Marketing is one of the most important pieces of your business plan. Without marketing, people will not be able to find what your business is about and all your wonderful services. So how do you market? What’s the most important thing you can do to market?
1. Set clear marketing goals for yourself.
2. Follow up your marketing. If you send a letter via mail, don’t stop with just one. Marketing experts advise you to send 6-9 pieces of advertisement before “giving up” on the recipient.
3. Decide who you want to market to. Are you a realtor who wants to market to homeowners, reminding them of your services? Are you a VA who works with realtors? What is your target market? Once you decide, focus your marketing efforts on your target market. Forget letting every Joe Brown know about your business. Focus on weeding out those who would best benefit from your services, and spend your marketing dollars on them.
4. If you have an advertising budget, research where you are spending your dollars. Who does that magazine or newsletter reach? Make sure it is your target market.
5. Track your advertising pieces. Give each marketing piece a special code your target market needs to use to redeem your “offered” special. This way you know where each “potential” client heard of you. If you advertise in a newsletter for 6 months, and never get one bite, then you probably don’t want to renew. But if you got 10 new clients, it’s a safe bet that this is a great place to advertise.
6. Follow up. Follow up is a VERY important piece that many of us fall short on. You get a “maybe” or “when I need your services, I’ll call” people. Those are warm leads. They have shown interest, so don’t let them forget you. Set up a drip email campaign and send them information that they would find useful. This keeps you in their mind, without you becoming annoying. Another great thing, pick up the phone every so often and call them up. Show interest in their business, and they will remember you.
These are just a few important things that every business owner needs to remember when creating a marketing plan.
© 2005 JERPAT
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Patty Benton is the owner of JERPAT Virtual Assistants and JERPAT Web Design, http://www.moretime4u.org, which provides affordable administrative and web design support to coaches, small businesses, religious organizations, and realtors. Additionally, Patty is a coach for new entrepreneurs interested in venturing into the virtual assistance industry. She has developed a program that is affordable for all. Visit her coaching site at http://www.virtualvacoach.com for program details and great business resources. If you would like to receive Patty's articles and other tips in your mailbox every month, you can sign up at http://www.mortime4u.org/home.html.