“I don’t market,” a colleague shared this morning. She then proceeded to tell me how she wrote “memoranda,” sent it to relevant business owners, and spent half an hour talking to each client before getting the deals. I asked her what she called all of this activity. “Client relations,” was the answer.
For many, if not most, small business owners marketing is distasteful. It conjures up images of sleazy second-hand car dealers, 2:00-am infomercials, pressuring Tupperware ladies, and jockeying salespeople pushing you to buy things you don’t want at a price you can’t afford. No wonder most reasonable people wouldn’t be caught dead “marketing.”
Let me reframe this for a minute. Remember the last time you had a serious problem and were willing to give your right arm away just to have it solved. Yes, like that time you had a herniated disk and couldn’t sit, or stand or sleep. How about the time you needed a mortgage and couldn’t figure out the various options? And what about the time your computer wouldn’t communicate with the printer and the tech support people kept sending you in circles?
What does that have to do with marketing? Everything! If you are good at what you are doing, there is someone out there right now dying to get you to solve their problem. But how will they ever know that you are the answer to their prayers, that you do what you do, that you exist! if you don’t let them know.
If you have the power to alleviate someone’s suffering (being unable to get the darn printer to work and spending 2 hours on the phone with tech support definitely qualifies) it is your responsibility to make it as easy as possible for the clients to find you and choose you over anyone else offering a service of lesser quality.
By definition, marketing is every shred of information the client encounters about you from the moment she hears of your service until she buys from you. Everything that happens from that first sale is marketing for repeat business and for referrals. Your blog posts, the tone of voice when you answer the phone, the packaging, the way you handle a glitch in service, the testimonials you get after the fact – all of these are marketing.
During my decade of business ownership, I’ve learned plenty about what brings in new clients and what doesn’t and in recent months I have been sharing this knowledge with my coaching clients.
This is my responsibility – teaching you how to fulfill yours and showing you how to get to the people that are desperate for your help. Help me help you by sending questions and commenting on this blog.
I am looking forward to getting to know you.
So, what brings you to this blog and what would you like to learn here?