Reputation and Finding Your Niche
Starbucks has built the brand of “it’s cool to drink our coffee.” McDonald’s sells convenience. You have to find your space in the industry you’re in, figure out the brand reputation (branding) you want to communicate, what niche you serve, and then own that space. Narrow in your marketing dollars on the market you want to have a conversation in. If you do that successfully, the sky’s the limit.
Regardless of what your product or service is, everybody is not your ideal client. As you start to make sales, continue to study and find your ideal client, figure out as much as you can about them and what makes them spend money. This market research doesn’t have to cost anything. It can be as easy as reaching out to clients who purchase your product or services and asking them some questions about how they found you. If a client goes out of their way to leave a review saying, “Your cakes were awesome,” follow up on that—use the opportunity to connect (continuing to build your reputation) and to gather insight on who your ideal clients are so you can have a focused, targeted plan for marketing.
What Should a Small to Medium Business Invest in First?
If you’re not being heard or seen, nobody knows what you do.
If you have a small business, get out there and tell your story. Let people fall in love with who you are first, who the business owner is. Most businesses aren’t inventing a brand new product; they’re selling something other businesses also have. So then what makes your business different? Who you are. What do you believe in? That is the start.
It seems counter-intuitive, but sometimes you have to build the airplane while you fly. That’s business. Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Your story may not resonate with everyone, but it will resonate with someone. And that becomes so important, because you never know who that someone is, and how they may be able to help you get your story out there to others. So get your message out there. The goal is to stay in the air, but also grow and fly higher.
Marketing can be simple but it’s not easy. That’s why it’s important to just get started. Focus on exposure and engagement, create opportunities, just do something.
What If I Have a Very Tight Marketing Budget?
Be willing to be creative. Rather than spending advertising money online generically, think of ways to target your existing clients that might encourage them to share your product or services with others. If someone loves your cakes, send them a thank you cake and another one to share with a friend. Be willing to cater to your clients. You don’t have to give stuff away all the time, but those little things build a reputation. That one experience that makes you memorable will keep people coming back. It’s easier to upsell a client who already trusts you than to find a new one. If you treat your clients well, even beyond just what they’re spending with you, they become your sales force. They’re out there sharing your business with others, using their experience to help build your branding, and creating even more exposure.
- If you’re on a very tight budget, you can’t miss by making a customer who’s already happy even happier so they’re willing to talk about you.
- Be willing to put yourself out there, tell your story, and create that experience.
- Even a Great Player Still Needs a Coach
Michael Jordan was the best player in basketball, but he still needed a coach. As a marketing and branding agency in Tampa, Florida, we know businesses are very competent and capable of applying the info we’ve shared, but sometimes you might just need a coach on the side. If you need someone to help you figure out the steps of how to get started, what to do next, creative content, or any of the branding, advertising, or marketing strategies we’ve mentioned, contact us! We can help.
Note: This blog post is Part 2 of a summary of the main ideas from CCS Marketing’s “Return on Exposure” video, not a transcript. For full details, examples, and explanations, be sure to watch the video!
If you missed Part 1, that’s where we cover the term “Return on Exposure,” what exposure means, and how to define your wins – be sure to check out the blog for Part 1 if you haven’t already! CCS Marketing is a branding agency in Tampa, FL.