Marketing is a complex subject. Several different factors go into it, including platform algorithms, types of content, recent trends, timing, and more. Marketing involves words, graphics, videos, and branding. And often, it’s a challenge to keep up with. As a small business owner, where should you start?
Your first steps should always be to define and find your ideal client. Without this foundation, your message won’t reach the right people – and if you don’t reach the right people, it really doesn’t matter how great the rest of your marketing activity is.
So, how can you make sure that your marketing message will reach the people you most want to work with?
Define Your Ideal Client
When determining your message and creating your marketing strategy, it is essential to first define your ideal client. Some people start by building out categories of people you target, often called “personas”. From there you get granular with a attributes of a precise person often referred to as your “avatar”.
On the surface, completing this exercise is much like creating a character sketch for a book or short story – but instead of understanding the character you are writing about, your goal is to understand the person you are writing to.
It is a common misconception that your marketing message should appeal to as many people as possible in order to bring in more business. On the surface, this seems to make sense, but in reality, it can greatly hurt your marketing strategy.
Take a moment to think about the companies that you’re drawn to. What is it about their ads and posts that attracts you? Can you clearly pinpoint their branding and message? Do you feel like they are talking directly to you?
Now imagine if they diluted their message to try to reach everyone. Their resources might still be beneficial, but would you be as likely to engage with their content on a regular basis, or would you scroll right by?
These companies are able to draw you in because you are their ideal client. They have taken the time to understand your challenges and wins, the stage you are at in your business (and their sales funnel), what language and aesthetic will attract you to them, and what content you want to watch, read, or hear.
So, who is your ideal client? Give them a name, an age, a hometown. If you were to walk into their office – or their home – what would it look like? What magazines are currently in their “to read” stack, and which blogs or news sites have they recently read?
Most importantly, what problems and pain points are they facing right now, and how can you best solve them?
When you answer these questions, you will have a much better idea of who you are writing to and why!
Finding Your Ideal Client Online
Another common marketing misconception is that as a small business owner, you should be everywhere. You should show up daily (or multiple times daily) on Facebook, in multiple groups (both your own and others), on Instagram in the feed, reels, stories, and IGTV, on LinkedIn in the feed, articles, and stories, on Twitter…the list goes on.
Trying to be everywhere hurts both your marketing strategy and your bottom line. When you focus your message on the right platforms, your ROI will be strong; when you dilute your message between the wrong platforms, you will spend a lot of time, effort, and payroll for very little return. Doing your research pays off!
Finding the right platform is part of understanding your ideal client. When you sit down to define your ideal client, your research should also include determining where they spend time. Are they on LinkedIn, looking for ways to network? Do they hang out on Instagram, looking for community, or on Facebook, ready to be part of a group?
Once you have chosen your platform, it’s time to learn what works best on each. How does the algorithm work, and what types of content will get the best reach? This will be a large part of your content strategy.
Consistency is Key!
After you define your ideal client and determine the key platform you want to work with, it’s time to create your content calendar and set up a system for publishing it. I recommend a scheduling app; it is something your Marketing Assistant can easily load up and stay on top of.
Whether you choose to publish manually or use a scheduler, consistency is essential. When your audience sees you on a regular basis, you will likely be the one they turn to when they need your services or products. If you choose not to post consistently, the old adage rings true: out of sight, out of mind.
Consistent posting also helps you build community and develop relationships with your audience. Over time, they will come to see you as a trustworthy leader in your field – and they’ll be more likely to refer their friends!
Ready to find and reach your ideal clients? Register for our free training today!