What every small business needs to know about Marketing effectively!
This is a fantastic article from manta.com
This blog will be a two part series with my personal comments on each subject.
It is worth the read Trust Me!
1. Low-cost. In today’s internet and social media age, there are now more low-cost marketing options than ever before. Not only is it possible, but absolutely doable to substantially grow your small business on a shoestring budget.
- DG’s Spin: I am the queen of locating free marketing platforms and finding ways to use them effectively, avoiding the *shiny tools syndrome*. I have spent countless hours locating the best Real Estate free services and tools. Don’t waste your time looking for the next best thing! Shoot me an email if you would like some tips on free effective marketing platforms for your business.
2. Commitment. If your marketing is going to eventually take hold, then you need to make a strong commitment to see it through until it sticks. Don’t give up in the early stages.
- DG’s Spin: I can’t emphasize this ENOUGH! So many Real Estate Agents want an instant solution without creating a solid foundation. Every one is looking for that “instant solution”. They are always choosing to live in the “now” moment rather than building a sustainable long term business. A very good example of this quick fix solution are REO agents. Many of them business based their business solely on obtaining large amounts of listings and selling them fast. No marketing or follow campaigns were implemented because they were making quick fast money. Well guess what boys and girls that inventory has dried up and those REO agents who never looked at the big picture and laid a solid foundation are failing. Don’t get me wrong, not ALL REO agents prepared their business model this way but a large majority of them did. I prepare, outline, and create an effective system to ensure that your business will have longevity. I help you to create the mindset of having the ability to one day be able to sell your business. EVERY business owner should have this mindset! Shoot me an email if you want tips on this. Sharing is caring!3. Patience. The fruits of your marketing labors don’t happen overnight. You need to plant your marketing seeds and tend to them regularly before your marketing garden blooms.
- DG’s Spin: I would like to staple this to peoples foreheads. I love watching the Kentucky Derby and have a great deal of respect for the owners and their team for the countless hours, time, careful preparation, and training they put into creating such amazing perfect animals. Bad analogy but you get the point! You should expect at least 3 months to prepare, perfect, and practice your marketing and business plan. When I sit down and consult with Agents and they tell me “I just want to get started right now” “I need it to happen right now” I tell them good luck, go find someone else to hire, peace out! I am not going to put my name behind someone who thinks that is the way to success, YOU WILL FAIL. I won’t work with people who I don’t truly with all my heart believe in! If your company fails while I am building your branding and your business model that means that I have failed. My pride and work ethic are too strong to ever allow that to happen. 4. Branding. Your clients and customers need to have a clear picture in their minds as to who you are and how your product or service can solve their most pressing problems.
- DG’s Spin: Absofreakinglutely! Branding is by far the MOST important aspect in marketing and business. People should see your logo and immediately associate your company with it. Take your time A LOT OF FREAKING TIME when deciding how you are going to brand your business. You only get one shot at it and you need to ensure that you LOVE it. When I sit down with clients and consult with them, I put them through the ringer. Each consultation, I prepare an outline and we complete one task at a time and I won’t move forward until that task is completed. I know the way Real Estate agents operate, if they do not take the time to complete that task before moving forward they will not go back to it until they hit a wall. Feel free to look at some of my previous logos I have created as well as my amazing testimonials from past clients. Don’t ever hesitate to contact me if you need anything at all!
5. Consistency. Marketing is much like breathing. It’s the life of your small business and should be a regular part of your daily business activities.
- DG’s Spin: This is so incredibly important I can’t emphasize the importance of this ENOUGH! Decide how you are going to brand your business and who you truly are as a person and as a business owner. Describe your business relationship atmosphere – Example: “Formal, Business Casual, Informal, Conservative, Etc.” What aspects of your style will you use in your brand? – “Example: Professional but friendly, unpretentious, fun, and youthful.” Contact me if you would like a list of items I go over in-depth with you prior to deciding to work together or not. Your brand and your database are the lifeline of your business make sure you really take the time to perfect it.
6. Domination. If you want to explode your small business profits, then you must dominate a small part of your market. You need to become the “go-to” person in your particular niche.
- DG’s Spin: This has been proven time and time again! Here is a great article that outlines particular niche markets for Real Estate http://realestate.about.com/od/marketingforrealestate/tp/topnichemkts.htm. Determine and outline who you are as an agent and who you work best with. What location are you the most familiar with, what clients do you work best with, what aspects from your personal background can you incorporate into making you the “go-to” person in your niche? Contact me if you would like a detailed outline on how to effectively create this business plan that I promise will help you to achieve the goals and success you are striving for. Your branding, logo, and mission statement need to define you!7. Customer-focused. Your primary job is to clearly identify the problems that your prospects face and offer them the obvious solutions.
- DG’s Spin: This is so important and something that I see Real Estate agents fail at time and time again. Not only identifying the problems that your prospective clients face but knowing when to fire a client. Yes I said fire a client! Most people are probably thinking “Are you insane? In this economy fire a client????” YES FIRE a client that is not going to be a dual beneficial business transaction. If your personalities clash you will likely end up spending more time butting heads than closing deals. Locate another agent that is going to be the right fit for that client, collect your referral fee, and move on to lead generating. There is no reason to spend countless miserable hours with a client.
8. Identify your target market. It’s crucial that you know exactly who needs your product or service. Mass marketing doesn’t work in today’s business environment. Not only does it force you to water down your marketing message to please the masses, but it’s much too expensive for the shoestring marketer.
- DG’s Spin: This is completely accurate and is the exact reason why I make each client go through every single person in their database and place them each in individual categories. This is the same concept of Google + and Facebook allowing you to filter who you share information with. You would not send the same marketing piece to your good buddy that you would send to an investor looking for statistics and graphs. Again this foundation MUST be placed prior to moving forward with your marketing. If you don’t do it right the first time, you will never get around to doing it. Contact me if you would like to see an example of how I accurately create a strategic target marketing plan. I won’t allow any clients to move forward until this task is done, feel free to ask anyone of my clients! It is a pain in the butt and tedious, I know….How much time is worth your success?
9. Elicits confidence and trust. Create experiences and situations that boost the level of confidence from your prospects. At the end of the day, people buy from those whom they like and trust.
- DG’s Spin: I have said this for years “People buy people and then they buy the product” It does not matter what brokerage, title company, mortgage company that you are associated with. If you gain client loyalty they will follow you anywhere! I always keep in contact with everyone and many clients that purchased homes from teams I was managing, still call me to catch up. Client relations and genuine love for your job will make you successful. Ask them about their lives and actually care about their answers! I always break the ice by asking “Who their favorite football team is”. It immediately creates a lasting impression and makes both me and the client have something in common even if they are not a Cardinals fan. Find a way to create a relationship before trying to make a sell and you will succeed! Let me know if you have any questions on how to create this success!