Marketing. Everyone knows they have to do it, but how?
There are great stories about entrepreneurs who started with nothing but an idea and built a business from Facebook up, but is that feasible for everyone? Hardly.
Successful marketing takes time, money, expertise, and sometimes the humility to say, “I can’t do this for myself – I must outsource!”
What Are Your Assets?
When you sat down to start your company, I imagine you did some thinking about all the types of capital at your disposal. Maybe you made a list, maybe you spoke with an advisor, but at some point, you decided: this is what I have going for me, and these are the other things I need for success.
You need to take exactly that same approach here. Be honest with yourself. Do you know marketing? Do you have the time to build and execute campaigns? Do you have some money to budget out for marketing along the way?
This is the easy one of the three. If you are a marketer at heart or by profession, then you’ve got this part of the game covered. As a marketer, you can outsource other parts of your company and focus on spreading the word in all the ways that come naturally and are fun for you.
If marketing doesn’t come naturally, but you still want to go it alone, you’ll need to figure out what percentage of your daily/weekly/monthly/yearly budget of both time and money you can spend on learning the basics.
If you’re not going to do it on your own, and you’re going to outsource, you’re still going to have to know a little bit about marketing. You’ll want to start following some blogs (obviously PeterGianoli.com is a great place to start as well as my Facebook Page). You’ll want to follow some marketers you trust on Twitter and LinkedIn, and there are also more traditional channels that you can use to help you learn. Google and Udemy both offer online marketing courses.
This is the big one. Ask yourself these questions:
- How much time out of my work day can I spend researching marketing?
- Can I give some of my free time to researching marketing?
- How much of my time can I devote to laying out a marketing plan?
- Do I have the time and the resources to write content, including social media posts as well as full-length content, that will promote my brand?
- Do I have the time and resources to promote other forms of marketing that I plan on pursuing (including podcasts, webinars, trainings, conferences, white papers etc.)?
- Do I have the time and know-how to design and implement online ads to drive web traffic?
- If I decide to outsource, how much time can I devote to planning, goal-setting and following up with my partners?
You will find it helpful to set some goals for how much time you want to budget out, how quickly you want to accomplish your marketing goals, and re-visit your plans often.
For many marketers, this is the biggest issue, but it shouldn’t be.
Spending your own time on marketing can take you away from the main focus of your business, which could also take away from your main profits. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a one-person show or a 100-person show; If you don’t have a designated marketing team on staff, taking the time to learn marketing and implement a plan is going to take time away from your business.
That doesn’t mean it’s going to take a lot of money away from your business though. If outside help is effective, your initial investment in marketing can continue to pay returns, all while freeing you up to work on your core business.
In fact, an expert marketer knows how to turn your marketing expenditure into an asset. Expert marketers do not just embark upon the next ad or the next promotion, but instead they will focus on developing marketing assets that return a great return on investment. Expert marketers produce marketing assets that can be deployed at will… can you do that? (btw here is a link to a fabulous article on creating assets out of your marketing.)
How can you put your assets to work for you?
Once you’ve figured out what you have and where you’re going, marketing-wise, you need to figure out how much of it you should do yourself and how much of it you should outsource.
No entrepreneur succeeds as an island.
Everyone needs help in some capacity. And yet, the average business owner is befuddled by conflicting advice when it comes to this most necessary part of growing a business.
Building a business is tremendously difficult. That’s why so few of the people who attempt it actually win.
A beginner entrepreneur simply doesn’t know what they don’t know.
The marketing expert should see how your mediocre efforts to advertise are working okay-ish… and how quickly the right copy, or some simple testing, or any manner of “industry best practices” will skyrocket results.
The process isn’t rocket science.
But it is a science.
A marketing expert knows how to construct marketing assets that will convert traffic to leads and leads to customers.
Remember, you need to make sales. Obviously, it’s great to have leads flock to you way faster than you can spend money on advertising.
Often, this can be achieved with a large Facebook following (something I have found many entrepreneurs are great at doing because they are so passionate or knowledgeable about their business). But, they neglect the crucial step of getting followers their social media followers to register onto a database using their email addresses, so that thay can commence turning these followers into customers.
Few things in business are worse than getting a massive amount of leads that go nowhere. After all, a lead is only valuable if you can turn it into a sale.
Leads don’t make money. Sales make money.
In fact, many businesses lose leads due to lazy marketing. They forget to follow up. They avoid customer/client interaction. Generally, this is because they are just too busy to put in the necessary work or they are suffering marketing overwhelm and don’t know where to focus.
Whatever the case, losing qualified leads is disastrous.
Marketers have two jobs.
First, to bring in leads. And second, to turn those leads into customers.
Marketing itself is commoditised.
It’s true, you can pick up marketing tips anywhere nowadays.
However, a marketing specialist will create a CONTEXT and a COHESIVE SYSTEM.
You can’t just Lego marketing techniques together and expect a successful business. You must have a philosophy and strategy.
Perhaps you should seek an expert!