Does the word marketing just make you cringe? Do you not even really know what it means?
Do you think of marketing in paper terms? Like business cards, postcards, ads, sales pitches, a website, or social media?
Those things are super helpful (and some are absolutely necessary) when you’re in business. But that’s not the place to start. So let’s start from scratch.
What is marketing, anyway?
Marketing is about your MARKET. Meaning, it’s about your potential clients. It’s about understanding what they want and need, then going out and talking to them in a way that is meaningful to them.
Here are three easy steps to start (or restart) marketing your business:
1) Know your audience.
Who are you talking to? Are you trying to reach out to everyone in your marketing? We can help so many different people in the work that we do. But when we have a public image and message for our business, it doesn’t work to try and reach out to everyone. If your message is too broad, you’ll end up missing everyone.
Try this: Brainstorm your ideal client.
Who do you like to help the most?
Where do you have the most experience?
What type of client do you get really excited about?
What are they like?
What do they read?
What are their frustrations, hopes, and dreams?
I’ll give you an example in my own practice. My favorite clients are infertility — I can relate to them the best, I’ve had a lot of them, I have a great doctor to refer them to, so they’re my best clients. Do I still help postpartum, breastfeeding clients? Yep. And I’m good at that, too. But those infertility clients have my heart and I understand their hopes and dreams and their fears and frustrations the best. So, when I speak to them with my marketing message, they listen.
Click on the button below to download the Client Avatar Worksheet. This will act as a guide to you when you’re working on your message and your public image. Just talk to your client avatar like you’re talking to an old friend.
Figure out your best audience and talk to them. That’s it.Download Client Avatar Worksheet
2) Know what you do.
What do you do when someone asks you, “so, what do you do?” Do you start sweating and stuttering and don’t really know what to say? You’re not alone. It’s surprising how much this question can catch us off guard. And the best answer isn’t a simple, “I teach Fertility Awareness” or “I’m a Marquette instructor”. You’re likely to just get blank stares or a nice smile and a nod. Because do those answers really mean anything to most people?
What this question really means is “What do you do for people?” “How do you change lives?”
And the right answer is a thoughtfully prepared elevator speech (a.k.a cocktail line, a.k.a. 30 second intro.) In the time it takes an elevator to travel one floor, how do you change your clients’ lives?
In order to create the perfect elevator pitch, you need to know:
1) Who is your ideal client?
2) What problem or frustration do they experience?
3) What is the ultimate result of working with you?
4) What makes you unique?
5) What is the benefit or solution that working with you provides them?
As an example, here’s my elevator speech:
Download the Elevator Speech Worksheet
I work with couples who struggle with Infertility who would like to have real answers to what is wrong. I teach them how to create a map of what is going on with their reproductive system and work with doctors who understand how to treat the underlying issues. In doing so, we can restore reproductive health as the solution to infertility.
Write your elevator speech and start using it. And Practice, practice, practice! If you get more confused looks than not, go back and tweak it. But I bet you start getting good conversations and great referrals very soon!
3) Get out and talk to people!
Now that you know who you’re talk to and what to say, it’s time to get out there! Business is all about make connections. Start by connecting with other business people who work with the kinds of people you want to work with.
Chiropractors, massage therapists, naturopaths, doulas, midwives, acupunturists, priests, lay church leaders.
And you don’t even have to feel self-conscious about selling them something. Because you’re not. You’re just there to make a connection.
Ask them what they do.
Ask them about their clients’ needs.
Ask them what you can do to help them in their business.
And do it.
Bonus tip 1: Engage the rule of reciprocity: When you give something first, you engage the rule of reciprocity. Everyone wants to give back to someone who has given to them. So, when you’re talking with other business people, offer to share some of your valuable knowledge with them and their clients, for free. It’s important to clarify that I don’t mean you give away your valuable services for free. You create and give free handouts, resources, or an Introduction to Your Fertility class to their clients. This offers a taste of the ultimate value that you can provide and engages the rule of reciprocity.
Bonus tip 2: Make use of a mutual connection: If you have a mutual connection, definitely mention it. “Hi, our mutual friend Melissa was telling me about the work that you do. Could I buy you a cup of coffee and ask you more about it?” is definitely more powerful then, “Hi, I’m Anna. Would you go out for a cup of coffee with me?”
Can you think of three people right now you can ask for a coffee date?