It order to attract new customers, you are going to have to either spend money or time, or a combination of both. When I ask my seminar audiences to choose, they overwhelmingly opt for spending their time. So the question is: where should you spend your time, when it comes to marketing your small business? Here is ‘The marketing commitments’ a 7 point checklist, which may help you to decide:
1. Start with your marketing plan
Otherwise you are shooting in the dark. If you don’t have one, spend half a day (i.e. a Saturday morning) writing one. Refer to your marketing plan once a week, preferably on a Friday for 20 minutes – so that you can plan activities for the following week. (See Navigator membership of The Marketing Compass).
2. Spend at least half an hour every morning writing
Believe me, if you do this, you will get better and faster. I recommend that you write a blog every day * gasp *. It only has to be a couple of hundred words in length. I know that you can do this. Get up half an hour earlier and either write at home or beat the rush hour and get into the office and write, when it’s nice and quiet. Start by writing some useful, helpful and interesting tips and advice, regarding your products / services.
Your blog should be within your website. If you want help building a new website or would like to learn how to build your own WordPress website in a day, click here.
Incidentally, if you are still ‘hunting and pecking’ with two or three fingers, learn to touch type. It will change your life and help you to make more money. I learned to do this one summer when I was ill for a week. I found a book which taught me how to touch type, using my dad’s manual typewriter.
3. Prune your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system…
….every day. Add new contacts, update the information and use your CRM to keep in touch with dormant, current and prospective customers. (A CRM is also known as a ‘sales and marketing database’; however, a true CRM system brings more benefits to your business). You will find that you dip in and out of your CRM throughout the day, so this activity should only take a few minutes every day. Remember that ‘little and often beats big and infrequent’.
4. Talk to your customers
Do this every day, either on the phone or in person. See this as a long term investment in your business. Don’t try to sell, every time you talk to a customer. Remember that you are in the relationship business. For many of us, this is our business – hence this activity can take up the bulk of your day, particularly during intense ‘sales periods’. However, if you only work with a few clients at a time, ensure that you talk to prospective customers on a regular basis, throughout the month.
5. Work on your website
As well as blogging, you should be continually adding useful content to your website. Ideally, this should be every day, for say 20 minutes, as Google, MSN, Bing etc will notice this activity.
6. Build your network
Now is the time to build your network. During good and bad times, my advice is to network, network, network. Attend networking events (see the The Marketing Compass events page) and connect with people via the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. A weekly networking event can be an investment of three hours or so. Social media is another ‘dipping in and out’ activity, so 20 minutes a day is fine.
You are welcome to ask us a social media question via our Social Media group.
7. Learn about marketing
Do you love to learn? I am really hoping that the answer is going to be “Yes”, for your sake. In the 21st century, wealth will gravitate towards the learners. Marketing gives you a never ending opportunity to learn. For example, you can always find out more about marketing strategy, copywriting, internet marketig, customer attraction and selling, can’t you?
This has always been my vision for The Marketing Compass. It is a place for independent professionals and small business owners to learn about marketing. Do ask us questions and please spread the word about what we are doing.
The marketing commitments ask you to exercise regular, consistent and integrated marketing activities. It will work wonders for your business. By the way, I looked up ‘commitment’ within Wikipedia and this is what I found.
Join us COMPASS membership is FREE!
* Create a profile & promote yourself
* Hyperlink back to your website
* Connect with other members
* Post updates about your marketing
* Join knowledge groups & find answers
* Download our FREE ebook – 101 Customer Attraction Techniques
* Earn money via our affiliate scheme