How to Build an Effective Marketing Strategy: The Foundation
We recognize that most people got into business because they love what they do, and likely that didn’t include marketing. For others, it’s simply a matter of time. They’re busy running the business and serving their clients that slowing down long enough to get those marketing checkboxes ticked seems daunting.
Today, we’re going to give you the secret (not so secret now) recipe for building an effective marketing strategy.
Yes, it will still take time, but it doesn’t have to be daunting.
Let’s start with the basics. An effective marketing strategy always starts with you!
Branding: Who are you?
We’ve all heard of and seen quality branding. Take Chick-fil-A for example, everything from their logo to the “my pleasure” at the end of your experience is a part of their branding.
Your business is no different.
Everything from your look, messaging, and experience should be consistent and make it clear who you are to your clients. You get there by having clear in mind some key elements:
- What do you do?
- Who do you serve?
- How do you provide this in a way that’s different from your competitors?
- What do you want clients to walk away feeling/saying about their experience?
Goals: Benchmarking Success
Marketing without goals is like gardening without knowing what seeds you’re using. You don’t really know what you’re planting, what it takes to grow it or if it’s even what you want. It’s a lot of effort with anxious wondering attached, hoping everything is going to turn out ok.
When you build your marketing plan around your goals, the tasks, growth cycle and results become clear from the beginning.
Target Audience: Who do you want to attract?
After establishing how you will show up in the marketplace (aka branding) and what your goals are for your business the next step in establishing an effective marketing plan foundation is identifying your target audience.
Looking at our goal worksheet (here again if you missed it) you’ll see the natural progression working from your goal to who you need to serve.
This can be a little tricky at first, because for most business owners, our instinct is to not want to leave anyone out. We want all the clients we can get, right! So, when asked about our ideal client we tend to make sweeping, broad statements like “Anyone who…”
The problem with “anyone” is that “no one” comes to mind.
You want to make sure you’re specific enough that people either identify themselves as needing your services or recognize who exactly you are looking for.
How do you do this?
Focus on and highlight your clients’ results!
What transformation happens after they’ve worked with you? How have you solved their problem?
When you speak about your clients’ results, then you speak to your ideal audience.
Take the next week to set these 3 foundational elements in place for your business:
- Review your brand
- Set a goal
- Identify your target audience
And stay tuned for the next building blocks in upcoming blog posts.