The real marketing secrets I wish I’d known earlier
There are many factors in our businesses being successful and it can seem like your the only one who doesn’t know the marketing secrets behind the extreme or well positioned success of others in your industry.
Marketers deliver us plain old oversimplification of how much better things will be for us after we do this or that tactic, every. single. day.
I’ve never found it that easy. Like most of us when we expect something to work and it doesn’t garner any solid or fast results we find reasons to discontinue.
I’ve done this so many times that I’d have to sit down and map out a chronology of my business in order to come up with an accurate number. Honestly, I’ve tried absolutely everything. No tactic unturned.
Because of this, on many occasions, I’ve declared that mass marketing doesn’t work.
There’s a lot of truth to that AND it also means I wasn’t committed carving my little place within it. Because an online business needs to show up somewhere online. Just not everywhere.
There’s a huge breakdown between the marketing that sells and the marketing secrets that no one is telling us about …
Mass marketing can work if you commit to all the hard work (outlined below) and it doesn’t usually work in the way that it’s presented to us … use all the tactics and keep adding new ones.
I’ve been researching, observing and interviewing what’s really working for years and I’ve come up with 5 marketing secrets or principles that will grow a healthy, rewarding businesses for the long-term.
1. Start with content
Most of us don’t show up online enough because we don’t know what to say! There’s so much out there already. How do we sound original and interesting? How do we disseminate all our ideas and turn them into something worthy of sharing.
Good content is what you’re all about and learning what to say online comes from your work, your beliefs and your unique experience. Showing up online begins with being committed to your content. Once you get into the practice of creating it regularly and putting it into a shareable from (a IG, FB or LI post, a podcast episode or video) you’ve got the number one foundation for marketing your little heart out … and feeling good about it.
2. Consistency drives growth
To grow our business we have to show up. But not everywhere just in ONE place. We also have to recognize that this will only work if we bring our best to the place we choose. Back to point one, you’ll find it easier to show up when you’re being a thought leader or an expert, fuelled by content that makes you proud.
I struggled to contribute in places where the conversations were too personal. I’m not a natural promoter, preferring shop talk to sharing personal stuff online. So finding places where the topics are weigh heavier towards strategy and where I can be of value that way, makes it more fun.
And taking away all expectations of being consistent on more than one platform has to happen. We have to be masters in one place before taking on another.
A lot of experts say “go where your clients are hanging out!”. Well the truth is, most clients are hanging out everywhere. So we don’t need to be everywhere but we need to show up like a pro just somewhere to get noticed by the the right people.
3. Make connection the goal
I was late to the party with this concept! For whatever reason I missed the second stage of marketing – engagement. I thought that awareness could lead directly to sales.
This image shows the three phases your prospect goes through. I prefer using the word engagement to consideration because it’s a better way to gauge our ability to connect to others. Which may lead to their considering us as a viable solution to their current problem.
What I didn’t do well is make sure my Awareness activities lead to Engagement. Because that should have been my goal. It’s unrealistic to think Awareness should drive Sales (my word for Conversion). By not understanding how people buy, I gave up on my tactics more easily.
I actually think direct outreach is the BEST way to get faster engagement and make real lasting connections for many service providers. It’s worked for me and I think many entrepreneurs rose up the revenue ranks through their connections well before they became marketing machines.
4. Show up with confidence in your brand
I could write a book about positioning and brand value. I began listening to the Story Brand audiobook and didn’t get far because I could have written it myself. Knowing the true value of our brand is critical for all entrepreneurs. When we know this, we show up way more confident online, which takes:
- Believing in ourselves and our value
- Understanding it so well people flock to us, and
- Having a strong sense of what our tribe wants to hear.
Confidence is the force behind marketing. As I’ve been working behind the scenes on some high level Facebook ads accounts recently, I’ve noticed that the business owners willingness to spend money in order to make money is directly related to the amount of confidence they have in their brand.
And this usually comes down to a clear target audience, focusing on one core offer they believe in and belief that their offer is as good as anyone else’s … or even better.
Chances are you’re really close to this as well. Most of us are so good and what we do and we’ve got blocks from seeing it all. External validation is super important (which can be found through connection – see previous point 😉) for anyone who wants to gain confidence. You can wait for it to come to you, but it’s best to seek it out.
5. Make a 100% commitment to just one thing
And now back to commitment. All of this requires that singular element. So what is a good length of time to commit to a marketing tactic before expecting to see it bring in leads, clients and set you up as a leader? Well, it’s probably a lot longer than you might expect.
I recently watched a video where Helen Pritchard, a LinkedIn expert, declared that showing up on that platform consistently, will start to pay off in 18-24 months.
Thanks goodness for other realistic and real business owners. Many marketing “experts” tell us stories of how quickly things changed for them using their method, without revealing the long build up to that turning point. Helen’s reality check was music to my ears because I knew it was true.
There are success stories everywhere about people who showed up and made it big. They don’t tell you how much work they put into it and for how long, but trust me, it’s rarely ever overnight or even over a few years.
If you want the pay off, you have to do the work. But just knowing it will work, and how long it actually takes hopefully provides some relief to you.
Use these marketing secrets to build your authentic marketing plan
I believe marketing can feel good. When we clear out the negative association from feeling overwhelmed, feel more on purpose and less pressure, it’s easier to see it as the force behind rewarding growth.
Make it about connection, personal growth and service not just the numbers. With both, you’ll be on your way to building a business you love even more.