Your most valuable asset is your database – that could mean an email list, a list of past customers, or a list of prospective clients with phone numbers. Add value to your business for future sale by taking all that knowledge in your head and placing it in as much detail as possible in your database. Then segment, target, cross market. If you can figure out exactly what a specific person wants, you can get them to buy something from you.
Email is a direct line to your audience – E-mail is so cheap and easy that you can keep up a regular communication stream with pretty much as many people as you email addresses for. Adapt the mentality of Seth Godin, one of the foremost experts on internet marketing – “The internet is the greatest direct marketing medium ever invented”.
Wear your customer’s shoes – Make sure everything you do is from your customers’ WIIFM (what’s in it for me) perspective. What will you give them in exchange for their valuable time? If it’s a blatant promo for your business, flag the idea. Provide useful content in an easy to read manner and you’ll have a winner on your hands!
Viral Marketing – Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on your marketing messages to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in your message’s exposure and influence. Nowadays, it mostly takes place on social media. Leverage social media to expand your brand. If you speak your audience’s language and serve them funny, outrageous, or thought provoking content, they will share it. See the Wendy’s twitter account as an example.
It’s easy to work cheaply – Why have an office if clients don’t come to see you? Put that money into the key levers of your business instead. It’s totally acceptable today to have meetings at café’s. For your clients who work in an office, it’s a great opportunity to get out. Online business expert Jesus Manuel from Estilo De Visa Web (The Web Lifestyle) says “If you work online, there’s no reason to pay for an office except for ego. Doing business online means you can literally work from anywhere with internet. Why would anyone choose to work in an office?”
Stay ahead of the game – Keep three steps ahead by keeping an eye on your competition online. Gone are the days of figuring out how to get the scoop on what ‘they’re doing’. You can find a tremendous amount of information on-line. And don’t stop with your local competition. Check out what similar businesses are doing overseas. Take their strategies and apply them to your own business.
You can do anything, but don’t do everything – You can do anything you want, but you can’t personally do everything (or at least you shouldn’t). Focus on what you’re best at and brings in the money. Off-load functions that are non-core. Doing it yourself is much more expensive in the long run. If your business centres on billable hours, why would you spend your time doing administration or producing newsletters?
Forget about it – Don’t get caught in the hype. Having a website is not the be all and end all. You can accomplish 75 percent of what you want to achieve by making email, social, or other direct communication channels your focus. Having a website, and not marketing it and working on it, as akin to a billboard in the woods. If you’re a local business, effective email, social, or local PR marketing might be all you need.
Why you? – There is a lot of competition out there and everyone is nipping at your heels. Make email marketing a relationship building exercise and it can become your golden key to success. Email keeps you top of mind. It helps you market to a prospective client until they’re ready for you.
Make it easy peasy – For all your internet efforts – website or email marketing – remove as many barriers of resistance as possible. Allow people to book and pay online instead of printing off or faxing back. Make it easy to move around your website. Don’t send attachments that require that extra click. Make your potential customer’s experience as frictionless as possible.