By Toni Harris
Marketing is that dreaded word for many small business owners. Many entrepreneurs have great ideas but don’t have a clue how to get the word out about their business. By definition, Dictionary.com defines marketing as, “The total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.” Wow, that’s a mouthful! Simply put, marketing means to put your product or service in the mind of the consumer, over and over and over and over again! Too many small business owners believe that they can create a brochure, flier, or business card, give it to a bunch of people, and sit back and wait for the phone to ring. We all know that form of marketing does not work.
So what does work? Here are 7 D.R.A.S.T.I.C. steps you can incorporate in your marketing to help jump start your marketing:
- Define Your Audience
Many of my prospects have no idea who their target audience is. Who does your product serve? If your answer starts with anyone and everyone then your audience is too broad.
- Relationships to Help You Grow
Small business owners often believe they can do it alone. They don’t ask for help or create strategic alliances that can send them referrals. Think about a business that compliments yours. When networking, do you schedule one-on-one time with your networking friends to find out how you can support one another? Can you cross refer one another? Sit down with that person and establish a referral relationship that will be mutually beneficial to both of you.
Who are you accountable to? Establish an accountability relationship with a fellow entrepreneur or hire a coach that will hold you accountable to the marketing actions you want to accomplish.
- Speak to Sell
One of the most successful tools I use to grow my business is speaking. Do people need to be educated about your product or service? If so, then you should develop a speaking platform around your product. Take your message to the street, the internet, and social media to let people know that you are the expert and resource to fill their need.
- Technology Tools to Grow
Technology is readily available but many small business owners do not take the time to learn to use these tools to grow their businesses. Simple tools like social media and email marketing are excellent ways to remind your prospects and customers that you are still in business and that your business can help them when they need you. Remember, the definition of marketing is to remind your target audience over and over and over that you are in business. Social media and email are great and inexpensive ways to do this.
- Invest in Your Business
Invest time, money, and energy in your marketing. How do you expect your business to grow if you are so busy working in your business that you are not working on your business? If you can’t do it all then you need to invest the money in help. Can you hire someone to help you market? If there is not a steady pipeline, your business will soon dry up. Invest the time, money, and energy to keep your pipeline full.
The seventh and final step is probably the most important. Without it, nothing else is going to work. The seventh step is commitment. Get committed and stay committed to your marketing plan. It takes commitment to implement every one of the steps. Are you committed? Too many business owners are partially committed. Marketing is a key part of your business success; if you are only partially committed then you will get partial results.
Marketing is one of the most important parts of business success and often the most neglected. Implement a few of these seven steps and watch your business begin to blossom. Implement all seven with a serious commitment and you will soon see your business flourish.
Toni Harris helps small businesses grow by implementing successful marketing strategies. In addition to being a marketing strategist, Toni is an author and an authorized local expert with Constant Contact. Follow Toni on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. You can contact Toni to speak at your next event by phone at 713-397-9273 or email her at [email protected].