Marketing 101: Marketing changes the world

Continuing our Marketing 101 series:

We’ve talked about the very basics of marketing, how to identify what you are offering, know how it helps people, and who those people are, how to make sure they know about it and knowing what to tell them and how to ask for it.

Marketing can be boiled down to this:
Know what you’re offering, how it helps people and make sure they know about it.

Here is what I believe:

MARKETING CHANGES THE WORLD

Marketing, to me, is just better-focused customer service. You know someone has a problem, and you are offering them options to solve that problem. Therefore, if you can help someone solve a problem, you can change their life. If you can reach enough people and help them change their life, you are changing the world.

From one of my favorites, Seth Godin:

More than ever, though, folks grow up saying, “I want to change the world.” More than ever, that means telling stories, changing minds and building a tribe.

You know, marketing.

At least if you want it to be.

So true. 100%.

How does your product or service have the potential to change the world?

P.S. I am planning a free email marketing webinar for sometime in the next month or so, so make sure you’re on the email list for news of it.

0 comments

Marketing 101: What is a call to action?

Continuing our Marketing 101 series:

We’ve talked about the very basics of marketing, how to identify what you are offering, know how it helps people, and who those people are, how to make sure they know about it and knowing what to tell them. The next step in creating your marketing campaign is to make sure you are asking for what you want your customers to do. They need to know what the next step is.

Marketing can be boiled down to this:
Know what you’re offering, how it helps people and make sure they know about it.

Here’s how you make sure they know about it: You TELL THEM.

I know, ground-breaking. But a lot of people (ahem. Me.) forget that you actually need to be clear with your readers and customers on what you want them to do. If you want your blog reader to sign up for your newsletter, tell them about it. If you want your newsletter subscriber to buy your recent digital kit launch, ask them to. If you want your Twitter follower to retweet your link, suggest they do so.

That is a call to action.

It really doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that. They just need to know what the next step is.

Practice by adding calls to action to your blog post (“Leave a comment below about _____” or “Follow me on Instagram for more behind the scenes”). Review your last product or service launch, and make sure all the communication around that included a clear call to action. Add ‘call to action’ to your checklist for the future.

Additional reading: 5 effective tricks to create a killer call to action (from Problogger)

What are your biggest hurdles with Calls to Action?

0 comments

Marketing 101: Who is it for?

Continuing our Marketing 101 series:

We’ve talked about the very basics of marketing, how to identify what you are offering, know how it helps people, how to make sure they know about it and knowing what to tell them. The next step in creating your marketing campaign is to make sure your marketing message is reaching the right potential customers. Get the info to the right people and you can actually help them change something in their life.

Marketing can be boiled down to this:
Know what you’re offering, how it helps people and make sure they know about it.

Let’s dig deeper into knowing who your offer is for!

Your product is NOT for everyone. Sorry. It’s just not. And your marketing is not going to be effective until you start to embrace the small niche that is interested in what you have to offer.

You need to think about questions like:

  • How does your customer spend the bulk of their time?
  • What kinds of things do they value?
  • What is their experience with similar products/services?
  • Who or what is the major factor in your customers’ decisions?

Your product might be for stay-at-home moms who need to run purchases by their husbands because they don’t feel comfortable spending money they didn’t directly earn. Your product may be for just-out-of-college professionals who have a full-time income for the first time in their lives. Your product might be for 40-something couples who are not quite at a mid-life crisis but are still looking for something exciting to shake things up.

Your marketing message can be tailored to a very specific group as in these examples. You just need to know who YOUR specific group is.

For example, now that I am moving farther into fiction-writing circles and introduce myself, I often have to give the disclaimer : “Oh, I blog for blogging crafty creative ladies. You, middle aged nerdy male writer, are not the audience so don’t even bother looking me up.” It also saves me from having to try to explain what 30 Days of Lists is, for example. Unless you are already acquainted with the idea of an online class or creative challenge, #30Lists is mind-boggling.

As Seth Godin says about figuring out who your product is for, “It’s cheaper to answer these questions than it is to spend time and money on marketing, but, alas, it usually doesn’t happen that way.”

P.S. This weekend will be the BUILD virtual retreat! You MUST be registered for the ecourse to join, but all weekend I’ll be online answering whatever questions you want. We will tailor the retreat content very specifically to the attendees.

P.P.S. The BUILD ecourse price will go up on September 1, so this is the best time to jump in if you have been thinking about it.

0 comments

Marketing 101: Benefits, not features

Continuing our Marketing 101 series:

We’ve talked about the very basics of marketing, how to identify what you are offering, know how it helps people and how to make sure they know about it. The next step in creating your marketing campaign is to make sure you reach your potential customers with all that info. Get them what they need and you can actually help them change something in their life.

Marketing can be boiled down to this:
Know what you’re offering, how it helps people and make sure they know about it.

Let’s dig deeper into knowing how your offer HELPS people.

It’s not enough to be able to describe the dimensions and parts of whatever you are selling. You also need to know the benefits of your product or service.

There are so many reasons someone may buy your product – aside from the fact that it’s pretty or cheap. The DECIDING factor of why someone may buy from you is that they see the inherent value in your offer. They have evaluated what you are selling and have determined that the benefit they will get from buying is worth more than the dollars they are trading for it.

Which means that you need to know what the benefits of your offer are – not the features.

Features are the details of your product – Benefits are WHY anyone should care. Features are helpful to know – Benefits are essential if your customer is going to spend money on it. The features may lead to the benefits, but not always.

Features are measurements, quantities, colors, contents, capabilities and more. Features are things like “18 hours of video interviews,” “comes in tan, black and teal,” and “batteries included.” Features can help encourage the sale but will not be the reason your reader connects to your product.

Make the benefits clear instead. Express exactly how the customer’s life will be changed or transformed after purchasing your product. How will it help them?

Most purchasing decisions are rooted in emotion. Focusing your sales copy on the rewards (benefits) of your product can connect your potential customer much more deeply and emotionally than the features alone can.

For example, at the very beginning of my sales page for the BUILD ecourse, a prospective student learns that I build a blog that helped me quit my day job, and the course content can help you do the same. The benefit of registering is clear. The end result is clear. Yes, there are a bunch of interviews and external resources and other aspects, but to a prospective BUILDer, they want to know what they will get out of the ecourse.

To get customers excited about your product, you’ve got to spell out for them the WHY they want it. Give them the benefits they’ll reap by owning your product. Spell out to them what they will get beyond the physical object – emotionally, experientially, and more. Once you know what you’re looking for (the WHY anyone would care), it gets easier and easier to frame your product descriptions in terms of benefits.

This week review your sales pages and product descriptions – make sure it is crystal clear how you are helping.

There is SO MUCH more on marketing in my BUILD ecourse. Click below for details.

free blogging tips

And if that’s still too scary, let me know. We’ll schedule a day together to chat and break it down and make you a marketing plan.

0 comments

Marketing 101: Tell them about it

Continuing our Marketing 101 series:

We’ve talked about the very basics of marketing, how to identify what you are offering and know how it helps people. The next step in creating your marketing campaign is to make sure you reach your potential customers with all that info. Get them what they need and you can actually help them change something in their life.

Marketing can be boiled down to this:
Know what you’re offering, how it helps people and make sure they know about it.

Why have an amazing product or service that will help change people’s lives …. if you don’t let them know about it?

The first few times that you go to launch and announce a new product it will feel weird. A little icky and promotey and scary to do. But the more you practice being brave, the easier it will get.

And one of the reasons it gets easier and easier to market your own work and make sure people know about what you have to offer, is that you will start to see the effect that you will have on people. If you sell wall art, you’ll see joy and excitement when your customers make their home their own. If you sell SEO coaching, you will see a business flourish and an income grow through your help.

Ideas for making sure potential customers know about your product:

  • blog posts
  • guest posts on other blogs
  • ads placed
  • giving away free samples
  • Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or other social media
  • hosting a webinar or live event
  • spinning a sign on a street corner

…. you get the idea!

This week review your most recent offering …. Make sure that you are clear on what you are offering and how it is helping people. And then brainstorm your blog post, Instagram update or other method to let people know about it!

There is SO MUCH more on marketing in my BUILD ecourse. Click below for details.

free blogging tips

And if that’s still too scary, let me know. We’ll schedule a day together to chat and break it down and make you a marketing plan.

0 comments

Marketing 101: How are you helping?

Continuing our Marketing 101 series:

We’ve talked about the very basics of marketing and how to identify what you are offering. The next step in creating your marketing campaign is to identify how your offer helps someone. Know what problem are you solving and how you can actually help them change something in their life.

Marketing can be boiled down to this:
Know what you’re offering, how it helps people and make sure they know about it.

In fact, go back and read the Features vs Benefits post – the benefits of your offer would be how it would help the customer.

When you’re figuring out your offer and how to market it to customers, think very carefully about exactly what problem you are actually helping with.

For example, if you are a lifestyle blogger, you may assume you are providing fashion inspiration or occasional recipes, but in reality you are really just offering entertainment and you are “helping” your readers find some kind of mental escape in their otherwise busy day.

If you are an SEO consultant, your offer is a website audit and personalized recommendations for optimizing the site for search engines. You are “helping” your clients best optimize their site to get more exposure and traffic for their website, which in turn will help them reach more customers, make more money and build a successful business.

If you are a scrapbook supply retailer, your offer is the most recent release from American Crafts, Echo Park Paper, Project Life, etc, and you are “helping” your customers access the best selection of supplies that will help them record their memories in an artistic way that fits their style.

Of course, keep in mind that how you are helping might not go word-for-word into any advertising copy. You probably won’t say “Come read my blog to entertain yourself and forget your problems” … but you might use words like “funny” “amusing” or “captivating” in your tagline. On the other hand, if you are an SEO consultant and are helping your clients build successful businesses, you can always bring in case studies or testimonials that reflect that very thing.

So figure out why your offer is worth something – what are the benefits of what you can offer and how are you actually helping people? THAT is one of the fundamentals of Marketing 101.

There is SO MUCH more on marketing in my BUILD ecourse. Click below for details.

free blogging tips

And if that’s still too scary, let me know. We’ll schedule a day together to chat and break it down and make you a marketing plan.

0 comments

Marketing 101: What is your offer

Continuing the series on you-can-do-this-marketing, let’s look at the very very first step you need to take for your marketing campaign.

You need to know what you are offering. The first step of effective marketing is knowing what it is you are specifically offering. It might not be exactly what you think.

If you are selling advertisements, you are offering a large, consistent audience that will see those advertisements. If you are selling website design, you are offering your aesthetic and technical skill and experience. If you are a novelist, you are offering your fantastic personality and writing skills to attract fans.

If we’re thinking of marketing as just really good customer service, the first part of that is knowing what you CAN do for someone.

Tip for customer service in any circumstance: Focus on what you CAN do. Give them options of what you can offer even if you can’t do what they are specifically requesting.

So when marketing your Etsy shop that sells handmade children’s aprons, you need to know that your offer is handmade children’s aprons and dish towels. NOT adult aprons. NOT recipes. NOT nutritional advice.

Know what your offer is and focus on that.

If you write a blog that’s a little scrapbooking and a little home DIY and a little travel tips, maybe you’re actually writing a lifestyle blog and you are offering entertainment.

If you write a blog that is mostly book reviews, maybe you’re offering education and guidance.

Think about WHY someone comes to your site and what they get out of it – that is what you’re offering.

(If that’s not what you want to offer, you need to make some changes).

There is SO MUCH more on marketing in my BUILD ecourse. It’s my favorite module in the course. Click the image below for more info….

free blogging tips

And if that’s still too scary, let me know. We’ll schedule a day together to chat and break it down and make you a marketing plan.

0 comments

Marketing 101: You have nothing to fear

Before I started actually learning about it, I thought marketing was the most labyrinthine, obscure, confusing thing ever. How do you know what to say? How do you know what gimmicks work? How do you even know it’s working? But the deeper and deeper I fell into the world of content marketing, email marketing, online marketing and all its branches, the more all the pieces just clicked into place.

If you haven’t yet started trying to market your blog, shop or online platform, let me assure you: You have nothing to fear.

Marketing can be boiled down to this: Know what you’re offering, how it helps people and make sure they know about it.

That’s it. I actually think of marketing and sales as really really good customer service. Your reader has a problem – that’s why they read your blog. They think you have the solution. So, you write an ebook that offers the solution. Why would you not tell them about it? Don’t you want to help them solve their problem?

So you tell your readers about your ebook. That’s marketing.

Yes, of course, there’s a lot more you can do – like email marketing or product launch tactics. But if you know your offer, how it helps people and tell those people about it, then you’re doing marketing.

There will be SO MUCH more on marketing in my upcoming BUILD ecourse. Be sure to sign up for the BUILD blogging email list for first news of the ecourse going on sale in July!

free blogging tips

 

And if that’s still too scary, let me know. We’ll schedule a day together to chat and break it down and make you a marketing plan.

0 comments