We understand that marketing is often the most difficult part of running a solo or small service business, and that you would rather do anything but marketing most days. In our experience, marketing is grossly misunderstood, and tainted with impressions of all of the times you’ve been “sold to.” This is not what we are talking about! That’s certainly not the way we like to do things. Quite the opposite. It’s completely possible to promote your business with integrity, so that you never feel pushy or disingenuous. It’s really about your message, your service offering and your follow up process.
If your goal is to make better use of the marketing channels you’ve already set up, it’s a great idea to start with a digital audit. An evaluation of your existing online marketing efforts will enable you to see what’s working and what can be improved, as well as what content you have that you can repurpose, and what new content you need to create. An audit will look at your website, social media, online listings and reviews, SEO, and external links to your website, allowing you to really understand how people find you and interact with you online. You will also be able to see if your intended message about your business is resonating with your audience.
Credibility and Trust
Building credibility is just as important as building awareness of your brand and engagement with your audience.
- Are you seen as an expert in your field or as an influencer in your market? If not (yet), strategies such as white papers, video and interviews can help build credibility.
- Do you have a method for requesting online reviews and testimonials, which is becoming increasingly important? Testimonials you collect from happy customers are still valid, but these days your prospects might also be looking for that anonymous review of your services. This goes a long way towards building credibility and trust.
- Do you have a plan for guest publishing articles and blogs? Guest posts are given a little more credence than posts to your own blog. However, writing for your own blog, and sharing on Social Media can, if well placed, attract the attention of others who also serve your own audience. Another credibility builder.
These are just a few things to think about when creating your online marketing plan. If this is a discomfort point for you, we can help!
Lead Generation and Follow Up
Digital marketing is only effective if it brings you new customers and prospects, so it’s a good idea to evaluate how people become your clients. Do they respond to an email campaign? Do they come through personal contact? Speaking engagements? Free consultations? Do you track this information?
Yes, it still works. As a matter of fact, no matter which online approaches you use, you’re going to have to talk to people – often more than once – before they agree to buy your services. This is important to you, too. You want to know that your services or products can actually help them, that you would enjoy working with them.
Here’s even better news. If you have no interest in engaging with people online, through social media, or the many other avenues available, you don’t have to.
- Meeting people in your local community is perfectly viable.
- Picking up the phone and asking your personal or professional contacts for referrals works, too.
- You can secure speaking engagements by directly reaching out to program coordinators in organizations and groups that serve your audience.
If you do opt out of social media promotion, unless you’re well established, and can rely on word-of-mouth, you do want a good website. A good website which showcases your expertise, per above, offers those who are interested a way to check you out. It gives them a chance to determine if their experience of you matches what they see on your site.
At Grow Up Your Business, we understand that you may not love the lead generation and the follow-up process. We have an eBook to help, and customized coaching and consulting available to assist you in determining the best ways to engage your audience and attract clients. We are here when you are ready.