There’s a good chance that many of you have attended a webinar or a training course before that was designed to teach you effective sales and marketing tips for your startup. And, there’s a good chance that you may have found many of those tips to be absolutely effective… at being entirely ineffective.
Don’t get me wrong. Sales are the bottom line of any business, and if you want to survive, you need to generate more and more sales each year, especially if you’re in an industry that faces both high growth potential and fierce competition. But, you won’t ever get a chance to master the art of persuasive sales techniques if you can’t even get your foot in the door. And if you think that your opportunity has everything to do with your product and nothing to do with marketing, well think again.
Contrary to popular opinion, marketing isn’t only important and accessible for seven and eight figure agencies. You can begin marketing as soon as today and see actionable results with a budget that’s appropriate for your startup. How appropriate? Try absolutely free. If you’re looking for effective marketing tips that will jump start your business, here’s a few to get you started.
It’s natural to want to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack, especially when you’re just starting your business. After all, you need to believe in your product—even if that product is yourself. You’ll definitely be tempted to distinguish your product from those of your competitors.
Except, there’s a good chance that your customers are already familiar with competitor offerings and they left them wanting more. They want something new. Something fresh. They don’t want a side by side comparison. They want something that they’ve never seen before. Your ultimate value isn’t as a substitute or even as an alternative. It’s as a service that’s unique, vibrant, and positively unexpected. Don’t sell yourself short by utilizing comparisons. Sell yourself by emphasizing your benefits.
Marketing is never a one time affair. Your business is going to constantly be evolving, and so should your marketing efforts. After all, you’re not expecting your sales to be at the same rate two years from now, are you?
Why bother marketing before your launch? It’s simple. It generates interest. Interest you can measure both formally and informally; through analytics or via simple observation. It gets people talking. But, those people who generate an initial interest are never going to be fully satisfied. They want more advanced marketing. Subtler marketing. More refined marketing. Your website isn’t enough. Social media isn’t enough. You don’t just want to hold their attention, you want to command it. And, you can only command attention through continuity.
Your customers aren’t just going to visit your site once before deciding whether to buy from you. And, they won’t just be following you on social media, either. They’ll be looking for testimonials. They’ll be looking for your own blog. They’ll be looking for guest blogs. They’ll be looking to find out anything and everything about you and your business, and most importantly what makes your product worth their time and their investment.
What’s more, they’ll be accessing your digital footprint from multiple devices. That includes tablets, smartphones, And laptops. Not only does each device have their own particular accessibility options, each channel that you market on has their own tone and their own level of engagement. What works for a guest post on an industry blog may not play out so well on Facebook. Learn to specifically tailor your campaigns to each platform that you use. While it might seem time consuming to develop content that is platform-specific, you’ll adapt pretty quickly. This will make your brand consistent—one of the most valuable traits that you can develop for any marketing campaign.
Remember what I said earlier about your competitors? Well, here’s a little marketing secret: your business is not a competition. Your competitors? They’re not your enemies. These are your peers and your colleagues. These are people that you can learn from and that can inspire you. Similarly, you can teach and inspire them as well.
We’ve seen a lot of small businesses fail because of a persecutory mindset. They feel as though they can only be judged by the standards of their competitors without realizing that every single business is unique. Each business has their own strengths and their own weaknesses. Successful businesses, on the other hand, recognize these differences and tend to support startups. They’ve been exactly where you are right now—eager, but uncertain. And quite possibly, a little intimidated. Learn to communicate with successful business owners. Learn to network with them. Learn to support them. And most of all? Learn to learn from them.
Early on in your marketing efforts, you’re going to learn quickly just what works for your business and what doesn’t. There’s a Catch 22, however.
Both trends and strategies in marketing consistently change. They’re never static. And as your customers evolve, so will their habits. Learn to recognize what’s bringing you consistent results and adapt as trends change. Is your social media presence gaining you significant traction in your first six months? Well, the popularity of the networks can change without you even realizing it. Research trending platforms, and not just the highly populated ones right now. Are streamed videos helping your competitors? Leverage them to your advantage. Prioritize both your results and your adaptability. You’ll need more than just your product and some smooth sales talk if you plan on staying in the game for the long run.
Need more marketing tips that can take your business from startup to leadership? Follow me at michaeltasner.com