One of the most common questions I get asked is, “How can I successfully market my company and remain authentic?”
Marketing has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. Everywhere we turn, companies are competing for our attention across hundreds of advertising platforms.
While it’s hard to nail down exact numbers, a number of reputable sources claim that the average American is exposed to several thousands marketing messages per day.
Inc.com wrote, “On average, Americans are subject to some 3,000 essentially random pitches per day.”
The NY Times claims: “Studies show that the typical consumer is bombarded by 5,000 advertising messages a day.”
It’s noisy out there. To make matters worst, it seems some more and more companies are willing to make outlandish claims or use questionable tactics to stand out from the noise and attract new customers.
The clients I work with don’t want to resort to empty promises or infomercial type marketing strategies to build their business.
So, how do you successfully market your company, attract new clients AND be authentic?
You can be successful and authentic by following this four step process:
- Define your ideal client and describe their problem to be solved
- Tell your story
- Describe your signature system
- Describe the results you deliver
Step One: Define Your Ideal Client and Describe Their Problem to be Solved
Your company may have the capabilities to help dozens of different customer groups, but the first step is to pick one ideal client and clearly describe their problem to be solved.
Most companies do not take advantage of this strategy, because they think they will miss out on business opportunities.
Unfortunately, when you market to everyone, you market to no one and your message fails to create a connection.
When you pick just one ideal client and focus your marketing message on how you help a specific group of potential clients who share common characteristics, you go deep, instead of wide. When you go deep, you create real connections with the clients you want to serve.
See, your future clients want to work with someone who deeply understand their problem. When connect with your clients in a way that speaks to both their hearts and minds, you build trust, When you build trust, you build your business.
You can always expand your client base, but when it comes to marketing, focus on one ideal client group at a time.
Need more proof? Think about Facebook for a minute. When Facebook launched it was only available to students at Harvard. Then they expanded to a few other select universities. Then only to college students.
Mark understood college students. Heck, he was a college student, so he knew exactly what they wanted and how to connect with them.
Mark Zuckerberg built his company with great precision and focus, initially focused on serving the ideal clients he knew best.
Step Two: Tell Your Story
Every business owner I’ve ever met started their company to solve a problem. 9 times out of 10, the business owner had a problem, couldn’t find a solution in the market, so they created a solution for themselves and became their own first client.
Your journey is a critical piece of your marketing message.
Take Steve Jobs and Apple for example. Steve knew what he wanted to experience when he interacted with technology. He couldn’t find it in the marketplace, so he set out to create something new. Something different.
Steve was so committed to solving the “technology experience” problem that he relentlessly pursued it until he was fired from his own company.
Fast forward a few years, Jobs is rehired and Apple grows into the most powerful technology company in the world.
Steve’s personal journey has been a key component of the brand. Steve took center stage as the voice and the star in the legendary “Think Different” campaign.
Sure, the campaign features historical icons, but make no mistake; Steve was at the center of this campaign.
Your story is a unique way to set your company apart in a crowded marketplace.
Since no one can imitate your story, it instantly makes your business one of a kind!
Step Three: Describe Your Signature System
Every company has a “secret recipe” or signature system. It’s what makes your products or service different from anyone else in the marketplace.
Unfortunately, not every company markets their signature system. If you don’t, you should get started today.
Marketing your signature systems helps your future client understand how to do business and what makes you special.
If your products and services are either expensive or complicated, a Signature System can help simplify and demystify your offer as well.
Take the diamond business. Until the early 1900’s, very few American’s bought a diamond ring when they wanted to propose to their future spouse.
De Beers changed all of that when they monopolized the diamond industry and brought “Diamonds are Forever” to American.
As part of their marketing strategy, De Beers introduced America to the 4 C’s of diamonds.
Every one of De Beers’ advertisements featured the 4 C’s instructions with, “How to Buy a Diamond.”
The instructions said: “Ask about color, clarity and cutting — for these determine a diamond’s quality, contribute to its beauty and value. Choose a fine stone, and you’ll always be proud of it, no matter what its size.”
This simple four-step process is used to market and sell every diamond, in every jewelry store. . . across the globe.
Step Four: Describe the Results Your Company Delivers
At the end of the day, your clients pay you for results. Every potential client you market to wants to know, “What’s in it for me?”
Results come in two flavors; Transactional and Transformational.
When we share transactional results, we are telling our clients what they will get working with us. When we talk about transformational results, we are telling people how they will be changed working with us.
Most company’s marketing only speaks to one or the other. Your company should market both.
Let’s take a really simple example to show how this works in any industry and any business. One of my clients, Ryan, sells commercial paintings for high-end hotels in Colorado.
Painting is a competitive business and my client doesn’t want to compete on price. He has found that there is always someone who will offer to work at a lower margin to get the business.
Ryan made a decision a few years ago to focus on both the transactional and transformational results his company delivers.
See, Ryan knew that while his clients needed painting done at a fair and reasonable price, this wasn’t the only factor.
The hotels he worked with needed to get their painting done on time and to specifications, so they get their rooms rented out as quickly as possible. If the rooms weren’t ready on time, they lost customers.
Ryan’s clients didn’t want hassles, or delays or excuses. They didn’t want to worry about damage to their floors, furniture or any impact on their guests.
So Ryan offers a “Peace of Mind Guarantee”. He promises that his projects will be done on time, to specifications without any headaches or hassles.
Initially, Ryan offered to refund 100% of the labor costs if the project didn’t meet deadlines or any specifications were missed.
He also invested in customer service training and uniforms for his painting team, so when they came in contact with guests or hotel staff, they looked professional and represented his company professionally.
In every email and every proposal he sends out to new clients he reminds his clients of his commitment with this quote: “If you really don’t want to do something, you will find an excuse. If you really want to do something, you will find a way.”
While Ryan’s competitors are marketing price and paint quality, he is marketing peace of mind.
Ryan has built a thriving seven figure business around this transformation promise. He knows his clients have more important things to do than worry about when their paint will dry.
Put these four steps to work in your business to market successfully and authentically. You’ll build better relationships and attract more clients in the process!