When chatting with clients, I often ask them how they want to grow their business through marketing. A lot of the time, their answers reveal that their prioritization is all over the place. This isn’t just a common occurrence for the people I talk to — it happens all the time, for business owners across myriad industries.
We always hear about “shiny object syndrome,” when people jump from one thing to another in marketing or business ventures in an effort to be on the cutting-edge of everything new and exciting. But what shiny object syndrome really shows is a lack of prioritization. With brand-new marketing schemes trending every week, more and more entrepreneurs get sucked in. But there’s a lot of negatives to tackling a little bit of everything at once. So, if that’s the case, where do you even start?
Who Do You Trust?
One person says you need a funnel (which you do). Another says you need a great social media presence (which you do). Yet another reputable source tells you to buy a newsletter (which, of course, you need to do as well). There is a lot of to-do’s on the list when it comes to making a successful marketing plan for your business.
But are these the things you need to do today, right here and right now? The reality is that unless someone is sitting down with you to have a long conversation about all the details of your business and what you envision moving forward, no one can really give you the exact advice you’re looking for when it comes to tactical marketing prioritization. From a general standpoint, all the above-mentioned items are smart marketing tools to have. But the question isn’t what’s smart. The question you need to be asking is this: “What should I do to move my business forward today?”
It’s Up To Your Business
Here’s a recent example I came across. One of my mastermind clients owns three franchise tutoring centers. The thing they need to focus on most is adding 30 more students per location, because those extra students would take them from turning a slight profit, after paying each location’s manager, to making a very good profit. Naturally, the type of marketing they should focus on is the marketing that’s going to get them those 30 additional students they need per location as quickly as possible. They took a look at what their business needed the most, and now they can formulate a marketing plan to achieve that.
Only when you identify the problem you need to solve can you begin to focus your marketing prioritization on what best serves your business. You might need a newsletter, Facebook marketing, or a video campaign, but without being clear on the issue you need to solve, there’s no way for anyone to know what you should do next. As you read this, you may be getting a gut feeling about what business problem you need to solve. But wait! Before you go running off to fix that particular problem, you need to be sure that what your gut is telling you is right.
So, What’s The Issue?
Let’s look at a different type of example for figuring out what your business’s most glaring issue might be.
Most entrepreneurs say they need more leads and sales. Great! Let’s call “generating leads and sales” the most glaring issue for your hypothetical business. But first, you should make sure you’re getting all you can from everything you’ve got right now. So, ask yourself these questions:
- How many leads do you have coming in per month right now?
- How many new leads do you need to get in order to close one new customer?
- If you got 10 new customers this month, how many would still be doing business with you 12 months from now?
- Where do you currently get your best new leads from?
- Can you get any more from that source?
You have to know where you stand before you can start making moves in a different direction. Ask yourself these essential questions about your business and be realistic.
If you’ve been following The Newsletter Pro for any length of time, you’ll know we’re giving away a Tesla as a referral prize. If we compare the close rate on those referred versus those we get from all other traffic sources, we discover that it takes 67% fewer leads to get one new customer when they’re referred to us. So it’s easy to see that it makes sense to invest more time and money in our referral program.
Taking the time to look at your business can lead you to marketing tactics you hadn’t considered. For example, have you considered implementing a referral program? What about a relationship marketing campaign?
You should always ask the questions you need to ask first, and then dissect and analyze the realities of what’s actually best for your business moving forward.
Time To Prioritize
Only when you’ve identified the issue, you can start to focus on the best type of marketing to use to resolve it. Choosing your marketing is a focus for another blog entirely, and we have some great options to check out when you get there, like targeting the right clients with the right marketing.
As you grow, you may realize that you have to shift your prioritization of marketing efforts. If you’re generating at least a few million dollars in annual revenue, take on more than one challenge at a time. As long as you have a system to hold your team members accountable, you can easily see what works and what doesn’t.
I’ve taught people this process before, and I’ve seen varying degrees of success. The results have nothing to do with how well this strategy works or doesn’t work. Instead, it has to do with how well you execute it. If you’re following this plan and still not getting results, you need to find a mentor or coach. Sometimes you just can’t see the forest for the trees, and it helps to have a second opinion.