If you own a business, there’s no one else more passionate about seeing it succeed than you. That’s why you’re the ideal person to do the work of marketing it.
But it’s not easy, is it? What can you do to position your offerings so they’re unforgettable? How can you make your business the first one that comes to mind when someone in your target market is looking for your product or service?
The route to memorability is not paved with bland marketing efforts, that’s for sure. Here’s how to craft an unforgettable brand for your small business. Follow these five steps, and you’ll be on your way from bland to brand.
In order to craft memorable words and images that will resonate with the people you want to reach, you have to know who they are. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
The problem with this simple statement is that small business owners don’t want to give up a single potential customer. So they cast a wide net with their marketing materials. They try to target a broad range of ages, genders and geographic areas.
If you sell a consumer product with a massive potential market, that’s a great approach. But I’m willing to bet money that the marketing department of Coca Cola isn’t reading this blog.
This blog is for people with small businesses, who are creating products or offering services that will solve the problems of a specific group of people.
Think about who those people are, and don’t be afraid to focus on them to the exclusion of other potential customers.
Your copywriting, design and marketing strategies will become tightly focused, and — more importantly — your potential customers will know your offering is perfect for them.
Listen to popular opinion
Once you know who you’re trying to reach, it’s time to listen to what they want. Your marketing won’t work if you forge ahead with your vision, blind to what your ideal customer actually desires.
So ask good questions, and listen to the answers. How can you get inside their heads to find out what they want? Try these techniques:
- Take a few customers out to lunch and ask them about their challenges
- Create a survey, and offer a valuable giveaway (see “Sweeten the Deal” below) in exchange for information
- Schedule phone time with some of your customers. Ask them directly how you can help.
Tune in to WII-FM
Do you listen to WII-FM? You should. It’s required listening if you are creating marketing materials for your business.
WII-FM, is — of course — What’s In It For Me?
When you sit down to write a message or plan a marketing campaign, this question should be playing in the background at all times. Because your marketing efforts will only be meaningful and memorable if you’ve addressed what benefits your offer provides.
You’d better be able to answer that question, because believe me — your target market is asking it.
Sweeten the deal
An unforgettable brand is built through repeated exposure. No matter how amazing your brand is, people won’t remember it if they’ve only seen it once. They can’t: they’re processing all the other marketing messages being thrown at them.
The way to open a channel of communication where you can keep the conversation — and the brand exposure — going over time, is to get your prospects onto a mailing list. Email software allows you to capture leads, continue to offer helpful information, and build a relationship with customers before they do business with you.
That sounds great, but there’s one important caveat: no one really wants more email in their inbox. In order to rent space in potential customers’ inboxes, you’ve got to sweeten the deal with a giveaway they won’t be able to resist.
What can you give away?
- Try a free e-course you drip out every few days by email autoresponder. Set it and forget it: once you’ve created those emails and set them up in your email software, your work is done.
- Offer a special report, white paper or buyer’s guide. Solve a problem, or create a resource your target market will find valuable.
- Offer audio or video with valuable information. Give people access to a solution they’re looking for. Demonstrate it on video, or describe it with audio.
All in good time
The marketing strategy that’s rarely spoken about — and that must be present for all of the above to work — is time. These techniques only work when you apply them consistently over time:
- Continually refine your information about your target market
- Listen closely to what they want
- Make sure all your marketing materials answer the “what’s in it for me?” question
- Keep lines of communication open by inviting prospects to join your mailing list, and make joining irresistible with an offer they can’t refuse
Bland to brand doesn’t happen overnight, but it can be done, even by you. Especially by you!
Develop a gorgeous brand that builds your business
Build a brand you’re proud of with the step-by-step technique in the Quick-Start Guide to Branding Your Business. Identify who you’re trying to reach, fine-tune your message, and translate it all into a brand you can be proud of.