Marketing can be exciting. It can be challenging.
Marketing is something that many people love to do. Marketing is also the part of their business that many entrepreneurs dislike doing. Extroverts usually find marketing a great way to let the world know about their business, while introverts often wish they could just be allowed to be creative and someone else do the marketing.
When I looked up how marketing is defined on the internet, I found a variety of definitions. I chose the definition from Wikipedia:
“Marketing is the study and management of exchange relationships. Marketing is used to create, keep and satisfy the customer. With the customer as the focus of its activities, it can be concluded that Marketing is one of the premier components of Business Management – the other being innovation.”
This definition resonated with me because its focus is on the customer. It’s not about blasting your sales message to the world with the focus on you as in “Look at me; look at what I can do for you.” Rather, it’s effectively building a relationship with your prospect so she becomes your customer. You then get to know and satisfy the needs of your customer thereby creating customer loyalty.
Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go.
– Seth Godin
Marketing has always been an exciting part of being in business. You may have a business that looks like thousands of other businesses. In reality, there’s no business out there quite like yours. No one else offers exactly what you offer. No other business has you, your distinct personality, your life experiences, and the way you’re able to convey the knowledge you’ve acquired over the years. That means something to you and to your customers.
Here though, is the other side of the coin. How do you capture all of the above so that prospects understand exactly what your business or product is and does? How, can you market your business in a way that will really resonate with your audience and show just how different your business is from everything else out there? Those are essential questions to answer because these very things are the elements that will attract your ideal customers to you.
You have to first know who they are, what their concerns are, the language they use to define their challenges, and identify if there are lots of people with the same challenges who will benefit from the content and solutions you provide.
“Speak to your audience in their language about what’s in their heart.” – Jonathan Lister
In an article on Forbes.com, “Why Knowing Your Audience is the Key to Success,” the author noted:
“Decoding your audience’s most urgent concern: Understanding your audience has profound implications for your marketing strategy and beyond. From the perspective of developing your content and SEO strategy, it helps you answer vital questions such as: Who are your customers? What are their most urgent and pressing concerns? What factors are they focused on in terms of making a buying decision. This information helps you decide what strategy will reach them most effectively on every point from design and copy to keyword research and content deployment.”
Wouldn’t it make more sense to come from a place of knowing and understanding rather than ‘pitching in the dark?’
Marketing on the Web
These days, much of marketing is done on the web. Using the web, you can successfully market your business with very little output financially. While there are paid advertising opportunities, there are many cost-effective ways to reach a more targeted audience.
In addition, there are many great, free ways to market. This is especially good news for small business owners and entrepreneurs who do not have large budgets to invest in traditional marketing. It’s also why businesses that are offline find that it’s essential to market online so that they can increase their visibility and reach a larger audience.
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” – Andrew Davis
In conclusion, marketing is an essential component of your business as a small business owner, entrepreneur, or solopreneur. For it to be effective, however, it must be done with the customer in mind. It starts with identifying your ideal clients, providing value that builds relationships so that prospects become your customers and clients as you provide solutions to their biggest challenges.
In my Free Special Report: Relationship Marketing – Key to Small Business Success, I cover many of these points and more to support you in building the relationship with prospects, and turning your clients into loyal advocates and raving fans.