If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you are starting the New Year with lots of resolutions and goals about being more productive. And if you’re like most entrepreneurs I talk to, one of your biggest stumbling blocks is finding ways to continually get new customers – especially when you are so busy with the many hats that you are wearing.
I understand how difficult it can be to take care of all the things you have to do in a day! But, there are some key marketing habits of successful entrepreneurs that will allow you to be sure that you are continually building your sales funnel so that there are always customers coming in your door.
It can be so easy for marketing to fall by the wayside because it doesn’t seem like a ‘deadline’-oriented activity, the same way that sending out product or returning phone calls can be. The key to making sure it doesn’t get pushed aside day in and day out is to create time for it on your calendar, just as you would any other meeting or scheduled activity.
And here’s the secret – it doesn’t have to be overly time consuming! Here are four ways to build marketing into your day — even during your busiest periods.
1. Be active on social media
Focus on short-term marketing by keeping an active presence on social media. Some people mistakenly believe that social media will be a time suck, but this one key tactic is the best way to keep your name in front of prospects and potential customers. Take some time to review which of your social media platforms give you the most bang for your time, and concentrate your efforts there. Whether it’s refreshing your boards on Pinterest so that your ideal client can see how your products will fit with her lifestyle, or participating in a group discussion on LinkedIn to keep your name out there as an expert in your industry, choose the most value-added avenue and commit to visiting and participating every single day.
2. Break down large goals
Devote time to chipping away at a bigger marketing goal. Do you need to revamp your website so that it’s more user friendly? It’s critical to have an online platform you can depend on that is pulling in people who are interested in your product and service and ready to buy exactly what you have to offer. Sometimes a large project can be so daunting when you consider working on it all at once. So, tackle these larger projects in smaller increments. Set up a schedule for when you will take the time to accomplish a refresh. Develop mini goals, for example writing one page of copy a day, or seeking out two customer testimonials. Make a plan to find 30 minutes in your schedule, every day, to tackle parts of these larger tasks. At the end of the week, you’ll have devoted 2.5 hours and will have made a meaningful dent in whatever marketing task is your current priority. When Friday comes, it will be easy to see that you’ve made real progress, which will open the door to wanting to make even more.
3. Explore one new market
Hopefully, you know who your ideal client is. But, once you’ve figured out the profile of your ideal client, figure out if there are complementary ways to reach her. Does she hang out on Pinterest looking at fashion? Check into the industry “gurus” and follow them on Instagram or Twitter and start interacting to show that you are in the know. Is there a blog in your industry that reaches your ideal clients? Spend time researching how you could guest post. If you sell jewelry, could you team up with someone who sells hair accessories to create a promotion or flash sale? Concentrate on devoting time to exploring new niche markets that could open the door to more sales.
4. Say thank you
When you think of marketing, you might not think of gratitude, but they go hand in hand. When you say thank you to a customer, you are creating one more touch point where you let them know that they are a valuable contributor to your success. Saying thank you, whether it’s in an email, or better yet, a hand-written note, sets you apart from other entrepreneurs. It helps spread the kind of good will that makes customers want to buy more, but even more than that, they’ll want to leave a positive review or tell a friend. I find that saying thank you leads to referrals, which are the best leads in business, in fact, I like to say that referrals are like pre-sold customers!
Marketing is an activity that cannot be put off if you are going to succeed. Building these key marketing habits of successful entrepreneurs will ensure that you are always busy keeping your pipeline filled!