“What’s the best marketing I should do for my business, to get me new clients?”
This is a question I’m asked almost on a weekly basis. Sadly, there’s no magic wand when it comes to marketing. There is no rule book that says that if you run this type of business, you need to do that type of marketing and hey presto – here come the new clients! It all depends on who you are, what you do and who you do it for.
Over the next few months I’m going to share with you, in this newsletter, the marketing that we do at Appletree, which brings us new business. If you run a small, service business, some of these tactics will work for you too. However, before you do any marketing, there is something that you really must do … read on to find out what it is!
Some of the marketing that works really well for Appletree includes networking, referrals and email newsletters. However, we don’t just go to any old networking event. We have ways of generating more of the right sort of referrals. Also, a lot of thought goes into every issue of this newsletter. No matter what marketing you do, there are three principles that must underpin all your marketing, which will make it more effective.
If you’re setting out on a journey in your car, chances are that before you go, you look at a map, or put the post code into your sat nav. You don’t just head off to visit a potential client without first planning your journey. You need to know where you want to end up, in order to get there. The same applies to marketing your business in order to grow it.
Where do you want to go? How many news clients do you want to take on this year? How much do you want to grow your turnover and profit margin? How many weeks of holiday do you want to take? Who are your ideal clients and where do they hang out? What problems do they have, that you can solve for them? Should you focus on finding new clients or selling more to your existing clients? What makes you different and better to your competitors?
Too many small businesses set out to promote their services without first creating some sort of Marketing Plan. The nine stages that we use for all our clients and for Appletree are outlined here.
Once you’ve worked out where you want to go, you need to think about how you’re going to get there. There are numerous marketing activities that you can use these days, but no matter which you decide to use, you must integrate them all.
What do I mean by this? Integration means using the same message across all of your marketing activities. There’s no point telling website visitors about a free download that you’re giving away and then telling people at a networking meeting that they have to pay for it. If you’re giving a talk at a networking event, write a blog about the same topic and write an issue of your newsletter about it too. Create a free download relating to it, or put a page about it on your website. There’s more about integrated marketing here.
If you read the last issue of Scribbles, you’ll remember that ‘ad hoc marketing does not work.’ This means that once you’ve done your planning and you’ve worked out how to integrate all your marketing activities, you need to keep doing them. Attending one networking meeting and expecting to find new clients won’t work. You need to follow up with the people you meet, connect with them on LinkedIn, send them the current issue of your newsletter … and the next issue … and the next issue … and go to the networking meeting the next month …
Consistency is key in building up relationships and relationships are vital when you’re selling a service and your time and expertise.
So before you set out on any marketing journey, to make your marketing really effective, plan it, integrate it and then keep doing it!
Need some Marketing Motivation?
I know what you’re thinking. “It’s all very well her telling me to plan my marketing and integrate it, but how do I keep doing it, when I’m busy?”
This is something else I’m challenged with on a regular basis. This is why I created our Marketing Mentoring service. It’s designed for small business owners who need a regular dose of marketing support, advice, motivation and guidance. There’s a special offer on, for two lucky people who want to start getting this help in June 2015 – go to our website to find it.