I have had this question posed to me a few times over the last few weeks, “How would you start marketing if you were starting today?”
As I was thinking about this, I realized that might be an interesting thing to think through for me and, hopefully, for all of you.
Well, I think we all fall victim to the “we’ve always done it this way” bug from time to time and thinking through everything in a manner that allows us to defeat that tendency can be pretty valuable.
So where would I begin?
First, I’d start with the vision for what I wanted to deliver to folks.
At heart, I believe that marketing and strategy are a process that can be applied successfully to organizations in any industry.
In truth, what I’ve seen is that a lot of organizations suffer because they refuse to look at what is working in some other areas because “we are different”.
So for me, my vision would kick start everything and that would include putting that vision into a frame that would allow me to quickly tell someone what I was working on.
If I were starting over, I might say, “I help businesses find new growth…fast!”
The key is to take my value that I want to deliver and put that into some sort of business outcome.
Here are another couple of examples that may actually apply to me:
“I make marketing a profit center.”
“I help you grow your average sale.”
“I’m a business’s guide into new markets.”
That’d be first.
Second, I’d come up with a list of folks that I think would benefit from this value.
Anthony Iannarino has a good exercise for this in his book, The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need when he talks about “Dream Clients”.
So make a list of target accounts.
I keep a list of about 60-75 and I update it from time to time.
The key here is that you want to make sure you are targeting people and organizations that can really see and use your value.
Don’t get trapped in the idea that this is a good prospect because they will talk with you…no, focus on the people that you want to work with.
Third, collect all of the people you know and have ever made contact with. Maybe you have stacks of business cards and a LinkedIn profile with thousands of folks on them.
Section out all of those folks into groups that you can call or email to let them know what you are up to.
If you know the person well, you call them.
Maybe you don’t know them well, you email them.
Just make contact.
As an FYI, I’ve been trying to go through a process of just reaching out and connecting with 10 folks a week that I might not get a chance to see or talk with regularly. Just to see what’s going on.
You might do the same.
The important thing here is to make sure you connect with folks, let them know what you are up to and let them know you are out there working on something cool.
You don’t know who might be able to refer you to business or who might actually be interested in what you are talking about.
Finally, I’d create a list of all the things I wanted to get to over the next few weeks or months to get my full marketing campaign going.
Usually, people come to me and ask about a website, business cards, and other collateral.
I tell them, you can put a website up in an hour or two with Square Space or WordPress. You can get business card stock and print a stack with any at-home printer. And, the collateral is going to be constantly changing.
But make a list of the things you want to do and create as marketing assets for your business.
For two reasons, one so you don’t feel like you are neglecting them. Two, so you can work on them when you have a few minutes free from doing other activities.
Just so everyone knows, at this point, most of the marketing that I do is built around writing, speaking, networking, and referrals.
And, the only two of those are really time-consuming or labor-intensive activities.
And, if I had to kickstart my marketing from scratch, I’d likely emphasize networking and referrals as a starting point with the speaking and writing filling in later.
What about you?
Let me know if this is useful to y’all.
I can go into more depth on some of this stuff over the next few weeks.
Let me know!
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