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The 8 Marketing Must-Haves

When You Have to Market Yourself

DIY marketing is exploding among non-profits, small businesses and sole proprietors. There are really a small number of marketing must-haves, however, to succeed. If you are compelled to create your own marketing right now, it can also be overwhelming to know where to begin. Sure. You would love to have a writer, web programmer and graphic designer to handle it for you, but the budget won’t allow it. So, how can you make certain your marketing makes an impact with minimal effort? Here is the basic approach, when you have no choice but to do it yourself.

In the weeks that follow, I will dig into each one in greater depth, to help you be the best marketer you can, until you can afford the dream team you deserve.

  1. Have A Plan Most organizations – and especially the smaller ones – are juggling so many responsibilities that they don’t stop to plan how to grow their revenue and customer base intentionally. The result is a lot of last minute, urgent tactics that are patched together, and look like what they are – a mess.

A basic marketing plan identifies the 3-4 main customer personas, what their challenges are you can address, and develops a calendar of content to establish trust with them, attract them to your website and get them into your database to nurture the relationship even further.

Depending on the size of the business, and complexity of its set of offerings, a plan can take anywhere from one day to 3 weeks to develop. Most small businesses can develop a solid working plan in a day.

  1. Make Your Website Work For You A website must talk about your customers, testimonials, how you help them, and believe it or not – ask them to engage with you immediately. “Learn More” on your home page is wasted effort. Give them a tool, or a chance to talk to you directly where appropriate. Be ultra-clear about what you do and how you help them with their challenges.

Talking about your history, bio and long list of offerings obscures the actions you want potential customers to take.

  1. Build 4-5 Main Talking Points What questions do clients and potential clients ask you on a regular basis? Your talking points can answer those – or, at least they can address how you solve the challenges implied by those questions.

Keep the focus on the results you generate – not the path you take to get them there. Talking points are rich with hope and promise.

  1. Pick One Content Platform

Are you a writer? Blogging may be a great content platform for you (and guest blogging too!). Or do you prefer talking? Try video or podcasting. Regardless, there are numerous ways to send your rich content out to the world and beginning building trust that you are an expert in your field.

Don’t let FOMO get the best of you and leave you feeling you aren’t doing enough if you pick one content lane – say, blogging. The important thing is to be consistent – yes, weekly is best – and not completely wear yourself out in the process.

  1. Pick 1-2 Social Platforms

The more social media platforms you try to leverage to connect with your ideal audience, the less effective any of them become. One platform alone can erode your valuable time when done right. If your target audience is on just one platform for the most part, like LinkedIn, then you have my full permission to be present on just one social media platform.

However, most people are really present on at most three platforms, and you can reach them through one of those. Go for the biggest impact on that platform. Use your visibility there to drive traffic to your lead magnets (see my blog about opt-ins) and build your database.

  1. Have An Email Service – Seriously

If you hate cold calling, or need to grow your business faster than cold calling allows (which is 1 lead out of every 10 calls in the best case) then you need to grow your email database tribe. That means you need to be sending juicy, helpful valuable content to people who actually want to hear from you. That’s how you build trust.

  1. Build 1-2 Free Resources

You know your stuff and are at least 10 steps ahead of your target audience. So, back up a few paces and give them something really valuable close to the starting point of your own customer journey. Give them a checklist, worksheet, roadmap, quiz or swipe file about something they really want to know about. Then let them know there is more depth and brilliance where that came from.

But don’t just give it away – trade it for their email information. They obviously are interested in what you can provide. Now email them with more information and begin building the relationship that translates into sales.

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