When starting a new business, a solid marketing strategy can set the course for success or even failure. While there are certainly tactics you can learn on the go, just as you can in other aspects of business, there are several teachings that be gained from lessons learned by other fellow entrepreneurs.
Marketing your business doesn't need to be a daunting task. The following are 6 powerful marketing lessons you should know to help your business get off the ground and send your sales soaring.
- Choose a Niche:
Don't be everything to everybody! This is a common mistake that many entrepreneurs make because they try to cast as wide of a net as possible to target as many people as possible thinking that it will help them sell more of their product or service.
This was a mistake that I made when originally starting my own business. Originally we were a full service Interactive Marketing Agency performing a wide variety of internet marketing services. Once we figured this out, we positioned ourselves as more of an SEO company and actually saw our business increase. We have since become an expert in that industry and are recognized as such.
Focus on a specific niche and become an expert in that niche. After you have done that, it may make sense later on to start branching out into new areas to supplement growth.
- Always Measure:
When you're an entrepreneur your 2 most valuable resources are your time and your money. When you are spending time and money on marketing you need to know if your efforts are producing and the ROI associated. By continuously tracking and measuring your marketing tactics, you will gain insight into what is working and what isn't so you can start shifting your dollars accordingly. This will lead to greater growth by exploiting your most productive channels.
- Get Noticed as an Authority in your Industry:
To separate yourself from the competition you need to make yourself stand out. Many businesses in an industry sell many similar products. It's the ones that are viewed as an authority that will win the business. Become active in your industry community. Attend trade shows/conferences, volunteer for panels, join associations, and share your knowledge in industry publications. As potential customers see you more, the higher likelihood they think of you over your competition when they are in market for a product/service.
- Highlight the Need of your Product/Service:
In your marketing activities you need to create the story behind why a potential customer would be at a disadvantage without your product/service. That perceived need creates a sense of urgency that makes the customer act now rather than later.
- Don't be afraid to take a Risk:
Playing it safe 100% of the time can leave you with stagnant growth. You may reach a point where some of your old marketing tactics are showing a diminishing return and if you aren't open to the idea of testing out different avenues you could lose out. You don't know if something will work or not until you try. With that being said, when you do decide to take those risks, make sure they are calculated risks. Betting the farm is rarely advisable because not everything you try will work out. If the pros outweigh the cons, it may be a risk worth taking.
- Don't Forget About Retention:
Sales are the catalyst that drives a business. However one of the most overlooked concepts an entrepreneur misses early on is that as much as you want to bring on new business, the key to sustained growth is retaining your current business. Don't neglect or ignore your current customers while pursuing new ones. It can cost five times as much to sell to a new customer as an existing customer. Your current customers also present future up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. This too can be a strong catalyst to growth for your company.