As an entrepreneur, being able to succinctly convey to our audience our message, whether that is on a website, marketing material or in a conversation, is one of the key skills we must develop. Success in business largely comes down the way we market our business.
Over the years, I have learned some valuable marketing lessons, a lot of them through mistakes I have made, and some through modelling other highly successful marketers. Here are 10 so-called marketing rules that can either give a major boost to your marketing efforts or prevent you from wasting valuable resources.
- Add massive value first. Unless our audience has received value from us first, it is highly unlikely that they will buy from us. As the old saying goes, “People will only buy from those they know, like and trust.” Adding value first is they way to get people to know, like and trust us.
- Only offer what the market wants. Unless you have a business like Apple Inc. and have a huge budget, it is better to find out first what your audience wants then give them what they want. The best way to find out what your audience wants is to ask them via a quick survey. Surveys are easy to create throughs services like Survey Monkey.
- Be okay with the struggle. The reality is marketing is really an experiment. Some strategies or tactics will bring good or even great results, whereas some will fail miserably. The key is to know what to do differently next time should a marketing effort not turn out the way you had expected it to.
- Invest in yourself first. The only limitation on how big or successful a business can be is directly proportional to the personal and professional development of its owners, leaders and its team members. By investing in yourself first, you are opening yourself up new ideas, new learnings and looking at things from a different perspective.
- Be more of a strategist than a tactician. A strategist has a long-term view on things and any decisions made now are based on those long-term objectives whereas a tactician is very short-term focused. There is nothing wrong with being a tactician because they tend to get things done. However, making decisions or taking actions without a plan or a long-term view can create more challenges down the track.
- Always be growing your list or database. Ultimately, the quality your list is the true business asset you can have, especially if you have an online business. Your list can comprise of clients or customers, prospects and acquaintances. The relationship you have with your list is critical. The size of the list is not as important as the quality of your list and how you are relating to your list.
- Consider opportunity cost. There are more opportunities than we actually have time to implement them. Therefore each opportunity that we take on is at a cost of something else because had we not had this new opportunity, we would have been devoting out time, energy and resources to what we already had. Therefore, before choosing to take on something new, consider the opportunity and complete a cost-benefit analysis.
- Don’t rely on one source to generate leads. As mentioned earlier, you must always be growing your list. However you cannot rely on one source for new leads. For example, if you rely only on going to live events to meet new people, that is not an effective long-term strategy as you can only go to a limited number of live events. Therefore it is important to have a few options rather place all your eggs in one basket. Diversifying through paid traffic, social media or content marketing are some ways of generating leads.
- Don’t compete on price. Once you get in the game of competing on price, you will always be at the mercy of your competitors because someone else can always offer a lower price. When you stop competing on price and start charging based on the value you provide, you pretty much create a new paradigm for yourself by getting out of the world of competition. When you charge based on the value and the transformation you provide, there is no competition because what you are offering should really be unique in the marketplace.
- Create raving fans. If you’re providing great value to your audience, they will naturally want to stay connected with you and even become your most valuable promoters or raving fans. That is really the purpose of making a sale — to create fans who will rave about you and what you offer. Plus the great thing is raving fans will want to buy from you over and over again.
These aren’t the only marketing rules to master however they are very important ones to know. If these form the foundations of all your marketing efforts, it will dramatically improve the results you achieve. I know they have helped me tremendously with all my marketing.
Question: Which marketing rule do you think is the most important one to master?
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