Is it just me or in the first week of January does it feel like everyone is selling something? After a break with my children over Christmas and New Year I logged on to a couple of hundred new emails, nearly all of which were sales messages. Some of them were about physical product sales, linked to things I had bought online in 2019. Many were from coaches and consultants, giving me the “new year new you” message. I even had an email on Christmas Day offering me discounted coaching packages.
Everyone is trying to get your attention at this time of year, so we are bombarded with marketing tactics and sales messages. That can feel intimidating when you are just getting started on your own marketing. Or maybe you’ve had a break because December is quiet in your industry and you’ve spent the time on behind the scenes work, business housekeeping or even taking time off.
So this is my message to you in this early part of January. It’s ok to start where you are in your business marketing. The key thing is to start. Here are some pointers to help you head in the right direction.
Know what works in your business
Start by knowing what works in your business. Take a look at where your new business came from in 2019, particularly the good clients and customers – the ones you want more of in 2020. Where did they hear about you? Are there particular marketing tactics that are more likely to bring you more of those people? Are the best customers those who are referred by other customers, or through a trusted associate?
New to your business?
If you are starting in a new business, or haven’t engaged in any active marketing for some time, you will need to take some educated guesses. You may want to think about running a series of campaigns, using a different set of tactics each time and thoroughly evaluating each one. You will also need to be willing to try new things and, more importantly, stop anything that isn’t working.
Know your audience
The next step is to take a good look at your audience. I’ve written about this before – the key thing here is to have a really good understanding of who those best customers are. (You can download my free template to help you with this step). It is tempting to jump over this step in order to get on with actually posting on social media, or designing a campaign. But if you can’t define your deal customer much of your marketing activity will not be targeted to appeal to that person and won’t work as hard as you need it to.
Define your business goals – big goals need new tactics
The next step is to be clear about what you want to achieve this year. It is easy to use a social media channel because it is comfortable or to book onto a networking event to catch up with people you already know. But if you want big changes in your business, you will need to do something differently in your marketing plan. Maybe you need to create a free offer to attract more people, start networking in new places, overhaul your website or get started on social media advertising? If you have clear business goals, you can start to use your marketing tactics to help you achieve the goals.
Do the next right thing – some examples
Having done, this, you can plan out the next steps. For example if you are a b2b business and your goal is to grow your profit by growing the value of each existing client you might want to look at any or all of the following steps:
- Ensure your client database is up to date
- Clearly define your offers (don’t assume your clients know everything that you do)
- Create an email campaign to your clients
- Offer an incentive for them to increase their next order
- Create a blog post or e-book to help your clients understand the sector and positioning you as an expert
- Call your clients to check they are happy with your current service
- Book meetings with key clients to discuss any forthcoming opportunities
If you want to gain completely new customers into your pipeline, you will need to focus on tactics that put you in front of a big group of your ideal customers. The details will depend on your business, but may include:
- Going to new networking events
- Creating engaging social media content
- Investing in social media advertising
- Blog posts and web content to demonstrate your expertise
- Booking a trade show stand
- Speaking at an event
- Starting a mailing list by offering a lead magnet
- Commission eye catching photography of your product to share on all your marketing collateral
Take the next step and get going
So in early January, don’t be distracted by what everyone else is doing. Don’t be tempted to put something out there just because everyone else is doing it. Know your audience, get clear on your targets and do the next right thing for your business.
If an hour of focussed thinking and planning would help you get going in the right direction, why not book in a Power Hour with Jenny? With 25 years’ business marketing experience, she can help you take big steps towards huge success in 2020.