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Everyday marketing strategies for small businesses, solopreneurs and entrepreneurs

For the last few weeks we’ve been talking a lot about marketing your business and hopefully I’ve driven home the fact that you must market your business every single day. Marketing should be your top priority. If you are not marketing daily, I know for a fact that you may not doing as well as you could be in your business. In fact, you are probably struggling.

So are you ready to implement a simple, DAILY marketing strategy that lets you gracefully and generously spread the word about your product or service?

Remember, marketing is not about shamelessly promoting your business day in and day out with flyers, commercials and e-blasts. It’s about giving generously to your customers. It’s about maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with them. It’s about educating your ideal customers on why they need your product or service and making sure they know exactly where you are, who you are, what you do and how you solve their most pressing problems or meet their needs.

If you are still shy about creating a strategic marketing campaign because you don’t really know how to do it, no worries. I’ve chunked it down into bite-sized pieces so you can start implementing some very basic and easy techniques immediately. Let’s call it:

EVERYDAY MARKETING: A super-simple, 7-day plan for small businesses and solopreneurs who want to gain loyal customers and build their brand by sharing their brilliance.

SUNDAY — Set BIG goals.   Estimated time: 45 minutes

Map out your key goals for the week.   Do you want to attract 1 new client?   Do you want to have meetings with 3 new potential clients? Do you want to generate $10,000 in new sales?   Spend time on Sunday after church and family time to set some goals that will stretch you outside of your comfort zone.

MONDAY — Reward loyal customers with added value.   Reconnect with former customers.   Estimated time: 1 hour

(1) Recognize your most loyal customers by how often they visit or how much they spend. Show your appreciation by creating a custom loyalty program that automatically rewards your Regulars.

(2) If you are a coach or consultant, use Mondays to call your 3-5 best former clients.   Reconnect with them to see how you can help them achieve their goals.   Give them a special incentive to reconnect with you.   Let them know about your new services or the new information you have that can help them.

(3) If you haven’t already done so, you can use this phone conversation to ask the former client for a testimonial about their experience working with you.   Jot it down and add that testimonial to your website or marketing materials.   Limit each phone call to 10 — 15 minutes or less.

(4) You can also use Mondays to ask former clients for referrals.   Ask 3 clients to give you referrals to 1 — 3 potential new clients that could benefit from your brilliance.   Because nobody likes cold-calling, have those clients make a warm introduction to the people they refer you to BEFORE you call.  

If you’re in retail or in a service-based business and you don’t get a lot of Monday traffic, set Monday up as a standard deep discount day.   This could also be a day where you add extra value to your product or service.   For instance, if you own a boutique, give your first ten Monday clients a 30-minute free image consultation.   This will not only allow you an opportunity to up sell them on additional consulting service, it also let’s you upsell them on additional items they may not have otherwise purchased.   For you, Mondays should be about reconnecting, giving and adding value.

TUESDAY — Connect with referrals. Build Relationships.   Estimated time: 1 hour.

Tuesday can also be slow for some businesses, so take time today to call the referrals your former clients shared with you.   Don’t sell them on anything.   Simply let them know that you heard of them through your former client and give them something–a tip, a solution, a compliment, a coupon, a referral, a copy of your book or e-book an invitation to come by your store…just give.   Then, ask them if you can add them to your mailing list.   Once you do that, start building a relationship from there.   Again, it’s all about giving.

WEDNESDAY — Leverage the media.   Estimated time: 1 hour.

Today, set aside 1 hour to scan at least 3 media outlets.   They can be newspapers, magazines, TV shows or your favorite talk radio shows.   This is so you can start leveraging the media to get free publicity for your business.

Find out which media frequently highlight businesses like yours or experts like you.   See where you message best fits in.   Then, begin to pitch the media with unique story ideas or angles that tie in to outlets you can pitch a story idea to based on your unique expertise.   I explain exactly how to pitch the media in my e-book called the Publicity Power Toolkit.   You should grab it.

THURSDAY — Attract your MOST ideal client.   Estimated time 1 — 2.5 hours.

If you could name your MOST ideal, top-tier client, who would it be?   Would it be some A-list celebrity?   A major corporation?   A noted local business person?   Identify 3 dream clients you know you could service well or solve problems for and go after them.   Make a call.   Set up a meeting.   Ask the people in your circle if they know someone who can help you get closer to that person.   Today, your marketing goal is to begin the process of connecting with your most ideal clients.

Another recommendation for Thursday is to attend a networking event at least once a month.   Go outside of your usual terrain.   If you’re a suburbanite go downtown.   If you’re downtown, go up north.   Either way, begin to surround yourself with some new contacts.   Get out of your comfort zone.   Meet some new people.   Take it up a notch!   If you are the smartest one in the room you need to move to a new room and that’s what Thursday is about.  

FRIDAY — Share your expertise.   Estimated time 1.5 hours

You have two options for today:

- Repeat any of the strategies you learned earlier this week or

- Let today be the day to share your expertise with your audience.  

So, if you have a blog, post an entry that displays your expertise.   Post tips on Twitter or FaceBook. Write a quick “how-to” article and submit it to one of the article marketing sites like ezinearticles.com.   These are ways to build your brand and let people know that you are the expert.   Friday doesn’t have to be the ONLY day you post articles but if your ideal market knows that every Friday they can read something brilliant that you wrote, they will anticipate your brilliance every week.   That’s the foundation of loyalty, trust and a good relationship.

SATURDAY — Automate your marketing messages.   Estimated time: 30 minutes.

If you are fairly advanced in internet marketing strategies, spend 30-minutes today creating automated messages that will go out to your social media networks throughout the week.   These messages can go out to your Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn and FOURSquare accounts simultaneously by using a tool called HooteSuite.com.   It’s free and it allows you to schedule messages and stay connected without actually taking valuable time during the work week.   You can use HooteSuite to send messages about upcoming events, sales, success strategies, great books you’ve read, effective tips you want to share or whatever will help you effectively strengthen your brand.

If you don’t think you can do it all yourself (and you shouldn’t if you are TRULY a visionary), hire an enthusiastic part-time college intern and give them a copy of this blog post.   Let this be their project.   Either way, don’t make any excuses.   DO IT!

Let’s ALL–including me–take the challenge and make the commitment to follow this 7-day super-simple marketing calendar for one solid week.   Then, let’s come back and share the results.  

Who’s in?

One Response to “Everyday marketing strategies for small businesses, solopreneurs and entrepreneurs”

  1. clyde perry says:

    I was listening to your talk show about small business marketing and wanted to purchase the EBOOK for $20.00.
    i have a small business and need to take advantage of your knowledge in the marketing,free publicity (you spoke of) networking business world.
    I am working on setting up my website…

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