Taking Back Control of your Business – 3 tactics for building your business, (without having to sign up for a course to find out what they are). Guest Blog
This weeks Guest blog is written by Roger Edwards. I know Roger through The Content Marketing Academy and he is a member of my accountability group. Roger helps businesses with their marketing strategy, content and social media: Making it Simple and Effective. This week he is helping you by sharing 3 tactics you can use to get businesses to know, like and trust you in time.
He’s also a really fun character, so over to Roger
Have you ever seen an advert for a “quick win fast track” guide to business growth?
You know the kind of thing, don’t you?
“I made £50k in one month and so can you.”
“7 tips to build a 7 figure business overnight.”
Sometimes it’s tempting to click through and have a peak at what they’re offering. Often the copy is convincing enough that you end up on the “buy”page. Of course you and I know that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. The person selling the course on how to make £50k in one month, made £50k in one month from selling a course on how to make £50k in one month.
We live in a society where people want and expect instant gratification. They want an instant reply to emails and tweets. Some want immediate fame and fortune. Reality TV is unreal. It’s possible you might become a famous pop star after a few appearances on The X Factor (“Oh I want this soooo much”). But look at the most successful singers and bands out there and it’s likely they’ve gigged in pubs for years and years before getting their big break.
Building a business is hard work. It takes time.
Whether you’re a hairdresser, car mechanic or a marketing consultant you need to put in the hours. And whilst you can find tips from online courses or webinars, the best way to build a business is to create relationships with customers. Get them to like you. Get them to trust you. Get them to like you and trust you enough to start doing business with you.
It’s a long game. There are no magic bullets to overnight success. But the web with all it’s tools and applications means you can get moving towards your goal.
The three tactics you can use are:
- Word of mouth
All these do take time. Each can be a long game. But the digital tools are there to allow you to do each one cost effectively.
Word of mouth tends to happen in your local community. Happy customers will tell their friends and family.
“If your looking for a natty new hairdo – check out Ruth’s Salon on the High Street.”
Or, “If you’re car’s broken down, Dave’s garage will get it fixed without charging you the earth.”
Or, “Putting together a marketing plan can be difficult, but Andy will make it simple for you.”
Social media means you can extend word of mouth outside of your local, physical, community. If you use it to engage with people, to create conversations, rather than as a promotional tool, people will spread the word. “Loving my birthday hairdo from @RuthSalon” might appear in your Twitter feed for example.
Few small businesses can afford TV advertising. Or even billboard or newspaper advertising. And these day’s people use their Sky+ remotes to zip through the ads anyway. And they turn the page if an advert interrupts their reading pleasure.
Facebook and other platforms allow you to create adverts with pin point accurate targeting. And rather than creating an advert that shouts, “Hey you! Buy my stuff”, you can use them to point people to content that solves a problem that they have.
So you might produce a series of videos about different hair colouring techniques. Or shot footage of a mechanic stripping an engine. Or create a webinar on how to write simple copy for your business. Then use adverts to point people to your useful stuff. They’ll appreciate what you’ve put together. Your video, audio or eBook could be the start of a good business relationship.
You can find all sorts of tools online to help you create this sort of content. All you need to do is to answer your customers questions. Even their most basic questions. Questions to which you might think the answer is obvious. Each answer to each question could be a piece of content. A video. And audio. Or an eBook, info-graphic or white paper.
It’s cost effective too.
Think about video. How would you have gone about putting together a promotional video 10 years ago? You’d have hired a film crew. They’d shoot the material. Edit it for you and add graphics. Produce a load of DVDs for you to send out to your customers. It would have cost you up to £10,000.
Today, you’d shoot the video on your iPhone (believe me it’s better than broadcast quality), upload it to YouTube and send the link out in an email or embed it into your website. At a fraction of the cost.
These are the ways to build a business. Creating content that is helpful to your customers. Using social media and non-intrusive advertising to point to that content. If it helps your customer, it’ll create a relationship, get them to like you, and build enough trust so that they want to do business with you.
It works but, it won’t happen overnight. You have to play that long game. But if you stick at it, produce great content, and engage with your customers then you will build a successful business long term.
Roger Edwards is an experienced marketing professional helping businesses with their communications strategy including content and social media. Roger has an extensive track record in the ‘big corporate’ world and was the marketing director of financial services brands before setting up his own agency. He now uses his expertise to guide his clients in designing engagement campaigns, Roger is known as a prolific content creator, a speaker and an advocate of the KISS principle.
If you would like more information on what was discussed on this episode, feel free to contact Roger Edwards at:
www.rogeredwards.co.uk you can also download the free guide on simple business writing