Easily Double Your Business… Spend your Time on Marketing!
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a bigger series on supercharging the growth in your business. To start at the beginning click here – Nine Critical Strategies to Grow Your Business in 2020!
In my last article, I talked about being a great leader. I hope you learned a ton. As a leader you often need to jump in and take the reigns… and nowhere is that more true than in marketing.
When it comes to marketing, I believe one big thing:
Without Marketing and Sales, you don’t have a Business.
It all starts with sales and marketing.
At the end of the day, you can have the world’s greatest product or service, but if you don’t have marketing to let the world know about your product… you’re dead in the water.
Straight up, there are millions of websites sharing information about marketing.
There are millions of hours of podcasts talking about marketing. Facebook marketing, twitter marketing, email marketing, online marketing, offline marketing… it goes on and on.
I know a ton about marketing… but I don’t call myself an expert. But, I do know what’s working in my business. I also more importantly know what has NOT worked!
That’s what I’m going to share with you today.
First, I’m going to share a few general lessons about marketing. Then I’ll dive into some specifics around text message marketing.
So let’s get going…
Small Business Advantages In Marketing
As a business owner, you have a major advantage in marketing.
You can change your marketing on a dime.
If you’re running marketing for Coca Cola… it can take years to change messaging, content, ideas, and graphics!
As a small business owner, if your marketing isn’t working on Friday, you can spend the weekend and re-create your message… rework your ads… make a new offer… create new content… design new graphics… and re-launch everything on monday.
And if that doesn’t work, you can do it again.
This is a huge advantage many small business owners overlook!
It leads me to the first rule of successful marketing…
Constantly Test Your Marketing.
Always be looking for something better.
Be thinking about new ways to offer your product or service… What new deals can you create? What pricing changes can you make?
Always be looking for new reasons someone will buy.
Always be testing… testing… testing!
Once you find something that works, roll it out. If your Facebook ad is working, test the message on twitter and google. Modify it to test on email campaigns and in banner ads. Test it on radio, TV, direct mail.
Just remember to test, test, and test some more.
Here’s a great story about WHY you need to keep testing.
This happened a few years back. At the publishing company, I ran an ad and after a dozen or so variations, it started to really work.
I was getting newsletter signups for less than a $1 a name.
Keep in mind, my target goal was $4.
It was amazing… I kept ramping and ramping up my spending. At one point we were spending $1,000 a day on Facebook ads. Crazy right!
Well, it didn’t last.
The ad ran for a few months, and like an idiot I stopped testing. The Ad was working… Why test anything new? This one ad was killing it!
Well, you don’t need to be a genius to know what happened next.
One day, Facebook woke up in a grumpy mood and decided my ad wasn’t good. They banned my ad. I objected. I emailed. I called. No one at Facebook would tell me why the ad was banned, or what I was doing wrong…
Three weeks later I started testing again. (It was a big mistake to wait by the way)
Here was the problem… because I stopped testing other ads, I had no idea what to do next. I didn’t have a backup ad.
I had to start from square one – all over again. And that was painful.
Finally I got out of my funk and tweaked the original ad a bit. Then I hit the publish button.
I couldn’t even get the ad to run.
Facebook banned that ad too.
And the next one I tested ran… but my lead costs jumped by 1,900%
The golden goose was roasted.
Don’t make my mistake… always be testing your ads.
So, testing is rule number one. Rule number two is…
Plan Out Your Marketing Strategy
I meet with business owners all the time. And I’m shocked at how few spend any time focused on marketing.
Many haven’t even spent 10 minutes on a marketing plan…
It makes me sick.
Remember marketing is the most important part of any business. This biggest mistake owners make is not making time for it… Often, it’s passed over for much less important activities… like sweeping the floor or emptying the trash.
Seriously, if you haven’t thought about your business marketing for 20 minutes this week, stop what you’re doing right now and focus on marketing.
It’s not hard.
Think about these three things:
- What is your offer?
- Why should they buy from you?
- What questions do customers have?
Why these three?
Because they will help you put together a great strategy to market your products. By the way, you should be able to answer these questions for each and every product you have.
Think about these three topics and use your ideas to come up with advertisements to market your product.
For example, if you sell a product that’s more expensive, but of better quality… then you know what your marketing message needs to be… Quality over price.
Focus on your quality.
Answer questions by customers about your quality. Highlight your better quality, above average return / warranty offering. Make your product look different from your competition.
Some call this your Unique Selling Proposition… or USP.
Build your marketing around your USP… and turn this into a strategy.
Use this throughout your customers entire buying journey.
What do I mean by this?
If your selling point is quality… make sure your ads focus on quality. Your Website should focus on quality, your educational content should focus on quality. Your price should focus on quality… your packaging should focus on quality. Your follow-up should represent quality… your warranty should scream quality!
You get to craft the entire message… so make it consistent and impactful.
I’ll give you a real world example in a moment.
Just realize, having a strategy isn’t enough.
Once the strategy is outlined, you need to put it in place… take action and do it!
Then we get to Marketing Rule #3…
Expand Your Marketing Strategy
Once you find a marketing strategy that works, why would you expand it?
Because just ONE of anything is dangerous.
If you’re running Facebook ads… run some ads in Google, and Twitter, and learn to buy banner ads too.
If you communicate with people over email mix it up. Call them, use text messages, use physical mail.
If you have an ad that offers a free report, offer a checklist, a how to video, offer a free sample… expand what you offer!
If you promote yourself with blog articles, start making videos, and do podcasts. Expand your marketing.
If you rely too heavily on one advertising platform, they can shut you down, or disappear at any time. You don’t want to show up one day and learn your entire business has been destroyed because Facebook cancelled your ads!
Speaking of ads… this brings us to marketing rule #4…
Educate, Don’t Sell…
This marketing rule took me a long time to learn.
Just realize, nobody likes to be sold.
Imagine stepping onto a used car lot. Do you want to talk to the salesman? Of course not! Nobody does.
Pushy sales people are hated the world over.
So, when you look at your own marketing don’t be pushy.
Work hard to educate your customers and prospects.
Teach people about your features and benefits. Share examples and ideas. Use case studies to show what results they might get!
Keep positive, and get people excited about your product.
So, what’s next?
We’ve covered the 4 keys to successful marketing… Now I want to pick one small part of marketing and really drill down on it.
What are we going to discuss text marketing of course….
Text Marketing for Your Business.
As an owner of Betwext.com I’m 100% biased, but I think texting is a critical part of very marketing strategy.
The sad part is, text marketing is often overlooked by many marketing teams.
Why do I love text marketing?
Because text marketing is not only easy, it’s very effective.
Consider this… Text messages are read 90% of the time. Email gets read 10%… maybe 20% of the time.
Social media gets seen even less… by some measures as little as 1% to 3%!
At the end of the day, texting is my favorite way to connect and communicate.
Maybe you’re already using texting in your business… or you’re brand new to text marketing. Either way, here’s a handful of best practices for you to focus on.
First, make sure you gather names and contact info in the right way.
I see so many businesses that don’t know the rules about text marketing… They just text anyone… at any time. It’s going to bite them in the ass.
Here’s the number one thing to remember… ONLY text people who have given you permission to text them… it’s that simple. And keep a record of who gave you permission (it’s the law).
Don’t buy a list. Don’t use a list that’s not yours. And, never text someone who hasn’t asked for your messaging.
Follow those simple rules and you’ll be just fine.
Second, once you get people on your list, SEGMENT!
Remember, everyone is different… so you don’t want to send the same message to everyone.
You want to segment your messages and segment the people on your list.
For example, you probably have very different messages to send to customers and prospects. And I can guarantee you want different messages for your VIPs too.
Don’t forget, you can segment your employees too.
I know one business who sends their employees regular messages about operating the business…. And the results have never been better!
So, segment, segment, segment.
Another best practice…
Be consistent with your messages.
Plan to send regular messages to people on your list. The reason is simple, you don’t want them to forget who you are!
Now, there’s a fine line here… you don’t want to annoy your prospects and customers either.
A good rule of thumb I like to use is weekly messages. Send a message once a week… maybe more, maybe less depending on your business.
But don’t just send any message…
Best practice number four…
Don’t send crap messages.
This is a big pet peeve of mine… please, please, please don’t send horrible messages.
Your text messages need to have a purpose… they need to be educational, informational, or entertaining.
This isn’t Twitter!
Only send a message when you have something good to say.
So, how do you make sure you have great messages…
Five, have a strategy for your text marketing.
Before you start sending text messages, you need to set up a strategy.
Remember, you want to educate, inform, and entertain.
That means sharing different types of content. One day share a video, another day share a blog post. Share a great offer, or an inspirational quote. Share things that will resonate with your subscribers.
If you’re running a restaurant, send coupons, deals, opening times, specials… maybe have a secret menu item only texting people know about!
If you’re selling software… link to how-to videos, or articles about the topic at hand… or your own blog posts (because you only produce great content there… right!).
Six, always identify yourself and use a call to action in text messages.
These are easy to follow – but a ton of people forget the basics.
First identify yourself in every message.
I get so many messages every day, it’s easy to lose track of who said what. And I’m not alone. Make sure you identify yourself in every message.
The other thing you should do is include a call to action (CTA) in every text message.
What’s a call to action?
It’s you calling out what you want the person to do next.
Examples include: Click here to keep reading, Download this now, Watch this great video and Click here!
There are dozens more… just remember you need to include an action that you want the reader to take.
One more thing…
Always give people a way to unsubscribe from your list.
Remind people they can text back the word “Stop” to stop receiving your messages. “Stop” to End” put it in every message… you should ALWAYS include that little phrase.
It’s like the unsubscribe button on email… stop to end unsubscribes people from your texting list. So, don’t forget to include it.
Here’s the seventh and final best practice for text message marketing…
Always follow-up with other types of messaging.
This is so easy, I can’t believe people forget.
Text message marketing is great. But it’s not meant to replace all of your other marketing channels.
When you text people, follow-up with an email too. Maybe pick up the phone and do outbound calls to your VIPs. Send physical mail. Keep up your social media marketing efforts…
DON’T BE SHY, and for goodness sake, don’t send just one text message and expect the world to beat a path to your business door!
Ok, that was a lightning fast rundown of how best to use text marketing.
I know I went fast.
If you want more… go to our website… www.betwext.com we have an ultimate guide to text message marketing… It’s an ebook – 48 pages – of examples and ideas of how to use texting for every business.
Just remember, Marketing is CRITICAL in business, and it needs to get a big chunk of your focus and time.
What’s up next?
In our next article we’re going to discuss, documenting your business. While it’s not sexy, and it won’t make you a millionaire, it might save your business from destruction.
To go to the next article: Click here