Just Getting Started
By Barbara Chambers
From an early age, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mind. So, running my own business was inevitable, even though I had no idea what that business venture would be. Marketing was not my initial career choice, but I eventually grew into it, and after many years in this field, I have no regrets.
Having a brilliant business idea is a beautiful dream until you begin making it a reality. I vividly remember the day I decided to be self-employed. While en route to my full-time job, I had an uncomfortable gnawing feeling that kept telling me I could not work for anybody else anymore!
I made an instant decision to give one weeks’ notice. At the time, all I knew was I wanted to own and build a marketing agency. My business journey has had many challenges, and it took a little while to figure out the details. However, with the support of family and friends, associates and colleagues, I’ve been able to forge a rewarding and fulfilling business.
Everybody’s start-up business journey is unique. The fundamentals may appear easy, but for some it’s like learning a new language, and they may need someone to guide and help them on their way, especially when developing your marketing strategy.
Here is a three-step process to help to get you started.
1. Know Your Why
Clarify your business idea:
- Why is it important?
- What’s your purpose?
You may have seen Simon Sinek’s TEDx Talk entitled “Start with the Why,” where he poses a thought-provoking statement, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
Defining and articulating your why will help you:
- Focus your brand story so that it extends beyond monetary gain
- Define your business purpose and mission
- Position your brand messaging
- Determine how you will engage with your potential and existing customers
It may even help produce a memorable tagline, motto or phrase. For example:
- Disneyland: The happiest place on Earth
- Nike: Just do it
- Mastercard: There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.
- Allstate: You’re in good hands
2. Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is paramount to how you pivot in business. You can’t say you’re selling to everyone because they won’t all want what you’re offering. You will need to conduct some divergent thinking around who your ideal customer is.
Go as broad as is necessary during you brainstorming process and then converge your list into something that’s more realistic based on possible demographics, such as:
- Marital status
- Like and dislikes
At Joshua Windsor Consulting, we work with clients to develop customer and client personas. This is simply creating a fictious scenario around a specific pain-point that would cause your customer to buy from your business. The purpose of the exercise is to home in on your ideal customer and help you visualize them and their needs.
3. Know Your Channels
Once you’ve identified your audience, you need to reach them through the right communication channels. The global pandemic has shifted traditional methods of marketing to a digital platform. However, the competitive noise is exceedingly loud in this space. So, how will your target audience engage with your business?
You need to determine which approach works best for your audience—traditional or digital marketing. This may feel like you’re making an educated guess but if you’ve done the work as outlined in point two above, you will have a pretty good idea where to reach your target market. Your understanding of your potential customers will help you to select the right communication channel, whether it’s specific or all social media channels, Google AdWords, email marketing, print, radio, or direct mail.
Ideally, you want to maximize your reach to engage with your audience, so consider a cross-channel strategy. When you integrate different communication channels as part of your marketing strategy, you increase brand awareness and create greater opportunities for “top-of-mind recall”.
This three-step process will help you develop and execute your marketing strategy. Remember “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Your business may take some time to take off but just:
- Stay focused
- Review results to know what’s working
- Use that knowledge to tweak and enhance your strategy along the way
If you need advice or want to explore marketing consultancy to help you develop your marketing strategy, we can help! Schedule a call.
When we empower each other, we all grow. So, please don’t forget to:
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