Hello everyone, welcome to the Balanced Business Leaders Podcast hosted by yours truly, Claire Jones, owner of Liminal Clarity. We are a business development agency that helps small business leaders scale and grow without burning out.
This is the next podcast in a series where we will be discussing the various trials and tribulations that lead me to creating my Three Pillars of Business Success, a framework that represents the foundational systems that contribute to sustainable business growth.
If you’re interested in learning more, please join us in our free Balanced Business Leaders Facebook Group at facebook.com/groups/balancedbusinessleaders.
Ready? Alright, let’s dive in.
So I started this podcast as a way to tell my story, particularly when it comes to the many, many different lessons that I have learned over the years when it comes to founding, developing, running, and growing small businesses.
And this particular episode is about introducing the 5 steps to creating effective Marketing Strategies.
Why is this the second pillar to achieving long-term, sustainable business success?
Because you need to intentionally and strategically go after marketing opportunities that will help you reach your ideal audiences and do it with intentional forethought instead of impulsive reaction. With effective marketing strategies, we’re focusing on quality ROI (return on investment) instead of quantity ROI – thereby saving you time, money, and energy.
This is something that I’m really passionate about because, like many small business leaders, I didn’t know what I was doing when I opened up my first business seven years ago. I knew that it was an integral part of running a business but I didn’t know much beyond what I saw other companies doing – you know, ads, social media posts, billboards, maybe some press.
But, thankfully, I had my research skills to fall back on so I dove into any marketing book, blog, or resource I could find. I talked to professionals, mentors, advisors, and other business owners.
It took years of reading, listening, and trial & error to figure out the overall patterns, the foundational themes that contributed to successful marketing efforts.
And what I found was that it all boiled down to an intentional and strategic development of the know, like, and trust factor with your audiences.
According to the American Marketing Association: “Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relations in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.”
Core to this definition are activities which foster the exchange of value between people. This makes marketing an inherently social phenomenon based on managing relationships.
It’s not about managing sales transactions primarily, it’s about managing that know, like, and trust factor. Your overall business goal should be creating satisfied customers. Always put the customer first, not the product.
Keep this theme in mind as we go through the rest of these podcasts, because you will see time and time again that you need to be able to understand the customer’s point of view in order to create quality ROI – return on investment – with your marketing efforts.
So when it comes to marketing strategies, what we’re really talking about here is intentionally and strategically developing your know, like, and trust factor so that you can inspire your audiences to buy from you and become loyal fans of your products or services.
In order to do this you need visibility and systems for maintaining that visibility.
Your Marketing Strategies journey is going to start with figuring out what marketing platforms are going to be best for you and your business so that you can intentionally target your ideal audiences. There is no cookie cutter solution for this – it is directly linked to who, specifically, would be most interested in your products or services and figuring out where they would be best reached.
And how do you do that?
By figuring out your ideal client demographics and psychographics. This means doing market research to figure out:
For consumers, their:
- Education level
For businesses, their:
- Stage in business (startup, growing, mature)
- Annual sales
You also need to create a psychographic profile for each group: these are the feelings, the frustrations, the pains, the hopes, and the dreams that the target customer is coming to you with.
This is super important for marketing messaging, you need to be able to communicate to your customers that you understand their pains or goals and that, because you understand those, you have the ideal solution for them.
Then, we will go over Websites & Google My Business so that you need to take control over your digital presence. These two things are more important than a brick and mortar location nowadays, people are always going to look you up online so you might as well lean into it.
These digital platforms are basically your phone book listings. Phone books are pretty much obsolete nowadays and your audiences are always going to check you out online to see if you’re a trusted, established business.
You can DIY your website, pay someone else to do it, or some mix of the two – the point is to know the basics of how you want your website to work and what features are needed to achieve that.
For your Google My Business profile, you will miss out on a lot of business opportunities if this is not optimized. Google is the number one search engine in the world right now, there are 5.6 billion searches a day! How can you afford to not use these tools that are available to you?
Then, we will figure out how many times you need to have contact with your potential customers in order to engage them with your products or services. This will directly influence your content strategies, consistency is king here.
Because you need to give your audiences numerous chances to get to know, like, and trust you as a business. And research has shown that it takes a surprising amount of touchpoints in order to engage potential customers or clients.
For example, did you know that it takes up to 50 touchpoints in order to engage a cold prospect? That means someone who has no idea who you are, no idea what you offer, no idea that you exist. It takes 50 pieces of content, 50 phone calls, 50 emails, or 50 Facebook comments in order to develop that know, like, and trust factor with them.
That leads into Content Creation, and learning what kind of content is going to be ideal for the marketing platforms that you’ve chosen to use in order to reach your ideal audiences. Because we don’t want to waste time by making content for platforms that aren’t going to reach the people we want to reach.
Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, videos, or emails, there are best practices for each and, in order to maximize your impact, you need to tailor the content for each.
When you’re creating all of this content, keep in mind that you have a specific purpose for the content. Each piece of content should only speak to:
- One topic/area of focus
- One point/goal/Call to Action
- One audience member
Speak to that one ideal client that you identified in the first step of Marketing Strategies and make it very clear that this content is specifically for them.
And, finally, we wrap it all up with Content Management. When you know where you’re going to market, how often you’re going to market, and what content you’re going to market with – you will then need some systems and infrastructures to help organize it all and keep you on track.
This is often the part where people get overwhelmed. They have an idea of where they’re supposed to be posting, they have some ideas for what they’re supposed to be posting about, but they’re suddenly overwhelmed by how often they need to post and the sheer amount of content they need to create and manage in order to develop those consistent touchpoints with their audiences.
That’s okay – remember that you’re not alone.
This is where Content Management structures come in so that they do all of the tracking for you.
There are two systems that are recommended here: Content Calendars and Content Schedulers.
Content Calendars are going to track what content you plan on posting, on what platform, on what day, and in what order. This way, you can plan out your content in advance, so when the time comes to actually make and post the content – you’re not wasting time trying to figure out what the content is supposed to be.
Think of it as your past self taking care of your future self. Your past self is going to take some time planning out your content so that your future self doesn’t have to make any decisions when the time comes, they just have to do the things.
And Content Schedulers are going to automate all of this wonderful content that you’ve now planned out.
These tools allow you to basically keep track of what all your profiles are doing in one location. This prevents the time suck that is switching between all of the different platforms in order to post, review, engage, etc.
I’ll go more in depth about these later, but, for now, just keep in mind that all of these 5 steps lead into the next. They are in a certain order for a reason.
They all add up to a Marketing Strategy that provides you with consistent habits of success.
Imagine what it would feel like if you could have the right systems in place to create, plan, and manage all of your marketing content? It would feel good right?
That’s what we’re aiming for here.
I know it’s hard to resist the urge to jump ahead and start churning out content, but you’re going to save yourself a lot of time, money, and energy if you follow the steps in order. Believe me, I’ve done it the hard way before and it’s not fun folks.
So next time, we’ll be going more in depth into the first step of Marketing Strategies, Platforms & Demographics. I hope to interweave my personal experiences with the business lessons I learned along the way so that I can paint a full picture for you guys.
And please let me know what you think! I am always open to feedback and love connecting with my audiences.
If you want to learn more, I personally invite you to join us in the Balanced Business Leaders VIP Group Program. In as little as one hour per week, you will walk away with a clear action plan to grow and scale your business sustainably.
Please visit linktr.ee/liminalclarity for more information.
You can find the episode outline, video recording, transcript downloads, related links, etc. below.
And, until next time, love you all, take care, and I hope you have a good day wherever you are.