People ask me all the time, “Now that I have this brochure, what do I do with it, who do I give it to?” The “doing” is what us marketers call Marketing Strategies. There is so much advice out there about which ads you MUST run, which direct mailer you SHOULD use and what networking events to attend, it can make your head spin! It makes my head spin and I run a marketing company! So, how do we decide where to spend our marketing money and time? Here’s a simple process:
- Determine where your Ideal Clients hang out
- Decide how you want to be there
- Take action
- Pay attention to the results
- Repeat Step 2-5
Now, just so your head doesn’t spin with, “This isn’t what [fill in the blank with your latest marketing guru] said I should do?!” Please know that step zero is following your own intuition. Yes, even though you don’t have lots of marketing experience, your intuition still knows what’s right for you. We have lots of tools and philosophies at Conscious Marketing, but the one that always comes before anything we say is, “Follow Your Inner Guidance First.”
Step 1. Determine Where Your Ideal Clients Hang Out
If this term “Ideal Clients” is a new one for you, you may want to read one of my other articles that talked all about how your “target” only scratches the surface when defining who you want to attract. A target can be “anyone who has a health problem” while a characteristic of your Ideal Client is “people who are excited about trying alternative healing modalities.” You can see how the later FEELS much better then the former. It accounts for our heart. It gives us an opportunity to change all the awareness we have about what we don’t want (i.e. clients that are fearful of alternative medicine) and turn them into traits of our Ideal Clients.
Based upon your Ideal Client description, start to brainstorm places they can be found. Formulate a life size Ideal Client hologram in your head and see where they go and what they like to do. Here are some questions to consider in your brainstorm:
- Where does my Ideal Client shop, eat and go for entertainment?
- What does my Ideal Client like to read? (Free or subscription magazines, books, newsletters, websites, etc.)
- Where do they go for continuing education or professional development?
- Where do they seek personal or spiritual fulfillment?
You will quickly build a list of places where you can connect with your Ideal Client. Don’t edit yourself if you think you can’t afford to advertise there. If you think they read O Magazine, you can find similar characteristics in another publication that’s local or maybe a women’s organization that has the same spirit.
Step 2. Decide How You Want to Be There
Now, this is where the various forms of advertising come in. If you identify that your Ideal Clients eat at Vegetarian Restaurants or take classes at The Learning Annex, decide how you want to be there. The most common choices are print ads, directory listings, direct mail (i.e. coupon mailers, flyers, letters, postcards, etc.), in-person networking, radio or TV ads (a.m. stations or cable are affordable) and electronic newsletters (like this one). Does your favorite veggie spot have a newsletter where you can advertise? Does the organization have a mailing list you can purchase?
How much a marketing strategy costs doesn’t have to be the only deciding factor. There are many things that are low or no cost like free calendar/event listings or being covered by the media (which is referred to as public relations). Then there are the low or no cost opportunities that usually require a commitment of time, which for me, is sometimes more scarce then money. These include writing and submitting articles (in a physical magazine and in online publications), being a speaker at an organization or conducting classes. This also includes hosting your own teleclasses (a.k.a. phone seminar or massive conference call). We offer a free monthly “Ask An Expert” teleclass that costs us nothing to host and attracts lots of people. We use www.freeconference.com if you want to check it out.
You can also simply hang out in the place where your Ideal Clients are and introduce yourself (no, this is not being a stalker, just being friendly). Maybe the owner will let you do a free screening or some other event that gives clients a sample of your product or service.
Step 3. Take Action & Step 4 Pay Attention to Results
There are lots of strategies to choose from and lots of theories on what is the most effective, but the important factor is to choose something and get started. The only thing that keeps you stuck is making the same choice [to do nothing] over and over and over. However, whatever you choose, be sure to track your results! You can minimize a waste of time and money by simply paying attention to what works. This means always asking people “How did you hear about us?” Do this when a client calls, sends an email, and purchases a product. Add a field to your order form, train your receptionist and make yourself a HUGE reminder sign above your computer. When you track results, you can release worry about trying something and failing. Try something, wait a few months, and stop if your results show it’s not working.
As a professional marketer, and more importantly, a big fan of asking for help, I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest that sometimes you need to consult an expert. If you are trying lots of things, the results are dismal and it feels like something is missing, find someone that can guide you. Nothing can stand in your way when you are willing to explore your options and test different things.
After all, solving the marketing mystery may be as simple as deciding to start your journey, choosing a path, adjusting the course when it doesn’t feel right and being willing to connect with strangers. Those strangers just may need your service and will be grateful you crossed their path.
Lisa Cherney is a Marketing Intuitive and President & Founder of Conscious Marketing™. A dynamic speaker, Lisa has helped thousands of business owners tap into their intuition and market their businesses from the ‘Inside Out’. She has 15 years corporate and advertising agency experience working with clients like AT&T, Lipton and Nissan.
Conscious Marketing offers workshops, coaching, business consulting and creates marketing materials. Products include Listening a guided imagery audio program and the Conscious Marketing Audio Workshop and Workbook. Visit www.ConsciousMarketing.com for more details or call 888-771-0156.