The Real Trick to Growing a Business
Just like everyone who’s carrying a few (or more than a few) extra pounds wants to know the fastest, easiest way to lose weight, every business owner wants to know the fastest, easiest (and cheapest) way to grow a business. But just like there’s no magic pill to take off the weight, there’s really no secret to growing your business quickly and easily. There are effective marketing and communications practices to grow a business though, and they work much better than hoping for a post to go viral or searching for the trendiest business hacks.
The real trick to growing a business isn’t magic or some secret tactic. It’s a process of taking the right steps to market and communicate your business offerings. And it’s not really secret, but it is very effective to create and use a marketing strategy, try different marketing channels, and schedule marketing projects to build your brand and boost your sales.
Marketing is so much more than just Facebook posts and web copy. To really work and drive business growth, you need to develop a marketing strategy that includes understanding your customers, knowing how you will communicate your business to them, and using the most relevant content for those customers.
Who buys your products or contracts your services? Why do they need what you are selling? What makes them come to you rather than going down the street or across town to another business? What kind of buying experience do they want and expect from your business? These are questions you’ll need to have the answers to in order to craft the type of precision messaging that matches your client base. Whether you conduct formal or informal marketing surveys, analyze your receivables, get a marketing audit, or use some other way to better understand your customers, it’s the first step in developing the most effective marketing strategy.
Once you understand your customers, and how and why they come to your business, you can plan the best ways to communicate with them. Using your core business objectives and an understanding of what your customers want, you can develop marketing themes with which to craft content and decide how to deliver it. Newsletters, blog posts, podcasts, webinars, targeted emails, and other types of content are what you need for a marketing platform that drives growth.
With a strategy and content platform, you’re ready to try out different marketing channels. With the variety of marketing avenues available today, you need to use multiple marketing channels to effectively define and promote your business brand, attract and satisfy customers, and grow your business. New businesses have to test out what channels are best for their markets, while more established businesses may be better served by refining existing channels that are already driving growth.
While realistically, you probably can’t utilize all marketing channels, definitely have more than one or two, and experiment with channels that you know your customers are active in. Referral marketing, online advertising, content marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and community building are just some of the marketing channels you should consider.
With a marketing strategy in place and marketing channels to try, you can plan marketing projects to start the wheels turning. Knowing your customers, you can plan to market to them with specific objectives and trackable goals. For example, if your customers are in social media, and you are trying to increase sales, plan some marketing projects to attract new customers or get existing customers to increase the size of orders with social media contests and coupons.
Develop marketing projects that draw on an understanding of your customers, communicate your business objectives, and utilize the marketing channels that make sense and that you want to try out. It’s not magic or top secret. It’s just an effective process that gets the results you want to grow your business.