Last week, I discussed the four basic principles of marketing (i.e., “The Four Ps”) and applying them to a self-employment plan. The “Four Ps” are Product (having a product or service) to offer clients, Distribution (how to get the product or service to clients), Promotion (marketing), and Price (what you charge). This week, I am continuing to discuss marketing (promotions) of your small business.
- Marketing is necessary; not something to avoid. Get over any shyness or disinterest when it comes to marketing. No matter how great your business idea is or how hard you work, no one will know about your offerings and how great your products and services are unless you tell them. No one is going to buy a product or service they don’t know exists. That’s the basis of all marketing in a nutshell. Then need for marketing is non-negotiable. Period.
- Why you? What’s so great about what you have to offer? What differentiates your business from other businesses offering the same thing? Location? Quality? A specific aspect of what you offer? Develop clearly articulated – and simple – communications about what is positive about your product or service. How does your product or service benefit your potential clients? Let them know!
- Time – get to the point. Remember, you often don’t have a long time to catch someone’s attention. If you are a person who tends to ramble – or build up to your main idea – focus on making your point quickly and clearly before you lose people. “You need this because…..” “It will improve your life by…..” Without a clear message, your product or service gets lost in the crowd – something like the photo above (this computer-scrambled image doesn’t tell anyone that this started as a photo of me at a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon with Seattle’s mayor and several other dignitaries).
- First impressions…. And, second impressions, third impressions, etc. The axiom about first impressions being important applies in marketing just as it does “person to person.” Show value and capture people’s attention the first time they see your marketing….as well as the second time, third time, and so on. It often takes three to five marketing efforts (a combination of advertisements, sales calls, etc.) to “get a sale.”
If you are interested in self-employment, contact me for assistance with pre-planning, business setup, and/or logistics management once you start your own business. My business experience and MBA make me a good business-development provider for clients who are creating their own opportunities through self-employment.
Kim Burkhardt, MBA has taught college-level business courses, is an occasional book and article writer, and has a self-employment background. These days, Ms. Burkhardt is working with clients who are starting their own businesses. She’s the author of Agents of Success: Moving Forward Professionally (Personal Application of Marketing Principles). Check out her services at “The Practical MBA.”