Let’s face it, entrepreneurs are hustlers. You hustle everyday. You do what it takes to be the best. Your computer is next to you in bed…on the couch…at the dining table. You read blogs like this to try to get an edge on the competition. And whether you’re just starting out, or are an established small business, your connection to your customers is based on marketing.
Marketing, especially DIGITAL marketing, changes constantly. At times, it may be daunting to try to keep up with the multitude of trends. Whether Google changed their search engine algorithm, your social media of choice changed their rules, or a hot new trend or app takes off and you want to jump on the wave, there are still tried and true, steady wins the race, basics of marketing that you can always rely on.
1 – Be Authentic
We put authenticity first, because we think it sets the course for your path to success. Everyone is constantly inundated with ad after ad after ad, ad nauseam. Most of us have learned to tune out the noise and only let in the messages that strike a chord. What strikes that chord? Authenticity. It’s a simple philosophy, but difficult to stick to without a real understanding of why. Why did you start your business? What do you hope to provide to your customers? Once you know the why, just keep that in mind as you build your marketing strategy.
2 – Determine Your Target Market
The first step to reaching customers, is determining who needs your product or service? Why do they need it? Are there multiple verticals you can explore? For example, let’s say Janet started a company selling unique, handmade shoes. She will need to determine who will buy her shoes, what they will be used for, the price point that target market will pay for her product, and if there are other markets she can reach by ****totally lost train of thought here.
3 – Define Your Message
Determine what it is you want to say to your potential customers. Put it in words and images. In an authentic way, determine your 30-second conversational explanation and write out an e-mail pitch. Next, develop your full explanation of services and/or products, the company mission, your philosophy, and your values – what sets you apart from your competition? Play to your strengths when determining marketing for startups.
4 – Set A Budget
This is such an essential step that many new business owners skip. If you aren’t budgeting for marketing your startup business, you better have a backup plan, because you will not succeed. Unless you are well-versed in how to design a brand, build a website, solve any technical glitches, and launch strategic marketing plans, you’re going to need help. First, research your competition online and see what they’re doing. Set a budget for graphic design, website domain registration, website hosting, and advertising (Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Print Advertising, etc). This budget is over and above the basic costs of running a business, but it’s just as important. The amount to budget depends on your industry and goals. Consider a Purge Marketing consultation to help you get started!
5 – Use Social Media
Marketing your startup on social media is free if you do it organically. By that we mean to use your smartphone and take pictures or videos to tell your story, and create relationships with potential customers with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, and any other platforms you are familiar with. In addition, you can pay for social media plans and have professionals manage your social media. We recommend having a plan and scheduling out your content with a professional.
6 – Blog It!
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “content is king”. And it is. Also known as inbound marketing, you can use blog content to educate and build relationships with your potential customers. Research the best ways to write “keyphrases” into your blog as well, so it will be more likely to show up in search engines when potential customers search for terms related to your business.
7 – Study Your Competition (And Do It BETTER!)
Your best bet for standing out and being chosen over your competition is having a service or product offering that goes the extra mile. What is your competition doing? How are they approaching their marketing? How can you revamp your marketing message to make your customers feel they would get more benefit from you rather than your competition? This is where hiring a marketing team is useful. We help you think out of the box and apply our experience and come up with unique strategies!
8 – Set Your Intention
Last, but not least, and maybe the most important tip…set your intention! “Owner’s Intent” – what is your intention as a business owner? Why do you own this business? Or why do you work FOR this business? This is important in every aspect of your business (and life). Without setting the direction of your intent, your marketing message may get lost in the noise. A vision statement is a good tool to help you stay in touch with your intent.
In addition, “Intent Marketing” is marketing based on a customer’s intent to buy. Intent will help your business reach a more quality customer by optimizing your targeted message. If you’d like to learn more about Intent Marketing, or more in-depth ways to grow your business online, reach out to a Purge Marketing expert today!