M is for Marketing

The dreaded M word…lol. Okay I may be stretching it a bit, but truly that is the number 1 complaint I get from most of my clients. They do not know where or how to market their business. There is a mis guided belief that they just need to start a facebook page, post pretty pictures and motivational posts everyday and business will come knocking at their door. It is because of this misguided belief that so many business fail.

Even in school where I did marketing, I am not sure they actually showed us HOW to market. Yes we learnt about product, place and price but the actual HOW I think was sorely lacking and it rolls over when we are actually ready to start a business.

Marketing your business does not have to be daunting. It takes work but once you devise a plan and strategy that works for your business, the pieces start to fall together and the sales start to roll in. I want to share with you some key elements of any marketing strategy you devise. There is no one size fits all, but there are key elements that you need to consider before you get ‘busy’ with the ton of activities you feel are necessary to execute a solid marketing plan. So, let’s begin

1. Have a goal/plan

You need to be very specific about what you want to happen. You know that old saying about ‘Start with the end in mind’? Well here is where it comes in. What specifically do you want to happen in your business over a period of 3 months, 6 months, 1 year? How much do you want to earn and how many clients do you want to serve? Where do you want to be seen and heard? You have to hone down on this idea so that you can see and feel it before you even begin execution of any plan.

2. Know who your audience is

Too many times entrepreneurs try to sell to everybody and they end up burnt out and frustrated. Everybody does not need the solution you are providing. Get specific about who needs your business so that you save time, money and resources by speaking directly to them on a consistent basis. The more specific you get the greater the results will be. In my last blog post- Who is your ideal client we examined why they were important and how you start to find them.

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3. Have multiple solutions

By this I mean, that your ideal clients may need what you offer in a variety of ways so ensure that you provide them a variety of solutions that fit not just their pockets but their needs. Gone are the days when you just have to sell one thing over and over. The best sales people know that you should be selling multiple things to satisfy the different stages of your ideal clients.

4. Have an opinion

What exactly do you want to be known as/for. People want to know that you stand for something and that they can rely on you for that thing that you stand for. Make sure than in any communication you share that your opinion is clear to your audience and that it resonates with what you are selling

5. Be consistent

This I cannot stress enough. Whatever medium you decide to use for your marketing strategy, you need to be consistent. Showing up once a week will not cut it because your audience is bombarded with information every 2 seconds. The challenge is to show up in an authentic yet creative ways so that your message stands out but none the less you need to be consistent in the delivery of your message and in asking for the sale every single day!

6. Do NOT rely on social media alone

Yes, I know billions of people are on social media but guess what — they all use social media differently. Social media is a powerful tool to get your message to your audience but its should not be the only way. A business page, a blog, a you tube channel, a podcast are all great ways to talk to your audience. But also utilise traditional media like radio, television, newspapers and magazines. Get involved with your community and network with your audience. Show up and let them see and hear exactly who you are away from your computer. Reach out and touch somebody (literally!!!..but not in a creepy crawly way please)

7. Do your research

Stop guessing about what people need and want. Ask them. Do a survey. Ask questions in groups; send an email or a text. Your role as an entrepreneur is to understand what your audience wants and tap into their emotional needs so that you can sell consistently. You cannot guess what their needs are. Start to ask them simple questions so you can structure your business to solve their challenges in a meaningful way that seems true to them. In a previous blog I asked- Are you doing your research? and I walked you through some of the ways to conduct research so that you grow your business consistently. Have a look and tell me what you think.

8.  Always measure

How will you know if your plan is actually working if your do not measure your growth. Every few months, take a look at the progress you have made. Ask your clients about the service they received and how it can be improved. Make note of where you may have fallen short and what you need to amp up in your business. To grow a sustainable business you need to measure your growth consistently.

Marketing is a mysterious task for many persons but it is something that you can learn to master with the right guidance and tools. As your coach, I understand the challenge you face and I would love to guide you to make marketing easier for you.

Let’s schedule a call this week and see if you would be the perfect fit for my MOB (Marketing on a Budget) Squad!

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5 things you need to do before you start a business

Starting a business is no easy feat. In fact, having a great idea alone is not enough anymore. Gone are the days of build it and they will come. Now in order to build a sustainable business, you need to put in the work before you even officially launch the business. Why? So you do not waste time, money or resources. So that you have a clear idea of how fast and how deep your business will grow once you start. There are some important steps you need to take before you start.

Here are 5 things:

  1. A clear goal

You need to know what your end goal is for starting your business. Do you want to create a large conglomerate in 10 years? Do you want to leave a legacy for your children? Do you want to make $1million in 5 years? Do you want to create a regional impact and have your business in 5 Caribbean islands over 3 years?

What exactly do you want to happen in your business and by when? A goal needs to be written out and broken into smaller parts so that you can see and understand all the moving parts. A written goal is more likely to become real to you. A goal keeps you motivated and focused on the bigger picture even when you have tough days, weeks and months. A goal gets you excited to work on your business every single day.

2. A business plan

Your business plan is your guide to develop your business. Your plan will include who will make up the members of your team, as well as your estimated budget, your Unique Selling Proposition, your missions and vision statement and an analysis of your competitors and the market you are entering.

Some people rush through a business plan not realizing the importance it plays in guiding the developmental process of your business. Your plan can be flexible and in fact should be reviewed and updated maybe once a year to ensure you have tuck to your goals and take into consideration any changes in the economic climate in which you operate. I touched on this topic a few months ago- What does your business plan really say

3. Research

The one thing that many new business owners fail to do. They start with a great idea and then launch on social media with a biz page and images and expect to make millions. But before you start, you need to do some research to ensure you have a ready market for your business. Do people want what you are going to offer? How much are they willing to pay? How do they want it delivered to them and how often? What is the challenge they are facing that you are now going to solve for them?

Research is not a guessing game. It means you have to figure out who your ideal clients are and start discussions with them so that when you are ready to launch you know exactly what they need and want. It means speaking to industry leaders and do some surveys. It means getting really intimate with your market, visit and even speak to your competitors and ‘stalk’ them for a while to see what works and what is not working.

Without this crucial step, many businesses fail before they even have a chance to really get off the ground.

research

4. Understanding of your money

Why did you get into business? To make some money. That is one of the key mistakes entrepreneurs make. What is some money? Entrepreneurs need to have a very key understanding of how money works for them and if they have a challenge then that is the first help you should get from an accountant.

  • Do you have a budget?
  • How much does your product/service sell for?
  • How much are people willing to pay?
  • How much do you need to make every day, week or month?
  • What would your overheads be?
  • What taxes do you have to pay every quarter?

 

5. A marketing plan

Marketing is the life blood of your business. Without a structured system of marketing, your products can sit on the shelves for months and your phone will never ring. Marketing is NOT creating a facebook page. But instead, is the process of engaging with your ideal customers to build know, like and trust so they will buy from you continuously.

Marketing also involves a combination of activities which compliment each other to increase your visibility and reach. Many entrepreneurs get stuck on this part of business and while they have he best intentions, never seem to move past the launch stage. Hire an expert who can guide you through what a structured marketing plan would look like for your business. In a past blog, I spoke about 3 ways to market your business when you have no budget

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a good starting point for you to start your business. How many of these do you have in place and did you skip any steps when you were first starting your own business?

As your coach, I would love to help you through this process. For more help, book a FREE discovery call with me today and we can get started.