1. Understand what business you are really in
Knowing what business are you actually in, is a crucial part of your marketing strategy. Being an exceptional technician at what you sell (products or services) will not guarantee success. But knowing how to articulate why your market should care about what you sell, will. Now imagine if you could be an exceptional technician and an exceptional business developer?
2. Specialize in a niche market (or 3)
Your target market is not “everyone”. (Hint: when you try to be all things to all people, you resonate with nobody.) Being a generalist makes for a very difficult and long journey in developing your business effectively and efficiently. You spend too much time, money and resources messaging to many different audiences in many different places. The goal for the business owner is to become the “go-to” person for the niche markets you want to service. People love to work with experts. Choosing a niche market (3 is ideal) enables you to dig deep and immerse yourself in your market, so that you can really get to know them and learn how you can offer value and serve their needs.
3. Articulate what you do and why it matters to your market
People buy from people, not companies. So, in order to understand how to sell your product or service effectively, you need to understand your potential client’s mindset. When you truly understand your customer inside and out you will know how to genuinely talk to them in a way that resonates with them. (Hint: identify your target customer’s pain point and talk about your product or service as a solution to their pain.) For each of your niche markets, you should be able to answer these 3 questions: “What do you do?” “Why does it matter?” and “Who cares?”
4. Develop a marketing roadmap to plan for success
Success doesn’t just happen. Many people who go into business are both the visionary and the biggest critic in their profession. They see the big picture, yet they do things to sabotage their advancement and ultimate success. One of the biggest faux pas is not developing a cohesive plan that serves as your blueprint for reaching a goal. Don’t let yourself get in the way of realizing your business vision. Ensure that you plan for success, and remember to track and measure your marketing and business development activities against your goal. Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. Consistency and persistency are the keys to success.
5. Craft a clear message for your referral partners
The death of the entrepreneur is solitude. It is near impossible to build a successful business by doing it alone, and behind every successful entrepreneur is a strong team of colleagues, employees, mentors, champions and partners. Identify your brand champions and strategic alliances and educate them on your message and your offer. They are an important leverage point for any business owner. Empowering and activating others to clearly and correctly support your business development activities will build your prospects and your bottom line.
Michela Quilici is a marketing strategist + business mentor with Q. Consulting, and she’s on a mission to reconnect women entrepreneurs with their purpose and to support them in authentically marketing and growing their business from the inside out. She is also a Ghost CEOTM business development advisor, the leading professional development system for women in business. Michela is a contributing author in the bestselling book series Adventures in Manifesting: Conscious Business, an anthology to ignite your entrepreneurial spirit, and writes a monthly marketing column for Make it Business Magazine, a print publication with a mission to inspire small business in BC to think big.