Over the past six months we’ve been discussing the essential secrets for business owners who want to market themselves effectively, derived from The 16 Monumental Secrets of Guerilla Marketing presented by Jay Conrad Levinson in his national bestseller Guerilla Marketing—and there are still many secrets to explore in 2015! The next principle is something that I consider to be crucial to maintaining a thriving business, yet commonly overlooked: Continue to market yourself to your clients subsequent to the sale.
Or in Levinson’s words, “It’s the marketing done subsequent to the sale that leads to the juicy profits.” (Consider this: Levinson follows this statement up with asserting that it costs six times more to sell a product or a service to a new customer than it does to an existing customer.)
It’s all about reaffirming the great choices they’ve made. While your clients have already made the decision to do business with you, they always have the option to change their minds. As consumers we have the power to choose who, what, when, where, why and how with respect to spending our money, it’s as simple as that. Your clients also continue to choose to keep their business with you—but it’s mission critical to remind them why they made that choice and to reinforce that it was, in fact, a decision well made. Along the same lines, there’s always the chance that they may choose to do more business with you in the future. You want to be the first option that comes to mind as often as you are relevant to the conversation, period. When your clients think of you as a valuable resource, your brand is elevated to one that is trusted among members of your community. It’s a win-win scenario.
Furthermore, loyalty is honorable but competitive advantage is undeniable. You can be sure that your competition is out there trying to turn your existing customers into their new customers. Your continued marketing builds a fence around your existing customers. Marketing is not only a way to educate your audience about your competitive advantage; to positively and proactively influence their choice between you and your competition, but also subsequently to keep them as your customers.
I touched on this a few months ago when I emphasized the importance of consistency in your marketing efforts: Visibility is POWERFUL; it’s the key to staying top-of-mind. Staying visible among your existing clients is just as important as staying visible in your marketplace to attract new clients whenever they need what you have to offer. One of the best ways to stay visible and market to existing clients, while showing potential clients evidence of how they’d be treated after the sale should they choose to do business with you, is anything that ties into customer appreciation. Over the years, time after time, I’ve seen the adverse effects of “marketing campaign standstill,” or when a desired amount of clients or sales are garnered, marketing is then considered to be no longer essential. It’s truly painful to see all of the progress wiped away when marketing efforts are abandoned once a perceived level of success has been achieved—once you’re no longer visible, you’ll be forgotten, no matter how much you’ve dedicated yourself to the marketing efforts that led to your success in the first place. It’s not your client’s fault that you don’t come to mind first, if at all–it’s yours.
You can count on the fact that what you do for your clients subsequent to the sale is what will continue to keep them. Efforts aimed at retention and simply delivering the promises you made when getting the initial sale speaks volumes about your business—and through marketing efforts focused on existing clients, you are also establishing and solidifying your credibility by staying the course and continuing to market yourself subsequent to the sale. While we should always be striving to attract new clients with our offerings—and in how we market ourselves, of course!—it is actually how we market to our existing clients that is of the utmost importance as it can prove to be far more rewarding and profitable.
by Paige Zutavern
In continuing to expand on what I consider to be the essential rules for business owners who want to market themselves effectively, based upon The 16 Monumental Secrets of Guerilla Marketing presented by Jay Conrad Levinson in his national bestseller Guerilla Marketing, the next principle is assortment.
This quote from Conrad says it all: “The wider the assortment of weapons in your marketing arsenal, the wider the grin on your face when you review your financial statements.”
If your marketing strategy includes employing a variety of tactics to garner attention from your target audience, you are likely making an impression on them that will consistently keep you in the “Top of Mind Awareness” zone. In order to remain constantly driving in customers, the cycle is never broken so there is no downtime when it comes to effectively marketing your business. Even within one advertising medium, there should be a wealth of avenues to pursue depending on your strategy and goals with your marketing efforts.
Take our publication for example. We offer our advertisers a wealth of assortment in value-added tools all across the board with our editorial features, including monthly Press Releases, Client Spotlights, Ask The Expert columns, Star Six columns, Special Stories, and the Cover feature with a supporting article. These are all specifically designed to be geared towards promoting our clients in different ways that are best suited for them, as well as consistent promotion through a variety of avenues in person, in print and online. Providing this assortment allows for consistency while continuing to attract attention with a fresh approach.
When you factor in all of the other marketing avenues available today, there is no reason why all businesses aren’t utilizing more than one. I always encourage business owners not to put all of their eggs in one basket; to exhibit patience in their commitment to their current marketing efforts while peppering that with some new pieces every once in a while.
Conrad ends with the exact statement I think I’ve said thousands of times over the years: “…Marketing doesn’t end with the sale.” Remember to keep this in mind with your marketing efforts–and to incorporate an assortment of ways in which you are connecting with your current and prospective clients.
by Paige Zutavern, President
I’ve recently been exploring what I consider to be the essential rules for business owners who want to market themselves effectively, based upon The 16 Monumental Secrets of Guerilla Marketing presented by Jay Conrad Levinson in his national bestseller GUERILLA MARKETING.
So now you are committed to your marketing plan. You see it as an investment, are dedicated to maintaining consistency in your efforts, and are confident in promoting your business. Now what?
Secret #5: “You must be patient in order to keep a commitment.”
This is the part that is less exciting–maybe even dreaded–for most of us. We live in a time where instant gratification is commonplace and instant results are expected. The trouble with marketing is that the results aren’t often traced back to your campaign in a concrete way. The messages that you send out are received by your audience and stored; you never know when or how they will surface but the point is that you’ve reached the right people, made an impression, and continue to remind your target audience about your presence in the marketplace. It is important to keep in mind that marketing is powerful in ways that can’t always be measured. Reality suggests that often in life things don’t always move as fast as one would hope, which is why I strongly encourage my clients to set their patience meter all the way up to 10 and keep forging ahead.
I will be the first to admit that patience is not my forte. I want things to happen now, not later—whether it’s a phone call, a sale…anything really! But a healthy dose of patience goes a long way, especially for your sanity as well as the continued success of your marketing efforts over the long haul. Branding yourself takes time, and once you’ve done that, it takes more time and patience to keep that top-of-mind recognition. Exercising patience will allow people searching for solutions you provide to discover you and moreover, to ascertain why your brand is the right choice for them. It’s not on your schedule, it’s on theirs and when they just so happen to be looking for what you have to offer. It is at this point that they discover you are the RIGHT choice based on the consistent and credible message you have put around your brand and yourself as an expert in your industry. Furthermore, you never know when the opportunity for referral will strike and you want to be the first name that comes out of someone’s mouth.
Finding ways to sow the seeds and then watching them grow all takes patience. It comes down to a willingness to dedicate yourself to developing your brand along with circulating the heck out of your consistent message to your targeted audience. It takes relentless discipline, fortitude, and vigilance in addition to patience, but the marketing marathon is rewarding beyond measure for those who are patient and stay the course. Think for just a moment about the times when you were patient and when you were not. In each case, didn’t the time you demonstrated patience bring forth the greatest positive benefits? You bet it did, so your commitment should include being patient with your branding efforts.
by Paige Zutavern, President
So far I have presented the first three of The 16 Monumental Secrets of Guerilla Marketing–principles presented by Jay Conrad Levinson in his national bestseller GUERILLA MARKETING—COMMITMENT to your marketing plan, considering marketing as an INVESTMENT, and maintaining CONSISTENCY in your marketing efforts. The fourth secret is CONFIDENCE. It is crucial to make your prospective clients/customers confident in your offerings through your marketing; just as crucial as your own confidence in what you have to offer. Levinson asserts, “Confidence is extremely important to you—more important than quality, than selection, than price, than service. Confidence will be your ally. And commitment, as proven by consistent marketing, will breed confidence.” As consistency in your marketing efforts snowballs into a successful campaign that continues to build momentum, your confidence in yourself, your business, your people, your marketing, and your mission will grow and strengthen.
Over the years, one of the most rewarding aspects of my business has been seeing my clients gain more and more confidence (and sales, of course!) as a result of utilizing our products and services to their advantage in consistently marketing themselves. These are businesses that often didn’t enter the market with huge campaigns, budgets, events and fireworks—they started with what they could afford and stayed the course. The most important part was that they were following their calling, and were confident despite how scary taking the initial leap of faith may have been. Making the investment in marketing themselves consistently allowed them to plant their seed and to watch their sales grow.
Now, they are widely recognized as reputable local businesses—and not just because of a small ad and possibly even a few press releases they placed in our publication, but because of the confidence they had in promoting their businesses, and themselves as an Expert in their respective industries, with the same unwavering message every single month for years. The community is now familiar with these businesses, which have garnered top of mind recognition from their audience, so in turn they are confident in their offerings…and they are comfortable in making that purchase decision.
As the late Rosalynn Carter famously said, “You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” Among other things, your marketing will bolster your credibility, thus making your prospective clients confident in doing business with you. And true to the domino effect, this will set off a chain of events that boost your confidence as you continue to blaze your trail in the business community. Confidence is infectious, and my advice is to first find it (which can be more difficult for some than others) and then use it to your advantage and take it with you everywhere you go.
I have 100% confidence in my team and in the products and services we bring together for our clients, and it shows. Now be sure to add CONFIDENCE in the marketing of your offering and watch things really take off.
by Paige Zutavern, President
Welcome to our September issue! In continuing our focus on The 16 Monumental Secrets of Guerilla Marketing–principles presented by Jay Conrad Levinson in his national bestseller GUERILLA MARKETING—“the third major marketing secret is to make your marketing CONSISTENT.” Conrad expands on this principle, stating, “Change your offers and headlines and even your prices, but do not change your identity. Don’t drop out of the public eye for long periods. When you are ready to market your product or service, be prepared to put the word out consistently. Consistently means regularly, and for a goodly period of time.” Consistency is among the key essentials to successfully marketing your business, but so many times this principle is not taken into account with as much gravity and strategy as it should be. Consider how you are currently marketing yourself and the level of consistency in your current campaign. Now, consider the reasons that you may be lacking consistency. Among the reasons, budget is the most common—there are a wide variety of options when it comes to spending marketing dollars and furthermore, cash flow isn’t always steady nor is the economy predictable. So, when making these decisions, take into account consistency and longevity if you aren’t already. Instead of splurging for the full page ad for one month; consider buying a smaller ad that runs every month for a full year. Instead of spending all of your money in one medium of advertising, consider spreading your message through several avenues. This will ensure that your message is consistently reaching your target audience. The main goal is to be in front of your current and potential customers regularly—to brand yourself and to garner and maintain top-of-mind awareness. Changing your approach to be more consistent should never be confused as a sales tactic employed by the marketing industry; it is solid advice for getting the most out of your marketing dollars and campaign long term. It does, however, require a more thoughtful and strategic approach to your marketing plan and the resolve and diligence to follow through with it over a significant period of time.
Conrad concludes, “Consistency breeds familiarity, familiarity breeds confidence, and confidence breeds sales. If your products or services are of sufficient quality, your confidence in your offering–more than any other attribute–will attract buyers.” I challenge you, our readers, to honestly evaluate this one factor and make an effort to improve your campaign if it is lacking consistency. If you are “getting the word out” on a CONSISTENT basis, I guarantee that you will see your business grow and prosper.
by Paige Zutavern, President
Welcome to our August issue! In continuing our focus on The 16 Monumental Secrets of Guerilla Marketing–principles presented by Jay Conrad Levinson in his national bestseller GUERILLA MARKETING–#2 is INVESTMENT. In his book, Conrad says, “Marketing and advertising should be considered conservative investments. They are not miracle workers. They are not magic formulas. They are not instant gratifiers. If you don’t recognize that marketing is a conservative investment, you’ll have difficulty committing yourself to a marketing program.” So in order for your commitment to your marketing program to continue and persevere long term, it is crucial to think of your program as an investment. Perceived value with marketing is difficult because you can’t specifically measure your results from the messages you are putting out for people to take in, whether consciously or subconsciously. But one thing in my extensive experience is certain: Marketing yourself consistently and making that investment in your brand will contribute to a steady increase in business. It may be slow, it may take some time, and you may not be able to trace your success directly back to your marketing alone. Marketing isn’t designed to produce instant results, and while it has great power it also has its limitations.
Moreover, there is a difference between an expense and an investment. Companies, and individuals for that matter, should always be looking to cut costs while looking to increase investment whenever possible. However, many companies choose to cut out investments such as marketing when times are tough mistaking them for mere expenses. This not only negates what you have invested, but also any return that you would have gained had you continued. Marketing and image are two of the common (and major) areas that are considered an investment by companies that understand a growth model vs. a survival model, in addition to hiring, training and development, technology, physical location, etc. Not only have I seen all too many businesses bail out on their marketing plan when they are struggling, but also once they have become successful. When times were good, they made the decision to stop marketing in spite of the fact that it was their marketing that got them to that point. They became too comfortable with the business flowing in and deemed their marketing to be no longer necessary. This allowed their competition who continued to market themselves to steal the spotlight and that valuable top-of-mind recognition from their targeted audience. I assure you, the minute you stop vying to keep that spot there is someone else who will move right in. Marketing is an ongoing investment and an operational (not to be confused with optional!) part of how a company conducts business.
by Paige Zutavern