Everyone has a marketing superpower – but there is a good chance that you are not using yours to your full potential.
To be a successful business owner you need to love your marketing.
I mean really looooovvvvve your marketing.
You also need to love having sales conversations. Because if you don’t find a way to love marketing your business, your business is always going to feel hard, and you might end up resenting it.
If you’re not able to sell your online products and services, then it’s going to be very difficult to grow. However, it is one of the things that very few people think about when setting up their business. They just kind of assume that it is going to be easy for them.
Then once they have launched their new business, reality sets in. Sometimes you might be a unicorn and find selling easy, but the reality is that most of us struggle with all sorts of mindset issues when we are trying to sell our own things.
I know I did!
When I set up my first business, a headhunting agency in January 2000, I had no idea how I was going to find new clients.
I was so excited about my idea and launching my new business that I didn’t even think about how I was going to sell the services that I was going to offer.
For the first 12 months, I went on a massive learning curve and did a lot of things that I didn’t enjoy.
21 years later, I’m a lot smarter about how I market my business. But that is only because I have figured out how to market it in a way that feels good and authentic to me, and uses my own unique skills and preferences.
If you try to build your business in a way that doesn’t feel good to you, you will try to find every reason out there to not do it. When you can tap into things that you enjoy doing and are good at, magic will happen.
This is what I call your marketing superpower.
A way of marketing your business that feels easy, natural and really works to your strengths.
Marketing the Easy Way … and the Hard Way
When I started my first company, an executive search business called 4and20 in January 2000, I had no idea how I was going to get new clients. I had no sales experience, having come from an operational role, and no small business marketing experience.
What I discovered was that it was easier and harder than I had expected.
My first client was my old boss (easy). My second client was a referral from my old boss (also easy) and my third client was off the back of a cold call (which felt very hard – but was worth it!)
I knew that I had to sell to people that I didn’t know, but I didn’t realise that it was going to be quite as uncomfortable as it was.
Some people are natural sales people, they love the process of selling and talking to new prospects about their needs and wants and then finding the perfect solution for them.
I am not one of those people.
I searched and searched for the right sales course to learn this skill, spent loads of money on sales training and ended up not much better than when I had started.
I did improve, but going down the cold calling route never felt good for me. I have since learned however that cold calling can be a powerful way to build a business, but it’s much easier if you have a warm introduction from someone who knows you and the person you want to speak with.
Look for the 20% That Generates the 80%
My second business was working as a freelance web designer back in 2001.
It was more of a side hustle back then but after the birth of my daughter in 2007, I decided to be a lot smarter about it than I had been previously.
I looked at where my existing clients had come from so that I could figure out how to get new clients. What I discovered was that 95% of my clients had come from people who knew me or who had been referred to me.
The massive advantage of this was that it meant that I was rarely in a competitive bidding situation, as I was usually the only horse in the race – and I already had the trust factor because of the halo effect from the referral.
This was a major aha moment for me.
Rather than trying to find people who didn’t know me, I needed to strengthen my relationships with people that did and let them know that I was always interested in speaking to anyone they thought I might be able to help.
I had two people who regularly referred me back then, and both ran professional services firms. They were both well networked, well trusted and well respected.
My marketing talent was meeting people face to face and immediately generating trust – but I had a headstart because of those warm introductions.
I Never Had a Lead Magnet for My Web Design Business
I recently saw a post in a web design facebook group asking why most web design companies don’t have a lead magnet (a lead magnet is an opt-in offer for people to sign up to your email list).
And I thought about why I didn’t have one, because I love email marketing as a marketing tool. When I was running Women Unlimited, email was my greatest source of new paying customers.
I think email marketing is an incredibly powerful and fantastic way to keep in touch with potential clients.
For the right business.
But not all businesses need a lead magnet. And in my case, I knew that all my clients were through referrals. So my job was to keep my existing clients happy, go out and meet new people who might be looking for a website or who could recommend me to others. That was it. That was my marketing strategy.
Anything else is marketing busy work or what I call procrasti-marketing. Yep, it’s definitely a thing 😂
Networking was the marketing talent that I needed to cultivate and spend time on. It’s what I love and it’s what I am good at. If I didn’t go out and meet new people and build relationships, I didn’t get the referrals that we needed to be able to get more clients.
I was recently doing a Voxer Accelerator Day with one of my clients and she is creating a new marketing group programme. She doesn’t have a website, she doesn’t have a lead magnet and she doesn’t have a substantial email list. But she does have a lot of prestige in her field, AND she has a really strong client and contact list.
We decided that the easiest way for her to launch her new product was to reach out to people that already knew her, and leverage her existing relationships. Magic.
Talk To Prospects at the Time That They Were Ready To Buy
One of the positive upsides of my referral-based marketing strategy was that I only spoke with people that had already been pre-qualified. They were already in the buying stage of the process. I found this better than selling to people who hadn’t already decided what they wanted.
This cut down on a lot of wasted meetings with the wrong people!
For Women Unlimited, the business community that I grew to over 20,000 women, my strategy was significantly different.
While I did know many of that community personally, mainly because they attended my events, most of the people that bought the courses and events that I sold on the website only knew me through blog posts, videos and email.
So the talent that I have had to cultivate was my online marketing talent.
If I didn’t email people, Women Unlimited would not have been able to make any sales.
Without developing my skills in email marketing, I would have no channel to market and no way to access my customer base.
So, over the 7 years that Women Unlimited was running, I’ve used my relationship-building skills and communication skills to build trust and provide massive value to the Women Unlimited community through email and our website. When we have a course or product to promote, the women within that community felt like they trusted us enough to be able to deliver on our promise.
If we stopped every other form of marketing other than email, Women Unlimited would have been able to survive and thrive.
With Women Unlimited, email marketing and writing was my marketing superpower
I had another mentoring client that loved public speaking but hated social media.
When she got someone on a call with her, her conversion rate was 75%. Seriously. 75%! Her only job as a marketer was to get people to get on a call with her.
Instead of focusing on writing blog posts and social media posts, she spent her time reaching out to people in her field that had communities of people that were interested in her topic and she offered her services as a public speaker. And her business exploded. Within 2 months she had increased the number of clients she had by 400%.
Now there’s a marketing superpower!
Where Should You Spend Your Marketing Time?
As an online business owner, one of the challenges that you face, is trying to decide where you should focus your marketing time.
Your time is limited and there is a very good chance that you are spending too much of it focusing on things that are not going to generate you the results that you are looking for.
If you focus on the ONE thing that you are exceptional at and that you have used very effectively to bring in new business, it is likely that you will increase your results exponentially.
Potential time-wasters might include:
- Talking to the wrong people on social media
- Wondering if you should be blogging
- Doing email marketing
- Spending time on your Facebook page
- Creating a podcast
- Running a Facebook group
If these things are not suited to your personality and your business they can feel hard AND pull your business down instead of lifting it up.
Keep Your Marketing System Simple.
Choose only a few things to do. Each time you start up a new activity, you dilute your time and your chances of marketing success (find out how I can help you with your business and your marketing.)
How To Find Your Marketing Talent
What I’d like to suggest is that you take a deep breath, grab yourself a cup of tea/coffee and take a long hard look at the activities that you are doing to market your business. Ask yourself honestly whether they are doing your business and your time justice.
Here are three simple exercises to help you get started
Get To Know Your Customer
Here is how to get started:
- Identify your top 10 most profitable clients
- Find out where they first heard about you from
- Identify where you can find more people like that
- Ask them why they bought your product / service
- Note how you communicate with them
- Identify why they are profitable
Learn From Your Successes
What can you learn from your successes to get more out of your business?
- Where do 80% of your clients come from?
- When do they buy from you?
- What activities can you duplicate to repeat that success
- Where can you go to get more clients like that
Stop Doing What Isn’t Working
Don’t waste your time and energy on parts of your marketing plan that just don’t do it for you.
- Track the time that you spend on marketing activities
- Identify how successful each of those activities has been for your business in the last 6 months. Ask yourself, are you doing enough? Are you doing too much?
- Only spend 10 – 20% of your time on the activities that are not generating a large return
Build on the Marketing That Is Working
Figure out your marketing superpower!
- Identify how you like to communicate best with your customers (ie online, face to face, email, direct mail, advertising)
- Dedicate yourself to the stuff that you are already excellent at
- Learn how to improve your skills in this area
- Spend at least 50% of your time on the activities that are generating profitable results
- Only spend time on high value activities and outsource the stuff that doesn’t need you
This last point is really important. If I outsourced our email marketing, then there is a good chance that our sales would drop. BUT! There is no reason that I need to be the person that formats the email, uploads the email and sends the email.
Focus on the Activities That Create Massive Value
Focus on the activities that bring massive value to your business, that only you can do and you should find that you’ll start getting better results than you have before.
If you enjoy marketing your business, know how to reach your customers and are good at it, then you will be successful.
If your marketing feels like a struggle, then it is going to be very difficult for you to build and grow your business. Every online business owner needs a strong marketing foundation to build their business on, so it’s important to go out and find your marketing talent.
Every business owner needs a strong marketing foundation to build their business on, so it’s important to go out and find your marketing talent. I’d love to hear what yours is.
Do make sure you check out our free What’s Your Marketing SuperPower training by entering your details below. This will help you to figure out what YOUR magic ingredient is.