Too often business owners and entrepreneurs miss the opportunity to offer their product or service to willing consumers. Marketing gives you that opportunity. Opportunities abound at every turn, but you must be willing to see and take advantage of them. There is a popular sales strategy many sales people rely on; they call it “ABC” which means “Always Be Closing”. It is this same philosophy we should employ when it comes to marketing. Let’s call it “ABM” or Always Be Marketing. If you’re always marketing, then your chance of missing an opportunity will be few and far between. The following are steps you can take to make sure you are ABM.
Step 1: Be Observant.
Being observant means taking a critical look at the things and people around you. Look for opportunities; don’t wait for them to find you. For example, you own an ice cream shop. There is foot and commuter traffic in abundance. Don’t just sit back and rely on your retail location, sign and of course, the famous “word of mouth”. Get out there with coupons and offers. Have one of your employees, on the sidewalk passing out coupons. Have someone wear a sandwich board, so the drivers passing by will take notice or take samples to the office building down the street. This is marketing at its best. Observe what is around you and take advantage of it.
Step 2: Be mindful of the company you keep.
Take the relationship of family and friends out of the equation, once that’s done, ask yourself if the people you associate with are people who can help you get to the next level. If the answer is no, then find new people to hang with. In other words, keep people around you who understand business and are willing support you in your business. Look for mentors and other business-minded individuals. The company you keep can make or break your business. If you have “ghetto” friends and family, but you are seeking a classier clientele, then keep them and especially their ideas away from your business. Remember, “association brings about assimilation“. If your surrounding is not conducive to the growth of your business, you must seek better surroundings. I’m not suggesting that you alienate yourself from your friends and family, but you should keep them away from your business. Your “real” family and friends will understand that you are focused on being successful, if they don’t understand, then they are not “real”. Don’t miss an opportunity, because you were hanging with the wrong crowd.
Step 3: Promote your business, not your vanity.
Participate in events and activities that will help you market your business, not your personal agenda. Too often business owners get “caught up” in trying to be the “star” and in turn letting their vanity overshadow their business. In a previous post, I told business owners to get out of the way of their business and that is what I’m talking about here. Too many people think they need to have their face and name on their product or service and I’m here to tell you that you don’t. Unless you have a “bankable” name, image or reputation, it is not necessary to see your smiling face on every flyer, business card, advertisement, etc….. I’m especially speaking to women business owners. I know they say “sex sells”, but too many of you are trying to be “sexy” and it just comes off wrong. Your focused on the wrong thing - YOU! Focus on what you sell or what you do, not showing off your body or cleavage. You may find opportunities but they won’t be the ones you’re seeking.
Opportunities come in all forms. Some are good and some will take you places you don’t want to go. Remember to keep an open mind and stay focused. Associate with business-minded people, because they will help you see and take advantage of opportunities.
Keep your business first and your vanity last.
She is mad and she is not going to take it anymore! The Mad Lady Marketing Blog is just her way to drive home the importance of marketing in business. With over 15 years of experience in marketing, graphic design and communications, this marketing expert is mad (crazy) about marketing and mad (angry) at small businesses that don't understand or utilize marketing to promote their business.
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