You’ve probably heard the statistic that most businesses don’t survive past their first several years. That’s super depressing.
But I have good news for you. It doesn’t have to be that way.
As marketers, we really want each and every one of you to thrive. We want to see you make your dream of business ownership come true in the biggest and best ways.
So that’s why we have to say the hard thing…
Here’s what we see happen so many times. As a new business owner, you are excited to get potential customers (and money) in the door as quickly as you can. So you try to do all the things…
- Create your website.
- Schedule social media posts.
- Generate email marketing campaigns.
- Grow your mailing list.
- Throw advertising dollars at Facebook.
- Print a thousand business cards.
ALL AT ONCE.
But you never created a strategic plan on marketing for small businesses the right way from the beginning.
It is like that old children’s story about the three little pigs. If you do things this way, you are building your house of straw.
We want to teach you how to build your house from brick. And you don’t have to build it all today.
You just need to do it one brick at a time. You can do that. We promise.
Ready to get started?
1. Brick One: Build Your Customer Avatar
If you don’t know what a customer avatar is, it has a similar meaning to your “ideal customer” or your “target market.” You already know that you need to know the basic demographics about your customer, from their age to where they live. But it is so much more than that.
You have to know about their behaviors.
Do they vacation every year? What kind of vacations do they take? Are they the type to take luxury vacations on islands, or would they rather go camping under the stars? What type of car do they own? Luxury cars or fuel-efficient cars?
And most importantly…
What are they afraid of? And how does your product or service address that fear? You need to know all of these things (and more) to truly connect with and create happy customers.
2. Brick Two: Identify Your Differentiators
Brick number two in building an effective marketing strategy is identifying your differentiators. You already know that we live in a crowded, noisy world, and there is so much competition out there. It is not just important to know who those competitors are, but you have to understand what makes you different from those competitors. Otherwise, you’re going to look like everybody else.
Give your ideal client a reason to do business with you. Do a deep dive on what truly does make you stand out. And here’s the tricky part: it can’t be subjective. “We really care” is not a good differentiator. “We go the extra mile” is not a good differentiator.
Make it trackable. Make it quantifiable. Make it unique.
3. Brick Three: Identify Your Brand Voice
The next brick in building a solid house is defining your brand voice. Whether you are sending an email or speaking at an event, this brand voice must be consistent. And no matter who is a part of your team, whether it be a freelancer or a partner, they need to know exactly what that brand voice is.
A lot goes into defining a brand voice, but the important thing is to make sure you DO define it. If you are a cussing, boot-strapping, whiskey-shootin’ brand, then your brand image should convey that. If you are a cuddly, cozy, hygge-type brand, then that should be obvious too.
4. Brick Four: Create Your Brand Promise
Up next in building your brick house is creating your brand promise. If you don’t know what a brand promise is, you can think of it as your battle cry, or to use moviemaking lingo, your elevator pitch. What do I mean by that? It’s the one thing that you promise the marketplace you will deliver upon EVERY. TIME.
Let’s go back to the 80s for some oldies but goodies to stir your minds up a little bit on brand promises. A famous one was Domino’s, who famously promised: “your pizza in 30 minutes or it’s free”? That is a phenomenal brand promise.
Or how about FedEx? “When it absolutely positively has to get there overnight.” (We realize that’s no longer impressive since people nowadays expect things to arrive in a nanosecond, but you get the point.)
What is your brand’s promise? What is the thing you will never, ever compromise on? That one thing you can promise you will deliver on, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
5. Brick Five: Brand Story
Next up in marketing tools is to craft your brand story. I often hear people say, “Yeah, but I don’t have like, a cool “rags to riches” story. My story is kind of boring.” But the truth is, you do have a story. You just have to ask yourself the right questions.
What are the right questions?
Well, you are probably on the right track if the answer to those questions gets you emotional in all the right ways. To help you get started, check out our Storytelling Templates.
Once it’s written, your story can be shared in so many different ways. You can place it on your website in its entirety or even break it up into smaller chunks for social media.
A good backstory goes a long way for a brand.
Brick Six: Customer Value Journey
The final brick you need to lay in your brick house is creating your customer value journey. The customer value journey is a seven-step process, and it identifies everything that you do to make people aware that your brand exists, engage with your brand, and then become loyal customers (translation: raving fans of your brand).
Your customer journey will help you figure out the next step in the process, nurturing people from completing their first conversion to becoming repeat buyers.
Want to know more? Check out our blog on the Customer Value Journey here.
Feeling overwhelmed by all your marketing efforts (that aren’t working)?
By now, you might be thinking, how can you possibly get all of this done. The good news is, there is help for you.
Join us in our free Small Business Marketing Challenge Facebook group. We help each other through the thousands of things that go into marketing for small businesses (from email marketing to social media and beyond!).
Check it out; it’s a phenomenal place for meeting other people who want to help and learn from each other! (And psssst… it’s led by a team of expert marketers, so you should, you know, take advantage of that…)