Does marketing your business cause all sorts of frustration and stress? Many entrepreneurs hate the idea of having to sell themselves. Images of sleazy used car salesmen, and aggressive retail store clerks come to mind. Not wanting to be included in that category, many entrepreneurs scoff at the idea of having to “sell.”
But, marketing is different than selling. Selling is the act of trying to persuade someone to buy something from you. Marketing, on the other hand, is about reaching and making a connection with the people in your
target market. If you can make a connection with someone, you won’t have to persuade them to buy from you. They will get to know, like and trust you, and the business transaction will happen organically.
By following these four easy strategies, you’ll begin building relationships with your niche, making connections, and attracting more and more people to your business.
1. Know your niche. A niche, or a target market is a defined segment of the market that is the focus of a business. So, a niche is a select group of people that you are going to focus your marketing efforts on. But, by narrowing your focus you will be able to market your business more effectively. You’ll know where to find them, and you can listen to what their needs are, and then create products and services to meet those needs.
2. Get very clear about what you do for your clients. The more clearly you can communicate what you do, the easier it will be for people to remember your business. Try to be as specific as possible. For example if you are a Virtual Assistant, the more clear you can be about what you specialize in, the more people you will attract. When you meet someone, if you say “I’m a Virtual Assistant,” you will be lost among all of the other Virtual Assistants out there. However, if you say “I’m a Virtual Assistant and I specialize in public relations…” that’s more memorable.
3. Use a newsletter as a vehicle to connect with your niche. You can develop an online newsletter fairly easily and for little to no cost. If you are worried that you can’t write, there are article banks and blogs out there that will let you publish content by other authors. Be sure you’re giving your niche something of value with your newsletter – remember, it’s purpose is to build a relationship with your potential clients and make a connection. Also, don’t be afraid to sell your products and services within your newsletter. The ratio for content to sales material should be 80/20.
When promoting your business, promote your newsletter. This works especially well in networking groups where you haven’t developed many relationships yet. Use an e-mail signature that promotes your newsletter, and if the group has ad days, promote your newsletter then as well. People love a freebie, and will be more apt to sign up for your newsletter rather than purchase something from someone they don’t yet know. Once you have them on your list, and have built a relationship, it’s easier to make sales.
4. Choose marketing activities that you love. It’s not worth the time and stress to engage in activities that are frustrating to you. You should spend 2 to 3 hours per day on marketing activities. When you’re starting out, it will be more than that. The majority of your time will be spent promoting your business until you start to get regular business through the door.