It goes without saying that 2019 should be the year you focus your efforts on digital marketing. With 60 per cent of Australians using the Internet more than five times a day, there’s a sizable market out there which you can tap into. More importantly, they want to be able to find information about your business easily. In a report released by Telstra last year, they stated that 48 per cent would stop considering a business if they couldn’t find it online. But simply have an online presence isn’t enough. To compete, you need to stand out.
So whether you’re a marketing novice or seasoned expert, these are my top tips for getting your business name out there and customers through your doors.
1. Forget about hustling. Start helping your prospects.
It seems that everyone who’s anyone online is telling you to hustle. But what does that even mean? Success in business is not about how hard or how many hours you work. You can fill your day with administrative tasks and meetings, whatever, and they won’t necessarily translate into eye-popping sales.
Don’t be fooled. Hustling will only get you so far. What does work is helping your prospects, it’s going to supercharge your sales.
People shop because they need to solve a problem or they want to feel good about themselves. But if you’re new to business, they don’t know who you are and whether your service or product is reliable. So you first need to build trust before a sale results, and this takes time.
What you want to do is prove yourself, and an excellent way to do this is to offer something for free. Depending on what your business is it could be a free consultation or sample products to try at home, it could even be advice. Start using your social media channels, your blog, your e-newsletter, whatever, to help your prospects. By doing this, you will begin to build a relationship and show how good your product or service is, rather than merely telling them how good it is. Now you’re someone that people want to come to, to help solve their problems. And before you know it, they’ll pay you to do it.
2. Think overall strategy first. Don’t get caught up with ‘the next big thing’.
Most entrepreneurs won’t have a marketing background. Like running a business, you’re learning on the job, and while word-of-mouth is probably your preferred marketing method, it’s not going to scale your business rapidly. So it’s easy to get caught up with the next big thing in online marketing.
Last year it was Facebook advertising this year it’s Instagram, who knows what it will be next year. What we do know is that you need to have a social presence. The mistake that many companies make is they think they need to be on every platform, and this is just madness.
Yes, you need to be on social media but you also need to be active posting at specific times and on particular days, putting spend behind your posts and so much more. If we’re being honest here, you need to be creating fun or informative videos because according to a report by Buzzsumo they get 59% more engagement than other types of posts.
Simply knowing why you are marketing is not going to solve your financial woes. You need to know who your target audience is, what media they consume, and what compelling message will make them put their hand up and say I need your service or product?
Without knowing these answers, any marketing you do is just going to be wasteful. So before opening another social account, go back to the basics. Figure out what your marketing plan is. Now take a look at your current social pages. Think of them as employees. What are you employing it to do? Set KPIs upfront and then monitor the performance of your posts. You’ll quickly see what works and what doesn’t.
3. Build a tribe of followers, not merely prospective customers.
If I could shout this, I would. Stop ONLY selling on social media. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be promoting your product or service on your social channels, that would just be silly. What I am saying is that it shouldn’t be the focus of your social media strategy.
Think of your social account like a party. Would you pitch up at a friend’s house and spend the entire evening telling partygoers about how great your product is and why they need it? I didn’t think so. Chances are you won’t be invited back.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are all social settings, so be social. This is your opportunity to build a tribe where you are the president. And as president, your job is to take care of those in your tribe. Everything that you do, say, create, whether it be a free report, newsletter, or social media post, needs to be about helping or offering value. Ask yourself, will it benefit my tribe? If there is no value to what you have to share, don’t share it.
Remember my point about showing how good your product or service is. Once you begin to build goodwill, the sales will come. For example, I had a guy on my mailing list for two years before he signed up for my Marketing & Business Academy. That’s two years of goodwill and free advice given before making a sale, but it was worth the wait.
4. Always deliver quality content, not quantity.
If you’ve ever searched for something in Google, you’ll know how much content is online. Figuring out what is good advice and what isn’t can be really difficult. Everybody is fighting to be heard. It’s a crowded space and standing out requires creating and sharing fresh and engaging ideas.
You could, for example, put together a fun, and interactive series of videos showing prospects how to use your product or you could succinctly answer their questions. If you’re able to make people laugh, even better. Prospects want to be entertained, but more importantly, they want to feel like they’ve got some sort of value out of what they’ve just read or watched. And let’s be honest, there’s nothing more frustrating or infuriating than wading through content trying to find the information that was promised.
So in the past, writing a plethora of blog posts each month was a guaranteed way to boost traffic to your site. But times have changed. SEO bloated articles are no longer perceived favourably by Google and merely having a website won’t give you business credibility.
It’s not about how much you’re creating, but rather the message your delivering. If you don’t have anything of value to offer, don’t put it up on your blog or social pages.
5. Stop stressing about selling. Show that you care and the sales will come
As owners, we want to get to the sale, and this can often be a turnoff for customers. We become so focused on sealing the deal that we lose sight of the person we’re supposed to be helping.
Sales are vital to any business, but all the steps leading up to a transaction are far more critical. You need to think through the customer journey. What are your prospects looking for? So often I see advertisements with generic or incorrect messages, for example, as a nutritionist your goal is to help people to eat better so that they are healthier, they have more energy and possibly feel better about themselves. The problem is that everybody out there talks to “Lose weight fast” or “A slimmer, trimmer you in no time” or “Get the perfect beach body for this summer.”
Nobody thinks about what’s going on in your prospect’s head, and this is a great way to differentiate yourself and your messaging. If they have IBS eating the wrong food can make them really sick. They might feel embarrassed about bloating or accidentally breaking wind in public, and this can seriously affect their confidence. So that’s what you want to focus on.
Your message could be, “Say goodbye to bloating and flatulence, and hello to feeling good.” Now you’re standing out, and you’re showing that you get it, you know what’s bothering them, and you’ve got the solution.
So in closing, to sell more, we need to focus on solving problems, and to do that we need to first and foremost show that we care. Start with being helpful and creating goodwill amongst your following. Take a closer look at how your service or product improves their lives for the better and then show them without selling. The sales will come if you create quality content, deliver value and build trusting relationships.