Why you need a strategy for your marketing – part two

Chantal Cornelius, Appletree MarketingRecently I wrote a blog about why you need a strategy for your marketing and I explained two out of four possible strategies you can use. Click here to read the first blog about the first two strategies.

Here are the other two strategies you can consider.

3.       Selling Existing Services to New Clients

The third strategy you can consider looks at selling your existing services – the ones that you know work and are loved by your existing clients – to new clients with whom you’ve not worked before.

Your existing services have a proven track record. Hopefully you’ve got some great testimonials from your clients and case studies that show why clients came to you and how you helped them. These recommendations are what new clients will want to hear, before they work with you. Your existing clients know that you’re really good at what you do; your potential clients need to see, hear and read the proof. This strategy is about getting some help from your current clients, to help you sell your services to some new clients.

How can you sell your existing services and products to new clients?

4.       Selling New Services to New Clients

The final strategy is usually hardest – and can be the most expensive to carry out successfully. While it usually involves the most risk, strategy four can also bring you the biggest returns.

Why is it so risky and expensive? Because it’s about selling brand new products and services that have no track record, to potential clients who don’t know you, let alone trust you. You have no proof that your new products and services can do what you say they’ll do, because no one has bought them yet, or used them long enough to be able to see the results. This means that you can rely on existing clients to tell people how great you are.

In addition, this strategy is about finding new clients, with whom you have no reputation. They’ve not worked with you before – they might not even have heard of you – so selling them your expertise is going to be harder and require some really targeted marketing. If you’re up for a challenge and have already done everything you can or want to do with the first three strategies, then this one is for you!

Do you want to be brave and develop new products and services to sell to brand new clients?

How many strategies are you going to use to promote your business? Have you worked out which ones to use? Whichever ones you’re going to use, start at the top of the list and work your way down. Strategy one is the easiest and most cost effective, while strategy four is usually the most expensive and risky – even though it can provide the biggest returns. Even if you’re going to use a combination of strategies, start at the top of the list and work your way down it for the best overall results.

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How do you use Twitter?

Alice

In marketing terms, people view using Twitter in different ways. Some see it as a somewhere to make friends and listen to lots of gossip. Others use it for fact finding and a method for free and easy research. Others regard it as a voyeur’s haven, watching what others are saying and gleaning the latest news before it breaks. And then there are others who treat it merely as a place to feed your blog into and share expertise and tips.

 
So which scenario do you fit into?
 
Do you use your name in your Twitter username? Are you interacting freely with your followers? Do you start and partake in conversations? Do you write your tweets yourself? Are they spontaneous or composed beforehand? Do you keep an eye on Twitter throughout the day?
 
Do you use your business as your Twitter username? Are you representing a corporate identity? Do you only tweet what you’ve been told to say? Are you given free rein to reply? Do you find you’re repeating the usual mantra without any personal context?

Are you representing a brand on Twitter? Do you monitor the Twittersphere to see what others are saying about your brand? Do you intervene only to correct misconceptions? Do you promote facts and figures in order to spread awareness to a larger audience?

Are you using Twitter to spread your expertise through blog feeds and top tips? Do you use an automated service to carefully space out your tweets throughout the day? Is this to give the impression of a constant presence, or to capture different people in different time zones?

Remember, using social media should be a sociable affair, to create relationships with others in order to find out more about each other, with an aim towards long-term associations, referrals and recommendations, and maybe (or ultimately) business.

This mechanism for creating two-way, even multiple-way, communications with any like-minded person should not be abused by the never-ending desire to sell and make money, for cheap and easy research, or to crow about how wonderful you are.

Using Twitter means sharing resources and ideas, problems and answers, tips and expertise without a hint of selling, gossip and laughter, making connections and above all, friendship.

How to build your brand through social media

Alice

First, let’s get outside the concept that a brand is your logo, and establish that it’s also your customer service and your attitude to those who buy or do business with you.

And when you’re dealing with social media, it’s the ‘attitude’ part that becomes important. When analysing this medium, half of its name needs to be properly considered: ‘social’. This concept should not be ignored or forgotten.

So to use social media for brand awareness, you need to be sure what aspect of your brand is most effective in attracting your customers. Do some marketing research to find out what makes it attractive, and how it relates to their problems, needs and lifestyles.

Then you need to start communicating with people, and that’s were social media comes in. Even before you start broadcasting about your brand, amass a following. Do this by being friendly, interested, chatty, funny, educational, informative, helpful, showing empathy – whatever is needed to draw attention to yourself.

Social media works by being interested in what others are doing. In other words, by being sociable. Remember you need to work at it – friendships are not one-minute wonders, they take time, and gradually your followers will get to know you, like you and eventually trust you, and when they feel they can ask you anything or tell you their latest story, then that’s half the battle won.

Then you start broadcasting about your brand, and answer anybody who responds to it. This is not an exercise in selling – far from it!  Social media does not tolerate selling tactics. This is when you start to share stuff that is interesting, helpful, useful and beneficial to your friends. Notice I said friends, not customers – if your friends like what you are offering them, then eventually they will become customers, or refer you to others who are more likely to become customers.

Because you’ve gained the trust from your followers, they are then more likely to notice you, your business and your brand. You haven’t forced anything at them, you’ve allowed them to find out about you at their own pace, even if what you are offering them isn’t suitable for them. That doesn’t matter, they can easily become advocates on your behalf, and don’t forget a ‘warm’ referral is much more effective than a ‘cold’ call.

By becoming known as a helpful resource within your brand or business, all accomplished by being purely ‘sociable’, you are far more likely to be remembered, recommended and referred to, and who knows who might pick up on various aspects of your ‘sociability’, if you’re recognised as an expert in your field, it can only provide chances to expose your brand even further…