CF Saskatchewan Blog

Become a Marketing Maverick: Three Game-Changing Shifts!

  • August 11, 2016
  • Written by Community Futures Saskatchewan

Time and time again, we encounter entrepreneurs who become uncomfortable, uncertain, and even downright terrified when faced with the prospect of having to promote themselves and their businesses. And this is not unique to the start-up solopreneur; it’s equally the plight of many perpetual proprietors and even remains a struggle for some millionaire moguls.

Between confusing jargon and conflicting “expert” opinions, combined with an endless amount of technology options and the normal apprehension that accompanies increased visibility efforts - “marketing” can easily become a daunting task that quickly makes its’ way to the bottom of the endless entrepreneur to-do pile.

However, what if we told you that there are a few fast and foolproof ways of forever transforming your perspective on promotion and sales from “necessary evils” to pleasant, productive, and profitable endeavours that you routinely look forward to?

And then, what if we said that that your evolution from advertising amateur to marketing maverick is really as easy as starting and sustaining a meaningful conversation with someone who sincerely matters to you?

You may think this all sounds too good to be true, but the real secret to mastering marketing is merely a matter of shifting your mindset in a few key areas. However, before we reveal these very simple, yet game-changing shifts, we have one question for you:

DO YOU KNOW WHAT BUSINESS YOU'RE REALLY IN?

The starting point of any marketing metamorphosis requires getting crystal clear on the business that you’re really and truly in. And it may surprise you to learn that regardless of niche, industry, or sector, the most successful companies and entrepreneurs recognize that they are all in the exact same business in three very important respects:

They are in the business of making friends over making money,

of serving over selling, and of asking over telling.

SHIFT #1: ALWAYS PRIORITIZE PEOPLE OVER PROFITS

First off, let’s not skirt around the real reason that you’re taking the time to read this article: the bottom line is that you’re looking for ways to get more traffic, generate more leads, and acquire more customers. That’s the obvious and unadulterated truth, and we entirely understand that.

However, the other truth that needs to be acknowledged is that people only do business with companies and individuals they know, like, and trust. And in order to be one those companies or individuals, it’s imperative that you are ever mindful that clients, customers, and prospects are first and foremost people. Real, live, breathing human beings just like yourself who make the vast majority of their decisions from emotion rather than logic, and who respond most favorably to respect, honesty, humor, and compassion.

And not only do you need to consistently treat people as people like to be treated, it’s equally important that you’re unfailingly demonstrating your own humanness on a regular basis. This can be done via the language you choose on your website, the stories you tell through social media, the cards that you send on special occasions, and the unexpected phone calls you make just to say thank you.

As we said earlier, marketing is best re-framed as an ongoing dialogue between people with the aim of building a strong and lasting friendship. Taken a step further, we might even liken it to dating, because ultimately you want people to fall in love with you, your business, and your brand.

And guess what happens when people are in love? They can’t stop talking about you and want to share every wonderful thing you do with their friends, family, and coworkers.

SHIFT #2: GIVING IS GOLDEN

Generosity is honestly the most effective, enjoyable, and endearing marketing tactic there is. Winning the hearts of your prospects and customers is a surefire way to win their business and loyalty too. When you consistently offer valuable resources and unconditional help to your prospects and customers, you build trust and credibility that are hard to beat. And when you surprise and delight them in ways that are considerate and kind, you’re making a wise investment that will continue to pay dividends for the long term.

In a previous post, we offered up, “10 Creative and Compelling Ways to Show Your Clients & Customers You Care.” Be sure to check out that article for loads of thoughtful and charming ideas to engage, inspire and please your people.

SHIFT #3: QUESTIONS ARE THE KEYS TO SUCCESS

As Dale Carnegie so succinctly said in 1936, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

As an entrepreneur, your most pressing priority should be to learn every imaginable insight about your prospects’ desires, pain points, and preferences. So many businesses miss the boat in this regard and mistakenly rely solely on guesswork to anticipate what people value, want, and need.

The easy and very effective solution to this problem is to simply ask and then intently listen. Pose a question via your social media channels or send out a short survey to your existing customer base. By genuinely inviting your clients and customers into a conversation, you are engaging them in the life of your business in a way that makes them feel important. This will not only make you memorable, but you’ll be collecting valuable information that can ensure that you are connecting and communicating with your tribe in a way that is both purposeful and profitable.

Want even more great ideas on how to spread the word about your business? Be sure to download our latest e-book, “Hot off the Press: A Guide to Making Business Headlines & Turning Press into Profits.” This guide provides suggestions, strategies, tips, and tricks to help shape the beginnings of your media and public relations plan. CLICK HERE >>> TO DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE!