I frequently have discussions with business owners who call me and are really eager to begin services because their business sales are slow. Then, a few weeks later, they’re turned off to the idea of a marketing communications strategy because they suddenly had an influx of work. Then, a few weeks later, guess who sparks up an interest again. Does this sound like you?
Many business leaders are inconsistent in their marketing initiatives. When business is good, they tend to slack off and put marketing communication programs on hold because… business is good. After a while, as their work load begins to slow down, they become worried and begin to look at what they can do to once again boost sales. This up and down behavior can become costly in both time and revenue.
The value of a comprehensive marketing communications strategy is that, when done properly, will anticipate the cyclical nature of business performance and set goals and strategies for leveling off the ups-and-downs of the business. An ongoing communications program will allow your business to maintain a steady business stream to prevent a roller coaster ride in sales.
Below are five tips that you can leverage to increase sales and, if planned properly, can prevent a roller coaster for business for your business.
Tip 1: Don’t just advertise once.
Advertising is an effective way to raise awareness and build your brand. Depending on your goals and budget, it might be a smart option for your business. They key thing to understand is advertising takes time and commitment.
Never just place one ad in any publication. Frequency is critical to success. Think about your viewing and reading patterns. How many days a week do you read the paper, or catch the evening news?
Tip 2: Actively participate in a business networking program.
Never underestimate the power of traditional social networking; you know, like… in person. Face-to-face communication is still the most effective form, and you never know who you are going to meet or who where a referral might come from. From local chamber of commerce organizations to area MeetUp groups, or my favorite chapter of BNI, business networking groups can prove to be a valuable stream of revenue for you.
Tip 3: Internet marketing can be an effective vehicle.
First and foremost, your website should be a 24/7 marketing machine. An effective website should convey everything about who you are, what you do, and how prospects can contact you.
At the core of an effective Internet marketing program, your website should be the central hub of online communications. Once you have a powerful website in place, you can begin to look at additional tactics such as search engine optimization, social media, online advertising, email marketing, and so on.
Tip 4: Past and current clients are a great source for referrals and, of course, more business.
When was the last time you followed up with your last client? I recently posted a blog article about the power of follow-ups. Don’t miss out on this important and valuable opportunity to earn repeat business. And, don’t hesitate to ask for a referral!
Tip 5: Develop an annual marketing communications strategy.
We have come full circle to the first point I made in that a good marketing communications strategy should outline each of the above tips and more. The plan would include who, what, where, when, and why. Most importantly, your plan should include how your tactics will be measured for effectiveness.
Strategic planning is one of my many great strengths, and I enjoy working with small business owners on developing a marketing communications plan that helps their team achieve bottom line results. The first step is understanding why you need it, and that can be done through a free consultation. Just contact me for more information.