If you don’t know me, I absolutely love sales and all things marketing and there’s nothing I’d rather be coaching business owners to become the expert in their business on. And in recent weeks, I’ve been having several conversations about designing a logo, whether you need a brand, about what marketing to focus on, and I have some pretty fixed ideas about what’s a must!
Marketing needs to have pieces that all fit together like a puzzle. Coherent, consistent, clear messaging and call to actions. You know this, you’ve heard it all before. I hope the next five marketing topics are going to have you jumping out of your seat with loads of ideas to implement in your business. I could have made this into five separate posts so seriously grab a notebook, write down ideas to implement in your business, and let’s dive in.
Here are my five musts of modern marketing
1. Your brand and your brand story
If you tell me that you don’t need a brand because you get by on your reputation or word of mouth, I’m going to tell you that’s a load of hogwash and you know it. I am not going to tell you why brands spend millions and millions on their branding, identity, and consistency, it’s obvious. I will however leave you with one quote.
If you think that good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.
There you have it. Figure out for yourself what the opportunity cost is of presenting yourself to humans with eyes with a brand that looks like 'ClipArt' from the 90s. Versus someone who’s invested in their image, it looks the part and it looks consistent. You don’t need to spend millions! Work with a freelancer, work with a small brand agency but get a brand, a visual identity and system with a set of brand guidelines so that you can use your brand consistently. Because that is how you build trust.
I will talk about brand strategies and design to death with anyone who will listen but for now, I want to leave you with why having a brand story is just as important as any other part of your brand identity. People connect through their emotions and there’s no better way to do that than with a story.
You’ve got to really understand your brand before you can tell a compelling story. When I owned my brand agency, we always started with values. Your 'why'.
I want you to think of some of your favourite brands. Maybe you recognise Starbucks, Zappos, Patagonia, Picture. These are some of my favourite brands and they all have something powerful in common. Their core values are clearly defined. (Zappos even wrote a book about it which I highly recommend - Delivering Happiness).
Your values are the principles, beliefs, or accepted standards that help you decide what is right and guide you on acting accordingly no matter the situation. Knowing your values will help you attract your ideal clients who share your values or appreciate them in some wonderful way.
You need to know who you are, what you do, why it matters, who your brand exists to serve. When you have your values and the ingredients at hand you’re ready to start baking your brand story.
Give them a reason to care, a story they can believe in.
Having a great STORY changes the game for you, it can make the selling easier and a great story doesn’t need to be written by a Pulitzer Prize winner. It helps, but if you struggle with articulating how you can use your values in your stories and your copy, I have a book called “Content That Sells Like Hot Pizza” that’ll get you on track.
2. High-Value Content Offers
Freebies, lead magnets, and micro offers are all things that will have a massive impact on your marketing. These are the things that will give you some wins and propel your long-term healthy audience-building strategy. High-value content offers are tools to, first of all, solve a small problem for your ideal customer; and build up goodwill with them while they get to know, like, and trust you. (Plus, I know in my business that not everyone is going to become a client but if I can reach and serve people with high-value content or micro offers, I’m all in showing up to serve).
High-Value Content Offers help to educate. When you are educating, helping, or adding value to your audience, you’re building rapport. Generally speaking, high-value content offers are free lead magnets of some description, but at times they can be mini offers that have a small financial commitment. These can also be structured so that they are automated and you’re building your audience and pipeline while you get on with the business of serving your clients.
If you haven’t tuned in, head on back to my podcast on “profit driven lead magnets and your path to profit”.
3. Email marketing
High-Value Content Offers help you build your list and email marketing must be one of the pillars of marketing your business. This is non-negotiable and you’ve heard me say it like a stuck record that a growing email list is a sign of a growing business.
I have a whole guide on email marketing, several blogs on email marketing, podcasts, and a mini-course on the topic because I want to help you from wherever you are with email marketing. I can’t stress the importance of this enough. If you’re not leveraging email marketing in your business, why not?
McKinsey & Company commissioned a report on email marketing and one of the main takeaways is that an email list has a 40 fold impact on your bottom line. So hold the phone, for every £1 you put in the potential is £40 out. I think Warren Buffet would like those numbers and I think you should like them too.
4. Truly, utterly compelling, and irresistible offers
You’re armed with your brand, your story, you know who you serve, you’ve got high-value content offers and you are list building. You are well on the way. The next piece of the puzzle is going to your stadium full of your ideal clients and placing an utterly irresistible offer in the middle of the pitch.
Creating an offer that leaves clients and customers buzzing can trip up even the savviest of business owners. You need to be able to define, shape and craft offers - it’s a skill that you must develop, you cannot leave this to anyone else. There’s no amount of advertising that can fit a broken offer, this is the tip of the spear so understand how vital this is.
If I can give you one takeaway, it’s this - customers buy for their reasons, not yours. It’s important to get to know them really well so you can show them what it’s like to have your thing that solves their problem and moves them closer to their desired state. Here’s the deal-breaker, ‘great customer service,’ ‘amazing quality', ‘your ability to deliver’ are not compelling offers. They are a given, please don’t include those in your sales pages or marketing collateral. I’ll red-pen the hell out of it.
If creating an offer is a bit of an unknown, I’ve got you covered. It’s easy, just like putting a postcode in the sat nav there’s a route, a framework for creating offers. I’ve put together a program for you, done 80% of the leg work so you can run with the final 20% and create your truly irresistible offer.
Here's a link to Offer Fix, a jam-packed workshop series to shortcut your path to creating an irresistible offer that will compel your clients or customers to buy from you.
5. Paid advertising
Ok, here’s the deal - I firmly believe and truly believe that organic traffic and organic sales should fund paid advertising. And that’s how you scale your business.
If you don’t believe me, ask me how one DM has generated £8,000 in sales for me. On the flip side, I’ve spent £8,000 on a very expensive ‘lead generation’ firm to get me appointments and leads which turned up zero, nada, nothing, zilch.
So I am very passionate about making sure that organic traffic funds paid traffic in my business and in my clients' businesses. Want to have a little glimpse into how? Take me up on my Power100 challenge and prove me wrong. I’ve got clients too busy to even think of paid advertising from this one organic strategy that I call the Power100. Saying all of that, I am a big fan of paid advertising and if you can’t pay money to acquire a new customer, then I don’t think you have a business. When you have everything right, your story, your message, your audience, and so on, paid advertising can bring in leads on automation. You can quit worrying about where your next client is coming from because day after day you have leads coming in like clockwork.
With the ease of Facebook advertising, Youtube, pay per click, re-marketing, LinkedIn, Pinterest, all the things, if you are placing an irresistible offer in a strategic way in front of your ideal clients there is no reason on Earth why you can’t generate leads on demand.
Which platform is best? Well, where do your ideal clients hang out? Should you use all of the platforms? No. Start with one, get it right, bring in leads, and then scale to the next one. Your audience is either gathering information, hunting for a solution, or ready to buy now so think about your ads and how you can target cold, warm, and hot traffic.
(There’s a lot on this and writing compelling headlines for ads in Content Pizza).
Now I haven’t even touched on reviews, referral strategies, retention strategies, partnerships, creating communities, and a wealth of other marketing strategies that all form part of my Growth Code®. But the ones I’ve talked about here, these five musts of modern marketing must absolutely be the foundational pillars in building your business pantheon.
If I can direct you to another resource loaded with real strategies to get real results for your business, check out my book 29 Ways to Get More Sales. All the ideas in the book are practical, scaleable, and don’t need Super Bowl budgets.
I would love to hear if you’ve had any AHA moments, or if you have any questions from this blog come and join the Facebook Group.