1. Your Business
Before we get into the marketing, it’s important to actually work on your business and these tasks each week. My clients and I have a call at the same time every week to make sure they’re on track and are doing whatever it is we need to do. This drops the typical once a month report / meeting, makes things happen much quicker and gives everyone the accountability needed to take consistent weekly action.
You can do this to a degree yourself, outlined in my blog post here, providing you take the time out every week to work out your goals and put the time aside to take action, particularly if you’re also going to do the marketing on your own.
Work out how leads are recorded and where they come from. What ones enquire, what ones actually buy and start putting figures together on what works. Find out what works best and do more of that. The amount of businesses that don’t record this, big or small is ridiculous. Read my blog post on it here.
3. Copywriting & “WHY”
Copywriting is arguably the most important part of this whole process. I can’t teach it to you here, but this is the subject I studied most in 2016, reading 6 books and countless blog posts on the subject. In this industry you always have to be studying and learning what works. Regardless of how good I thought I was at copy at the start of the year, I quickly realised if I wanted to make the biggest improvement to my clients results; this is where I would focus most of my study attention.
Understanding what really works, what makes potential customers become your actual customers. It’s rarely what you think and has nothing to with what you think that YOU PERSONALLY would respond to. There’s a structure and theories that you have to constantly hone to get the right message, at the right time, to the right people in order to convert. The right copy just works.
This is why so many business owners try their hand at Facebook ads and give up after one or two tries, throwing money away. If you’re going to do this on your own, learn Direct Response Copywriting.
Now for the WHY. If you haven’t seen it already, check out Simon Sinek’s TED talk on “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. Your “WHY” isn’t a feature, like a USP:
“Buy your wine from us, because unlike other companies; we supply a bottle opener with every order!”
It’s the very essence of what you do. This message is part of what makes people use one company over another. It defines the tone of your copy, your advertising and the way you encourage a buyer.
4. Case Studies
Case studies always trump explaining what you do. If you can produce detailed case studies and get them in front of a similar audience as that case study – you will get customers. As long as your product or service is good you will get customers:
“Here’s what I did for a business / someone the same as you and I can get you similar results”
Build detailed case studies for different industries spreading across different services you provide. If you have impressive clients it’s extremely important to leverage that and get more of the same in those industries.
As one example, I have a personal training client called Paul. Paul likes doing free workshops for companies in Glasgow with professionals that don’t have a lot of spare time but want to eat better, feel better, move better and fit exercise into their busy schedule. He enjoys it as it’s part of his WHY in giving health advice and helping as many people as he can lead a healthier life. Often as a result of this, those in his audience become clients.
So, how do you market that?
- Build an excellent case study around one of his most successful workshops as I did here.
- On LinkedIn; invite to connect with those in his target demographic (in this instance, Glasgow law firm owners / parters / HR).
- Those that connect back are sent a personalised message with a link to the case study.
The right message, at the right time, to the right people.
5. Social Media Advertising
Set up the ads to target the right demographic specifically. Work out what you’re selling to what target market.
Run inexpensive testing campaigns to find out what actually works, getting the text copy right and refine it going forward. Work on the right message / imagery / target audience combination. Once it’s bringing in leads / sales THEN you can ramp the budget up to suit.
Set up Retargeting. This is when someone visits your website, your website logs the IP address and makes the correlation between that and the Facebook / Google account, making your ads appear on their Facebook feed or the ads on websites they visit (for example when they’re reading a news article). You’ve probably looked at cutlery on Amazon then all of a sudden – spoons everywhere! On your Facebook feed, on a website with ad space… that’s Retargeting.
It’s based on the touch principal where potential clients rarely buy the first time they see something it needs regularly reinforced before they’ll pull the trigger.
6. Social Media Itself
Post regularly on social media, rotate the posting of areas of the website, latest news, clients you’ve worked with, the case studies you’ve built, industry news and so on. The more you post the more engagement you get, the bigger your social platforms grow and the bigger reach you have.
Get creative with your social media. An example would be to create a private Facebook group for your existing customers where you can give tips and they can ask questions. This is an example on how can you deliver more value to them and to keep you in their mind. This way you can advertise to them for more business or have them recommend you to others in their industry. Alternatively charge customers to be in the group, where they get more face time with you or get questions answered.
7. Email marketing
Email marketing is important for the reasons in my blog post here. Depending on your company, set up a monthly newsletter with company news, information, offers, competitions, the case studies and so on. Trying to find new clients is harder than getting existing ones to buy again or to refer other businesses; so it’s important to use your email list to your advantage. This engages much more with your existing client base and actively asking for referrals and giving possible incentives is something that should be targeted.
Anything else out of the scope of a monthly newsletter can be also sent to your list, like special offers. These can then additionally be added to the main newsletter at the end of the month.
8. SEO / PPC
(Search Engine Optimisation / Google Pay Per Click)
Do your keyword research and find out what your potential customers are searching for on Google. A simple way to do this is use the popular keywords Google gives in your Pay Per Click campaign and incorporate that into your SEO.
Manage your ongoing Pay Per Click campaign, refine your keywords, work on the ad copy and the effectiveness of your website pages that those ads are going to. Build campaigns around each of your individual services.
This will be industry dependant, but learning how to build a funnel and lead potential clients into webinars can change how you do your marketing forever. Think of Paul’s example above: instead of trying to get one customer at a time, you find a way to promote to many at once. Webinars are like what Paul does, without having to leave the office.
Market to potential clients, have them automatically enter your funnel, give value on the webinar while sitting in your home or office. You can even record it before hand if you’ve got too much anxiety about doing it live. Take questions at the end and up-sell your services.
These are some examples of what will make your company money in 2017. It all depends on how much action you take.
I’m not saying you’ll get the same results as a professional marketer, and sometimes not having it packaged correctly with the right copy can display your business sloppier than it should; but it’s better than taking no action at all and hoping things improve organically for another year. Make 2017 the year you actually take the time out, have the accountability and take the action needed to put these things into place.
I hope you take the time, not instead of work, not instead of family time… but instead of TV time, instead of Facebook surfing time to work on the things that’ll get you where you want to be.
Say you normally spend 3 hours a day chill time (and that’s being conservative), that’s 1000 hours a year. Spend 100 of that a year on this (2 hours PER WEEK total) and completely change your business.
10% of your chill time per week to get you were you want to be, to chase the goals and tasks you keep putting off.
Force yourself to take the action and don’t let it become another year of “I should be doing this” then prioritising something else and not getting any further forward …or start; only to tail off after a few weeks. Either do it yourself or pay someone properly to handle it for you and give you accountability.