Marketing is necessary to make sure your community knows who you are, what you do for a living and how you can help people achieve their goals. Done correctly, marketing will position you in front of the right people who may be ready to buy. Done wrongly, marketing is a waste of time. Your marketing efforts must set you apart from the competition. Here are four key strategies you must implement if you want to achieve marketing success.
1. Determine your target market.
Whom do you serve? If your answer contains the word “body” — such as anybody, nobody or everybody — you need to narrow your target market. A target market is a niche that you carve out for yourself so that you know where to aim your marketing efforts. In my coaching and speaking practice, I had a difficult time narrowing my target market. I figured that if I targeted only certain areas, I would miss out on other opportunities. However, by not creating a target market, I was not making any progress and was merely running in circles.
Now that I’ve narrowed my niche to working with financial professionals, it is amazing how many doors have opened up. Narrow your focus and the doors will fling wide open.
2. Build client relationships through strategic networking techniques.
Now that you know your niche, it’s important to seek out the people who constitute your niche. Where does your target market hang out? If your niche is an occupation such as information technology professionals or engineers, start attending their local association meetings and begin connecting with them.
The networking event is the start to building relationships. It is not the time to ask for the sale. Instead, ask for a 30-minute, one-on-one coffee date with your new connection to build on the relationship. During the coffee date, ask your prospect how you can support him in his business. If you can share a resource or a referral, give it to him. This endears him to you, and the relationship begins to blossom. Of course, your prospect wants to know how he can support you — and that is your opportunity to share. This single strategy gets you more business than any other strategy because the prospect feels as though he knows you and you have made it clear how he can refer you to others.
3. Develop strategies to prevent procrastination.
Have you ever lost business because you didn’t follow up in a timely manner? If you are a procrastinator, you must put systems in place to overcome procrastination and be accountable. I was cured of procrastination when I lost a deal that could have earned me a $3,000 commission. My coach recommended that I use a simple to-do list of tasks that have to be done. If it’s on the list, it gets done. If it’s not, it won’t, period. What system do you use to follow up?
4. Use speaking engagements to showcase your expertise.
When it comes to marketing, speaking is probably the strongest tool you have in your arsenal. Why? Because speaking is like fishing with a net, not a pole. When you are speaking in front of an audience, you are seen as the expert. The audience wants to, at the very least, have a discovery session with you.
If you use speaking engagements to market yourself, it is imperative that you employ follow-up strategies such as surveys, email and social media marketing to stay connected. When I was an advisor, this strategy was by far the most effective strategy I used to get appointments. So when you are out networking, always ask the organizations represented at these events for a chance to speak at their meetings and get-togethers. These groups are always looking for engaging speakers to educate their audience.
With these marketing tips, you can streamline and significantly enhance your marketing efforts. Identifying your target market keeps you from chasing after the world. Building relationships turns your networking contacts into contracts and increases your referrals. And speaking showcases your expertise and helps get you more appointments.