Focusing on the things that make your business money will help you do more … of what makes you money. Make sense? Of course! However, sometimes it’s more difficult to put into practice than it sounds.
There are a few places to look when assessing your marketing. These are the first places you (usually) go if your marketing isn’t giving you the results you want or know you should be getting:
- Your audience
- Your message
- Your platform
- Your numbers
Check Your Audience
There is a certain hesitancy to narrow your audience because the fear is that you’ll lose sales from those ‘outside’ of your target. I understand the fear very well. However, this is a fallacy. A broad audience will take longer to market to because of size and varying message.
Ideally you know the audience profile of your typical (and adored) customer. You should have a bit of information around any demographics like age range, gender, geography, income, occupation, etc. What’s important varies from business to business. You should also know how they view your product or service, what it does for them (solve a problem or fill a need), and how they talk about it.
The above (and more) will inform your marketing. The more detailed and accurate you can get, the more effective your marketing will be at attracting prospects (and customers). So, if your marketing isn’t working you can focus a bit on your audience to find out why.
Edit Your Message
If you do ‘everything’ it takes longer to make that known while a more limited range of offers are repeated with more frequency. Just like if you market to ‘everyone’ it will take longer to reach ‘everyone’.
Targeting your marketing message is a common tactic in attracting people closer to the purchase. This means more sales in less time and less effort. Looking at the effectiveness of your message should be one of the first things you look at in your marketing.
Are you using client words? Are you focusing on benefits (not features)?
Research Your Platform
You can’t be everywhere at once but you can be in many places – if you have the resources. Chances are you’ll wear yourself out if you’re a one-man-band. So, researching where your target audience spends their time is worth it. The expression “Fish where the fish are” rings true here. If you are consistent with your targeted message to your targeted audience on THEIR platform of choice – you’ll catch more fish!
Another way to look at this is to know where your sales come from. How did your past clients find you? Most small businesses get a lot of work from referrals but we want to make sure we’re seeing the other pieces too. Do you get DMs on Instagram? LinkedIn messages? Email form submissions from your website? It’s important to know where you’re being seen and what is motivating them to contact you. Are they taking you up on a free consult call? Are they opting in to your webinar? Are they signing up for the newsletter?
Now, once this is understood, you need to keep track. Make sure you have up-to-date data around these insights. And THIS is where you focus. Your online community, whether it’s email or social media, will provide valuable feedback for your offers and messaging. HOWEVER, if you haven’t qualified who they are then their opinions aren’t worth as much. Meaning if they’re not going to ever become a client then it matters less that they aren’t responding to your offers.
Know Your Numbers
When I started out with WindWater Marketing I tracked everything. Literally, everything. It was helpful to get a real sense of what was possible but even more so it helped me identify what was important at every step of my growth – which is ongoing.
For example, the following show a few common areas for businesses to track as they market.
The above is a generic layout but you can see there is some overlap as prospects get to know you and engage with you. What you want to watch is if there is a progression of increased numbers through all areas (awareness, messaging, offer). If there isn’t then you start making tiny shifts and watch what happens.
You can look at these by platform, by offer, by persona (the first three sections in this post) – the list goes on. What works (and is important) for your business may be different than someone else’s which is why marketing is unique for each small business. What works for a competitor may not work well for you so simply copying what you see others do is a sure-fire way to fall down a rabbit hole (that can be difficult to get out of if you’ve invested in it).
Once you’ve figured out which numbers to follow you can set them up in a marketing dashboard to make watching them easier and less time-consuming.