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Dread Marketing Your Business? 5 Ingenious Strategies To Make Marketing Painless (and Profitable)

Are you a reluctant rainmaker? You’re great at what you do and would rather much spend your days doing that… than having to beat your own drum, and rattle neighboring trees to make new business fall into your lap.

If you view marketing as a pesky, annoying activity you have to get done rather than something that makes you leap out of bed every morning as you live and breathe (like me), then my friend, this article is for you.

Chances are if you groan when you think about marketing, it might be because at some level you think sales and marketing is about pushing, coercing or manipulating people into buying your services.

Ugh.

I don’t blame you if you feel less than thrilled if that’s what you think. Fact is that’s still the way most people teach marketing but to me that’s annoying, sneaky, and very outdated.

And, in case you needed any more reason to abandon that train of thought, in this new economy, that kind of approach just doesn’t fly.

Our clients are savvier than they’ve ever been in the history of marketing. They’re far more demanding, And they’re far more skeptical. Real marketing is about building relationship and establishing value first. If you’ve done a great job doing that – they’ll be the ones coming to you asking “how do I get more?” No magic tricks, hypnosis or voodoo involved. Just plain old-fashioned value combined with a dash of integrity and a good dose of creativity.

Here are 5 easy strategies to climb back in the saddle and make promoting your business a breeze:

  1. Give up chasing the sale (that’s the old school, old economy method). Most companies are so busy focusing on lead generation and finding new customers, they completely ignore the ones they have, and those customers wind up never buying from them again. That’s backwards, especially when you remember it costs five times as much money to sell to a new customer than it does to get an existing customer to buy again. Invest at least as much time and money into developing relationships with your existing customers as you do trying to find new ones.
  2. Get very clear about who you’re selling to. Don’t think of your target market as a target market. Think about them as a single individual – your ideal client. Give them a name, create a profile for them so that they’re a living breathing person. Now write all your marketing as if you’re writing just to that person. This will prevent your marketing from sounding like a boring mass marketing.
  3. No more marketing one night stands! Forget firing off just one marketing piece and expecting the poor little guy to do all the heavy lifting for you. At the bare minimum your marketing should be a 3-step campaign. Some of the most biggest (and most successful) campaigns I’ve ever done have involved as many as 49 different steps – in a range of different media. Repetition is key. You have to be like Waldo in your target market – popping up everywhere your prospects are looking.
  4. Create a marketing calendar for your business. This is a monthly and then weekly breakdown of all your marketing activities that you need to be doing in order to be filling your marketing funnel with qualified leads. Marketing is a process, not an event. It’s highly likely that if your marketing isn’t scheduled to happen in advance, then it doesn’t happen (unless you’ve got a cash flow crisis).
  5. Learn how to market your business but if it’s not your true love, then, outsource it fast and get out of your own way. Some of my best private clients are themselves very good marketers, so why do they hire me to help them? Because while they might be good at marketing, they’re not great at it – and it’s not their one supreme skill. Their time is far better spent doing what their supreme talent is – that might be face-to-face relationship building with giant accounts, beavering away in the back room creating new products, or implementing processes and systems to make their businesses run like a well oiled machine. Whatever your supreme talent is, that’s where you add the most value to your clients, and to your business. If marketing isn’t what you live and breathe – that’s ok. You don’t have to. There are plenty of great copywriters you can outsource it to (ahem!).

But what you do need to know is what great marketing looks like, and how to tell a great marketer from just a good one.

And one final word of advice, no matter who you use to help you with your marketing, never, ever hand over the reins to them entirely. This is YOUR business and as business owner you always need to keep a watchful eye on your marketing. It’s the lifeblood of your business.

The Real Ways To Advertise Your Business Online

eBay – It generates massive traffic.

You may think that this is a mistake and that eBay is only any good for selling off your old set of golf clubs. However tens of thousands of people register with eBay daily and over a billion page views were registered in 2007 alone! eBay is one of the most visited sites on the internet.

There are several ways you can advertise on eBay:

Online Auctions: Sell your products on eBay and drive customers to your personal website by including links to your About ME page. The About ME page is the one place on eBay that you are allowed to place external links, provided the site is the seller’s own personal site, not part of a larger site.

About ME: This page is the ticket to driving traffic from eBay to your own site. Place a well-placed link on your About ME page, and tell your visitors why they should visit. Please, make sure it complies with all eBay policies! Your account can be suspended for not abiding by eBay’s rules. Use your best copy-writing skills to draw in traffic to your About ME page, then to your site. Also, be sure to have a link on your personal site that allows users to sign up for a newsletter. This way, if they aren’t going to purchase, you can keep in touch. Learn more about creating an about us page for your eBay store, website or blog here.

My World Page: This page is also highly indexed by Google and the rest of the search engines. A quick example: Google your own eBay user ID. The My World page often is listed first! Use this page to advertise your items, talk about your business, and customize the best way to persuade viewers to visit your About ME page.

Social Bookmarking: There are many social websites that let you join a community and gain a following and the number is increasing every day. Two of the largest are Facebook and Twitter. Facebook allow you to advertise and have an advertising account. The potential is great for getting targeted traffic to your website. StumblUpon is a link sharing website that brings your favourite websites to you based on your interests. It has the potential to bring hundreds of thousands of visitors, but your content needs to be exceptional.

The thing about social bookmarking is that you can’t just drop your links into a social networking website and expect to generate traffic and you may be better off investing your time in writing articles. However, these websites can provide a useful back-link to your website and the opportunity should not be overlooked to use them.