When I sat down to write this blog I was conscious of the time constraints that we all face. So here I’m asking for just a 60-minute investment to make a significant impact on your business.
If you spend a concentrated 15 minutes on each of the areas discussed below I guarantee you will come up with ways you can get more from your marketing investment.
DECIDE a compelling message
What is the single most important message you want clients and prospects to know about you and your business?
Grab a piece of paper – write down everything that’s occurring to you. Ask others in the office to shout out their own answers to the question. Consider what your best clients say about your service too. Write it all down.
Now for the hard bit – look through your list and pick out the ONE thing you want your business to be known for. Bear in mind it needs to be something that matters to your customers, not just something that matters to you.
You’ve now got the essence of your unique selling proposition and something that you should be communicating at every opportunity.
DEFINE your ideal client
Who would be your ideal client? Create a visual picture in your mind’s eye. Describe them in terms of the age, sex, job title. If you sell to businesses consider also the size and type of business, who the decision makers are, the age of the company, its structure (ie is it family owned or a plc?).
Consider all the facts about your ideal client – and write them down.
It’s unlikely you’ll have a single ‘ideal client’. For example, my ideal clients include: niche law firms run by men who have marketing ideas but need someone who can put those ideas into practice; financial services businesses with a local client base who want to attract regional customers and marketing professionals who feel isolated and want a sounding board for their ideas and frustrations. The important point is to paint a picture and be really specific.
DETERMINE how to deliver your message
Now think about the problems that your ideal client might experience or the opportunities that you or your product can deliver to your ideal client.
List as many potential ‘points of contact’ as you can for each ‘ideal client’ group. What do they read? What events do they visit? Which websites might they use? Who advises them? What professional bodies are they members of?
Do this quickly – you’ve only got 15 minutes remember – but by the end you should have the basis of a series of marketing actions you can take to reach your ideal client – as well as the bones of the message you need to communicate.
DRAFT a plan of action
If you’ve spent the last 45 minutes on the tasks above you should have several actions leaping out at you. You might have discovered that you aren’t communicating your key message on your website clearly enough, or that you have an opportunity to reach your ideal client at an event later in the year.
If you want to make the most of that time you now need to commit to doing something with the information you’ve unearthed.
I suggest you draw up an action plan for the next month – what steps will you take each day to move your business forward? Write yourself a marketing plan, put the tasks in your diary, maybe even share it with other people to get their commitment.
In my experience, most business owners don’t lack marketing ideas – generally they have loads of them. But the difference between winners and losers is that the winners put those ideas into practice.