I have worked with many small business owners that have loads of talent and great products, but don’t have loads of sales. The reality is that (assuming you have a valuable product or service) there are always people with a need and who are ready to buy. But the problem is that the seller thinks that marketing is like fishing.
They pick a good day, meet with advertising sales people, review their web site and revise their sales calls. The hope is that this sporadic splurge of energy and money will bring home dinner.
And then, just like after a day of fishing, they put everything away and go back to work. It’s like doing a client promotion and then not following up – you might as well not do the promotion at all.
There is a movement happening that replaces the old tell and sell model.
A better system is to be continually creating valuable free advice that reminds your existing clients that you are the best and attracts new prospects to you. The beauty of this system is that it requires less energy to maintain, provides consistent delivery and is easier to measure.
This month I interviewed best selling author David Meerman Scott (The New Rules of Marketing and PR) about this topic. This is how he puts it “Organizations gain credibility and loyalty with buyers through content, and smart marketers now think and act like publishers in order to create content targeted directly at their audience.”
Try on these strategies as a part of your overall marketing strategy:
- blog posting that serve your clients with useful information (not advertisements) and links to more helpful resources.
- free webinars or tele-seminars that teach clients how to solve problems related to what they sell (for example, the landscaper can teach people how to reduce weeds.)
- interviews with experts in your business or your industry who share valuable advice for your clients.
- free reports or e-books (longer versions of reports) that provide in-depth solutions for problems you know your customers have (like how to choose a mortgage or how to hire a coach.) The most valued reports often are based on a lists, like the “Top ten ways to…”
- on-line free resource section for clients with useful links, videos, articles and content related to what you sell.
- invite your clients to take an on-line survey (keep it short!) and then share the results with them. This could be your clients’ best strategies to solve common problems (ideally ones that you also can solve for them.)
- templates that your clients can use to organized their marketing campaigns, or plan a meeting, or evaluate their internal communications (I have a free time audit on my web site that has been downloaded hundreds of times.)
Curious about free reports? Here is how we do it.Tagged with: advertising • business • business growth • decisions • effectiveness • entrepreneurs • goals • growth • marketing • productivity • sales • success