If you haven’t really got past writing the odd blog article and posting on social media when you have time, you need to take some time out and put a proper marketing strategy in place.

OK – that sounds a bit like a teacher (or maybe your mum!)  But if you’re serious about business, marketing underpins every aspect of what your business does:

  • Business goals
  • Research & development
  • Sales
  • Purchasing
  • Promotions
  • Public relations
  • Competitive analysis
  • Demographics

These are all part of the marketing process.

For the purpose of this – let’s just focus on the part that relates to ensuring that your target audience gets to know, like and trust you.

There are, in essence, 5 steps to this – assuming you already have your business goals established.

Step 1:  Know your ideal client inside out

Who they are, what kind of business they own, who they serve, how many staff they have, what keeps them awake at night, what are these problems stopping them from achieving?

Step 2:  How can you help them?

How do you solve their problems and what is the impact of that for them?  They probably have more than one problem, although they may be related, be clear about exactly how you can help.

It’s not just that the problem can be fixed, it’s the benefits they will get from it being fixed.

Step 3:  Where do they hang out?

When you are clear about who you are trying to attract, you’ll find life a lot easier if you go where they are and get noticed.  For instance, if your audience are crafters and hobbyists, you’ll struggle to get their attention on LinkedIn, but Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are all good places to reach them.  Similarly, if you want to connect and impress HR managers, you’ll find they will be easier to engage on LinkedIn, particularly in groups where HR managers congregate to talk about their issues.

Step 4:  Take a look at all the tools that are available

Before you start picking out the methods of reaching your audience, it’s wise to not only know the possibilities, but also to understand how they work.  These are a few:

Your website Social media Blogging
Newsletter Email marketing Marketing funnel
Podcasts Videos Webinars
PR Advertising Direct Mail
SEO Networking Joint ventures
Speaking Authorship

Step 5: Means, Manpower & Measurement

Now you can select the tools you plan to use, and you’ll also need to decide if you will do the work yourself, hire or train someone to do it or outsource some or all of it.  Start small and work up.

You’ll also need to decide how you will measure success – and give each one some time to bed in and start to deliver consistent results.  Marketing is a slow burn, not a quick hit.