Marketing…the word can strike fear in some, causing them to hide under the covers, while others put on their gladiator armor and are READY to strike it with their sword!! What does marketing do to you? What do you think of when you hear the word? Cold calling? Door to door sales? For a lot of businesses, during the dog days of summer business slows down. Now is a great time to look at your own marketing and implement (or change) your marketing strategies.
Marketing is a lot of things. It can be cold calling and door to door sales, but it can also be your website, blog, social media, ezines, article marketing, print media, business cards, postcards and other such mailings through snail mail. It can be networking at chamber events or referral networks. And a few zany ideas I found while doing some research are: hosting a food eating contest, celebrating one of the month’s crazy holidays, sponsoring a fundraiser, and setting a world record.
How many hours a week do you spend on marketing? The VA Virtuoso seminar suggested I should be spending 10 hours a week. Yikes! I know I don’t do that, but I plan on using my time boxing techniques and scheduling specific time during each day to concentrate on my own marketing. When I researched this question, there are varying answers. Sometimes it just depends on the industry you’re in and how long you’ve been in business. The shorter the time in business, the more time you spend on marketing. But for most people it averaged about two hours a day. One article suggested that HALF of your working time should be spent on marketing. Half?!!
How much time do you spend on marketing? Are you asking yourself, “When will I find the time?” Or, “What should I be doing?” Start by taking an inventory of what you’re currently doing. Then write out what you SHOULD be doing or WANT to be doing. Who do you want to reach? Do you have a target audience? What steps can you take to reach them? How often do you need to touch base with them?
Your marketing efforts — whether they be social media, ezines, blogs, or mailings — should be consistent. Contacting them once every now and then won’t cut it. Of course, during busy times it’s easy to put marketing on the backburner, but then the slow times will hit and we’ll be wishing we had continued our marketing efforts months earlier!
And don’t forget your current customers. It costs less to have repeat business than it does to create new business, so touch base with them, as well.
Marketing doesn’t have to be scary, and perhaps you just need a new perspective on it. If you’d like to discuss your marketing efforts, please feel free to call me!