The most important part of marketing, be it digital marketing or traditional marketing, isn’t your message or your platform or how much money you spent on some shiny new video ad that you had produced. The most important part of landing a new client or customer is timing (which will lead us to the improtance of marketing Consistency).
Service vs. Products
While people selling luxury products understand this because their products have a seasonal nature, businesses in the service industry tend to forget this quite often. Plumbers, contractors, doctors, even web design firms just like us tend to forget that there is a very small window where a potential client is actually open to using your services.
After all, if you see an ad for a dentist offering a free cleaning but you just had your check-up a month ago, the ad will fall on blind eyes. But if timing is such an integral part of marketing, how do you make sure that you get in front of your potential customer or client at that perfect moment? The short answer: you can’t.
Big Sales and Gimmicks Don’t Last
Marketing your services or products should be looked at as a long-term game. While a Groupon or a fire-sale can drive a tremendous amount of new leads or customers for a business, it’s not something that is sustainable. The ideal customer is one who pays your full-asking price after all, isn’t it?
I have a friend who inherited a business from his father and has been trying to revive it after it nearly died. The big problem with the business is that there was a huge sale that the company would throw once a year to clear out their inventory and boost their year-end numbers. This sale was so successful that their entire customer base got used to just waiting for the year end sale. They essentially devalued their own product.
Consistency is Key
The key to your marketing is about being consistent with it. We post our blogs to our Facebook feed. I can’t tell you how many times the phone has rang with someone who I’ve known for years who said they just remembered that I own a marketing company. Our blog marekting pieces are on Facebook just about every day but for whatever reason, they had a need and our blog appeared that same day – that timing is what makes the phone ring.
How Do You Stay Consistent?
We deal with this question with new clients a lot. There are people who are going to attempt either SEO or Pay-Per-Click campaigns with Adwords who want to “test the market out.” The truth is that you can get a faster idea of what is and isn’t working with adwords than you can with SEO but both should be looked at as a long-term marketing strategy.
The problem is that SEO and Pay-Per-Click can be pretty expensive, especially if you’re in a very competitive industry like personal injury law. For those clients with limited budgets I often tell them that SEO and PPC might not be the right solution for you.
If you don’t have money be consistent with other marketing
If you can’t afford to hire a reputable SEO company or throw a bunch of money at Adwords (for at least a six month run) then work on your blogging. Start doing guest blogging for other sites for free to drive traffic to your own site. If you don’t have money then spend your time networking in the community and doing pro-bono work to get your name out there.
The key to all of this is to stay consistent. If you blog for a week and then give it up, that won’t do you much good. If you decide to take on one free client a month and then stop after just two months you’re not going to get anywhere. Pick something that’s comfortable with your budget, stick with it for six months and put your whole heart into it.
Money or Time
Remember that even if you’re paying for marketing services you can still out your heart into it. You can keep an eye on your marketing firm and make sure they totally understand your goals. You can watch over your company like you would a stock or you can check out to lunch.
Make sure that they’re coming up with a good plan to generate the kinds of leads you want and then make sure to close and show those leads amazing service so that your referral business grows. There’s no use in getting new business through the door if you can’t close it or nurture those clients to bring you more business through referrals.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t just throw some money at a marketing idea and believe that it’s going to turn into gold in a few weeks or a couple months. All marketing takes time and if you don’t have the budget to hire a firm or buy a lot of ad space then you should be thinking of cheap or free ways to promote yourself on a six-month rotating basis.
Reach out for help
If you’re unsure what you can do on your budget or how to position yourself in the market but don’t have the budget to hire a marketing firm, feel free to reach out to us for a free 30 minute phone consultation where we can learn more about your goals. Even if you can’t afford for us to take over your marketing, we often do a couple hours of consultant work for clients where we lay out a plan they can execute themselves.