How Choosing a Specific Market Can Skyrocket the Success of Your Marketing

You need to choose a highly specific market for your products and services.

Most businesses want to sell to everyone. I get it, the thought is that the bigger the market the better the chance of getting a good slice of it. But here is why targeting a smaller market can make you more money:

4 bankable benefits of choosing a specific market

  1. More likely to become the number one business catering to that market
  2. Easier to find who they are, and where you can reach them
  3. Easier to understand their specific problems, needs and motivators
  4. They feel like you are talking to them personally

3 Critical Factors to Consider in Every Marketing Campaign

Why you need to break free from the trap of reactive marketing. These 3 factors are critical to any marketing or advertising campaign.

What you can learn from Donating Blood

Learn these powerful benefits of a simple post-sale followup phone call.

The best marketing lesson I learned from my weird science teacher

be specific

be specific

I have to admit I had a few weird science teachers over the years. They can’t have been all bad though because I ended up graduating university with a bachelor of science. Ok it’s possible probable

I’m just as weird as them…

Anyway, I had one great science teacher though who was very cool… Don’t get me wrong, he was weird alright, as in running twice a day weird, recycling like crazy before we even new what it was.. Oh and he had a cockroach farm!

Ok, this crazy scientist he taught me something that I have never forgotten. At the time I thought he was joking, and he probably was, but joking or not he was right.

Listen up, this is going to sound stupid, but the thing he told me was: [Read more…]

How to harness the power of images for marketing (and be cool)

The Local Socail Business ShowImages have long been used for communication of ideas since the dawn of human societies, well before any forms of written language.

We are hardwired to process our world visually, to judge threats, opportunities and make fast decisions.

A few thousand years later, images began being used in advertising and marketing. As soon as people worked out how powerful they are at communicating desires and emotions. You know the saying – ‘a picture says a thousand words’.

And now, with our ability to publish content to the world at will, in just a few seconds, the majority of sharing and interaction on Facebook and the other large Social networks are images. So much so that I would suggest that Images are the currency of the social web.

As Web and Graphic designers, we are essentially dealing in images constantly. Whether they are photos, logos, advertisements. Almost everything we do has a visual aspect to it.

We get a lot of requests from clients or potential clients to ‘just get an image from Google images’.

This is something that except for a very few (legal) circumstances we won’t do. Images on Google images ARE NOT FREE. They are not there for anyone to use as they wish. Somebody has taken that photo of created that image (in the case of graphics), and they own the copyright.

One more thing… an image from Google Images, isn’t your business. It isn’t helping you relate anything about you and your company to your website visitors, or readers of your brochure.

Be cool.

My opinion is you should whenever possible, create and use your own images from your own business, your products, your customers, your staff and your events. Make them authentic… People can tell.

If you have some important images you need to showcase your business for branding purposes, use a professional photographer.

If you need some shots for your social media efforts – take your own. Get into the habit of taking photos just for the sake of it. If you’re developing a new product – take some photos; running a workshop or seminar – take some photos; attending an event – you get the picture (sorry).

While most of them won’t be great, you’ll be amazed how often some shots you took will come in handy.

Want more about the power of images in marketing

One of the recent episodes of our podcast ‘The Local Social Business Show’ covered a broad range of uses of images to promote your business online. From Blog posts, to Facebook and Pinterest, we cover it all.

Jump over and have a listen to the episode here, and subscribe to the show in iTunes to listen to all of our marketing tips for free every fortnight.

Why your website doesn’t make any money (and what to do about it)

How to fix your website from loosing customers like a revolving door

You have a website for your business, but you’re still not seeing the promised customers streaming in the door. Sound familiar?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone…

The internet is now used by approximately everybody, (over 2 billion people anyway) giving businesses the opportunity to get their products and services in front local or global audiences of prospects who are actively looking for their products or service. But still, most businesses aren’t seeing the leads and sales.

Here’s why…

It’s well known in sales and marketing, that a prospect must view a sales message 5 to 7 times before they make the decision to buy.

And this is a problem because the internet is a place of infinite distraction.

Even if your site does a great job of grabbing a visitors meagre attention, they read the first page, and they love your product or service. Even if they think it is a perfect solution to their problem…

Ooooh, Facebook…

No wait, come back!

See, all it takes is one distraction – a phone call, an email alert, a text message… once they close the window, they are gone forever… they are never coming back to your site. Unless:

What’s the solution?

You need to give your reader excellent value as soon as they hit your website, and offer them a compelling reason to come back, and even better give you permission to contact them.

How to make your website Sticky

What do I mean by ‘sticky’?

A sticky website attracts visitors to return again and again. The best way to do this is by regularly creating interesting, useful information, that is helpful for your ideal prospects and adding it to your website.

Call it a blog, a journal, or simply a news section, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it is relevant, useful and interesting. Bonus points for making it entertaining.

Two key points:

  1. Keep it regular.
    • If your content is good, your visitors will want more. When they come back you need something new for them to read.
  2. Keep it focused on your customers
    • Help them. Teach them. Keep giving until you feel like you’re giving away your secrets. The more you give the more valuable it’s likely to be for your readers.

Ask their permission to keep in touch

A nice polite invitation to come back to your website is the most effective way to make sure they do come back. (And remember you want them to come back and read your message 5 to 7 times.)

So when you have published a new post or made a new product, you can contact them directly and invite them to have a look.

But how do you do this after they have left your site? Plan their experience from the moment they load your website.

Get their permission to contact them as soon as possible.

First up, give them what they came for, and give them more than they expected. (of course this requires you know what your potential customers want).

Since you gave them some great information when they first visited, of course they want to come back and see what else you have.

Now’s the time to make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Offer them a bribe for their permission

Ok not a cash bribe (hmm, maybe), but give them even more high value content. Free regular updates, a video course of how to get what they want, or even regular discounts (I’m not a fan of this technique).

The point is, your bribe needs to be of as high perceived value as possible. You are paying them for their permission with valuable content. As well as getting their permission, you want the bribe to be so good that they can’t wait until the next time you offer them something else to read, watch or listen to.

To take you up on the offer, you then ask your visitor to enter their email address, or ‘like’ you Facebook page. Whatever works best for you to keep in close contact with them. Email gets you the best access to them, but a Facebook like might be easier to get.

The best bribes are information that adds value to any of your products or services that they are looking for on your website. Because information is relatively cheap for you to create, but can be massively valuable for your potential customer.

The money is in the list

Direct marketers have said for years, that the money is in the list. Which is true. Maybe.

If you have an email list of a few hundred people who have voluntarily given you their email address because they are interested in your products or services, you can from that point on advertise to them anytime you want or need to for effectively free. How does that compare to paying for ads in the newspaper?

The truth is, the money is in the relationship with the list.

If you have that same list of 500 people and you continually send them lame offers to buy from you, they are very quickly going to get annoyed and unsubscribe, or worse mark you as spam.

The trick is to keep giving your subscribers cool, interesting stuff. That could be more great content, insane deals, whatever. Just make sure they know you appreciate them.

conclusion

The goal of your website shouldn’t be to make a sale on the first visit, but to get your visitors to put heir hands up and show they are interested in what you can offer. From there you are building a relationship that solidifies you as a trusted expert and moves them to the point of becoming a paying customer.

What is the lifetime value of a customer for your business?

photo credit: l.e.o

5 lessons in web marketing from a door to door salesman

web marketing lessons from a door salesmanImagine traipsing cold dark empty streets in the depths of winter, luring sane people from the warmth of their lounge in front of the fire and trying to convince them to buy… something. This was a period of my life, which though hardly glamorous, was surprisingly educational.

It was my fault. I had deliberately put myself here. I had a theory. If I could sell stuff door to door, then I could sell anything. It was also a crash course to harden the hell up and stop worrying what people think.

I want to save you knocking from having to knock on hundreds of doors (and two or three pairs of shoes), Here are 5 tips I learnt from doors sales, that you can use to market your business on the web.

1. Grab attention in 7 secs

As a door salesman, the person answering the door is already planning how they close the door before you even say hello. You need to grab their attention in 7 seconds or less. You need to have the best one-liner you’ve ever come up with. No second chances. If it doesn’t break their pattern and make them listen to what you are saying.. they will slam the door in your face.. If you are lucky. If you’re not lucky, they’ll let you talk for five minutes before making an excuse to slam the door in your face.

On the web you’ve got the same problem. Your visitors are likely stumbling around the web like cyber-goldfish. You need a jaw-dropping headline that makes the reader stop and think, “wow, that’s exactly what I didn’t know I needed”.

2. Tell a story they can connect with

Telling a story keeps the person engaged and listening to what you are saying. If it is good enough to make them want to know what happens in the end, they’ll let you keep talking.

You need to pull them into the story. It’s really about them. Their problems, their hopes and dreams and their view of themselves.

A story works on the web as well. I know, this seems crazy and completely at odds with the idea of short attention spans and…. for goodness sake, don’t make them scroll. But if the story is good enough, they have to keep reading to find out what happens at the end. and how it all relates to them.

There is an excellent example of a woman in the US who sold a baseball on ebay for US$1125.00. And all she did was tell the whole story of how how her kids smashed a light with the baseball kicking off the day from hell. The story was so good because it was something every parent can relate to.

3. Benefits

Back on the doorstep, I needed to give some incredibly compelling reasons why the person to buy from me right then. The best reasons give quantify-able results Otherwise known as benefits.

Your story needs to be packed with benefits. – Using highly specific examples to highlight your benefits makes them more compelling.

4. Everyone else is doing it

Social proof…. I know what you are thinking. How can you use social proof when you are standing in the cold. Alone.

Here’s how it works…
“Do you know your neighbour? Ron, next door? – Yes
He decide to pick up two of these turtle scrubbers. One for himself and one for his son who has just bought his first turtle.

Give them ideas on how they can use your products or a reason to buy them (holidays, birthdays,).

On your website, this is a thousand times easier. Showcasing glowing testimonials on your website is a must. Text, images, audio all work, but video knocks it out of the park.

5. Make an irresistible offer

Selling door to door, you’ve got to get the sale before they close the door or you don’t get paid. Your website has a few more options than that. But even if your website is designed to provide customer support or just information, you need to get your visitor to take some action. You’ve done the hard work, now you need the pay off.

The first rule is to make them an irresistible offer. Either ‘order now and we’ll throw in this unbelievable bonus’, or sign up for this free report. The options are endless.

Assume the sale – They’ve just spent their time finding out more information about your products, and you’ve told them how great they are. Now you need to tell them what you want them to do next.

How many of these tips are you using on your website?


Be cool and share this on Facebook, Twitter or with someone that’ll get some value from it. Everyone else is doing it.

Thanks

Is This First Impression Ruining Your Facebook Reputation

Here is how NOT to get new fans on Facebook:

I recorded this after a business spammed one of my Facebook Pages wall with a blatant sales message. After a bit of investigation, I found they were posting the same message on the walls of a large number of other business pages.

I outline what they did, and what they should be doing instead.

If you find this helpful, jump over and like our Facebook page for more helpful tips like this.

How to put your word-of-mouth marketing on steroids

Everybody in business knows that word of mouth is the absolute best form of marketing for their business.

Having a third party recommend your business is more credible in the eyes of the potential customers. Numerous studies have shown that recommendations from friends and even complete strangers have much higher levels of trust than advertising.

The problem with word of mouth marketing is that it is really hard to instigate, encourage or control. For someone to recommend your business, you need to be top of their mind when they happen to be having a conversation with someone who needs your products or services. Basically the right person needs to be in the right place at the right time, having the right conversation to make the referral.

Enter social media

Social media removes some of the barriers of word-of-mouth referrals and makes it easier for your customers to refer or recommend your services. In fact, it makes it so easy, often times, people don’t even realise they are doing it.

Staying Top of mind

Social media, be it Facebook, Twitter, a blog, or even email, allows you regular contact with the fans and customers of your business. That regular contact is critical to reminding your fans that you exist.

Here’s the thing… The contact doesn’t have to be anything heavy. It doesn’t have to be a sales call, a product offer or any form of ‘marketing message’. In fact, it is better if it isn’t (of course there is a place for promoting sales from time to time).

The point is purely to let them know you are still here. Doing your thing. Helping people.

Make it easy to share and promote your business

Before social media, contacting people was slow and expensive. But now, taking 10 minutes to post a photo or a tip on Facebook, and you’ve made contact with all of your fans who are interested enough to follow you.

The trick is posting something interesting that inspires your fans and followers to want to have their say. To share it with their friends.

It only takes 2 seconds to click the ‘like’ button or send a retweet on Twitter, or a minute to compose a comment. On Facebook, every interaction with your content spreads your idea and the visibility of your business further, to reach a larger audience. Effectively removing the barriers of referring your business.

How to make this work for your business

If you haven’t already, set up your presence on these platforms.

Think about what sort of content would be useful or interesting for your customers, and plan some cool content. Remember, content, can be short text tips, long articles, photos or video.

Get some fans. Spread the word with your staff, friend and customers, and give them all a reason to follow you on these services.

Get publishing. Be cool.


Speaking of being cool. If you found this article helpful, I’d appreciate it if you took a moment to write a comment below or share this article on Facebook.

How to grab business by targeting a highly specific market

Shampoo is marketed to specific target markets.I’m going to tell you something you already know. You know it, but I’m going to tell you again, because you probably don’t do it.

First, something to consider…

In our house, if you wander into the bathroom and poke your head behind the shower curtain. You will find quite a number of bottles crammed onto the tiny shelf. Including, not just one, but three separate bottles of shampoo. A white bottle with a blue lid for me, a tall architecturally designed cream bottle with a peach lid for my wife, and a transparent bottle of golden liquid for our kids.

Why the hell do we need three bottles of shampoo? They all do more or less exactly the same thing – clean hair.

We have them because shampoo companies know something. It’s the same thing that you already know.

You need to define your target market, and sell directly to them

Most small businesses, when asked who their target market is, have a version of the same answer.

“Anyone” or “Anyone with money”

The idea being that by targeting everybody, they have a larger potential market. Wrong! This strategy is leaving money on the table.

Back to shampoo… Do they sell less shampoo because one brand is targeted to only men? NO they sell more, a metric boatload more.

By targeting a specific, well defined market, it is easier to understand their problems and communicate how your product or service can solve it for them.

Everyone has hair that needs cleaning, but some have dry hair, oily hair, or an itchy scalp. Those are all specific problems that need solved.

Advertise specifically to your market

My shampoo says ‘for Men with sensitive scalps’. It’s a no brainer… That’s the stuff I need (or at least that I think I need).

By being specific you decommoditize your product or service. A product that fixes a specific issue is more valuable than a generic product.

But the market would be too small

Ok, here’s another example of a sneaky way to get around the problem with a small market. In the Internet marketing world, there is at least one dog training course that is marketed as train your Labrador, train your Great Dane, train your German shepherd and many other popular dog breeds.

It’s the same study course, the only way the course is differentiated is who it is marketed to (Labrador owners or German shepherd owners). Simple tactic but it works because all dog owners know their dog is the best dog breed, and training techniques tailored specifically to their breed is going to be better than general dog training.

Could you market the exact same product to two (or more) specific markets?

Action

Who can you help specifically? Write a list of specific groups of people who you could tailor your product or service to fix their specific problem.

Can you add something to you product or service to make it cater to a specific group?

How-to reports and Tips work great:

  • ‘How to teach your child about bike safety’
  • or ‘7 critical accounting systems for a new service business’

Try something to reach a niche market.

— Rinse and repeat —

photo credit: Cormac Heron


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