Once a month I lead a business networking group in my town. This is a group of business owners from a wide variety of businesses … last night we had an organizer, a fudge maker, a yoga teacher, a social media person, a doula and a travel agent. Other times we have general contractors, landscapers, house cleaners, junk haulers and more. It is nice to have such a diverse group together.
Last night I asked each guest to share the current biggest challenge in their business, and every single one said “spreading the word”. AKA marketing and prospecting.
What is so interesting to me is that earlier this week when I posted a survey here in the group the majority of you also said that your trouble spot is marketing … how to do, who, what, when. All the things. Clearly this is a problem that plagues small business owners pretty well across the board.
One of the comments last night from one of the guests as I was discussing my marketing plan was that she had tried something similar to one of the things on my list but didn’t get any results, and so stopped.
This is a common misconception and something I hear often. The best and most effective marketing will be designed to “hit” your database or your target market in more than one way, more than once. There are many things I do which I rarely or never have a “direct” tie back to a new lead or referral … expensive festival sponsorships, charity auction baskets, some postcards, email drawings, etc. However, many people need to “see” you multiple times before they call. The best thing you can hear when you ask a new lead why they contacted you is “I see you everywhere”. It is the combined effort of seeing my banner at the festival, then maybe a few days or a week later they see a post on social media, then they see my sign on a listing in their neighborhood. It is the compound effect, and in my experience is the best and most effective way to market.
Does this take a lot of time, effort and money to provide the consistency needed? Yep, sure does, but few things worth doing come without a price.
What is your favorite or most effective marketing strategy?