Business development · 16 January 2019

How to enter the spotlight when your business feels invisible

spotlight
As you design your marketing strategy, think about ways you can get people talking about your business

The phone isn’t ringing. You’re obsessively checking your inbox. Your voicemail is empty, too. Your business has a product that will change people’s lives, and it’s exactly what they’ve been waiting for. So why does it seem like no one even knows that your business exists?

Unless you’re marketing your business to all the right people, in the right places and at the right times, this can be expected. You’ve got to have in-depth knowledge into your target market’s state of mind, so you can A) grab their attention, B) keep their attention and C) guide them to the realisation that your product is the solution they’ve been waiting for.

Even your most ideal clients are not going to go looking for you. They’re either searching for a solution they think will solve their problem (but won’t), or they’re waiting for a solution to drop into their laps.

Using these two little pieces of insight, you can design a marketing strategy that will put you in touch with the people who need your business the most.

Let’s talk about how.

A 4-point strategy for putting your business in the spotlight

You don’t have to be a professional marketer to get your business noticed by the people who need it the most. You do, however, need to be in the right place at the right time.

I have a few pieces of advice to think about as you develop a plan for increasing your business’s visibility:

  1. Forget about trying to please everyone

One of the biggest marketing mistakes I see happens when businesses attempt to appeal to all consumers, in an effort to avoid offending those outside their target market.

If your marketing message is focussed and tailored (as it should be), then it will naturally seem irrelevant (or even offensive) to those who could never be expected to “get it.” Speak directly to your ideal customer. No one else matters. Trust me: when your dream client sees, hears or reads a marketing message that feels like it’s been written for them and no one else, they will take notice.

  1. Forget about their head and go for the heart

The evolution of the human brain and the development of the prefrontal cortex are fascinating subjects. And yet, if you choose to appeal to the pro/con, good-judgement, sensible part of the human brain with your marketing messages, your business will be overlooked.

You’ve got to trigger the emotions that you know will propel your ideal customers toward your product. In every situation, a person will either be trying to move away from pain or toward pleasure.

Determine what the members of your target market are feeling (or what they want to feel) in regard to the problem you’re solving, and then trigger that emotion with your marketing. This approach will out-perform common sense every time.

  1. Encourage word-of-mouth advertising

When your business is recommended by someone who’s had a great experience, or by someone who’s heard good things, you’ve got the best possible type of advertising.

Not only is it no-cost or low-cost, but it’s also highly effective. That’s because people trust recommendations from other people. They value the opinions of friends and family and appreciate how it reduces the risk of buying from a company they hadn’t purchased from before

As you design your marketing strategy, think about ways you can get people talking about your business – on social media and in-person. Incentivise them to like and share. Encourage them to bring a friend. Reward them for their referrals.

  1. Connect with an influencer

Influencers and micro-influencers are changing the ways people research and consume products and services. If you haven’t heard of influencer marketing, it’s the identification of a well-known social media personality who not only has a significant number of followers, but whose list contains a high concentration of your ideal customers.

Introduce yourself and your brand. Send them samples. If they like your product, ask them if they would recommend it to their audience. You might wonder what’s in it for them. Well, if your product really is that good, it will raise their profile, it will build trust in them, and they will elevate their own personal brands.

I learned early in my career that the best marketing cannot be bought with money. Instead, it’s all about having a deep connection with your target market – it’s about knowing what they need and knowing how and when to say what they’ve been waiting to hear.

You can sharpen your marketing, public relations and communications skills for the growth of your business and its profits by visiting Centre of Excellence and learning about the more than 1,200 online certified courses available for the development of your business, career and life.

Sara Lou-Ann Jones is the founder and CEO of the Centre of Excellence, a leading e-learning platform which offers thousands of different courses in a huge range of subject areas, from business to wellbeing.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Sara Lou-Ann Jones is the founder and CEO of the Centre of Excellence, a leading e-learning platform which offers thousands of different courses in a huge range of subject areas, from business to wellbeing.

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