Do You Really Need to Market Your Business?

First, let’s start with a definition.  What is Marketing?  Marketing is the process of defining, understanding, and then systematically promoting yourself and your products to your target market in a way that converts into sales of your products or services.

Um… yeah… in English?  :)  Marketing is how you reach the people that you can help, then share with them how you can help them and give them the opportunity to allow you to help.  See, that’s not scary at all.  When you define it this way it actually sounds good, right?  You want to help people by providing products or services that solve their problems!

Marketing is not just placing an ad or sending out a newsletter.  It’s more than that.  If you skip straight to that without first defining and understanding your market, you won’t be nearly as successful (and you’ll probably waste lots of time and money by throwing your ads at the wrong people).

Three important steps:

1) You’ve got to understand who your market and what they need.  You need to take time to think about what their problem is that you can help solve.  You need to know the value you provide to your customers so that you can confidently price and promote your products.

2) You need a systematic way to get the details about your product or services in front of the people who need it.  I say systematic because a one-time approach rarely works.  Marketing has to be something that you plan out and keep doing.

3) Your marketing needs to convert to sales.  If it’s not, you need to go back to step one and start again.

We’ve looked at step one in the last two newsletters.  So let’s look at step two now.  How do you figure out what methods to use to reach the people you can help?  It depends on your business, your target market, and your personality (yes, really!).

This week’s challenge: Gather a list of the marketing strategies and tactics you’ve tried.  Make a note for yourself of whether it’s worked great, worked some, didn’t work at all, or if you aren’t sure whether it worked or not.

Here’s a free printable form you can use for this step:

Make sure you’ve completed the last two challenges as well:

What makes your business unique?

Who are your ideal customers and where can you find them?

Next week I’ll share how to find the right strategies for your personality so marketing is fun and easy.  Then we’ll bring all of these things together into a marketing plan for your business.

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