Building a business is no easy feat, but staying in business is a whole different story. If you want to grow beyond the initial referrals that got you started, then you need a system for nurturing existing clients and courting new leads on a continual basis.
The best way to accomplish this is by carving out your own personal niche in the marketplace to differentiate yourself from the competition. In this blog post, we’re going to teach you how to do exactly that with a marketing strategy that will work best for you.
Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.
A comprehensive marketing strategy begins with identifying your target audience. Who are you most committed to serving? It seems like a simple question. Unless you’ve spent some time exploring the answer, you likely know far less about your ideal client than you think you do.
There are generally two ways to learn about your target audience: primary research and secondary research.
- Primary research usually entails insights gathered from personal experiences and/or observations. Examples of primary research include phone interviews, online surveys and in-person focus groups – research you can initiate yourself.
- Secondary research usually entails insights gathered from other people’s experiences and/or observations. Examples of secondary research include industry reports, case studies, and news articles – third-party sources you can leverage.
There are so many great resources out there to help you gain valuable insights that will help you reach your audience in the most effective way possible. Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram tend to be crowd favorites for a multitude of reasons.
Use what you learn to fine tune your brand message in a way that gives your target audience “the feels.” After all, people don’t buy what you do; they buy what you what you represent to them and how you make them feel about themselves after they have invested in you.
Freedom, love, success, happiness – what do they want to have or to feel? Start there because that’s what you represent to them. That’s your hook.
Solve a problem people actually want solved.
As an expert in your field, whether it be weight loss, relationships or pain management, you know fully well that the problem most people come to you with initially is not the actual problem they need help solving. They may think that’s the problem, but in most cases it’s really just a symptom of an underlying core issue, such as unresolved emotional issues.
For your ideal client, that symptom is a real, immediate problem and they are consciously aware of having this problem because it keeps them up at night.
That other problem you solve, the root cause that created the immediate or symptomatic problem in the first place—they don’t know that’s their main issue so they aren’t looking for that solution.
What they are looking for, however, is a quick-fix to an immediate problem that lingers at the top of their mind until an adequate long-term solution has been found.
The secret to winning over new clients over and over again is to buy their symptoms. Meet them where they are at in their hero’s journey toward personal success by acknowledging the problem staring them right in the face.
Give them hope by painting a picture for them of what life will be like without this problem weighing them down. Then give them exactly what they want in exchange for a small token of appreciation, usually an email address so you can follow up with them later to share with them the long-term solution you provide.
Now, you’ve officially piqued their interest. You’ve given them a fail-safe way to get to know, like and trust you with minimal investment on their part. This is how you generate leads for your business.
Educate your audience about your solution.
At this point in the marketing game, you’ve got them right where you want them. You’ve effectively captured their attention, and now you’ve established some initial trust by helping them solve a problem that was at the forefront of their minds. Now, you want to convert them into paying client.
But first, it’s important to understand that not all leads are created equal. Some will be ready to buy, or could be ready with more consideration, while others may not be ready today or will never be ready at all.
For those that could be ready (or may not be ready today), you can get them ready (or stay on their radar for when they are ready) by sharing educational messages through your marketing as a means for nurturing your new relationship and building further trust. This is commonly referred to as “education-based marketing” and is a great way to keep your target audience engaged with your brand.
We’ve learned that your ability to convert more leads is directly tied to how often you follow up. Most consumers need to be exposed to your brand at least five to seven times before they are ready to book an appointment or make a purchase.
Unfortunately, most businesses give up after one or two attempts. As a result, they only convert as few as five percent of their leads, but Infusionsoft University reports that five or more follow ups, exposures and/or interactions can lead up to an 80 percent jump in conversions.
Consider how often you’re currently engaging with your audience and what kind of conversion rates you are getting now. If you want to see higher conversion rates, it may be just a matter of following up more often (and there are ways to do this automagically, but we’ll save that for a future post).
Now, it’s your turn.
- Clearly define your audience. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to to converting them into paying customers or clients.
- Identify a specific problem you help solve. Make it super clear how you can help, and there will be no confusion about your solution being right for them.
- Nurture new relationships by consistently delivering value. Keep reminding people who you are, what you do and why it matters to them.