I’m assuming if you’re reading this that you’ve done some of your homework. You’ve probably developed a great product or service and made it the best it can be. I assume you’ve done some research on your target market and the different ways to promote and advertise to them. But there might be a few things you don’t know.
Know Yourself / Company
Before you jump on board with any marketing plan you need to know yourself. I’m not talking about getting all touchy feely, getyourself to a counselor asap kind of know yourself. But basic knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses will go a long way in finding the marketing strategy that works for you.
Remember that your brand reveals who you are. It’s your promise to your customers. Delivering on the promise, whatever it is, communicates trust to your audience and potential customers. How you convey your brand and product or service should be consistent with your strengths. If social media is your thing, then concentrate on that. If you prefer writing and engaging with people, then blogging could be the thing for you. However, if you’re terrified of marketing and afraid of sounding like a salesman, then you might consider outsourcing your marketing instead of going the DIY route.
If your strengths are in product and creative development then it might be smart to hire an assistant to do all the busy work. If customer service and follow up isn’t your thing, then an administrative assistant will be worth her weight in gold.
Know Your Audience
Hopefully you have a great idea who would be interested in your product or service. If not, do your research first before you try to market. Once you know who your target audience is, then you need to find a way to stand in front of them. This is where knowing yourself and your strengths come in handy. Where does your audience go to learn about what you’re offering? Is it primarily on the internet, then social media, blogging, and focusing on video promotions might be the best route for you. If your audience tends to congregate at conferences, then you might think about public speaking.
Know Your Goal
What do you want your marketing to do? Do you want name recognition or to strengthen your brand? Do you want to sell a product or service? Maybe you want to grow your newsletter list. Before you say you want to do it all, really think about it. What is your end goal? Figure that out then work backwards planning what you need to do first to achieve it.
Whatever your goal, be specific and make sure the goals can be measured. Saying I want to be a best selling author is not as specific as I want to write 5 books this year.
Know Your Budget
Your budget will definitely affect how, where, and how much marketing you do. Do your research to determine where you can get the most for your money and don’t overlook the free marketing strategies that have worked well for many. Giving something away of value is a great way to grow your newsletter list and later offer those who trust you to purchase something from you.
Know Your Strategy
All this information is great, but if it is not organized into a workable plan it will be hit or miss getting it done. A good marketing strategy first starts with a good business plan. Take the time to really think about the things you should know before you jump into marketing your product or service. Sit down with your team to talk about all the options. If you don’t have a team, talk to other successful entrepreneurs who are doing what you want to do.
Then once you know your strategy, execute your plan making needed adjustments along the way. Always evaluate what is working and not working and don’t be afraid to refocus your strategy and efforts when necessary. If you know yourself and your audience, know your goals and budget, and know your strategy and remain flexible, you’ll be on your way to knowing your business dreams as reality.