Smart Marketing Tactics To Attract More Clients
I have always found it fascinating that when things get tough economically, one of the first things businesses tend to pull back on is their marketing. At a time when you need clients most, why in the world would you stop trying to reach them? Don't get me wrong, it's important for businesses to keep an eye on their bottom line. But the "We're just going to take a break for a while" or "Let's lay low until people are spending again" is a direct route to going out of business - fast.
Here's an interesting tidbit: companies that didn't abandon their marketing strategies during the Great Depression moved their way up to #1 in their industries while their competition faltered. Once World War II began and the economy began to stabilize again, those companies remained in the #1 slot and many are still leaders today. Both Kellogg and Procter & Gamble believed that marketing - communicating with and engaging their customers - was a top priority, especially in a down economy. In fact, Procter & Gamble decided to sponsor the first radio soap opera, a radical move on their part at the time, to help keep their brand name out there.
In times like these, a business' success - or failure - depends upon staying in front of your target market and appearing to be a leader in your field. You have before you a tremendous opportunity to survive and thrive through smart marketing tactics. Now is not the time to be a wallflower. By showing strength and being visible when others are focused on doom and gloom, you will continue to attract clients and instill faith in your followers. Take this opportunity to stand out and build trust and confidence in you and your brand.
Here are seven ways you can stay visible and attract more clients using smart marketing tactics without breaking the bank:
1. Use your email signature to offer something of value
Create something that you will give away for free - an e-book, CD, white paper, checklist etc. - anything that would be helpful to your potential clients. At the end of your email signature, direct people to your website where they can sign up for your offering at no charge. You can also use this space to advertise a special promotion or even a tip of the week.
2. Don't forget the prime real estate on the back of your business card
You can ask questions that tap into the immediate needs of your potential clients. For example, on the back of my business card I ask, "Would you like to build a powerful personal brand that attracts more clients?" and "Do you want to build more buzz for your products and services?" You can also direct potential clients to your free offering (often referred to as your "pink spoon") on your website or to your blog for more information.
3. Use social media platforms to connect with others
This is not the medium to hard-sell your product or services to others. You can use platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to update others, share resources, offer information of value and educate your friends and followers about your industry. Social media is about engaging and connecting, not selling. Build your following and become someone that others want to hear from. Create a Facebook fan page for your company and let others connect and network through you. Some of the strongest brands initiate the conversation, they don't dominate it.
4. Create a robust online media room
Make sure that you have a media page on your website where the press can easily access information about you and your company. Just a few of the things you can include are a bio, headshot, lifestyle images, FAQ's, audio, video, signature talks and past press coverage. Consider using a service such as prweb.com or prnewswire.com to put a press release on the web each month to attract media and consumer attention. Make friends with the media. Pick five outlets you would like to be covered in and research contacts. Once you have the right contacts, start pitching (see my article on how to pitch the media on our blog at www.shebrand.com/blog). Nothing creates instant credibility faster than a great article in a media outlet.
5. Invite five clients to lunch
Take each client to lunch or coffee individually and ask them the following three questions - in order:
What is it that you like about doing business with me?
How can I improve upon my service to you?
You are one of my ideal clients. My goal this year is to work with more people exactly like you. Do you know of any people like you that you could make an introduction for me?
6. Stay positive
Now is not the time to crawl under a rock and commiserate with the other naysayers. Be confident, be visible and be a beacon of light wherever you go. If you are at a cocktail party and the conversation takes a nosedive due south, have a handful of positive stories up your sleeve to veer the topic in a different direction. If that doesn't work, ask her where she got her fabulous earrings. If all else fails, move on. Life is way too short to hang out with the doom n'gloomers.
7. BE your Brand
Your personal brand is the sum of your actions, communications, offerings and interactions. You must create an image of value and deliver on that unique value. What is it that makes you different, special and valuable to your clients?
Focus on your unique attributes in everything you do - your strengths, skills, values, and passions. You are your own 24/7 billboard - a walking, talking, living ad campaign. Every day, in everything you do, you tell the world about your brand. Brand yourself successfully and you will develop strong, enduring relationships with your clients.
About the Author
Liz Dennery Sanders is the CEO of Dennery Marks Inc., a nationally acclaimed brand strategy and celebrity outreach firm, and SheBrand, a company dedicated to empowering other female entrepreneurs and small business owners to embrace success and create more money and freedom in their lives.