Boost: Marketing for You
Having a bedazzled product with all the glitter and shine is one step. But then comes the next step- getting the word out there to real people- well that can cause a lot of people to get a confused look to wash across their face. Where do you start? What’s it all about? How much does it cost? Who’s gonna hear me?
Then there’s the fear about what people will think. Will they think I’m being scummy? Will they think I’m just a big self-promoter? Isn’t this all just one step closer to the used car salesman?
Confusion is a real game stopper. I can hear the tires skidding to a stop as these worries jump in front of the business. But it doesn’t have to be that way. One of the things I learned awhile back that really helped me become more (not completely) fearless was this little sentence~
All tasks are learnable.
Back up just a sec and re-read that. Isn’t that an amazing thought? Every job out there is a learnable thing. We may not want to learn it all, but when it comes to building our business, then this ought to be an enormous relief. Marketing is a learnable thing!
In a moment I am going to walk you through a quick outline of how to TAME marketing, but first let me help you understand the importance of it. I recently had a potter flat out tell me, I don’t market. As shocked as I was to hear such a frank admission, I knew that he wasn’t alone. There are tons of people in that same camp. But here are some reasons that each one of us needs to start thinking about doing marketing for our business.
-Essential for growth. For people to buy what you have, they have to know that you exist. Seems simple, and it is. Marketing in its most basic form is just letting people know about your products. Once know, sales have the opportunity grow.
-Helps keep customers. “Front of Mind” is a phrase that helps define what one goal of marketing. You want existing customers to think of you first when they think of a specific product. So when the thought of needing a new set of dishes, or a new mug, or vase, or… the first name you want them to turn to is you. People forget fast. Marketing can be your reminder.
-Makes you known before you’re needed. Not everyone is ready to buy your product in the first encounter. Perhaps your potential customer just doesn’t see the need… right now. But, there will come a time when the need for what you have, be it a gift for a loved one, or a need for themselves, then you’ll be there for them.
-Puts you in the game. There are plenty of other people/companies already jockeying for position. If you stay on the bench, you will never score a point. Marketing helps put you in the business game.
HOW TO TAME MARKETING
Now marketing is kind of a big word when it comes to coming up with a definition. Marketing covers a lot of ground, especially when you start looking at the nitty gritty of it. But let me give us a bird’s-eye view of how to TAME marketing.
Target- Marketing isn’t really advertising. Advertising should be one ingredient of marketing just like butter is one ingredient of chocolate chip cookies (or at least the good recipes). Marketing starts with knowing your target audience. You want to answer this question: Who is your perfect customer? The answer is not, The person who buys. You want to know what she likes and desires. You want to know what he is pursuing. It’d be good to know her income level. Is he edgy? Refined? Outdoorsperson? Christmas shopper? Know who you are trying to reach.
Awareness- The next step is to start to raise awareness of what you make and are offering. There are a number of ways to do this from Facebook ads to Instagram, from local newspapers to TV spots. Getting into galleries and setting up at farmer’s markets. Emailing and websites and Twitter and word of mouth. Raising awareness, also called advertising, is simply put, getting the word out.
Measure- After each awareness campaign, it is time to measure its effectiveness. Business life is too short to throw time and money at an advertising endeavor without solid facts to its effectiveness. Set goals and targets and then check to see if you hit them. Measure how much you spent for each sale. If nobody paid attention, don’t blame the audience as being unresponsive. Blame yourself, or at least the way the marketing was done. Own it. Once you own the results, be it good or bad, you can tell which direction to go in the future.
Encore- Do it over again. Have a repeat performance. Marketing, in order for it to have a long-term impact, needs to be a long-term activity. Learn more about your audience. Try new strategies of awareness. Keep the evaluations going. And rinse and repeat.
When it comes to marketing there are a ton of resources to help you learn how to be more effective. The main thing to do is to just start. I have had lots of people tell me in hushed voices of what their “million-dollar idea” is. Can I just say, that there is no such thing as a “million-dollar idea”. There is only million-dollar actions. It’s the action that makes a difference.
Here are a few resources to help you grow in your marketing skills:
DuctTapeMarketing.com is a great resource for growing your marketing understanding.
Marketing for Dummies. Say what you will about the Dummies series, but one thing is for sure- it is written in easy to understand language. This is a link to a free link to the whole book.
Photo Credit: FreeRangeStock