Marketing…you either love it or hate it. You are either good at it with natural instincts or you struggle with it, trying to learn as much as you can. Marketing is essential for solo-preneurs, no matter how well you do with it.
I have friends that could sell ice to an Eskimo (I’m not sure why you would want to do that…but they could). I, on the other hand, have always felt like I couldn’t sell water to a man stranded in the desert. Marketing is not my natural gift; that being said, a number of very good marketers think I do a pretty good job. But the reason is simple: I have learned how to market. So am I the best person to learn from? Probably not. But if you are like me and you struggle with marketing, then implementing these 5 simple marketing techniques will improve your skills as well.
Get Over It
The first thing for Not Natural Marketers (NNMs) to do is realize that marketing does not have to turn you into a slimy salesman (or woman). Those of us NNMs often think of sales and marketing as the same thing, but they are different. Good marketing will ultimately lead to sales, but it doesn’t have to be like the stereotypical used-car salesman or telemarketer. Good marketing is about helping your right customer (someone who actually wants/needs your product or service) find out that you and your product or service exist. I found marketing much more interesting and far less slimy once I realized that it wasn’t about selling someone a product, but rather about helping someone find a solution to a problem they have. This has made a big difference in my approach to marketing.
Find a Mentor
Most of us NNMs can easily identify the NMs (Natural Marketers) around us. It comes so easy to them, they just ooze marketing. Because good marketing really is about helping people, an NM is often more than willing to be a mentor. If you are lucky enough to find someone willing to work with you for free, all the better, but don’t hesitate to hire an NM to work with you on a more formal basis. Over time I have worked with a number of NMs primarily on an informal basis. These generally were personal friends, so they were willing to help me out for the price of a meal or a drink. But I have also hired folks via an online class or through attending a training event.
Follow the Experts
The internet makes it super easy to gain insights from some of the best marketers out there. The down side is there are thousands of voices out there touting their expertise. The key is to find a few marketing experts (5 – 10) whose message and style really resonates with you. Finding these experts will take some time, and your preferences may change as your experience and knowledge increases. As a way to get you started here are a few of my favorites at this point in my journey:
- Seth Godin definitely focuses on the “new” market. His posts are short, but amazingly insightful.
- Michael Hyatt is an expert on building a platform and how to turn that into sales.
- CopyBlogger is a magazine-like blog with several contributors focusing on online content and how it relates to marketing.
Don’t Make It Hard
Ironically, this is the hardest one for me. Because I am an NNM, I imagine that marketing must be hard. But the truth is, it doesn’t have to be. When I stop thinking about marketing as a chore that I have to do and instead focus on helping people who need me (and my products or services), it becomes significantly easier. That said, I still do have to make a focused effort to engage in specific marketing activities. Because marketing does not come naturally to me, if I don’t set myself a task, it would never get done. But with time, practice and experience, I have learned that marketing doesn’t have to be difficult or tedious and in some cases I have actually found it to be fun!
Engage, Review, Analyze and Repeat
The most important technique is to actually engage in a variety of marketing activities. Give them time to get a foothold and then review your progress. After a period of review, analyze your results. Some activities will be worthy to continue, some will need to be tweaked and others will need to be discontinued due to lack of performance. No one hits a home run with every campaign, but the successful marketers don’t give up; they continue to implement new plans, try new things and stay focused on their goal of finding their perfect customer.
Try following these 5 simple marketing techniques for the next month, and see how they might help you improve the marketing for your business.
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