Let’s get the cliches out the way before we start: New Year, New You. Out with the old, in with the new. This is the month of new beginnings, fresh starts and excitement.
If we’re not trimming the fat then we’re ditching the booze or spring cleaning those cluttered draws. But that’s our personal lives but what about our businesses?
Do you use January to plan ahead, maybe launch something new or stop offering something that didn’t work?
And do you take time to review your marketing? Or do you simply carry on doing the same old thing without any thought?
If it’s the latter then I think it’s time your business went on a marketing diet.
But what is a diet?
Well the dictionary definition of a diet is typically in the traditional sense about our food intake. So the dictionary talks about the habitual foods we eat or about courses we follow to reduce our weight or restrictions we make for medical reasons.
“So what the bloody hell is a marketing diet?” I hear you cry. I’m not asking you to eat the Twitter bird or live on a diet of emojis (yes, my jokes are that bad!)
Let’s break it down – a diet involves doing more of what’s good for you and doing less of what’s bad for you.
So, a marketing diet is about doing more of what’s good for YOUR business and doing less of what’s bad for your business too.
To start your marketing diet I suggest you take stock of your current marketing activity and spend. Do a marketing audit. Do you track where you get leads from and which source converts the most?
As a sole trader or small business owner you are more than likely doing your own marketing. And there’s usually two reasons for that; first of all, you don’t think you have the budget to ask for help and secondly you don’t want to give up control.
Outsourcing some or all of your marketing doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t have to lose control either. In fact, it’s a bit like delegating to a colleague because that’s how you should see a third party whose services you are using.
But if you’re happy doing your own marketing then here’s some tips to start that marketing diet.
- Audit your marketing activity and spend – know your numbers. We hear this all the time when we talk about our businesses and it most commonly refers to our finances but the same is true of our marketing numbers.
- Track your leads and conversions – if you haven’t done this before then now is the time to start.
- Look in the mirror – we all have profiles over the world wide web from websites, social profiles and emails. Are you projecting who you truly are? Put yourself in your customers shoes and view your own profiles. Would you know what you do and what you buy from you too?
- Look outside – it’s easy to get in a bubble whether you are self employed or working for a company. We get bogged down in the detail and forget to look at what competitors and the market is doing. So get outside and look!
- Ask for feedback – before you can really test the strength of your current marketing activity you need to speak to your customers who have already spent money with you. Get an honest review from the other side.
- Pause and reflect – once you have tracking in place you can begin to pause certain marketing activities and reflect on its effectiveness. If you’re confident enough that a marketing channel, platform or campaign is not working for you then go ahead and ditch it. But if you think there’s some underlying value in it then pause it and give yourself time to reflect and review.
- Get a roadmap – too many self employed people wander around in the dark with a scattergun approach to their marketing. Marketing without a plan is like driving a car without a steering wheel or asking an accountant to do your tax in their head. It just wouldn’t happen. A marketing plan is a roadmap for success and a bible for every business (more on this next week!)
- Be realistic – time is precious as an entrepreneur so pick 2 or 3 things that work and doing them well. Don’t try to match every latest trend or be on every latest platform. Remember, if you’ve got a strategy in place you’ll know not all platforms are suitable for your audience.
That’s a good list to get you on your way to a leaner marketing path. So, will your business be taking a marketing diet?
Come back next week to find out how to create that business bibile – the marketing strategy #MarketingJems