Do you believe that there exists a right way and a wrong way to market your business? Is there a set of rules floating around somewhere that we must live by when we step into the role of marketing director for our company?
While some marketing guru’s have discovered that there are steps that are more, or less, effective than others, I believe it’s important to evaluate your own belief system and be certain that your marketing represents YOU. But if your current marketing mindset is fearful and limiting, it's time to step into a new mindset and bring success to your door. There is a wealth of outstanding information out there for all of us, and you can combine this information with your own perspective to create an effective marketing model that resonates with you and represents your brand authentically.
Last week I exchanged a series of emails with Beth, who wanted to create an incentive program to offer her massage therapy clients a discount when they purchased six massages as a package. We went back and forth with examples of language and math equations that Beth could potentially use to create her program, but nothing was working for her. Finally, she confessed that the whole idea felt uncomfortable to her; too sales-like – and that’s not what her service is about. Beth was stuck in a mindset that didn't serve her, her clients or her business.
Rather than dropping the whole idea because it made her uncomfortable, we reframed the concept so that Beth felt she was helping her clients to better afford taking good care of themselves through nurturing massage. I asked her questions like, “Why do you sincerely want to create this offer?” and “What will your offer do for your clients?” When Beth began looking at her marketing project from her clients’ perspective, the proverbial light bulb shined bright in her head. “I’m helping my clients. I’m doing something good for them!” she discovered. Yes Beth, you are.
Marketing is a dirty little word for many solopreneurs - especially individuals who are in the helping field and in the arts. For those who feel that they were put here on earth to enhance the lives of others through their gifts and abilities, it somehow doesn’t feel right to charge money for that gift. But how many people can you assist if you are struggling financially? Will stress eventually inhibit your gifts and talents? And how can you expect others to see the value of your services and products if you don’t place a value on them yourself? Come to terms with your value and worth, and you will see that your customers will do the same. They will resonate with your marketing materials and happily pay the price!
I suggested to Beth that she use language in her marketing offer that feels good to her; to see her offer, and hear her offer, through the eyes and ears of her ideal prospect and customer. Today her little cards are off to the printer!
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to understand the value of what you offer, and to find the words to share your wonderful offerings with a larger audience.
- What is unique about my product or service?
- What is unique about ME and how does that enhance my product or service?
- How does it help others?
- How does it enhance the lives of my clients/customers?
- What are some of the things my clients have said about their experience with me or my company?
- Would my clients feel good about telling others about their experience?
- Is there something I can do to help those happy clients to easily spread the word of this experience?
- What can I do for my clients/customers to thank them for their business?
- Is there anything I can do to make my product of service more affordable for them on occasion?
- What are the most common words I hear others use to describe their experience of my product or service?
- How can I use those words to describe it to my future clients?
- If I don’t tell more people about my offerings what am I depriving them of?
If your marketing mindset is stopping you from growing your company, if you shudder when you hear the word, consider embracing a new mindset. Instead of marketing, use words and phrases like; sharing, spreading the word and helping others.
Enjoy growing your business; let us know how you’ve shaped a new perspective!
Marla Tabaka is a small-business advisor who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She has over 25 years of experience in corporate and start-up ventures and speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness.