is about making sure that you are keeping your target market in mind, that your key message is clear and succinct, and that all the marketing strategies work to support each other.

Do it over and over and over. Too many business owners put marketing on the back burner, especially during good times. And in bad times, they often cut the marketing budget, rather than invest in it to get more clients, increase sales and revenue.

Marketing is not a one-off activity for a business – Marketing is the business!!

Is December a good time to start Marketing your Business?

Yes it’s busy!

Christmas is always a busy time of the year.

It’s getting colder.  Family start to show up. Shopping and baking and decorating.

All these things add to the long list we already have.

So, now you are thinking about adding to that list. Some type of holiday marketing strategy for your business. Everyone is spending money, so why not get your share.

Is it too late? So close to Christmas, do I have time to do any type of marketing.I believe there is always time for marketing. And if done right, what you do today, and in these days leading up to Christmas will pay off throughout next year and even further.

First, make it easy. Now is not the time to start an in depth marketing campaign.

Second, make it targeted. Choose something that will work with your highest potential prospects.

Third, make it personal. At this time of year you want to connect directly to your clients and prospects.

Finally, tie it to future marketing. What you do today and in these days before Christmas should be connected to the marketing campaigns for the new year.

So here are a few suggestions that may work for you.

Direct contact with a personal message.

This may be a little bit of work, but it can pay off huge.

There are a number of ways you can do this. You could pick up the phone, send out an email, or connect via social media. You could even do it with Christmas Cards if done early enough.

I like to keep it short and sweet. I usually draft up a template that includes a sweet product offer. Possibly something related to the holiday season.

Then for each person I send it to or talk to, I customize the message to personalize it. Add in something about them, your relationship, or some other personal item to let them know you are thinking about them exclusively.

This works best with your closest prospects.  The people you do already have a relationship with.

It’s not about huge numbers, more about making a connection, that hopefully will result in a sale.

Holiday Event

Event marketing is always a win/win.  People love coming to a good event. And it seems to always drive new sales.

My advice is to keep it fun, simple and low cost.

You can do a lunch at a local restaurant. Or an early evening event with appetizers.

Include a presentation if your product is suited for it. Or simply have some fun activity for people to do, again try to relate it to your business in some way.

Contest

Creating a unique contest always seems to drum up new business. Make it fun, again keep the costs in check, and have it tied to your business.

Contests are a great way to attract new people to your business. But they can also be used for re-connecting with old clients.

I always suggest that many smaller prizes are better than a single big prize.

The holidays can be a great time to market your business, if done correctly.  And it will keep business from slowing down over this time of year. It will also set you up for a great start for the new year.  Whatever marketing strategy you decide upon, always include ways to gather contact information and keep your CRM system up to date with the latest information on your clients.