For business owners like you and me, we are our business. For many of us, our name is our brand and our word is our contract. Our business is personal because we’re doing the work we love. Our reputation is on the line at every turn and we strive to always do our best.
It’s important to me to market myself in a way that I’d want to be marketed to. I don’t want to be pushed and I don’t want to feel like I’m being sold, so I don’t use either of those tactics when I’m marketing my own business. I encourage clients to apply the Golden Rule to their marketing: Market unto others as you would have them market unto you.
I try to treat each potential customer in the way I’d want to be treated. That said, here are some of my core values and how I apply them to business.
I try to systemize everything. As an INTJ, this is one of my strengths: the implementation and constant improvement of systems. If we work together on your business, I’ll be helping you implement a systematic approach to your marketing, so that when we find the things that work best, we can scale them for explosive results.
Keep It Personal
Even though I like putting systems in place for communication and marketing, I don’t like when things become cookie cutter. I like to have the system as the framework, yet keep the message as personal as possible because I know from experience that personalized marketing campaigns are more effective than generic ones. For my money, it’s worth the extra effort to make it personal.
As we are each unique human beings, allow your uniqueness to show through in the way you market your business. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. In fact, the more original you can be, the more likely you’re going to stand out from the competition. You’ll be creating your own niche and the value of doing business with you will be much greater than if you’re just like everyone else.
Find A Model And Do It Better
Now that I’ve said I value uniqueness, I’m going to be a hypocrite and suggest that you find a business who is doing what you want to do and copy them! You know the saying “don’t re-invent the wheel”. The same applies to marketing and building your company. Find a business or individual you admire and work on replicating it/them. Take a look at the systems they use, the products they offer, the services they provide – and do it better. Tweak it to your own personal style and get busy building it.
I don’t like sales pitches that try to scare you into buying. I know many companies use this tactic, but it’s just not my style. I prefer to be positive and share what I know. I believe the best way to earn a long-term client is to build trust by being honest and realistic – not by attempting to scare you by hiding something you don’t know. If you want to do more business, be a teacher.
Often, one of the first things a business owner will do to generate more sales is to discount pricing. While there is a time and place for discounts, as a rule, I hate it. If you are good at what you do and your prices are fair, you don’t need to discount. How does it feel to discount your pricing? I know several small business owners who resent the fact they gave the discount in the first place because they attract the wrong kind of customer that they don’t make any money from.
Personally, I’m not a Groupon guy. I’m the last person who’ll whip out a coupon at a restaurant in order to get $25 off my dinner. I just don’t like the way it feels. In the book, The Experience Economy, I remember reading a story about a restaurant owner who gives away one free dinner every night. It’s totally random and they make a big deal of it. They celebrate as if it were a birthday – all the other customers see it’s happening. The restaurant owner gets terrific word of mouth advertising from this one surprising promotion and business is booming. So, instead of discounting, try to find another way to WOW your customers into doing more business with you.
What are your core values? Are they in alignment with your business’s marketing strategy? Are you talking to potential customers in the same way you would want to be talked to?