It’s not always easy to tell where to begin when it comes to marketing, especially when some people seem to be complete naturals. Whenever they try to bring in new customers is a wild success while others struggle with the concept of it all.
If you’re one of the people who struggle with marketing, have no fear. Instead of dwelling that your business isn’t growing as fast as a competitor’s, take a deep breath, remember why you started your business in the first place, and move forward with implementing a great marketing plan.
The good news is that many of your marketing efforts do not need to look or feel like marketing. In fact, the most effective marketing techniques involve no attempts to bully your followers into buying one more product. Instead, they appear to be more about you helping your audience by showing them the way certain strategies have helped you find success in your own struggles.
The ideas below are designed to help you market more seamlessly to your audience in a manner that often doesn’t look or feel like you’re marketing. Try these on for size and see what a difference they make.
1. Give Away Something Valuable
You don’t want to give your audience the same recycled content others in your industry are offering as freebies to get people on board for buying their products.
You want to offer something innovative and radically different that will light a fire in your audience to not only buy your product but also to act on the information and education your product or service delivers.
Why does this matter?
If your audience is excited about the products they buy from you and the lessons these products hold, they are more likely to do your marketing for you by telling others about your product, and your freebie, and why they should buy your products to make differences in their lives.
One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself as a marketer, especially one who doesn’t love the idea of marketing, is the gift of other people doing the heavy lifting on your behalf.
Whether your goal is about getting an email address for your newsletter, selling a product, or merely making a friend, the quality of your freebie matters. When you give valuable things for free, people are more interested to see the value inside the items you sell.
2. Reach Out through Other Mediums
You can’t deny that social networking is big for businesses today. Big brands as well as small businesses can benefit from reaching out to their followers daily to offer their expertise. However, when most marketers strictly stick with one or two social networks, ignoring so many others in their marketing efforts, it leaves a field wide open for you to jump into and corner the market – whatever market you happen to be in.
Don’t make the mistake of allowing the bulk of your branding and marketing efforts to languish in one or two social networks.
Instead, be BOLD! Go out there and hit the other social networks that get less love from marketers. This includes networks like:
Reach out to your audience on these networks, not only with special offers, but also specialized content that is designed to help them build themselves up, build their businesses, and forge a deeper relationship with you as a person and not merely as someone who sells the stuff.
3. Network with Your Local Market
While the internet certainly opens up the world to get new clients, don’t forget about the locals in your community who could also use your services. Start by connecting with locals on social media and getting involved in groups dedicated to your local community. Branch out from thereby setting up your own meet-and-greet at a local coffee house.
Rent out a local meeting room to present information about your industry in general and then finish with a special offer for your business. This setting also provides a meet-and-greet and if you record the live version, you can use that audio and slides to produce an on-demand webinar. Eventually, build up to joining the Chamber of Commerce and going to live networking events.
4. Turn Your Videos into Audio Classes or Podcast Episodes
Even though the video is a powerful medium which keeps gaining momentum in terms of SEO, not everyone likes sitting and watching videos. To capture those who prefer to skim a blog post or listen to a podcast, convert your videos into audio snippets.
Camtasia is a video production software which can convert your files into audio-only mp3 files, suitable to send to your email subscribers, embed on blog posts, or create a podcast. If you don’t have the need for a full video program, hire a video editor or VA to do the conversions for you.
Even if you post the original video on your website, you can still create a new blog post with the audio version. Add a short blog post or audio summary and you’ll see how one short video turned into 3 pieces of content (1 video, 1 audio, 1 written summary/blog post).
5. Collect Testimonials from Happy Clients
When was the last time you bought a product without looking at customer reviews? These product reviews and client testimonials provide proof to other prospects that you know your stuff and you help your clients. And if you work with any big names, their testimonials can speak volumes in terms of attracting new clients to your tribe.
If you’re not used to asking for testimonials, get started now and put this process into your business manual. Asking is the easy part; following up with clients to collect the testimonials is what can be a bit time-consuming. But if you never ask, you’ll never hear the glowing praise they’re giving you.
Testimonials can be used throughout your website, specifically on your product/services page, plus you can use them on any sales page you create. You can even post them on social media. And if you have a large collection, choose different ones to use on your different sales pages instead of repeating the same ones.
6. Interview Experts in Your Industry
While showcasing your own expertise is certainly important, you will also gain expert credibility by interviewing other experts in your industry. They can be other coaches who specialize in a different niche or other solopreneurs who focus on business results as opposed to coaching one-on-one.
Finding these experts and connecting with them shows your target market that you truly care about what they need. Plus they will be impressed that you do these interviews because not everyone is comfortable being interviewed or being in the spotlight.
One other benefit is getting your name in front of your guest’s audience. These are marketing opportunities for both you and your interview subject so you may find a client or two simply from conducting interviews and expanding your reach.
7. Create Infographics
One form of content that often gets overlooked is infographics. This idea may be intimidating for those who are graphically-challenged but the idea is actually very simple: Gather pertinent information and stats about any topic and design a graphic that can be shared over social media.
Infographics are another form of free content used to attract people to your business and into your funnel but it’s the best way to share statistics with your audience. How many times have you tried reading a blog post with tons of numbers only to find your mind drifting away? Putting those stats into a visual graphic makes it much easier to read and keep people’s attention.
Choose one of your market’s pain points. Find related stats that will help them see there’s a way to solve their problem. Organize the info, put your logo on it, and pin it to Pinterest, your blog, and other social media platforms.
8. Start a Meaningful Conversation on Social Media
Social media doesn’t mean always promoting your products. Sometimes, being the one to start a meaningful conversation that invites thoughtful discourse and, even on occasion, debate, can be a huge boon for your business. The more people who become involved in a civil discussion, the more everyone can learn in the process.
When you’re the de facto leader of that conversation, it affords you a wide amount of social media attention and subsequent sales for your products and services.
Just remember to actively participate in and follow up with comments in the conversation and encourage everyone to maintain a civil tone throughout – wherever the conversation leads.
9. Create Articles on Medium
Building authority in an industry or field can feel like an uphill battle. It doesn’t have to be, though. There are dozens of tiny little things you can do that will contribute to your overall authority in practically any subject matter, field, or industry.
One of these things is to create and post an article on Medium. Millions of readers flock to Medium for their daily fix of information, from news to opinion pieces, from lifestyle to technology. Even more, artistic and creative pieces are featured here so readers can really get the fill of their favourite genres. Posting articles on Medium expose you to millions of readers every month which can make your business blossom. Simply create a profile and click the New Story link. If your article follows the Medium editorial guidelines, you could be featured!
10. Become a Relationship Magnet
Never let an opportunity to build a relationship with a member of your audience go to waste. The last thing you want to learn is that you missed an opportunity because you were more focused on making sales than on building a relationship.
Welcome new members into the fold and seek ways to engage them so that you can build those meaningful relationships that almost always, eventually, become paying clients for you.
Create a closed Facebook Group to allow for easier interaction. Not only do you as the group owner benefit but so do your other members. They now have the opportunity to build relationships with other like-minded people in your group.
Most people are simply looking for an opportunity to connect with someone else in a meaningful way. Giving your audience that opportunity can create more meaningful engagement and relationship than you may have at first imagined.
11. Ask Your Audience a Question
You’ll never believe the mayhem that can occur by posing a single question. Nor can you imagine the conversations started, problems solved, and friendships formed by doing the same.
We live in a world of relationship marketing where people are eager to make connections, even with others who may live so far away.
Many of them only want an opportunity to be heard. Offer that forum by asking a question and listening to the response. You never know what amazing discoveries await on the other side of a question and what they can mean for the course of your business.
12. Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader
There are many things you can do to position yourself as a thought leader in your field. From writing LinkedIn articles, creating your own blog, and even writing books on the topic to more subtle tasks, like starting a podcast, writing letters to the editor for your local newspaper, and granting interviews in your area of expertise. Each of these things positions you as a thought leader in your industry.
Promoting these things through your own social media channels solidifies this positioning, allowing you even greater clout to people outside your industry or those who are working their way up within it.
13. Create a Podcast
Podcasts are amazing tools for promoting the work you do as well as showcasing the works of others. In the course of conducting your podcast, you have the opportunity to interview others you admire, even those that are far outside of the industry in which you work.
Podcasts present a forum for you to share your own insights, products, and thoughts with an audience who tunes in week after week to hear the message you share. Whether your podcast appeals to people who are only interested in a single industry or offers broader appeal, the more frequently you present your show, the greater your reach will become as it includes not only people who are tuning in to hear what you have to say but also those who follow the person you’re interviewing as well.
Anyone who listens has the opportunity to learn about products you have to offer while also learning important insights about business, life, finding balance, and so much more.
14. Promote the Works and Words of Others You Admire
Hosting a podcast of your own and interviewing people you admire episode after episode is one way to do this. So is creating joint venture products with someone you admire and conducting webinars together.
The truth of the matter is that you only need to make a simple mention of some of the reasons you admire another person to promote them to your audience. However, taking the time to explain why you admire that person and promoting their products and services can help you build greater credibility in your own circle.
This marketing tactic can also present unique opportunities to earn money from the sales of that person’s products through affiliate marketing. While it is important to be authentic when promoting another person’s works and words, there’s no harm in earning a commission for promoting those products.
15. Choose the Items You Market Carefully
One of the biggest cautionary tales about promoting products and services on the web is to choose wisely when doing so. Relationships are hard to build, sometimes taking years, if not decades. It only takes promoting one bad product, though, to tear down so much of what you’ve worked so hard to create.
While there is no way to be absolutely certain that every product you promote will lay the golden egg; there are steps you can take to avoid promoting products that could come back to bite you in the backside.
Vet the products and the product creators well before promoting their products. If possible, get a hands-on feel for the product itself before you promote it so that you know exactly what it says or how it works. Finally, if you get a bad feeling about a product or its owner, pass on the promotion of it.
16. Know Your Goals – Define them Fully
The better you understand what your goals are, the better you can tailor your marketing efforts to accomplish those goals. When setting goals to be specific. Use real numbers. But, be realistic, too.
Once you have a goal in mind, pursue it with single-minded purpose allowing no room for failure in the process.
Also, remember your why: WHY did you start your business? What did you hope to accomplish? Going back to the beginning can help you find new motivation to embrace marketing.
17. Expand Your Book Writing into Workbooks and Planners
We know how publishing a book can increase your authority among your target market, but a full book isn’t the only way to self-publish. Have you ever searched for workbooks and planners on Amazon? These low-content books sell like hotcakes and are fairly easy to produce.
Planners and workbooks can be stand-alone products or they can be added components of your signature class. Plan a contest to give away one of your planners and to build buzz. Create a series of workbooks, each touching on a different pain point for your audience.
Creating a new product gives you an opportunity to create a buzz about your business and to win over new clients in the process.
18. Solve a Problem for Your Audience
Solving problems is what you do. It may not always seem like it, but at the centre of it all, this is what your role is. In order to do this for your greater audience, though, the first thing you have to do is understand your audience.
A few years ago, a young entrepreneur had found the perfect product to promote. He was so excited. He dug in and created a beautiful website, a powerful landing page and sales funnel, and countless articles, blog posts, etc. about the product he was promoting to help children stop wetting their beds.
He couldn’t understand why his product wasn’t selling like hotcakes. He had no idea what he was missing. What his audience was hungry to hear.
Within minutes of him posting his perplexities on a forum for marketers six women had chimed in with a single word.
Children wetting beds created mountains of frustrating laundry for women in the middle of the night. That was the pain point. That was the emotional trigger that would sell his products.
Promise to eliminate the unnecessary LAUNDRY.
Guess what? It worked. By making a few tweaks to address the pain point of laundry for his efforts, the payout was successful beyond even his initial hopes and expectations.
He promoted a product that solved a very real problem for his audience, and he was awarded because he took the time to understand his audience better.
19. Add Value at Every Turn
Another way to make more sales and get more clients even when you hate marketing is to stop thinking like a marketer and start thinking like someone who simply wants to help others.
That means you need to add value at every possible turn. Create blog posts that offer exceptional added value to readers free of charge. Create paid products that expand upon this free information and builds into new product ideas for the future.
When you give products and services away, give your best and not leftovers that are outdated and largely irrelevant. Add value in your social media posts, freebie products, and blog posts and watch how many times those gifts are returned to you.
20. Be a Voice People Want to Hear
In a world where there is constant discord, it is refreshing to hear a voice of perpetual positivity. Be that voice. It may take practice. Some people will find the words don’t feel natural or roll off the tongue with quite the same ease as sarcastic or negative comments do.
However, making the effort to be the positive voice ringing in the ears of so many on the World Wide Web can pay off in much larger ways than you can imagine. Perhaps not at first, but eventually your continued effort to be a voice people want to hear will be recognized and rewarded.
21. Always Remember: The Fortune is in the Follow Up
Whether you love or hate marketing from the beginning, there is one constant you must always remember, the fortune is almost always in the follow-up. It is rarely the first approach or “touch” that convinces people to buy your products or become your clients.
Instead, it is the result of consistent effort on your part. Without the follow-up, most sales would never happen. Keep touching back with your audience through blog posts, social media messages, new product offerings, and consistent delivery of email newsletters. You just might be delighted at what relationships bloom in the aftermath.
Getting new clients through traditional marketing mediums might sound about as exciting to you as going to your dentist for a root canal without medication. However, when you use these 21 ideas to get more clients, even if you hate marketing, you might find that you’re too busy counting your new clients and subsequent sales to worry about the original discomfort.