I often see small companies approach their marketing on a random, suck-it-and-see approach, therefore waste a lot of money and time going nowhere.  They will try one channel, after being approached by a slick salesperson with a “deal”, put a quick campaign in place and more often than not, be disappointed by the results.  Thinking that it was a “wrong channel” decision, they will try something else, when the next deal is offered, and are likely too be disappointed again.  To me, this is a situation of cart being put before the horse.

A better way of approaching the promotion of your business is to get the fundamental strategy right first, THEN start looking at the various promotional channels available and match them to the strategy framework.  What does this mean?

The two most fundamental strategies to settle on first are TARGET MARKET and DIFFERENTIATION.

Who is your perfect client?  What motivates them to buy?  What is the ideal project that suits your skills and business capabilities?  What sort of work motivates you the most?  What is the most profitable type of work for you? (Do you even know this?)  Answer these questions, and a few more, and you will have a pretty good idea of your ideal target market niche.  Your promotional tactics should all be talking to potential clients in this particular niche ONLY, and use a common message across all channels.

Now you have a good idea of your ideal target client, what will make your business stand out from the competition?  Assuming you are not providing a absolutely unique service, you will have competitors to consider.  Part of your marketing and sales messages will need to differentiate you from your competitors and hopefully achieve a premium price.  The key here is to put yourself in your clients’ shoes and ask yourself why should someone care about what I do, how I do it and most importantly why I do it that way.  If you can package this up into a unique sounding process, effectively your “11 secret herbs and spices” pitch, then this will help make the differentiation message stand out in your prospects’ eyes.

Now you have the size, shape, colour and breed of horse sorted (strategies), you can hitch whatever carts are appropriate for your journey (tactics) and go forward on your marketing journey.  Your journey will be much smoother and effective.  Good luck.

Andy Burrows  –  The Trades Coach