It’s episode 12 of the Visceral Concepts Podcast! Today, join Visceral Concepts Founder Michael McNew as he shares a new take on the way you market your business.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/379236896″ params=”color=43b649&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
For those of you who can’t listen, we’ve broken down the podcast below.
As a small business owner, it’s likely that you’re the main person to market your business. After all, this is your baby, and you’re passionate about it. You’re the company and the product’s biggest evangelist. It only makes sense that you be the one to handle the marketing, especially if you don’t have a professional marketer you can go to.
But if you’re like most small business owners, you likely market your business the wrong way. Sure, what you’re doing probably works at some level, but chances are it isn’t getting you the results you really want, nor the results it could be getting.
Most Small Businesses Don’t Know How To Market Their Business
It’s normal for a small business owner to market their business the wrong way. As a small business owner, you have a unique look at your business’ bottom line, so you tend to focus on the types of marketing that you believe will make that grow the fastest. After all, more revenue is always better.
That means you tend to push the sale right away. It’s a common belief that any marketing activity that doesn’t directly result in a sale is activity you can’t afford to spend time or money on. However, that belief can hurt you long term.
Marketing Your Business Is About More Than Sales Ads
Let’s face it, the primary marketing that most small business owners do involves some type of sales ad. Pushing a low price is often believed to be the easiest way to get people to become your customer, and asking for the sale is the only way to get it.
However, consumers want to buy from someone they trust. Pushing the sale at every opportunity damages that trust and builds a reputation of greed. That combination is a surefire way to push most of your target demographic away.
If you want bigger growth, you’re going to have to spend a little more time in conversation.
Marketing Your Business Takes The Unexpected
Building trust with your audience takes activity that’s a little counterintuitive. If you take the advice I’m about to give you, you’ll find yourself with more sales over the long-term, even though you’re going to be asking for it less often.
Let’s explore that idea.
Provide Without Asking
The best way to build trust with your target market is to give them something without asking for anything in return. Traditionally, marketing your business in this way refers to coupons for a free product or service. But the method I’m talking about is offering your audience knowledge.
Begin to create online material in the form of blogs, podcasts, videos, and social media posts that informs your market about your product or service. How-to’s, case studies, and whitepapers are all great ways to offer information without making your clients feel like they have to buy something. According to Adweek, 81% of shoppers want to know about a product before they buy it. Accommodate them.
Offer The Opportunity To Go Somewhere Else
Sometimes you aren’t the best for you client. When that happens, it can be a hard thing to admit. After all, for some small business owners, not selling means not eating. That can be a rough position to be in, and it’s tempting to try to earn the business anyways. However, it’s bad customer service and it will hurt you in the long term.
Customer Service Expert Shep Hyken suggests a different approach. Much like Santa Clause in the 1947 movie Miracle on 34th Street, he suggests that recommending a competitor may be a better solution. When you have the confidence to do the right thing, your customers will sense that. The action builds loyalty, and they will – at worst – speak well of you when asked. At best, they will return to you when your company is a right fit, and their loyalty will be stronger than you could have imagined.
Build Trust And Let Them Come To You
People want to work with the best in the industry. For them, that means the most knowledgeable and trustworthy get their money. If you want to fit that bill, you have to make sure they learn from you and trust what you say.
Use outlets that give you the chance to answer questions about your industry. Networking groups are a great way, as are social networking tools like Facebook Recommendations and Alignable’s Neighborhood Forums. These will allow you to meet many potential customers who want the information you have about your industry.
Also, consider becoming a speaker at local events. Small Business Development Centers are always looking for experts to speak at events, and many other groups will gladly invite you to share your expertise on a number of topics.
It Takes A Great Plan To Market Your Business
In the end, if you want to really change the way you market your business, you’ve got to have a plan. Take the time to determine which ways will best reach your target market, then begin to implement. With persistence, patience, and effort, you’ll see results like never before.