What’s your marketing superpower?
Everyone has a marketing superpower – but there is a good chance that you are not using yours to your full potential.
To be a successful business owner you need to love your marketing. I mean really looooovvvvve marketing. And having sales conversations. Because if you don’t find a way to love marketing your business, finding new business is always going to feel hard.
If you’re not able to sell your product, then it’s going to be very difficult to grow. However, it is one of the things that very few people think about when they’re setting up their business.
I know I didn’t when I set up my first business. I had no idea how I was going to find new clients.
I was so excited about my idea and launching my new business that I didn’t think about how I was going to sell the services that I was going to offer.
For the next 12 months, I went on a massive learning curve and did a lot of things that I didn’t enjoy.
Eighteen years later, I’m a lot smarter about how I market my business, but that’s because I have figured out how to market it in a way that feels good, authentic and uses my unique skills.
This is what your marketing super power is.
A way of marketing your business that feels easy, natural and really works to your strengths.
Marketing the easy way … and the hard way
When I started my first company, an Executive Search business called 4and20 in January 2000, I had no idea how I was going to get new clients. I had no sales experience, having come from an operational role, and no small business marketing experience.
What I discovered was that it was easier and harder than I had expected.
My first client was my old boss (easy). My second client was a referral from my old boss (also easy) and my third client was off the back of a cold call (which felt very hard – but was worth it!).
I knew that I had to sell to people that I didn’t know, but I didn’t realise that it was going to be quite as uncomfortable as it was.
Some people are natural sales people, they love the process of selling and talking to new prospects about their needs and wants and then finding the perfect solution for them.
I am not one of those people.
I searched and searched for the right sales course to learn this skill, spent loads of money on sales training and ended up not much better than when I had started (oh, how I wish I had known about Catherine Watkin’s Selling from the Heart course back then!).
I did improve, but going down the cold calling route never felt good for me. I have since learned however that cold calling can be a powerful way to build a business, but it’s much easier if you have a warm introduction from someone who knows you and the person you want to speak with.
Look for the 20% that generates the 80%
My second business was working as a freelance web designer back in 2001. It was more of a side hustle back then but after the birth of my daughter in 2007; I decided to be a lot smarter about it than I had been previously. I looked at where my existing clients had come from so that I could figure out how to get new clients. What I discovered was that 95% of my clients had come from people who knew me or who had been referred to me.
The massive advantage of this was that it meant that I was rarely in a competitive bid situation, as usually, I was the only horse in the race – and I already had the trust factor.
This was a major aha for me. Rather than trying to find people who didn’t know me, I needed to strengthen my relationships with people that did.
I had two people who referred me back then, and both ran professional services firms. They were both well networked, well trusted and well respected.
My marketing talent was meeting people face to face and immediately generating trust – but I had a headstart because of those warm introductions.
I never had a lead magnet for my web design business
I recently saw a post in a web design facebook group asking why most web design companies didn’t have a lead magnet (a lead magnet is an opt-in offer for people to sign up to your email list). And I thought about why I didn’t have one, because I love email marketing as a marketing tool. I think it’s incredibly powerful and a fantastic way to keep in touch with potential clients.
For the right business.
Not all businesses need a lead magnet. And in my case, I knew that all my clients were through referrals. So my job, was to keep my existing clients happy, go out and meet new people who might be looking for a website or who could recommend me to others. That was it. That was my marketing strategy.
Anything else would be marketing busy work.
Networking was the marketing talent that I needed to cultivate and spend time on. If I didn’t go out and meet new people and build relationships, I didn’t get the referrals that we needed to be able to get more clients.
Talk to prospects at the time that they were ready to buy
One of the positive upsides of my referral-based marketing strategy was that I only spoke with people that had already been pre-qualified and were in the buying stage of the process, rather than selling to people who hadn’t already decided what they wanted.
This cut down on a lot of wasted meetings with the wrong people!
For Women Unlimited, the business community that I grew to over 20,000 women, my strategy was significantly different.
While I did know many of that community personally, mostly because they attended my events, most of the people that bought the courses and events that I sold on the website only knew me through blog posts, videos and email.
So the talent that I have had to cultivate, was my online marketing talent.
If I didn’t email people, Women Unlimited would not have been able to make any sales.
Without developing my skills in email marketing, I would have no channel to market and no way to access my customer base.
So over the 7 years that Women Unlimited was running, I’ve used my relationship building skills and communication skills to build trust and provide massive value to the Women Unlimited community through email and our website, so that when we have a course or product to promote, they women within that community felt like they trusted us enough to be able to deliver on our promise.
If we stopped every other form of marketing other than email, Women Unlimited would have been able to survive and thrive.
So for Women Unlimited, email marketing was my marketing talent.
Where should you spend your marketing time?
As a business owner, one of the challenges that you face, is trying to decide where you should focus your marketing time.
Your time is limited and there is a very good chance that you are spending too much of it focusing on things that are not going to generate you the results that you are looking for.
If you focus on the ONE thing that you are exceptional at and that you have used very effectively to bring in new business, it is likely that you will increase your results exponentially.
Potential time-wasters might include talking to the wrong people on social media, wondering if you should be blogging, possibly doing email marketing, spending your lunchtimes and evenings networking with the wrong people, exhibiting at conferences, maybe speaking and cold calling new business.
Each time you start up a new activity, you dilute your time and your chances of marketing success (and click this link if you’d like to find out how I can help you with your business and your marketing)
How to find your marketing talent
What I’d like to suggest is that you take a deep breath, grab yourself a cup of tea / coffee and take a long hard look at the activities that you are doing to market your business and ask yourself honestly whether they are doing your business and your time justice.
Here are three simple exercises to help you get started
Get to know your customer
- Identify your top 10 most profitable clients
- Find out where they first heard about you from
- Identify where you can find more people like that
- Ask them why they bought your product / service
- Note how you communicate with them
- Identify why they are profitable
Learn from your successes
- Where do 80% of your clients come from?
- When do they buy from you?
- What activities can you duplicate to repeat that success
- Where can you go to get more clients like that
Stop doing what isn’t working
- Track the time that you spend on marketing activities
- Identify how successful each of those activities have been for your business in the last 6 months
- Only spend 10 – 20% of your time on the activities that are not generating a large return
Build on the marketing that is working
- Identify how you like to communicate best with your customers (ie online, face to face, email, direct mail, advertising)
- Dedicate yourself to the stuff that you are already excellent at
- Learn how to improve your skills in this area
- Spend at least 50% of your time on the activities that are generating profitable results
- Only spend time on high value activities and outsource the stuff that doesn’t need you
This last point is really important. If I outsourced our email marketing, then there is a good chance that our sales would drop but there is no reason that I need to be the person that formats the email, uploads the email and sends the email.
Focus on the activities that create massive value
Focus on the activities that bring massive value to your business, that only you can do and you should find that you’ll start getting better results than you have before.
If you enjoy marketing your business, know how to reach your customers and are good at it, then you will be successful. One of my mentoring clients
One of my mentoring clients has discovered that she loves to speak in front of audiences. And each time she does, she gets 4-5 potential new clients. What an amazing win. She’s doing what she loves and shes generating business at the same time. Her marketing talent is Speaking and most of her energy should be spent making sure that she is getting more speaking gigs and building her speaking profile.
If it feels like a struggle, then it is going to be very difficult for you to build and grow your business. Every micro-entrepreneur needs a strong marketing foundation to build their business on, so it’s important to go out and find your marketing talent.
Every business owner needs a strong marketing foundation to build their business on, so it’s important to go out and find your marketing talent. I’d love to hear what yours is. Please let me know in the comments below.