It’s easy to make marketing hard. We have so many social media channels, ways to produce content, and software tools at our fingertips that we’re often frozen by decision paralysis. We’re not sure which is right for our business so we don’t do anything.
The things intended to make marketing easier have actually complicated the process and made it more intimidating. I hear this repeatedly from people who sign up for The Recipe. In my welcome email, I ask what issues each new subscriber is facing in their business and marketing at the moment. I repeatedly hear that they’re overwhelmed by options with marketing and not sure where to start.
If this is you, the following marketing strategy framework will help. As long as your marketing does these three things you’ll be in good shape.
Folks can’t buy if they don’t know you exist. This is a common-sense part of growing a business that many of us botch. The solution is simple, leverage the power of huge established networks where your customers already hang out and spend time.
I call these awareness assets. Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google are all awareness assets. They have billions of people that you can tap into to build an audience for your thing, whatever your thing is.
Figure out which one your buyers spend time on and focus your efforts in that one spot. It takes time and patience to get traction. Hang in there and keep pushing. Only diversify to a new platform once you’re killing it on your primary channel.
Just keep in mind that you’re building on rented real estate. You can be evicted from Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google at any point. Use these monster platforms for all their worth to build your audience, but once you have traction, start moving folks over to a spot you own.
This step usually happens on an owned asset. My weekly email, The Recipe, is a prime example of an owned asset that converts folks from audience member to client for my business. People find Special Sauce through Google, LinkedIn, or Medium, subscribe to my email, and then eventually reach out when they have a problem we can help them solve.
That happens because I’ve invested in the relationship and proven our value through hundreds of emails. I’ve earned trust by consistently showing up with value every week.
If you give more than you ask, good things will happen. I wrote 140 issues of The Recipe before I asked for anything. Even without selling, my little weekly email has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for Special Sauce.
The strategy isn’t complicated. I share my knowledge about launching and growing companies each week. I stick with my promised topic and deliver on schedule every Friday.
In return, some people reach out when they have a company they’re launching or rebranding. They contact us because I’ve invested deeply in the relationship and earned their trust in our expertise.
It also doesn’t hurt that I give them a weekly reminder that we exist.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe you should shamelessly sell your goods. I want the brands I follow to tell me about new products and sales. I’d be mad if they didn’t. Just make sure you give more than you ask. Don’t make everything about what you’re selling.
Entertain, inspire, or educate the folks who give you their attention. Make their life better with the things you share. Define the topic you want to be known for and stick to it. Invest in your relationship with your audience and some will turn into customers.
Again, it takes time and patience to develop a relationship. I’ve had folks read emails for two years before reaching out with a project. Hang in there and be persistent with delivering value.
You can’t grow without repeat business and referrals. If you aren’t getting those, you’ve got a product problem. You need to fix that before you spend money on advertising.
Not everyone who buys will be delighted. It’s impossible to please every person. Sometimes it’s just a bad fit, but most folks should walk away happy.
Your growth potential explodes when you consistently turn one customer into two, three, or four. Make this a neverending priority in your company. Retention is a marketing activity. Define how you’ll delight your customers and create systems to make it happen.
The marketing strategy framework I’ve just mapped out is a flywheel. This is a simplified variation of Jim Collins’ concept from Good to Great adapted specifically for marketing.
I don’t care if you’re a freelancer, homebuilder, SaaS company, clothing manufacturer, fishing brand, or branding agency, this flywheel marketing strategy framework can power your growth. Go through and map how you’ll do these three things in your business…
It’s hard work getting that big wheel rolling, but over time you’ll pick up momentum and your business will be unstoppable. Growth is nearly guaranteed if you nail all three aspects of the framework.
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