Archives for June 2010

Choose Specific Marketing Strategies for Specific Results

Marketing your business is not a one-time event that you participate in when you need to attract new clients or increase your revenue. To create long-term success in your business, you need to market consistently – each day, each week and each month to grow your business and attract a steady stream of clients.

The basis of marketing your business is sharing your expertise and solving problems for your ideal clients. They are always looking for solutions, so it’s important that they are regularly reminded of what you have to offer.

Here are a few different marketing strategies that typically work well for small businesses:

  • Email marketing
  • Vlogging/video marketing
  • Blogging
  • Social media marketing
  • In-Person networking
  • Public speaking
  • Hosting lead-generating webinars & workshops
  • Hosting and participating in radio shows and podcasts

This list encompasses a few different techniques which may be new or “out of the box” for you. It’s best to chose marketing strategies that fit your personality as well what is appealing to your audience. But with so many options available, how do you chose what’s right for you and your business?

First and foremost, you need to be in tune with your target market. You need to know exactly what problems they are facing right now. What are they struggling with RIGHT now? What are they searching for? What do they want to learn from you?

By identifying their most pressing problems, you will be able to choose the marketing strategy that best fits the solution you will provide.

For example, if you’re a public speaking coach, you might want to blog regularly about the best techniques to eliminate the fear of public speaking. A post can include tips on how to reduce fear and stress while delivering a great presentation. Then, you can also create a video that demonstrates these techniques, in action, so that your target audience can “see” how to do it.

Providing solutions on two different platforms extends your reach to your target audience, as well as allows them to choose which format works best for them. Some people can read instructions and do something, while others need to see it to understand and emulate it. Either way, you’ve provided exactly the solution your target audience is looking for.

Additionally by using a written blog post and video, you are providing content that will “live” online for months and years to come. So, it will serve not only the people who are looking for a solution now, but also 3 months from now, a year from now and beyond. This content will continue to generate leads for you and support your overall marketing plan.

You also want to get clear on HOW your audience wants your message delivered to them.

  • Are they active participants in social media?
  • Do they prefer live workshops to virtual learning?
  • Would they rather read what you have to say then listen?

If you don’t know the answer, simply do some market research and ASK your ideal prospects what they prefer. They’ll be happy to tell you and will be much more inclined to enroll in your offering because you’ve tailored it to their needs.

Finally, consider what you want your prospects to do once they’ve received your message.

Do you want them to:

  • Request a free consultation?
  • Sign up for a webinar or workshop?
  • Attend a live event with you?
  • Or purchase a product?

You’ll want to choose a marketing strategy will make it easy for your prospect to take action on what you’ve shared.

Which marketing strategies have created the best results for your business?

Are there any you want to try but have been hesitant to do so?

Share your thoughts with me below!

SSMS Episode #2: Why You Must Have A Business Blog

Subscribe to Sydni's PodcastPosting regular, high-value content on your blog will work wonders to get potential clients to know, like, and trust you. So, if you don’t already have a blog it’s a MUST do for your to-do list…TODAY! Listen in for all the details.

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Make It Easy For Clients to Choose You by Showcasing Your Success Stories

Your website is one of the most important pieces of marketing collateral you have. It serves as a hub for your services, portfolio, expertise and blog. More clients will find your website before they find you via social media, a referral or other marketing source.

One of the best things to leverage your website is to speak to your potential client through examples or samples of your work. This allows the reader to see a sample of your work before they ever pick up the phone to call you.

That said, be sure to showcase your most successful client stories. For example, if you are a service provider that offers interior design or organizing services, you want to make sure and take high quality “before and after” pictures.  This will highlight your work and show prospective clients what solutions you can create for them. But make sure these pictures tell the right story – in the right way.  This means NOT taking pictures yourself (unless you’re a skilled photographer).  Spend a few extra dollars to have high quality photos taken of your work. You can then use the photos on your website, and in your other marketing materials, both online and offline. [Read more…]

SSMS Episode #1: Choose Your Target Market To Make More Money In Your Business

Subscribe to Sydni's PodcastWelcome to the Smart Simple Marketing Success podcast! My inaugural episode focuses on identifying your target market and creating your ideal client profile.  Choosing your target market isn’t about eliminating clients, but helping you to focus your marketing towards your ideal client and delivering EXACTLY what they need.

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The #1 Way to Get More Clients from Your Website

There is one simple technique that can help you convert website visitors to potential clients.  Having a website is more than just a “necessary” marketing piece.  It’s a critical step in helping potential clients find you, and qualifying that candidate before they even contact you.

Part of your website’s “job” is to speak to your ideal client.  You’ve heard me say over and over again that identifying your ideal client is a critical piece to your success as a solo service professional.  By narrowing your target audience down to ONE person, you have a much greater chance of success because everything you do will focus on their needs, their challenges and ultimately the solutions they are looking for.

That is, the solutions they need and YOU provide.

The best way for them to realize that you provide the EXACT solutions they want is to speak directly to them through your website.  How do you do this?

Simple!  You ask them questions. [Read more…]

Package Your Services for Optimum Conversion

As a service provider, have you considered offering packaged services to your clients? Regardless of what kind of service you provide, what you’re really offering is a specific solution to a specific problem. That’s what your clients are looking for.  They aren’t really interested in how much you charge by the hour or the session.  It doesn’t serve them and actually it doesn’t serve you.

Your clients want to know EXACTLY what they’re getting when they hire you.  So make it easy for them.  Instead of offering a certain number of sessions or quoting your services by the hour, give them options for packaged solutions.  Clients can’t visualize what they are getting when you only charge them by the hour. So, if you say your rate is $50 an hour, they immediately question what exactly you’re going to do for $50 an hour and they start to worry that you will drag out the time to make more money.  It’s difficult for them to budget this way since they have no idea how long it will take to create the desired result.  In addition, they are less accountable because they haven’t really made a commitment to take full advantage of what you’re offering.  Plus offering your services by the session or by the hour makes it EXTREMELY difficult for you to plan your cash flow and to keep your clients engaged long enough to make a real difference in their business or their life. [Read more…]

Increase Business With A Personal Note

Getting anything “good” in the mail these days is a challenge.  Your mailbox is probably filled with bills, direct mail pieces (i.e. junk mail) and things you’d really rather not look at.  Think about the last time you actually received a greeting card or personal handwritten note in the mail.  When was that?  A long time ago I bet.

The truth is, handwritten personalized notes are few and far between.  That’s why when someone does receive one, it stands out.   This leaves a great impression on the receiver of that personalized note.

Sending a handwritten note to a potential client after a meeting is a great marketing strategy to implement.  One, you have the chance to quickly thank your potential client for the meeting.  Two, it keeps you on top of their mind as they are “thinking” about working with you.  Three, it makes you stand out from the crowd.  If they are “shopping” for service providers, they will be more likely to choose you for your great service, because they are impressed by your gracious follow-up.

But sending a handwritten note doesn’t stop with new potential clients.  This practice should be carried out throughout the life of your relationship with your client.  This means thank you notes when the job is completed, a card acknowledging the anniversary of their business, congratulating them on a BIG win, etc.  The time you spend maintaining the great relationship with your client will go a long way towards creating a satisfied customer and generating referrals.

And, who doesn’t love referrals?

Happy customers will tell their friends, family and anyone who will listen about the great service you provide.  The next time someone needs a financial planner, guess who they will recommend?  YOU!  Because you were a great financial planner (or whatever service you provide), you gave them great customer service and you are on the top of their minds because you are in constant contact with them.

The type of card you send should be a mixture of personal choice and professionalism.  First of all, send the nicest card you can afford.  If you are going to have monogrammed or personalized note cards made with your business logo, take the time to hire a graphic designer to make them look polished and professional.  Plus, be sure they are printed on good quality card stock.  You don’t want someone who is paying $1,000 for your services to feel like they got a “cheap” card from a discount store.

Depending on your profession, you will probably want to avoid using the cartoon and caricature type of cards.  These do not support your brand your business and could detract from your professionalism.  I’m interested to see how this strategy works for you and would love to hear the feedback you get from clients!  Please share your success stories with me by posting a comment below!