You have a small business. Maybe it's in the start-up phase. Maybe it's been around for a while. Maybe it serves international customers. Or, perhaps it serves only a small geographical radius.

No matter its size or its age, the marketing of your brand is crucial to its survival. Unless your ideal customers know about your brand—and what it can do for them—they can't care about it, engage with it or buy from it.

Which brings me to my point:

You've probably noticed that your competitors have not only reached their target audiences, they have fully engaged them. Those audience members are now loyal customers and are adding to the momentum by talking about those brands, recommending them and referring more ideal customers to them.

And yet…it seems that every marketing strategy you've tried has fallen flat.

You've published ads. You've done direct mailings. You've run email campaigns…

Here's the truth: You've tried everything you know. There's so much more to discover (and to invent) in order to reach your target audience, magnetise them and move them to action. And guess what? Most of those things have nothing to do with ad campaigns.

I have a few suggestions for spurring your marketing strategy, and I'm sharing them here.

Marketing 'Campaigns' for Smalls Brands

Of course, no two brands are alike. However, there are a few areas that most brands overlook when they're creating and implementing their marketing strategies. I have used those areas to compile a list of tips for small businesses wanting to kick-start their marketing…by thinking outside the conventional marketing campaign.

  • Think Only About Your Niche. This means working to appeal to your ideal customers, and no one else. Does it mean you will exclude or offend some people? Yes. Should you be concerned about this? Never. As long as you're not calling out or humiliating those you're excluding, you're on the right track.
  • Aim for the Star Clients. Know who your dream client is, what they need, what they like and the things they respond to and engage with. Now put your brand in front of your dream client(s). Too many small business owners assume that they're not big enough, important enough or established enough to make it big with their clientele lists. This is flawed thinking, without substantiation.
  • Stay in the Pocket of Your Most Satisfied Customers. If you have just one customer who adores your brand and talks to others about it, follow them around and connect with the people they're connected with. Does this mean stalk them? No. It means pay attention to what they do, whom they spend time with, the causes they champion…and get involved in those communities so that all your communications are more impactful.
  • Do More Things on a Public Stage. Do you answer questions and help customers and followers through difficult times? Do you give advice that changes outcomes for the better? Then why are you doing those things in the privacy of your own office? Find ways to take them public (e.g. live events or social media sharing) and they will become your marketing campaigns.
  • Give Things Away. marketing-adviceDid you just cringe? Because you've spent lots of time, money and energy creating the things you're selling…and you can't possibly afford to give them away? Here are two things to consider. First, you don't have to give away your primary product; create something else that is highly valuable that can lead to that primary product. Second, you're not 'technically' giving anything away, because you'll get contact details in exchange for that free gift. If used to their full advantage, those contact details will lead to sales and more customers. That's far more valuable than any one-time purchase.
  • Invest Sparingly in Ads. Too many of us (because I used to do it) dump money into spray-and-pray ad campaigns. Sure, the platforms you're using are giving you the power to create targeted audiences, and they're showing you metrics that might look impressive. But let me ask you this: How many sales can you attribute to those ads? And did those sales result in long-term brand loyalty or recommendations to your ideal customers? Before you pay for any type of advertising, know that you're going to be in front of only the people who matter, and people whom you know will jump on what you're offering. Otherwise, your time would be better spent personally reaching out to those people.
  • Show, Don't Tell. How many brands are telling things to your target audience every day? Let's be honest: your ideal customers are being bombarded. And how many brands are showing things to your target audience? This is a far smaller number. Instead of telling your ideal customers how you can change their lives, demonstrate it. Give them a taste of what life with your brand will be like. Enact real change on a small scale. Show them what they'll taste, feel, see, hear and/or be when they come onboard with your brand. This is marketing; it's real, it's effective…and if you're doing it for those who need your solution the most, the ROI will be higher than any conventional ad campaign.

If I could leave you with one sentiment, it would be this:

You can't sit behind your computer, creating ads and spewing them about, hoping to make connections. Because even when you do reach an ideal customer, he or she will feel no real connection with your brand. They won't know who you are, why you're doing this or what they can expect to experience once connected with you.

It's time to get real; to forge real relationships with real people who are really interested in doing business with your brand. Start with the tips above. Continue by looking into the Brand Builders Club, where freedom-focussed entrepreneurs are gathering to learn to building their purpose-driven brands. Email me at [email protected] to schedule a call in which we'll determine if the club is right for you.

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