In marketing as in science there are basic principles that govern the movement of bodies in space, or prospects and clients. Just as people instinctively know the law of gravity, they are aware of the fundamental principles of marketing. Unlike the law of gravity which is hard to deny, many small business owners often neglect to apply core marketing principles to attract clients.
Even if you’ve never been hit on the head by an apple, you wouldn’t argue that objects fall down instead of up. Of course Issac Newton’s true genius in describing the law of gravity was in realizing that the same force that attracts apples to the earth is responsible for keeping objects in orbit around other planets and moons.
Use the following marketing principles to pull in prospects the same way gravity pulls planets into orbit around the sun. (Imagine yourself as the sun, the driving force of the solar system.)
1. Start with Your Clients
Client goals and concerns are the reason you are in business. Clients buy your products and services to meet their needs. You know this, but are you applying it to your marketing?
Many service providers marketing materials are little more than a laundry list of services. To attract prospects and clients, start with client problems as the catalyst for writing your marketing “meme” and materials. If you are a massage therapist you may provide “hot stone” or “deep tissue” massage but to get your prospects’ attention you’ll need to talk about relieving back pain or eliminating muscle spasms.
2. Target Your Market
There are a finite number of people who want and are willing to buy any given product and service. Marketing to people who don’t want what you provide is a waste of time and money. You know this, but are you targeting your marketing to those people who are most likely to buy your services and products?
Learn (if you don’t already know) who buys your products and services and why. Develop a picture of your ideal buyer, their demographics, concerns and motivates. Use this information to identify marketing tactics that will attract them to you.
3. Demonstrate Value
Before a prospect becomes a client and a client becomes a repeat client, they need to be convinced of the value of your products and services. They need to feel confident that your products and services will do what they are supposed to do. You know this, but is your marketing built around demonstrating the value you provide?
Many independent professionals sell information and ideas. If you are a web designer, you could provide a tutorial on how to plan a web site. If you provide tangible services, you need to show people examples of your work and provide testimonials from former clients.
4. Grow Your Network
Lead generation is the lifeblood of any small business. The more qualified prospects contact, the more clients you’ll have. Even if you don’t want a thousand clients, if you have lots of prospects you can have the option of having just a few high paying clients. You knew this too, but do you have a marketing strategy which helps you grow the number of qualified prospects you market to each month?
One of your marketing goals should be to motivate qualified prospects to give you their contact information so you can market to them. If you sell information, publishing articles with a free teaser at the end is one way to do this. If you sell products or tangible services, a raffle can attract prospects.
5. Build Relationships
People like to buy from others they know and trust. And attracting new clients takes ten times as much effort as selling to a repeat client. You know this too, but do you have a marketing strategy which helps prospects get to know and trust you?
You can assume that your prospects receive more information everyday than they can remember. Even if they need and want what you have to offer, there is a good chance they will forget an occasional radio ad or an annual newsletter. To grow your business, find ways to regularly stay in touch, educate them, and explain the ways you can help solve their problems.
You already know the law of gravity and these five core marketing principles. Become a true genius like Issac Newton, and apply them to pull prospects and clients into your orbit and grow your business.
Recommended Books on Basic Marketing Principles to Attract Clients:
- Duct Tape Marketing Revised & Updated: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide
- Marketing for Solos: THE Ultimate How-To Guide For Marketing Your One Person Small Business Successfully
- Small Business Marketing: A Guide for Survival Growth and Success
- Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business
Original publication date: November 11, 2003
Charlie Cook helps service professionals, small business owners and marketing professionals attract more clients and be more successful. Sign up to receive the Free Marketing Strategy eBook, ‘7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business’ at http://www.marketingforsuccess.com
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