Going into business for yourself is a brave and exciting undertaking. It can, however, also feel a bit overwhelming when you start to think about how you’re going to get your product or service into the hands of the people who might benefit most from it. In fact, this thought alone is often enough to stop entrepreneurs dead in their tracks from bringing their visions to life, but it shouldn’t be. The truth is you don’t have to be a marketing expert to teach others about what you do. There are a lot of simple (and affordable) steps you can take right now to create a marketing plan for your business that reaches the right audience.
Become an Expert
First and foremost, remember your audience has access to a plethora of information at their fingertips at all times. In order to stand out, you’ll need to make sure you are extremely well-versed in your niche. It is so important as an entrepreneur to constantly commit to learning and better understanding what’s happening in the market around you. Doing so will allow you to stay ahead of the trends emerging in your industry so you are consistently relevant.
Next, make sure to set measurable and achievable marketing goals. This is the only way you will be able to determine whether your marketing efforts are actually paying off or whether you are wasting your time, energy, and potentially, money. Are you looking to spread more awareness of your product or service, get more leads, sell a particular number of products or something else? Chances are good you’ll have multiple goals that will benefit from a well-rounded marketing strategy.
Get to Know Your Audience
How can you sell a product or service to an audience that you don’t fully understand? Data analytics tools (such as Google Analytics) are going to be imperative in your success as you learn your market. These tools will help you to see who is the most interested in your product (age, gender, location, et cetera), what their pain points are, and how they are accessing your product. Armed with this information you can create accurate buyer personas.
Engage With Them
Once you’ve identified your audience, you’ll need to work on keeping them engaged. Interact with them on social media platforms, ask questions and hear their stories. If a particular follower has had an especially great experience with your product or service, post their testimonial (with their permission) and tag them. Work to evoke a reaction from your audience, whether that be surprise, shock or even tears. When you can tap into their emotions, they’ll keep coming back for more.
Offer Your Audience Quality
It won’t, however, matter how much you are engaging with your audience if you are only posting a bunch of regurgitated content they can find anywhere else. Commit early on the idea that you should be offering more value than you are taking. Use your marketing strategy as a way to answer your audience’s questions before they have to ask them. Offer additional resources that will support the data you are sharing with them. The higher quality your content, the faster you will build rapport with both your existing audience and other experts in your niche.
Don’t Overlook the Power of Face-to-Face
Remember that, just because we live in a digital age, doesn’t mean all your marketing efforts should be done online. There is a lot of power in face-to-face communication. Join networking and referral marketing groups. Also, go to the places where your target market might frequent and start conversations with strangers (when it is safe to do so, of course)!
Know How to Talk About What You Do
That brings us to our next point – you have to be able to concisely describe what it is that your service or product does. Creating an elevator pitch that’s under 10 seconds will help you to always be prepared whenever a potential customer comes along. Avoid focusing on how it works and instead focus on the benefits your audience can expect to experience.
Marketing is not something you have to do alone. In fact, particularly as a new entrepreneur, it can be extremely beneficial to join up with other experts in your field (or in complementary fields) who have already established themselves and have a dynamic following. Offer to write guest blog posts, be a guest on a podcast, host a live event or partner up with another brand to run a promotion or contest.
Know When to Hire a Professional
Let’s be honest, nobody is good at everything. It can be tempting as a new entrepreneur to think you can do it all alone, but there will be times as you grow your business that it will be the smarter choice to leave it to the professionals. Implementing SEO practices, creating an ad campaign or creating graphics and logos might be a few (of many) instances where you might choose to hire out.
Test Your Plan
Lastly, don’t assume your marketing strategy will work. Test drive it before you fully commit to it. Spend an appropriate amount of time/money/energy on one avenue, measure the results, and see if it’s worth it.
Marketing your new business does not have to be difficult. Get started early, set measurable goals and take a lot of little steps to get yourself where you want to be gradually and consistently.
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