The formula for small business marketing success is the same online as it is off line. Small business marketing success lies in your ability to successfully identify your target customers and then create marketing messages that speak directly to those individual’s goals, problems or desires.
If you already have customers, then you are selling either products or services that solve your customer’s problems.
On the services side, accountants and bookkeepers solve accounting problems while therapists solve a myriad of psychological problems.
On the products side… if you’re selling cars, you’re not only selling a solution to a transportation problem but you’re also selling a means to achieve a goal AND a desire! If you’re selling clothing, then the problem you’re solving is nakedness… and depending upon the type of clothing you sell, you could also be selling a means to achieve goals and desires.
The key is, if you’re in business, you’re offering solutions to problems people have. Ideally, these are problems that people are willing to write checks in order to see resolution.
With this perspective, you can see that marketing is merely the act of getting the word out about the solutions you offer. Suddenly, your direct mail campaign will take on a different twist.
Instead of “selling” you’re “solving”.
Instead of pushing, you’re offering solutions.
When you view your marketing as merely the act of getting the word out about the solutions you offer to everyday business problems, suddenly the world is your oyster. Those grains of sand irritating your target customers are your golden opportunity to shine. This is your chance to solve a problem, win a client and save the world all in a simple, elegant act of using your skills, talents and abilities.
Now, with your new rose colored marketing glasses, you can see the different avenues available to you to “get the word out”. For some independent service professionals, just removing the stigma of “selling” from the equation is enough. For others, recognizing that what they’re really doing is spreading the word about the solutions they offer is all it takes to open the floodgate of ideas.
One client of mine is working on developing a television show for a local cable network with another service professional. When these two professionals realized how well their services “dovetailed”, they approached a local television studio with an idea for a show. Because of their unique “offering solutions” mind set, the station jumped on the idea and their show is now ready to begin production.
Another client began offering teleseminars addressing the core problems being faced by clients on a daily basis. By offering these free teleseminars, she offers practical solutions callers can take and implement immediately. Instead of using these teleseminars as “selling” vehicles, she uses them as “problem solving” vehicles. It’s worked like a charm. Participants love her low key approach and her client load is now so heavy, she’s had to hire an assistant 4 days a week just to handle the workload.
Remember, marketing is merely the act of spreading the word about the solutions you offer to potential client problems. Is your marketing (or lack thereof) hurting your business?