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Four Marketing Keys for New Mid-Life Entrepreneurs

Aug 17, 2007
It used to be that middle age was the time to buy a fancy sports car, take up hang-gliding and mountain climbing, and dump your old life-partner for a newer model.

It's been called mid-life crisis, the sudden realization that life is finite and the time to achieve your dreams is already half gone.

Times change. It's not that 30- to 40-year-olds have all magically come to grips with middle-age, it's just that for many millions of them the method of scratching their feelings of angst has altered.

Now, rather than buying a cheap toupee and bluffing their way into trendy night spots, many in the 30-to-40-year-old club have decided that the best and most exciting way to take their life in a new direction is to shuck their suit and tie or high heels and dress and drop-kick their 9 to 5 lifestyle into another time zone.

What this new generation of mid-lifers has discovered is the joy of starting and running their own business.

They are part of the new and ever-growing legions of mid-life entrepreneurs.

There is no one reason that someone in mid-life chooses to become an entrepreneur. For some it is simply a feeling that there must be something more to life than working for someone else day in and day out. For others it may be the involuntary loss of a job and the need to replace the lost income. For still others it can be the desire to do something more with one's life, to give something back to the community.

But no matter what the reason, the numbers are growing. Today, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost one quarter of new business start-ups are helmed by someone 30 to 50.

Take Andrew Aussie, 39, who was head of marketing for 11 years for Kashi brand cereals before deciding that he could do a better job on his own and, at age 37, started his own natural food company, Honest Foods. Next year he expects to top $1 million in sales.

Or Reed Hastings, who, after being charged more than $40 in late fees at a video store, decided there had to be a better way and, at age 42, founded the highly-successful Netflix DVD subscription service.

Not all middle-aged entrepreneurs strive for the mega-success of a Netflix, but the Census Bureau estimates that over the next decade new business start-ups by middle-aged "regular folks" will account for as much as 65% of the nation's goods and services.

Are you one of them? You likely have skills and expertise, but do you have business and marketing acumen? It's one thing to be reading to launch a start-up and quite another knowing how to properly structure and create success. To attain profitability, we recommend all entrepreneurs focus on 4 keys:

1. Establish a memorable and unmistakeable brand identity:

The secret to business success is determined by your ability to powerfully communicate your business with laser precision and your ability to deliver a clearly-defined and consistent experience.

In a nutshell... it's called branding, and, when done right, it ensures a thriving business with all the customers and profits you need. The secret is to establish a powerful brand identity that sings distinction. And establish that identity before you launch any marketing activities.

2. Create a deep connection with your core target audience - your potential raving fans!

Who wants and needs what you have to offer? The only wrong answer is "everyone." If you're a pediatrician, you may see infants and children. Are they your target audience? No! They are your patients, but it's the parents you need to connect with to get the kids in your door. And it's not just any parents - it's a definite group of parents.

In marketing, you get a lot more "bang for your buck" if you focus your spending on a well-defined group of people that you enjoy working with. The better you define this group, the more effective your marketing can be.

3. Design compelling offerings that pull customers in like a magnet.

80% of all purchase decisions are based on emotion. It's your job as a marketer to know how your customers want to feel and to get them to visualize how your services can meet their needs. People want to know, "What's in it for me?" Tap into the emotion and create offerings that touch your customers.

4. Craft A Personal, Workable Marketing Plan

Marketing is everything you do to make your product or service more visible, more desirable and more profitable. Your marketing plan will clearly define the big picture and provide focus and direction based on the 4 'P's of Marketing - product, price, place/distribution and promotion.

Since 90% of small business owners do not have a plan, you'll have a leg up on your competition by crafting your personal, workable marketing plan to ensure that you reach your business goals.

Are you ready to create a business you can brag about? Do your homework, listen to your calling, and get out and play big! There's more to life than that 9 to 5 job working for someone else!
About the Author
Certified Marketing Spitfires Holly George and Leslie Hamp are creators of the 'Fast Track to Marketing Mastery' program. To learn more about the step-by-step program, and to sign up for their fre*e Marketing Mastery Success Kit, visit www.boostyourbottomline.com
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