When it comes to running a business, most activities such as paying tax, producing accounts or paying staff involve a process.
Unfortunately, that’s often not the case with marketing.
More often than not, business owners launch themselves into some kind of one off marketing exercise. It’s seat of the pants, random stuff with scant attention to working out how to attract clients.
That was my situation too; moving from the corporate world to being a business owner. All the marketing that I had previously learned was based on big budgets and resources on tap.
I had to change my marketing and learn quickly how to successfully market a smaller business. Over time I developed a marketing system – a process that I use now and that I think could help you.
So, if you find yourself scratching your head and are not too sure where to start, here’s a 9 step process check list that will help structure your marketing.
1. Starting point – what do you want your marketing to achieve?
To give you motivation and a reason to market more effectively, you need to be clear on the end result. How many more customers do you want? How much income do you need? How many more sales can you handle?
There has to be a commercial link between marketing and growing your business.
2. Revenue streams – identify the streams of your business you can increase
It can be massively overwhelming when thinking about increases in revenue as one huge chunk of money. It’s scary and off-putting.
Instead of looking at it as a huge pot of money, identify the core services you offer and organise your growth into mini business or revenue streams.
For example, you want to increase your business by £50,000.
If you organise your business into 4 different revenue streams you can plan to increase each revenue stream by £12,500 to get to £50,000. That’s much more achievable than worrying about how to find another £50,000 as a lump sum.
3. Strategy and planning
And I don’t mean complicated spreadsheets and 100-page documents! Without a structured way of marketing that increases your business you will not get very far.
A written plan of action that details what you need to do, updated consistently, is a must. Download and use the diagram to plan your approach.
4. Message of value
Your marketing message is the way you stand out from the crowd and get the attention of your potential clients.
Think about their issues, problems and challenges and how your services would help them.
Work out the precise benefits that will be a solution to these problems. That’s what you need to market.
Your message needs to be across all of your marketing – websites, blogs and literature.
5. Target market – who’s your ‘who’?
Identifying the people who are most likely to want and buy your services is at the core of your financial future.
Don’t try and market to all – that’s commercial madness.
6. Generate quality leads and enquiries
That’s the purpose of your marketing. You want to talk to people that are interested. Direct response marketing is essential to lead generation and avoids brand-focused marketing that will not lead to new clients
7. Conversion and nurturing to build relationships
It’s not often that you make a sale or win a client on the first contact.
It’s so important to educate prospects on the value of your services and keep in touch regularly.
To convert their interest into a paying client you will probably need to meet them and have a sales conversation.
If you stick to this process, when you meet them they are likely to be predisposed to your services and more interested in proceeding forward.
8. More clients and increased income
You are on the way to achieving the numbers you worked on and identified in stages 1 and 2.
9. Your Marketing system
You now have a marketing process and system that you can replicate continuously.