Chop wood and carry water every day.
That’s the advice given to me by a wise business coach last year.
Hmm, weird. WTF has that got to do with business? Let me elaborate. If you were a neolithic man/woman, chopping wood and carrying water were the two things you HAD to do every day to survive. But you’re not an early human, you’re a go-getter biz owner. So, let me ask you, what are the two tasks you need to do everyday for your business to survive?
Stuck? Let me tell you my two tasks;
- Serve clients
- Build relationships (ie marketing)
Now, I know that finding the time to work on marketing your biz isn’t always easy, but let’s be blunt, it’s flipping essential. You ain’t got a business without sales and you ain’t got sales without customers, and you ain’t got customers without marketing.
So, if you find yourself with 10 minutes to spare, instead of scrolling through social or lingering in your in-box do one of these ten things instead – your business will thank you for it.
1. Send an email to your network asking for referrals
Have you heard the saying, your next client is right under your nose? I’m living proof of that, 90% of my clients have come from friends of friends or friends of clients.
Drop an email or DM to your personal network – friends, family, ex-colleagues, past-clients or gym buddies. Explain you have an opening for new clients and ask them if they know anyone who may need your help.
Now, don’t be shy. These people love you (or at the very least like you a lot), all they want is for you to do well. Plus, us humans get a kick out of connecting people, it makes us feel good (so you are helping your friends feel good)
The key is to make it easy for them to help you. Chances are they have no idea what you do, so include your core message ‘ie, you help X (your target market) with Y (the problem) by doing/teaching Z (the solution you offer)
And perhaps even add a brief testimonial from one of your previous clients.
This approach works; people love to help people!
2. Ask a past-client for a testimonial
I’m a big fan of social proof – I don’t buy anything from anywhere without reading at least 9 reviews!! And I’m not alone. Your potential clients are also looking for evidence that you have solved the problem for someone like them. So if you haven’t already, now is the time to prioritise getting testimonials from clients.
In ten minutes you can drop a message to previous clients (those you’ve loved working with and had great results with you) and ask them to leave a review on Google, Facebook or LinkedIn (I have reviews on all three platforms)
This is the email I sent which resulted in 6 google reviews
Hello lovely past-client of mine, I hope you’re well?
I was wondering whether you could spend a few mins giving me a review on Google please – it’ll do wonders for my ranking, my business and my self-esteem
It’s v. simple to do, just click the link below & write wonderful words!
Thank you, much appreciated. And if you need anything from me – a bit of advice, a brain to bounce ideas off or to share a win – please call. I’d love to hear from you x
Receiving glowing words from a client does wonders for your confidence, helps you understand their struggles a little more (which helps you to target your marketing) and builds your credibility.
It’s an easy win, do it.
3. Make a list of all the places/people your ideal audience hang out
Y’know marketing isn’t complicated, it’s just about putting yourself in front of the right people with a message you know they’ll respond to.
Think of it like the kebab stand outside the nightclub at chuck out time. The audience; drunk, hungry clubbers. The message; get your tasty kebabs here!
So where do your audience already hang out, physically and online? What facebook groups do they belong to, who influences them? What events do they attend?
Example, you’re a vegan nutritionist. You know your ideal client is a planet-conscious mum who wants to eat more plant-based food. It’s likely this mum shops at farmers markets and natural health stores, takes yoga classes, is a member of a sustainability or eco-conscious online group.
Try it, make a list of all the places and influencers connected with your ideal client, and then reach out to these businesses/people.
Explain who you are and how you help your audience. Offer them a free sample of your service or product so they can become your ambassadors.
Build a relationship with them, discuss how you can partner with them, create a special offer for their audience and share their social media posts.
This is a beautiful way to join forces with like-minded business owners and serve your clients at the same time. It’s win win.
4. Remind people what you do
Does your mum know what you actually do? Your best mate? (I know mine haven’t got a scooby!)
Think of it like this, if those closest to you are in the dark and you speak to them regularly, then highly likely the people out there in the wider world – even if they follow you on social – don’t know what you actually do.
Make it a goal to post every month with the services you offer (and if you had a cracking testimonial post that too)
Don’t be shy, share.
5. Review your website…critically
Are you one of those that built your website then hardly look at it. (That was definitely me btw – the curse of imposter syndrome!) Grab yourself some post-it notes and log on to your website.
Imagine you are a potential customer interested in your services. Think about the following…
What are the things that are important to your customer? (Price, trust, personality?)
How do you help them? (Is it obvious what you do/offer?)
Do you recognise their struggles (Do you talk about what they are experiencing, do you empathise?)
Have you worked with other people like them? (do you have testimonials or case studies that would reassure a potential customer)
Is there a clear way they can find more about you (what are the steps you want them to take; join your list, read your blog, book a call – and are they obvious?)
Critique your site against the above questions and make a list of things that you want to change. Group them into 10, 30 or 45 min tasks and the next time you have a spare 15 mins or an hour, update your site.
When I finally did this, I noticed broken links, words that didn’t sound like me, out of date testimonials. Updating my site felt goooood!
6. Register your business
How easy are making it for potential customers to find you? Are you hiding in an online hole?
It’s super simple to register your business on Google, Bing or with local organisations.. Make a list of the places where businesses like yours are registered; your local Chamber of Commerce, Start-Up hubs, Enterprise agencies, non-for-profits that support small businesses, your local business directory.
Contact them and register your business (and obvs include your URL) – Google loves it when other websites link to yours.
My fab friend and online business coach has some great advice on getting your business found on Google.
7. Tighten up your compelling one-liner
Q. Do you have a compelling one-liner, AKA the thing you say when people ask you what you do? (And sorry to say, that line shouldn’t start with I’m a health coach, marketing consultant, yoga teacher)
The aim of your one-liner is for people to walk away thinking ‘that made sense, or that sounds like me or I know someone that needs your help’
A compelling one-liner is customer-focused, memorable, and simple, it’s not cute or clever or uses fancy pants words.
I help small business owners beat marketing overwhelm and learn to grow their business with confidence and ease. (See no mention that I’m a marketing consultant!)
Now of course there’s way more to it than that, if asked I could go onto talk about who my ideal clients are and how exactly I help them. But, this is a great intro and has led to some great conversations.
So, your turn.
Think about your last few clients, what situation were they in when they came to you. What were they struggling with? Now chances are these situations are fairly diverse, but if you had to view them from 5000ft up, can you spot the common thread?
If you struggle with finding a common thread, pick the problem or issue that the majority of your clients have. For me, most clients struggle with what to say, how to say it, and where to focus their marketing efforts.
Now, ask yourself what is it your clients want, what’s their greatest desire in relation to the services you offer. In my world, my clients want to find marketing less of a drag, more fun and fulfilling.
Once you have this licked, try out this formula:
I help/teach/guide X (your target market) who have Y (the problem) to achieve Z (the solution they desire)
Give it a go, and once you like what you written go test it out.
Top tip: you’re looking for responses like ‘Yes, I can see why people need you’ or ‘I know someone who needs your help’
8. Research, research, research
Learning more about your customers so you can hone your messages, tighten your marketing and create better products is ESSENTIAL! And y’know market research doesn’t have to be complicated or totally dull.
My two fave simple ways to conduct research are to use facebook groups; your own and others.
- If you have your own group, simply drop a message and ask ‘what are your biggest struggles in relation to’ (add in your field of expertise) or if you’re testing out an offer, ask for volunteers. People love being asked their opinions or to help and you can often get some great insight; it also gives you a chance to follow up and connect deeper.
- Other people’s groups are also a perfect place to do research. If you have a specific question like the above, post it. Or if you’re looking to learn more about the issues your ideal clients have, do this. Open up the group and type in the search bar ‘problem’ ‘question’ ‘ask’ or ‘advice’ You’ll quickly see all the posts from your ideal clients looking for help on issues that you can solve. It’s a super-useful way to spark a new idea, reposition an offer, or get new content inspiration.
9. Set up an email list
Email is dead. Nope it ain’t. IMHO email marketing is still the best way to build deeper relationships with your audience. And setting up a Mailchimp or convertkit account is super easy.
Even if you don’t have an offer or a freebie to promote or haven’t really got into the swing of content I recommend starting an email list.
In 12 months’ time when you have your marketing rhythm licked you’ll be glad you did. Sure, some of those who subscribed to your list in the early days will be like ‘who?’ and immediately unsubscribe, but there may also be people who’ve been waiting to hear from you, especially if your content is relevant, useful, and damn entertaining,.
Don’t let the fear of not having a newsletter or regular content to share put you off from building an email list.
Don’t just hear it from me, check this video out from email ninja Elizabeth Goddard
10. Intuitive outreach
This is one of my favourite things to do; so much so I diarise it every week. It’s so simple, yet brings so much joy and, in my case, exciting opportunities.
Outreach is simply that, reaching out to people with the intention to connect, say thanks, or ask how they are.
Spend 10 mins reflecting on those you’ve loved working with, someone who inspires you, those who comment on your posts or one of your email subscribers. What names spring to mind?
Make a list and a plan to reach out to them to simply say ‘thanks.’ Thanks for working with me, thanks for inspiring me, thanks for supporting my work. There’s no agenda here, there’s no intention to sell, the aim is to just give.
A few examples from my outreach this week…
I reached out to an ex-client and complemented her on her new website
I emailed an ex-colleague who supports my work and asked how her job-hunting was going
I sent an article to someone I met at a networking event, knowing he’d love it.
From just reaching out to people in a thoughtful and sincere way I have been asked to speak on podcasts, teach a workshop, and got repeat work from a client.
Showing you care and building relationships with people is a lovely way to grow a business. In fact, it’s the only way I want to build my business x
Fancy some help with putting these marketing tasks into action? Click here to book a free Clarity & Connect session with me – it comes complete with no-strings & no-sell!