This is a first for me and I am completely and totally plagiarising someone elses blog and so I suppose in many ways it is like a guest post without having to organise it. I am doing this because a) I think what he is talking about is important and b) because I can as his website is all licenced under Creative Commons which means that I can copy his post and use it anywhere so long as I credit him and so here it is!
There is this guy called Jim Connolly who is pretty on the ball… Supposedly an Ad Age Power 150 Member not that I am totally sure what it means. He also rocks because he is a fellow Brit or at least lives in England! Thanks also go to @askaaronlee who pointed me in the direction of the article in the first place!
So enough waffling and here it is. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. I may have to write a follow up post using my own words at some stage… For now let me just say I am lazy!
For fifteen years, I have been helping small and medium sized business owners to make massively more sales than ever before.
Here are my Top 10 Marketing Tips, which anyone can use to help them achieve better sales results!
1. Throw that old marketing guide in the bin!
If you want to avoid wasting stacks of money and missing countless sales opportunities, throw your old marketing guides and audio programs in the recycling bin!
You need to know what works today; where even the smallest business can advertise itself to millions online for less than the cost of a one-off trade journal advert – AND – where you can mail a million potential clients in a few hours for just pennies.
2. Email marketing – start using email marketing NOW!
It’s a fact; email marketing is extremely cost effective and perhaps the single most powerful marketing tool available to small businesses. This is because it provides predictable results and costs little or nothing to use!
Here are just a few things for you to consider, before you start using email marketing.
First off, I strongly recommend that you build your own email database (or e-list) rather than buying one from one of those list broking companies. The best way to start building your subscriber list, is to ask all your existing clients and contacts if you can have their email address! Then, ask if you can contact them from time to time via email with a newsletter or special offers or announcements. This will get you your initial list and give you something to get started with.
The best way to gather email addresses is via your website or blog. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to give you their email details, and offer them something valuable in return for joining your subscriber list. For example, when I was writing my newsletter, I used to offer a free ebook. I advise that you only ask for people to give you their email address and not their whole life story. Make sure you let people know you will never, ever pass on their email details to ANYONE!
Quality is key, so ONLY send people valuable information (like this top 10 guide) or a genuine special offer. I also recommend you only send one message every 7 to 14 days. That’s what I did with my newsletter, because people hate being inundated with information; even if it’s great information! As a direct result, very few people asked to be removed from my subscriber list and it grew very quickly.
Finally, you must ask your readers to forward your emails on to their contacts. If the content is good enough, they will – but never assume anything, always ask them (nicely.)
I also recommend you learn and abide by the rules governing email marketing in your country.
3. Build a well-connected network
One of the biggest myths in business is that you must have a large network if you want to succeed. The reality is that the size of your network is not what’s important. It’s the influence of the people within your network that counts!
- IF MY NETWORK has 1000 people BUT they lack influence, it will have a commercial value of close to zero..
- IF YOUR NETWORK has just 30 people BUT they are motivated and have real influence, it will have a massive commercial value to you!
Stop wasting your time swapping business cards at those chamber of commerce-style networking events, (they really are a total waste of time!), and start deliberately targeting the 30 most influential people in your marketplace. That’s the kind of network you and your business need!
Click here for information on developing a valuable network.
4. Internet marketing – start taking your website seriously!
Most small businesses are unaware that they could receive stacks of high quality enquiries, leads, phone calls and sales from interested prospective clients; if only they had a professionally designed website that has been search engine optimised by a proven SEO expert.
When a website is professionally optimised, it’s like moving a little shop from an unused dirt road in the middle of nowhere and relocating it BANG IN THE MIDDLE of Oxford Street or 5th Avenue!
Something else you need to know
Almost everyone now uses the Internet to ‘check out’ a potential service provider; before deciding whether to do business with them or not! That includes the people YOU market your services to. So, what is your website ‘telling’ them about your business?
Your website is a unique part of you marketing in one really important respect: it alone has the power to either kill or to supercharge the response rates of all your OTHER marketing activities! So, if you send a mailshot for example, be aware that the people that were interested in what you offered will visit your website BEFORE deciding to contact you (or not!) This means the quality and content of your website has to encourage people to completely trust you and see you in a wholly professional light.
If your marketing hasn’t generated the response rates you hoped for, remember, the people who ‘were’ going to contact you visited your website first. What kind of message did it give them?
5. Match your fees to your promises!
You cannot promise the marketplace a high quality service and yet charge a bargain-basement fee! If you do, you will send people a mixed-message and it will lose you business every time.
Everyone knows that quality never comes cheap – that if something looks too good to be true, it is too good to be true! Make your services as valuable to the marketplace as possible and then charge accordingly.
6. Use ‘attraction marketing’ and not pursuit marketing
I am sure you will have noticed what happens whenever a beautiful woman or a handsome man walks into a crowded room or a bar? People look at them. In fact, some people will actually walk over to them and offer them a drink or strike up a conversation with them. The reason we call these kind of physically striking people ‘attractive‘ is that they literally attract the attention and also the interest of other people.
So, you might be wondering at this point, what this has to do with you and your marketing? The most successful businesses ALL use the same power of attraction I just highlighted, in order to attract sales, clients readers or customers! The most successfully marketed businesses gain the attention and interest of potential clients by making themselves attractive.
I rely exclusively on attraction marketing for 100% of my sales income! How? Simple! People find blog ‘attractive’, so they recommend and forward it to their contacts, their colleagues and their friends. This, in turn, helps me attract more people. These new people then do the same etc, etc…
Without spending anything on ANY form of advertising, (pay-per-click, affiliate marketing or anything else), there are now millions of people who know all about my ability to help them produce great sales results.
So, whenever my readers decide that they want someone to help them make more sales, guess what? Yes, they give me a call or send me an email! I attract clients rather than pursue them, which is great because people HATE being chased or pursued. Spend a day doing cold-calling and you will learn very quickly just how much people HATE being pursued!
Most businesses get it the wrong way around. They choose to ‘pursue’ new clients and even though people are not responding to their letters, emails or calls; they just keep on grinding away regardless!
7. Do some competitor research
It’s impossible to effectively sell or market your services unless you have researched your competitors. You need to know what offers, guarantees, prices or fees you are selling against, in order to make YOUR offering the most attractive to potential clients.
In my experience, businesses often THINK that the service they offer to potential clients is superb, when in reality, it’s ‘very average’; when compared to what their competitors are offering. Find out what you’re up against and THEN BEAT IT by adding massive value!
8. Joint Ventures
Sometimes known as a J.V, a Joint Venture is where you and another business or person get together to (usually) cross-market your services. The key to Joint Venture success, is to find someone credible, who offers a non-conflicting product or service to the exact same profile of person or business as you do.
So, if you sell recruitment services to the hospitality industry and they sell employee benefits packages to the hospitality industry – BINGO! They can include one of your flyers or letters in one of their mailings and you can do the same for them; everybody wins. Avoid doing a Joint Venture with ANYONE who contacts you via email – unless you know them or can check them out. If in doubt – leave it!
9 Endorsed Relationships
An endorsed relationship is similar to a joint venture – BUT with one BIG and POWERFUL difference! The person you do the venture with actually gives you their professional or personal endorsement. This is marketing gold dust!
For example: Rather than just slipping one of YOUR marketing flyers in with one of THEIR client mailings (as they would in a Joint Venture), they actually write to their clients and give you their full endorsement.
An endorsed relationship is one of the most powerful marketing tools on the planet. I have seen endorsed mail shots and emails return a 90% positive response rate!
10. Don’t mistake movement for progress!
I have worked with thousands of businesspeople and found something amazing! The owners of under performing businesses almost always work just as hard, and sometimes even harder, than the owners of successful ones! At first glance, this doesn’t seem to make sense – until you dig a little deeper and realise that the reason their hard work is getting them nowhere, is that they mistake MOVEMENT for PROGRESS.
In other words, they work hard and put in an insane number of hours, doing the wrong things! A well written advertisement, placed in the wrong section of the wrong publication will still fail – no matter how hard you work at it!
They think that the harder they work, the more successful they will be; as if rowing a boat with all your strength in the wrong direction, will still magically get you to the right destination!
If you find yourself working hard on your marketing and NOT getting the sales results you want, STOP! Make sure you are doing the right things, then ensure you are doing them correctly. If you are not already doing any of the above marketing activities – give them a go because we already know they work extremely well. That’s a great place to start!
I really loved this post and I think that Jim Connolly is an awesome guy to follow. For more free marketing updates go visit the original version of this article and sign up for Jim’s list.
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You can find the original article here: http://jimsmarketingblog.com/top-10-marketing-tips/.