How to know what Marketing will work for YOU?

How to know what Marketing will work for YOU?

In a previous blog post I got up on one of my favourite soapboxes to talk about the dangers for an early-stage business of jumping on the online bandwagon too early.  If you missed it you can read it here.

Despite that soapbox moment, I’m actually crazy about online business and online marketing — with it’s potential to reach many thousands of people all across the globe. So much so that there is no other time in history that I’d rather be alive (although the 1930/40’s swing era comes in a close second!).

But I also see far too many people getting totally stuck and frustrated because they’ve decided to go online too early rather than choosing a marketing approach that could be a lot more effective for the stage of business they are at right now.

How DO you know what the best marketing approach is for you and your business?

  • Should you be online or offline? Or both?
  • Should you be doing blogging, video, social media, Facebook lives, Instagram reels, podcasting or webinars, jumping on to TikTok or connecting on LinkedIn?
  • Should you be speaking, networking, doing joint ventures or referrals or running workshops?
  • Should you be running paid adverts on Facebook, Instagram or Google?
  • What about creating leaflets, advertising in local papers, or walking down the street wearing a sandwich board? (OK I jest, but don’t rule out more creative approaches — a good friend of mine kicked started her hypnotherapy business by walking up to smokers in the street and handing them her business card….)

With all of that to choose from it’s really no surprise that many small business owners are trying to do too much at once — and burning out and falling out of love with their business in the process.

When I work with clients to help them identify where to focus their marketing efforts here’s where I encourage them to start:

1. Do What’s Easy

What I see so often is this temptation to overcomplicate your marketing. It’s as if there’s this belief that if it isn’t hard work, complicated and not much fun, it’s not “real business” (do you relate?). Whereas the truth is the opposite — that if you can’t enjoy your marketing and find it easy and in flow you simply won’t want to do it. You’ll come to dread your business activity and will find yourself mulling over whether you’re really cut out for all this business malarkey and maybe you’d be better off going back to paid employment instead. (And what a tragedy that would be for all those people who could benefit so much from your work, and for you who want nothing more than to get well paid for making a genuine difference to others).

But how to know what’s “easy” and will net the best results for the least amount of effort?

Here are the things I’d encourage you to consider:

  1. Your low-hanging fruit
  2. Your stage of business
  3. Your location
  4. Where your “ideal clients” are hanging out
  5. What you enjoy / where you feel in flow

As an example, just last week I was on a call with a private client who told me she’s hired someone to set up her social media profiles across 5 different platforms. When I heard this I thought it was crazy. Not because social media is a bad idea (no marketing approach is better or worse than another), but because for this particular client it just didn’t make sense right now. All the traction she’s been seeing recently has been coming from people she’s met offline. She’s got some really exciting opportunities in the pipeline and it’s been almost effortless (in fact I suspect that it just felt “too easy”!).  So the “5 social media platforms” to me looked like a huge distraction from the stuff that’s actually working right now. (Which doesn’t mean that adding social media in won’t be a great idea eventually but there’s only one of her and right now something else is giving her a great result).

2. Focus on just 1-2 Things

Which brings me to the other big mistake I commonly see small business owners make — trying to implement too many marketing strategies at once.

There’s no two ways about this. The more strategies you’re trying to follow the less likely you are to do any of them well enough (unless of course you have a nice marketing budget and can pay people to do them well for you).

I know many clients and good friends who run established and successful businesses with a turnover of 6 figures and upwards. Every single one of them grew their business by focusing on just one or two (rarely more than 2) strategies and doing them really well.

The most successful of these friends has a business that turns over more than £140,000 per month. Just her and a very tiny team. She achieved this by focusing all her efforts on only one marketing medium — Facebook.

Similarly I have had several clients become fully booked with a waiting list for 121 clients through focusing on only one marketing approach — Networking.

And I’m the same. Over the last 12 years I have focused 80% of my attention on just 2 marketing strategies to attract most of my business. I’ve experimented with a few others of course, but in the end it’s always those first two where I get all my results. For example in a recent launch of my online programme 74% of all my sales came from just one of these tried and tested strategies. So you can see that it makes much more sense for me to get better and better at doing the thing that works (and that I’m super good at and enjoy so much it doesn’t even feel like work) rather than spread myself thin trying to learn things that might not work so well for me and are not in my flow.

3.  Know your “Quick wins” from your “Slow burns”

Some marketing activities will give you very quick and impactful results. For example, back when I was still in the “start up” phase I grew my mailing list from just 300 to over 1800 in less than 3 weeks — and had 81 people join my online course.  That got my business off to a very strong start very early.

Other strategies are more in the “marathon not a sprint” category. They work, but it’s a slow burn and it takes time to see solid results — sometimes years.

Knowing the difference can help prevent you from feeling frustrated and wanting to throw in the towel when a “slow burn” strategy doesn’t give you quick, stratospheric growth. And also to understand the downsides of the “quick wins”. There’s definitely a place for both in your business.

I hope you’ve found this article valuable and it will help you pick those marketing strategies that will give you the best results, and that you will enjoy enough to want to do every day!

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