Marketing is flippin’ complicated today.
15 years ago – back before youTube, Periscope and even Facebook (how did life manage to exist before Facebook??!!) – there were only a few ways of getting clients.
Networking, conferences and exhibitions.
Picking up the phone and sending a fax (remember those?!)
Printing mass mailings and stuffing envelopes (ahhh the good old days).
Spending hideous amounts of money on advertising in magazines and local newspapers (well if your competitor was in the paper, you had to be, too … wasn’t that the thought process behind a lot of print advertising?)
It wasn’t any easier back then but it was a darn sight simpler.
Now, you know that I love digital marketing; I teach my clients how to create marketing funnels and email sequences. And the world wide web has opened up endless possibilities for you, only limited by your creativity and imagination.
You can be a global business from your kitchen table. You can get yourself free national press exposure off the back of a viral video campaign. You can send out thousands of emails at a fraction of the cost of a postage stamp.
But just because these endless possibilities exist, does it make it easier to market your business?
The problem is that all these options available to you today over-complicates the very simple process of getting new clients. And it really worries me that so many business owners find themselves falling down Alice’s rabbit hole, chasing after modern day marketing tactics that end up distracting them and slowing them down, rather than speeding up their results.
Recently I was speaking at a local business exhibition; Woking Means Business. I was asked if I could stay on and run one of the social media clinics because the social media expert hadn’t turned up (perhaps they didn’t realise it was a real-life event … only joking, social media experts!!)
The lady I was booked into see had just started up a consultancy business and although had used her connections to bring in initial clients, she was beginning to think about her ongoing marketing strategy and wanted to know how to harness the power of social media.
By the end of the session, I was pleased that I had been the one to have seen her because from what she told me, as I probed into her business and overall objectives, it became apparent to me that most of what she had wanted to do was totally unnecessary.
I had saved her probably about 2 years of frustration and confusion by advising her to delete her Facebook Page, forget about blogging for now and focus on her Linkedin profile and connections.
For most of the clients I work with, they are in a similar position. When they work out their business objectives and financial goals, they realise that they may only need to win over a handful of new clients; sometimes as little as 1 new client a month.
And although I know the power behind a well thought out blogging strategy and Facebook campaign (just a couple of the topics I teach in my programmes), I also know that most people just don’t have the time, resources or budget to enable them to see results in the time period they need.
If you need clients now … right here and now … and you are clear on exactly who you want to attract (and this is the key to all sustainable marketing success), then there are clients sitting there right under your nose just waiting to hear from you.
But because you get blinded by the sheer amount of digital marketing that you can be doing (or is that you feel you “SHOULD” be doing!!), it’s real easy for you to chase the white rabbit down to the hole. And I know how time and money expensive that rabbit hole can be.
Marketing may not be easy because, after all, if it was, I wouldn’t be in business for one thing.
But marketing can be simple.
And far simpler than most business owners think.
1) You need to be clear on what you can do for other people.
It’s about the results you deliver NOT the number of times you would arrange sessions or how long the video modules are or fancy the process you take them through or how long the email support is for or how long the report you give them at the end. People buy the transformation; the money you save on their tax return, the leads that come from their new website, the confidence that gets them the new job with better prospects and more money.
2) You need to clear on exactly who you want to attract.
You need to know them by name, have photo of them, know their inside leg measurement, the name of their dog. (I promise … no illegal stalking is necessary when creating a client avatar; I wouldn’t recommend you actually wait outside your clients’ houses and rummage through their rubbish bins. I am speaking metaphorically although actual surveys and market research is critical to make sure you aren’t chasing assumptions.)
3) You need to work out how many clients you need to meet your financial and business objectives.
Once you know this, you’ll soon realise that you need far fewer leads than you originally were thinking. And if, like the lady I offered advice to at the recent business exhibition, you realise that you only need 10 new clients to meet your 12 month goal, finding 10 specific people is so much simpler via a well thought out referral and specific targeting campaign than getting your head around a Facebook strategy or spending hours writing for your blog that no one reads.
There are clients there right under your very nose if you only decided to keep things simple.
And yes, blogging and facebooking and twittering and periscoping can all be a lot of fun and great for positioning and branding, as well as a source of profitable leads (when you have the right marketing funnel in place) but don’t kid yourself that they are the easy way to get you clients just because everyone else tells you that you “SHOULD” be doing it.
And if you would like to explore how simple your marketing could be, then why not apply for one my limited available Catalyst Calls; me and you on the phone, stripping back to basics and cutting through the crap of “should-be” marketing. These calls are totally free, but you do need to apply as not everyone is eligible.
That’s all from me today. Thank you for indulging me on my little rant on simplicity and ease and I hope that this has helped you tear up a big chunk of your to-do list of stuff that you really, really don’t need to be wasting your time on.
Leave comment below. I’d love to know your thoughts on this matter of simple, but just not easy.
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Good points Karen, I particularly like your suggestion of (almost) starting with deciding how many clients your business actually needs each month.
I ran a little exercise on an Excel Spreadsheet forecasting the cumulative workload of getting 1, 2 , 3 etc. weight loss clients a month and suddenly realised that as each one needs a number of sessions, my week would be over-full. Realisation: be realistic.
I also like your ‘sniper’ approach to targeting prospects as opposed to the desperate ‘shotgun’ approach which this makes practical.
Enjoy the school break and hang on to your sanity.