In the world of business, I am sure there is not a Universal List of Marketing Laws; but I do have a list and for me many of these “laws” are actually myths.
One of the biggest myths is that marketing “gets” you clients. Wait a minute, you say. Isn’t that what marketing is for, getting you clients. Ah, I see you have bought into the law/myth. Perhaps this myth that Marketing “gets” you clients is actually #1 on your list.
Perhaps that is why you struggle to get clients
At least it is why many of my clients have struggled to find clients. They know they are good at what they do so they have started their own business and they have business cards, a website and other information out there about their business.
And boy are they spending A LOT of time on social media.They are marketing all right and it doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel good because it feels like a lot of time spent (actually wasted) without the lovely sound of $KA-CHING, people buying their services.
Instead of listening immediately for the desired $KA-CHING, service professionals need to be listening for the sound of phones ringing and the click-click of the “mousses” going. This means potential clients are checking you out.
They check you out by looking at your online presence, perhaps calling to speak with you and contacting people who have done business with you in the past. They are checking you out because they are now aware of you- and this is a good thing. So while it is not a Universal Law that Marketing gets you clients; there is a law that applies which I call the “Law of Awareness.”
Now, we are getting somewhere. Marketing creates awareness for who you are and what you offer. This is a good first step and where your job begins. When someone becomes aware of you, he wants to determine whether you are the real deal and if you are someone he wants to engage with in a relationship.
Being the real deal starts with having a strong foundation and this is what someone looks for first. So, how do you know if you have a strong foundation? There are four components to this “Law of Awareness” that I will go through briefly.
The first component is to know, “Who is my ideal client?”
I know, I know, I know! You have heard this before and you just want to say, “Enough already with the ideal client.” But you can’t if you want to create a thriving business. You need to know who this person is because your ideal client is that person you have clearly identified as someone you do your best work with.
You want more people just like them so we create our “ideal client avatar.” There are people whom we are meant to serve and others for whom we are not the best fit. Nothing wrong with them, they just will be better served by someone else.
If you are not clear on who you do your best work with, odds are you will work with some people who are not the best fit.
This leads you down a path you do not want to travel. If you do, you will not feel inspired by your clients and you will not do your best work and if you don’t do your best work, your clients will not LOVE you and they will not refer you to others or worst yet, they will refer you to people who are not ideal for you. (and really don’t you want to be the best you can be and give the best you can to your clients?)
Next you must clearly define how you help them
Knowing who you help and what result you help them achieve is essential for a strong foundation. It allows you to show up in the space that your ideal clients play in and allows you to demonstrate how you help them achieve their goals.
That is what your potential clients are looking for, someone who understands what their problem is and someone who clearly specializes in working with people just like them. Spend some time getting very clear on exactly the results that your clients get when they work with you and you will find more and more ideal clients who are looking for EXACTLY the solution you offer to their problem.
It is a win-win situation because these are the people you LOVE to work with and who inspire you to do your best work. You can speak in terms they understand. When you are marketing clearing and effectively, it helps them become aware of who you are, what you offer and the BIG result you help them achieve.
However, you are not the only one in your industry so you need a unique Personal Brand
There are others who could help this person achieve that goal. So that leads to our third component of Marketing which is having a unique personal brand. Yes, just like the big guys, you need to establish a brand.
For the sake of simplicity, I will put it like this.
Brand is what you stand for, it is what makes you unique and helps you put a stake in the ground. It will help your potential clients decide that they want to talk to YOU. Personal branding deserves its own article so I will write on this again soon.
Finally, you need to be able to talk about what you do without using an elevator pitch
So, once your ideal person decides that s/he wants to talk to you, you need to be able to talk about what you do in a clear, concise manner. This is the fourth component of your foundation. And this is NOT an elevator pitch where you are talking AT someone- instead you want to speak with someone.
You need to be able to engage in a simple conversation that allows you to talk with (not at) someone about what you do clearly, in an interesting manner, which reflects who you uniquely are. If you did not do the work in defining exactly how you can help your ideal client, this conversation is pretty hard to do. Go back and do that first.
I have gone through these components rather quickly but you can read more about these and other myths as part of the Marketing Matters series as part of the Thriving Matters newsletter and here on my blog.
As you can clearly see, marketing does not have to be hard and it also does not guarantee making the sale. Marketing creates awareness, stirs up some interest and gives you the opportunity to connect with the people you are meant to serve. Understanding what marketing does and doesn’t do for you will help you create the success you want for your business.