First, before we go any further on this endeavor we need to be realistic and honest with ourselves. Finding an answer to a lie does not help anyone. I am going to pose some questions throughout this series of posts and you NEED to be honest with yourself because your marketing and branding efforts will not improve if you are implementing solutions to an unreal situation. For instance, I design websites, I help small and medium sized companies brand and market themselves, and I also create engaging videos for websites, social media, and television. I left my steady job as a math and computer science teacher to go all in as a branding/design consultant. When I was first starting out, I had to determine who I wanted my clients to be (Yes… it’s okay to pick your clients instead of the other way around. However, like I said, be honest with yourself… CAN you pick your clients/customers? Or do you have to not be as picky to turn a profit?) and the thought popped into my mind that I could help anyone. Let’s hit pause right there for a moment. I was a one-man band who had only ever worked with small companies and entrepreneurs. There’s no way that I could ever have had a big corporation as a client because not only did I not have the manpower, but I had never worked with or at a large company and knew nothing about data management or analytics on a huge scale or working with million dollar ad campaigns. Because of these truths, I set my sights on a more realistic clientele that matched my current (then) skill set. Seeking out partnerships with small clients seemed much more realistic, but also it meant less money per client. That in turn meant a higher volume to make the living I wanted. This led me to the realization that I needed to be honest with myself, again, about how many new clients I could service properly. This meant that my growth had to be modest until I got to a point where I could scale up and hire a team. It’s okay, and also normal, to not follow in the footsteps of a tech startup and go from $0 in sales to a billion in a year. Slow growth is realistic, manageable, sustainable, comfortable, and how the majority of businesses grow.
Pressing play and getting back to the questions at hand, who are your customers? Where do they live? What do they do for work? What are they into? What do they eat? Do they go to church or do they abide like the Dude? Do they have kids? How much money do they make? Do they NEED your service? If so, do they know they need it? If you are selling something that your customers need, chances are very good that many others are selling the same thing because selling a need seems easy from an untrained eye. This begs the questions; why should people buy their necessity from you? If they do not need what you are selling, how are you going to convince them that they do? So many questions, and there are more, but they are all important in finding your customers and then advertising to them. The worst thing you could do is to blindly pay a lot of money to advertise to people who will never buy from you or advertise to people who would buy from you in an ineffective way. If you can’t answer any of the previous questions, ask friends, family, and business acquaintances. If you are feeling overwhelmed then take a few weeks to answer these questions. You do not need to find the answers right now. In fact, I will help you answer them over the course of my next few posts. If you have a marketing budget and want to go deeper on these questions, pay a consultant for an hour or two of his or her time to help you with this. Spending time with a consultant is not necessary, especially if you have a wide pool of people to speak with (I will cover in another post why having a few people to continually bounce ideas off of is a must as a business owner). However, since I am a consultant and know that money and time are precious resources for business owners, I am going to walk you through the essentials for free-ninety-nine. Best price in the world! :)
I will be back in my next post with loads of information and answers to your questions. Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions before the next post.