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Low Cost Powerful Marketing

Sep 3, 2008
What is your USP? Your "Unique Selling Proposition" that defines why your customers buy your products and services. You must articulate what is truly unique about you that sets your products and service apart from your competitors. Having defined this message in one or two sentences (or less) you then need to ensure that every marketing initiative reflects and supports your USP.

What is your niche? Your niche is the demographic or target market that you serve. For example, you may supply dental practices located within one hour of Melbourne with hygiene technology. The more specific your niche the easier it is to market.

What is your marketing "Tag Line"? Try and develop a line that appears under your business name or logo that conveys what you do in just a few words. For example, Australia Post's is "We Deliver". Nike's is "Just Do It". These words can become synonymous with your business.

What is your "Elevator Pitch"? An elevator pitch is how you would describe your business if someone asked you in an elevator and had only 30 seconds to explain it. It should be succinct and be memorable. Develop this, practice it and teach all your people so that your offering is promoted consistently in all internal and external communication.

Be an Expert. It is critical that you are (and perceived to be) an expert in your field. Be passionate and focused on being the best at your craft. There are no shortcuts here. Even the best marketing in the world won't save you from the reality of having to deliver on match day.

Create a Marketing Calendar. Draft a calendar year marketing system stating what you will action each month and make a commitment to doing it.

Marketing Activities

Multiple Formats. Ensure your marketing materials are in multiple formats - hard copy, soft copy (PDF) & website.

Brochure. Some people suggest they are a waste of money. My experience tells me that people you meet often like you to leave something with them at a meeting. Loose leaf is best and allows changes to be made easily.

Website. A website allows people to "check you out" before they call or meet you. Even a basic low cost website costing under $1,000 can make a first meeting with a potential customer feel like a second meeting because they are already familiar with you and know a little about your business. Even if you can't afford one now, register your domain name so you can have it on your business stationery and put "under construction" on the site.

Email. Have a professional email address that portrays a serious business. Have a professional email signature (the blurb below your email message) that lists your contact details. Use a consistent email style and etiquette. Every business email you send is marketing.

Personal Branding. Develop a personal brand. What do you stand for? What are your values? How do you dress? How do you communicate to book meetings, return phone calls and emails? How do you write emails, letters, proposals and make presentations? Develop a style and present yourself in an authentic manner in which you wish to be portrayed. Do this every day forever.

Business Stationery. It is very cheap with technology today to have great business stationery. Business cards, letterhead and with compliments slips. Use both sides of the business card and make sure that the card conveys your USP and states what you do. This would be one of the biggest and cheapest missed opportunities.

E-Newsletters. Printed newsletters involve printing costs and postage. Online e-newsletters can be prepared at little or no cost other than your time. Build a database to communicate with your contacts at least monthly and share your expertise to help people.

Articles. Consider writing articles on topics of interest to your target market. Send them out yourself and consider submitting them to websites, industry related groups and trade media.

Speaking. Surveys have found that people often rate public speaking above their own death in terms of fear. If you can muster the courage, speaking in front of your target market is probably the most powerful marketing tool that positions you as an expert in your field.

Write. Consider writing a tips sheet, a free e-book or "How To" book on topics of interest to your target market. You don't have to be a published author and you even if you can't write well, you probably know someone who can help you.

Media Pack. Create a media pack that contains your business or personal biography, example articles and brochure. It can be handy in approaching print or electronic media for a launch or innovation.

Business Development Activities. Make a commitment to book a number of business development meetings with interested parties for coffee, a meal or at your premises. Attend seminars, trade shows and events. Don't be invisible. Be proactive and have fun.

Referral System. How do people refer work to you? Draft how people can refer work to you and tell them. Ask customers for testimonials and referrals if you are proud of your work and have delivered results.

Give Give Give. Offer your target market a chance to understand you, to taste your product or service and get to know you. Offer a review, a checklist or a sample. Give them a reason to contact you and work with you. Don't be precious about your knowledge.

Darren Bourke, Business Influence, 2008. You are welcome to "reprint" this article online as long as it remains complete (including the "about the author" information at the end).
About the Author
Darren Bourke is a Consultant, Business Coach & Mentor who helps small & medium businesses struggling to maximize profitability, productivity, people and performance. His Free Report titled What Successful Owners of Growth Businesses Do That You Don't, newsletter and updates are full of strategies and tips to make your business boom. Sign up now at www.businessinfluence.com.au
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