When it comes to marketing your small business, you need to be extremely strategic to ensure that you rise above all the online noise and get the attention you deserve. One way to boost your small business marketing is with the 4 M’s: Message, Market, Method, Money. Let’s dive in and learn more!
Marketing is the engine of your small business. Without effective marketing, you’re just going to get gobbled up in all the online noise. And let’s remember one thing: hope is not a strategy.
The essence of marketing starts with positioning your business as a solution for a specific niche customer. Once you have a detailed customer profile, you then develop ways to attract the attention of that customer. Start by building a relationship without trying to sell. This will allow you to develop an intimate understanding of your customers’ needs. And your marketing plan should be all about positioning your business as the best option to meet those needs.
There are four main goals of marketing that you should be concentrating on:
- Attracting new customers
- Selling more products to existing customers
- Selling more expensive products to existing customers
- Persuading your customers to refer you to additional customers
So, how do you do it? By using the 4M’s of marketing to boost your small business!
The 4 M’s of Marketing for Small Business
The story you tell about what you do is critical to the success of your small business. Your message must be authentic and results-driven. Be careful not to make your message all about industry jargon. Instead, focus on a statement that will drive your target customer to ask more questions.
For example, “I can fix any sales team in 90 days!” Now, you want to make sure that you don’t make a statement that comes across as hype or unbelievable and that you can actually back up. But don’t be afraid to stake your claim for how your business is the best solution for your target customer.
One of the most common business mistakes I see is small businesses (with limited time and resources) trying to focus on a large market. Doing that, you’ll never get anywhere.
Instead, focus on a specific niche target customer. If everyone can use your product or service, no one will. Work on being a specialist in your industry. You will be able to charge more and you won’t be competing with as many.
I remember, when my company focused on video production. We were going after a government contract to do a video for the U.S. Air Force. One of the firms we were competing against was called Air Force Video Production. Needless to say, they won the contract hands down.
When you are a specialist, it’s very hard for generalists to compete with you. Niche your business.
How you communicate with your target audience is important. Social media is the most cost-effective marketing tool, but you shouldn’t start with social media.
Focus on your website first.
Make sure it represents your brand well and that it is easy to do business with you. Invest in an email marketing program that you integrate with your site to allow you to collect leads that you can keep in touch with and nurture.
Once you have your target customer identified, you should figure out where that customer spends time online and be a part of the conversation. Remember to “friendraise” first online. Build relationships first, then go for the sale.
If you are not making money, you have an expensive hobby. It’s imperative that you are pricing your products and services to make a profit.
Make sure there’s a percentage of your overhead and administrative costs factored into your pricing along with your labor, materials, and shipping. A big mistake that many new small business owners and entrepreneurs make, especially those offering services, is to underprice their products. If your unique selling proposition is clear and your product serves as a solution to your customer’s pain points, pricing will not be an issue.
If you want to succeed in small business today, you need to make sure that your message is converting customers, that you understand what your market needs, are clear on the best methods to communicate with your target customers, and are making money. Do all this strategically and consistently and your business will soar.