This is post 8 of 10 in a series discussing the essential steps for launching a successful, sustainable solopreneur business. If you missed the disclaimer post, it is helpful if you take a minute to read it before going forward. Here’s the link to the post.
So far I’ve covered the following sequential steps:
1. Define Your UVP and Prime Prospects
7. Set Up Shop
At this point, if you are wondering what marketing you will do for your new solopreneur start-up, you obviously skipped steps 1, 2 and 3 above. By defining your UVP and your prime prospects, you chose whom you plan to serve and what you plan to offer them. Then during your market research, you determined if your choices had the potential to generate a profit. You would have followed up during your planning phase (whether through an informal plan, mini business plan or formal business plan) by including your marketing strategies and goals.
If this all sounds unfamiliar to you, please go back and read those earlier posts.
Here are the 4 main things to consider when launching your campaigns:
1. Have a strategy.
Let me list out some of the common marketing tools you can use for heralding your start-up to the market.
- Press Releases
- Facebook fan page
- YouTube Videos
- Link Exchanges
- Joint Ventures
- Word of Mouth
- Business cards
- Direct Mailers
- Ads Online
- Ads Offline
- Yellow Pages
Which of these are right for you? Do you have to use all of them?
Just because you heard that Twitter and Facebook are the hottest trends or a marketing consultant told you that you have to have a blog, ask “why?” The right combination for you depends on having clearly defined answers for:
- Who (who you are and whom you are serving)
- What (what they need and what you will provide them)
- When (when will you be able to provide it for them)
- Where (where your market goes to buy the products and services you will provide and where you will provide them)
- Why (why will your target market buy from you instead of the competition)
For example, if you are starting an Internet Marketing based business, not only will you likely use Twitter and Facebook, but you need to know what you will do once you get there. You can waste a tremendous amount of time putting up Tweets, telling people “what’s on your mind” and friending people if your efforts aren’t consistent with your brand and integrated with your plan.
2. A one-time action isn’t a campaign.
Most statistics indicate that you need to touch (get in front of a prospect) five to eight times before they even think of buying from you. And then it can take another 10 – 12 contacts before they actually do. With this being said, hopefully, you will realize that posting an ad once or putting up a listing in a business network isn’t going to bring you the business. Not only do you need to reach out to your market in a variety of ways, but you need to do it consistently over a period of time.
3. Stick to your budget.
At this point in your solopreneur start-up, you are burning cash. There are a myriad of ways you can reach out to your market and there are talented copywriters and sales pros ready to convince you of why you need to advertise through them or use their products and services to be successful.
Not having knowledge about your market and not having defined strategies will open up the opportunity for these talented people to convince you of going over budget. Save some of these options for later when your business can pay for it … if you really need them.
4. Your marketing doesn’t start after you open for business, it precedes it.
This is the build-a-buzz phase. Do the big box retailers let you know about their Black Friday specials on Black Friday? Of course not. They start fighting for your attention and dollars months in advance. The same tactic is necessary when launching your business. If you followed the steps in this series, you already know the who, what, when, where and why … so why not get started.
Just make sure any pre-opening promises that you make (discounts, product and service offerings, dates), you deliver. If you are shaky about pre-marketing, chances are high that you haven’t done enough to complete the previous steps.
Next up, “Turn Prospects into Customers”.
All the Best,
The Solopreneur’s Guide