With any great business comes great marketing. I learned this the hard way when I was starting my Elance journey around the same time Rich20Something was kicking off.
“I know I’m a good writer. But why can’t I land any clients?”
The answer, I learned, is because I wasn’t yet a great marketer.
I started to consume all of the marketing material I could get my hands on. I needed entrepreneurship to work for me. Over time I, like all of my peers and idols, tested a lot of theories and made a lot of mistakes. Now I don’t just excel at my own marketing strategies and implementation, other companies hire me to help them with theirs.
Here are the keys I keep in mind to succeed at marketing.
#1 Assumptions Are Deadly
“The wise man knows he knows nothing at all” — an infinite array of profoundly intuitive memes.
Market research is always the first step to business. It doesn’t matter if you’re launching a new Shopify store or launching a new product within it. If you don’t validate and refine first you’re destined to fail.
I even research each individual prospect before a meeting so I can equip myself with an easy time understanding and personalizing my approach with them. My close rate went from mediocre to epic when I took up this 15 minute practice.
Yet so many youthful (and I’m not talking age) entrepreneurs skip market research entirely — or otherwise don’t give it the time and dedication it deserves.
This is usually because hopefuls assume they know what their target audience is thinking, what it wants, and what its problems are. They offer presumptuous solutions and wonder why they’re stuck licking wounds from an epic fail a few weeks later.
“I was overweight before I got fit and became a trainer. I know what my prospects want.” Your story isn’t everyone’s, and it’s both naive and deadly to underestimate the power of that fact in marketing.
Because I know this, I kindly hear my clients out about what they think they know and keep it in mind while I proceed to do market research as if I know nothing at all. More often than not, my clients are wrong about what they think about their target audience, and it’s usually the biggest reason they needed me in the first place.
Assumptions alone will kill your business. Stay away from them.
#2 We’re Not Just Great Persuaders, We’re Great Interpreters
I was 21 in my first management position. My immediate superior happened to be my mentor, and what I admired most about his leadership aesthetic was his ability to maintain the seemingly impossible balance of making “everyone” happy. His team (including my team, which he worked closely with), and his superiors loved and respected him equally.
I, on the other hand, felt like I was the object of a ruthless game of tug-o-war, where I had to choose between the two. So I asked Jeff how he did it.
He said, “I use the 80/20 rule. I can do 20 percent of what my superiors tell me to do and keep them 80% happy, and do the same with the crew. I just figure out what the actual priorities of each side are, and get those results instead of trying to do everything. No one can do everything. Stop trying.”
It was the first time I realized that there’s a difference between listening and actually hearing people when they tell you what’s important to them.
How this applies to you:
Even though there’s this huge list of preferences, dreams, problems, and desired solutions your prospects talk about, there’s often one or two key results they’re looking to achieve with all of this big picture talk they’re throwing your way. As long as you interpret exactly what those results are, and achieve those, your customer wins — and so do you.
#3 “Free Value” Is Actually Jedi Pre-Framing
We hear this all the time: “Give value before you ask for value”. So now there’s a swarm of people out there creating massive amounts of content and lead magnets that are valuable — no doubt — but they still don’t get sales.
That’s because value isn’t all there is to it. Just because a car salesman was my solution for tying my shoes doesn’t mean I’m going to see him as my solution for my transportation needs.
Great marketers know that free value isn’t just free value. You use the free value to pre-frame your prospect, so they already see you as the the solution to their problem by the time they’re done consuming the free value.
Want an example? Picture This
Consumer: Man. I need a website for my business.
Marketer: Here’s an article from my web design agency titled “3 Generic Things You Should Know About Websites For Businesses”.
Consumer: Oh that’s great I didn’t know that. I’ll make sure to keep that in mind when I’m building my Wix site. Thanks!
Sound like you?
Take A Look at Jedi Pre-framing
Consumer: Man. I need a website for my business.
Marketer: Check out this article “3 Reasons 99% of Business Owners Don’t Make an ROI On Their First Website.
- Wix And Alternative Platforms
- Stock Templates
- Hiring Cheap Designers That Don’t Know SEO or How To Optimize For Conversions
Schedule here for a free consult to learn how to use your website to double your revenue.
Consumer: Holy crap I’m definitely calling these people. They clearly know what they’re talking about.
Then boom, you’re on the phone with a prospect closing a sale because you systematically used the free value to drive them to see you as the solution.
#4 Where Reality Fails, Alter The Perception
I agree with Daniel that you want to turn up the volume when you’re just getting started, but there’s a right way to direct this volume to give it more impact.
Most people need a few different points of contact (7 or more), before they’re ready to opt-in or make a purchase. Most businesses aren’t everywhere, but the ones with good marketing –relatively small as they may be– are good at making you think they are.
This is because you don’t need a million visitors to scale your revenue. You just need the 1,000 visitors you already have to remember you for time, convert, and become true fans that talk about you to their peers.
Jedi marketers know this means they need to be conscious of brand awareness. They work on a 2 micro, ultra focused levels:
- Giving their cold audience repeat points of contact
- Simultaneously generating more cold leads to take the now warm leads’ places.
What This Looks Like
Have you ever happened upon a website you’d never heard of before then suddenly started seeing ads pop up for that website on your Facebook feed and between paragraphs on articles you click through Facebook and thought, “Man. These guys are everywhere! Okay okay, I’ll attend the webinar.”
They’re not everywhere. They’re likely an incredibly small operation, but they know how to alter your perception so you give them your attention. You become warmer with every point of contact and start to see their value.
How To Do It
For whatever content you’re posting to get people to your website or sales funnel, use a tracking pixel to get Facebook to track those visitors. Then set up advertising campaigns to show them ads either on Facebook or (seemingly) all over the web.
This is just as powerful for subscribers and non-subscribers.
Marketing is a long and fruitful game as long as you perform it intelligently. Be a great marketer, and see great results.