Marketing 101 for the Novice
What is marketing? Marketing, much like sales, for a long time has been given a bad rap. Mostly I think because people either don’t understand it or they fear it. As a result they don’t market their business or don’t do enough of it.
Let’s define marketing:
According to Merriam Webster dictionary, marketing is “the activities that are involved in making people aware of a company’s products, making sure that the products are available to be bought, etc.”
Simply put, marketing is the process by which you show people how your product, service, or cause can make a difference in their lives! Like sales, it is not something you do to someone, but rather, something you do for them.
I’ve used this example before. Let’s say you went to the doctor for a checkup. Afterwards she gave you a diagnosis that required you to take certain medications. Wouldn’t the natural next step be for her to write a prescription and/or give you direction on what you needed to do next? How would you feel if none were given?
In essence that is what you are doing when you have a product or service that can help someone be happier, healthier, and/or wealthier and you don’t give them the solution by marketing your product or service. If they don’t know what it is you offer, they’ll never get the opportunity to make a decision to choose yes or no to that offer.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, marketing books available that can teach you the basic principles to marketing. At the end of the day, here’s how it works:
Person has a BIG problem/need/desire –> You have the solution
Your job is to hone in on your prospective customers’ problems, frustrations, desires, etc., and how your product or service will either alleviate or accentuate each.
- How can your coaching alleviate their frustrations with not getting enough clients?
- How can your interior design services make someone happier?
- How does your body wrap help someone lose weight and as a result make them feel more confident and happier?
Here a but a few ways to market your business:
- Virtual trainings (teleseminars, telesummits, webinars)
- Direct marketing
- Social media marketing
- Video marketing
- Creating marketing materials (business cards, brochures, etc.)
- Email marketing
- Workshops / Lunch & Learns / Events
- Joining associations/BNI’s
- Press releases
- TV/radio/bill boards
- Media coverage (news, editorials, local publications)
As you can see, there many methods you can use to market your business. Should you do them all? I wouldn’t suggest it! Your job is to try different marketing initiatives, test them along the way, and see which ones work best for your business. Unfortunately not all marketing is created equal. If it were, we’d all be doing the same thing!
Where to Begin with Marketing
Where I’ve had most success when it comes to marketing was not by doing it all, but rather by selecting a few strategies and doing them over and over and over. And when you’re sick of it, do it some more!
You may also find that you may get results using many different methods. This does not mean you should use them all! I wouldn’t recommend spreading yourself thin this way. This is definitely a recipe for disaster – and overwhelm. Take it from someone who’s been there. 😉
I’ve always (and still do) followed the Rule of 3. That is, I do everything in three’s – 3 strategies, 3 tactics, 3 daily priorities, etc. Therefore, I would suggest you take your pick of strategies listed above and start with those. Don’t worry, you’re not married to them. You can change them later on if you like.
However, the key here is to immerse yourself in those three strategies over a period of time and evaluate their effectiveness. Keep doing those strategies that are producing great results and switch out the ones that are producing little to no results.
Here’s an example I’ve shared before on Facebook:
Sure marketing is a process. There’s no quick fix … And if someone tells you differently, I’d suggest you take your checkbook and run the other way – fast!
They key to marketing is:
Pick your process, stick with it for some time and evaluate your results along the way. Be sure to include both offline and online marketing strategies. I’m yet to come across a business/industry that can’t benefit from both types of marketing.
And listen if you’re really getting stuck with marketing, check out my Marketing Deconstruction Session; or at the very least attend a marketing seminar of sorts to gain some more clarity around how to do it effectively. Google ‘Marketing Seminars + [your city]‘ and see what comes up or visit Eventbrite and see what’s listed in your local area.
Study marketing! I heard T. Harv Eker say once that once your business is set up, you should be spending 80% of your time on marketing, sales, and promotion – and only 20% of your time on other stuff such as operations. If you’re hearing this for the first time, I know it can be overwhelming. There might even be a part of you that doesn’t agree.
For me it’s simple. T. Harv Eker is a multi-millionaire many times over and has run many successful businesses. My rule of thumb is this: If I’m going to take advice from anyone, I’m going to take it from someone who is generating a lot more income than me and producing great results in his or her business … And here’s what’s cool. The more I take on advice and strategies from those more successful than me, the more I continue to grow as an individual and professional.
Just saying … 😉