Do you ever wake up in the morning, excited about a new opportunity and then promptly forget all about it by the time the afternoon rolls around?
If so, you are not alone. Many successful business owners and entrepreneurs struggle with this problem. So, they put in place a personal sales team to ensure that their unique selling points are brought to the forefront when potential leads engage with their offers. You can use the same approach by identifying your unique selling points and using that information to shape your personal marketing research.
Your Unique Selling Points
What is your personal brand? Where do you see yourself in five years? What are you passionate about? What makes you different from every other business out there?
These are all questions that you need to answer to build a marketing plan around. You can start by reviewing your LinkedIn profile. Are you providing valuable advice to your connections? Are you acting as a connector between relevant people? Do your connections trust your judgement or do you tend to surround yourself with people who have a common ground?
Once you have answered these questions, you can move to the next stage and develop a list of your unique selling points. Start by jotting down everything that comes to your mind when you think of yourself. This will include what you do best, your achievements, your philanthropic efforts, and so on. Consider this a brain dump – you can add to it as you go along.
Your marketing plan is a summary of your thoughts on how to reach your target audience. It includes the objectives you set for yourself and the metrics that you will use to measure your progress. Here is an example of a marketing plan for a car dealership.
- To attract more car shoppers to their dealership;
- To convert these car shoppers into actual buyers;
- To retain existing customers;
- To grow their business sustainably.
Each goal in the marketing plan should be measurable. For example, you can measure the number of social media sites that you used to attract potential customers. You can also look at the conversion rate of these leads into customers. Once you have set your goal, you can set a date by which you will evaluate your progress.
Set SMART Goals
Setting a goal without a clear way to measure it is a surefire way to fail. Therefore, you must set measurable goals with specific, attainable timelines. The following are examples of measurable goals. You should set these measurable goals by all means but it is important to find a balance between the short and long term.
- To have 10 leads within the next 30 days;
- To get 1,000 views per week on your blog by next month;
- To have 50 customer connections on LinkedIn by next month;
- To generate $20,000 per month in sales by next quarter.
In the short term, you can have a clear goal in mind. In the long term, you can set a bigger goal, one that is more important to you and, hopefully, more attainable. For example, if you set the goal of generating $20,000 per month in sales, this may seem like a huge number. However, if your ultimate goal is to become an entrepreneur, this number may seem small in comparison. The important thing is to set a goal that you believe is within your reach and that will help you move one step closer to your ultimate goal. If you reach this goal, great! If not, at least you will still be able to set the next goal.
Who Are You Marketing To?
Your target audience is the group of people who will benefit the most from your product or service. You can find your target audience by considering your strengths and weaknesses. The following are some examples of your target audience.
- The people you service;
- The people you advise;
- Your peers;
- Your customers (past and present); and
- Your employees (people you train and educate).
Depending on your product or service, you may not necessarily need to identify your target audience. For example, let’s say that you are Anushka Sharma, the founder and CEO of a company that creates unique invitations. Your target audience is people with a creative mind who love to design unique invitations. You can reach out to designers, printers, and digital marketers to learn more about your target audience.
The Importance of Different Channels
The way in which you distribute your offer is critical to its success. The following are some of the most effective online channels for marketing and promoting your business.
- Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn;
- Online communities like Reddit and Quora;
- Search engines like Google and Bing;
- And, the list goes on.
While you should use all of these channels, it is important to find the ones that will best reach your target audience. Bear in mind that what may work for one channel may not work for another. For example, if you are Anushka Sharma and you want to market yourself as a business leader, you may want to engage with other business leaders on LinkedIn.
You should track the performance of every channel and measure the results of your efforts. This includes measuring the performance of your social media sites, websites, and emails to see which one is bringing you the most leads or sales.
Depending on your product or service, you may want to consider which marketing channels will be the most effective. For example, let’s say that you are a dog breeder and you decide to use social media to promote your business. You may want to start by setting up accounts on popular social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn.
After you have set these up, you can engage with your followers to find out what they want and need. You can also use analytics to measure the success of your campaigns on social media. For example, if you set a goal to gain 50 new connections on LinkedIn, you can measure the results of your efforts using LinkedIn Analytics.
As your customers become more educated about your product or service, they are less likely to be impressed by your slick marketing tricks. If you want to really sell them on your idea, you will have to convince them that your products are good enough for them to actually use. This is where you put in the hard work and, in return, get a good feeling when a customer finally decides to leave a glowing review about your product or service on your website.
To get real value out of customer testimonials, you will have to ask yourself two questions. First, does my customer actually use this product or service? Second, are they aware of my product or service? If you can answer yes to both of these questions, then you can be sure that their opinion is valuable and you should consider using customer testimonials in your marketing material.
To create an informed opinion on your product or service, you will have to do some research. The following are some of the most useful resources for doing product research.