I’m sure, YOU know why. But do THEY? And by they, I mean that guy walking past your shop, that person who liked your Facebook pic, that big client you really want. Why would they buy your stuff?
Marketing can be tough, right?! How many articles, free checklists or free downloads have you read with the heading “Top 10 Marketing Mistakes Small Business Make”? If your answer is more than none then listen up and let us help you understand the real reason why your customers aren’t engaging with you and buying your stuff.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many marketing mistakes you can make, but those mistakes are most likely not the root problem you have, they are just the symptoms.
Now I admit it is easy for me to say this because of what I do for a living: provide marketing advice – so my view on this could be seen as somewhat controversial.
So, here is where most businesses go wrong…
98% of small and micro business do not know their USP (unique selling point), their ‘point of difference’, their value proposition, whatever you want to call it. It makes your life more difficult if you don’t know your own brand proposition. What makes your brand different from anyone else? Why should anyone care? It has to be significant to the customer. And it’s not always easy to figure out…
So, you’re great at what you do, you know that. You’re passionate about it, or at least you were when you started. So now you’re in business for yourself, and it’s been going well enough.
It’s likely you chose the name, it had a good ring to it. You had your logo made by your well-intended friend’s brother, who is a graphic designer as a hobby on the weekends, or some $5 one off a cheap website who gave you so many options for very little money (… and you weren’t suss at all!?), or maybe you got lucky and found it on “insert a free online logo company here”.
You then you ordered business cards from an online template on a generic online printer site, they were really cheap – winning! Now you’re looking the part. Or so you think… so you attend a few business networking events.
Now for the website, you review a few DIY options, but it looks too hard. So, you ask your Facebook friends and social groups for recommendations, hoping for a cheap option for now until you can afford better.
Sure, your fan base increases, you’re getting more likes online. But the sales aren’t increasing, not enough anyway! “Why, why, why… what am I doing wrong?!”
So, you give yourself a pep talk, convincing yourself it will work – you just have to put more effort in, you figure out that successful brands and ‘experts’ are talking about sales funnels and building databases, landing pages and email marketing but it’s going way over your head and making you doubt yourself. This is all new territory, it’s overwhelming. You know you sell fantastic stuff because you can see so much value in what you’re offering… it shouldn’t be this hard.
Starting to sound familiar?
Here is the inside scoop… Marketing doesn’t give you clients. Trust is what gives you clients. Trust is the #1 reason people will do business with you and refer business to you.
You can buy marketing advice and strategies, but you can’t really buy trust. If you can hire a marketing agency the first thing they will do is find ways to build trust around your brand. To build trust, you need to define CREDIBLE, DESIRABLE and RELEVANT values to position your brand in the perfect place. All of this needed to be defined first, before the name, before the logo and before the homemade social media posts.
Trust can only be built by establishing credibility and being able to clearly and confidently articulate your unique value to a potential client. This means you need to do a LOT of work on developing a unique value proposition: what problem do you solve? How do you solve it in a way that’s different to others? Who specifically do you solve it for?
You want to be Seen > Liked > Trusted > Tried > Talked About (in that order).
Invest in your business.
You will thank me for it in the long run.
It’s not that you need to spend money to make money, it’s just fact that you get out what you put in. Your business won’t work until you invest in understanding exactly what you are offering, who it’s for and most importantly WHY people should care. This is the bread and butter of marketing agencies, this is what they do every day and they know how to make it work.
Once the foundations are set up, only then will you be equipped to have an iconic logo created by a professional agency who understands the fundamentals behind it. From there you can choose cheap business cards if you’re a budget offering because it will match your selling point! Or choose more luxurious ones if you’re selling a high-end product or service.
That’s not to say we won’t design your logo, your business card, website or whatever else you want without first defining your USP. Sure, we will do it. But let’s be clear – if we do that, you cannot expect ground-breaking outcomes. On the other hand, if you see yourself as an entrepreneur and want to be taken seriously then chances are you’ll want the ultimate ground-breaking outcome. You’ll want a business that turns over multi millions and you know you must invest in the ultimate USP.
So, what have you learned here…
If you create content that’s not interesting, not relevant, not compelling – it doesn’t matter how you try to distribute it or what tools or platforms you use – it simply won’t connect!
And if it doesn’t connect with the right people you can’t engage with them with let alone sell to them.
So, while the large majority of small businesses are always looking for the “magic bullet” that’s going to direct the masses to their offering, consequently catapulting them to marketing success and stardom… HA! You have one up on them now.
While they focus all their time and energy on ‘top of funnel’ tactical activity, you now know it won’t work until they understand WHAT THEY ARE OFFERING and WHO IT’S FOR. But most importantly WHY should the customer care.
If your unique selling point is right, it will bring a deeper level of connection to your customers and build stronger channels of trust for your business. This will distinguish you amongst your competitors and encourage your customers to actually buy your product because they TRUST you and your brand.
Otherwise, you’re kidding yourself if you think you’ve created a great brand. There is no way your logo communicates something you have spent no time developing, nor can you give a 2-minute pitch that communicates this, and there is no way any of your marketing collateral, business cards, social media graphics communicate this either …
After all these pearls of wisdom, you don’t need me to tell you that if you’re not investing in yourself, nobody else will. So seriously hire an agency, do it right. It’s not too late.
If you connected with this, connect with us!
What are you waiting for!? Let’s begin.