To some people, marketing feels like a dirty word, often used as a metaphor for “overly pushy salesperson.” In reality, this shouldn’t be the case! When you think like a marketer, you’ve hit the perfect balance between clearly explaining the benefits of your product or service and considering a customer’s needs. Need a little help to think like a marketer? Here are some tips!
Put yourself in your client’s shoes to help them solve a problem or meet a need.
Though you’re a business owner, inevitably you’re also a consumer. When it’s time to craft your web content or email offerings, put on your consumer hat for a minute and think about what appeals to you. Just as you don’t want to read someone’s full resume or a laundry list of services they offer with no explanation, neither does your client. They want to know how you can help them solve a problem or meet a need. Any content you create should specifically address that problem or need. I like to start with the title of my page first, making sure I’m considering what someone would be typing into Google. Clearly state what they will get when they read the content. Then, write the content to fulfill that promise.
From there, present actionable steps. Lay out exactly what someone can expect when they’re working with you. Guide them through the transition they’ll experience (not just the steps you provide). Make it a personal connection. Don’t forget to conclude with a call to action. You’re not being “salesy” when you do this. Potential clients need guidance about the next steps they’re supposed to take. Whether it’s signing up for an email newsletter or calling for a free consultation, get specific about how they can get started.
Use language that’s easy to understand
Your clients didn’t go through the same training you did. It’s why they’re hiring you for your expertise, but it’s also why you need to avoid using industry jargon when you’re crafting your content. Pro tip: scout out the words they use to describe the issue they’re having. Mirror that language in your marketing.
Make marketing a priority
As a business owner, you’re constantly pulled in a million different directions. Don’t let marketing slip to the bottom of your list of priorities. Make it a point to have monthly marketing meetings where you focus on your goals and designate tasks so everyone on your team can take ownership of their duties. Knee-jerk social media posts and poorly written blogs take up your time and won’t yield results. Think through the dates and times you’re publishing content, and consider whether your topics are relevant and timely for your audience. There should be a “why” behind each aspect of your marketing efforts.
It’s okay to ask for the sale, I promise! A strong call to action is a key part of any marketing piece. Yet you can encourage would-be clients to take that next step without sounding like a cheesy used car salesman shouting at them from a TV commercial. Your words should feel authentic and natural, and shouldn’t include phrases like “Hurry! This deal is going fast!” or “We’ve got a limited time offer for you!” If you’re Target or Wayfair and you’re trying to sell coffee tables, this kind of language is okay. If you’re an acupuncturist or have a small product line, it’s off-putting to those who are considering working with you. Instead, state clearly who the offer is for, how it can benefit potential clients, what problem it can solve, and invite them to sign up.
Pre-qualify potential clients
Just as important as saying what you can do for them, you can also say who you can’t help or what you don’t do. If you’re careful (and gentle) about how you do this, would-be toxic or time-sucking clients won’t be tempted to reach out to you.
Be intentional with your website
Your site should feel intuitive to visitors. Tell a story and walk your client through the information they need to understand to hire you, helping them to find the information they’re looking for as they go. When you think like a marketer, you become a guide for your client, enabling them to make a purchasing decision that’s right for them. If you’re not thinking like a marketer, your website will be hard to navigate. You’ll lose clients before they even get to the good stuff!
Develop structure for your content plan
First and foremost, you should know why you’re creating your content in the first place. If it’s “because I have to” then it’s time to take a step back and rethink your vision. You should consider what potential visitors will be typing into search engines to find a business like yours. You should also think about what someone is hoping to find when they visit your site. Does your content thoroughly answer their questions, free of fluff? Lastly, you want to be sure that a visitor feels prompted to take action after spending time on your site.
It’s officially a new year, which means it’s time to get clear on how you’re promoting yourself and positioning your web content to potential clients. If you could use a little help, start with our free Brand Marketing checklist.
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