When you are starting your new business, how do you make sure you are marketing honestly and ethically from the beginning?
I'm going to share three simple tips for new business owners who want to start their marketing journey on the right foot, so they can avoid the common mistakes that many make.
#1 Your Business is Not About You
Many people think that starting a business is their ticket to a private island, total freedom, riches and glory.
Unfortunately, that path will almost always lead the business owner into pursuing shortcuts no matter the cost, which usually means they cast authentic service aside. That said, the marketplace is vicious and more often than not, self-centred businesses that add no value won't survive — because nobody will buy.
If the reason for your starting a business is the desire to cash in and "live the good life," you're in for a reality check!
Your business is not about you.
Your business is about your people, serving them and making their lives better.
If you can do that well?
Over and over again?
That's when you can start reaping the seeds you sow!
By the way, anyone who says:
- Building a business is easy
- You don't need any skills or experience
- You can get rich quick
- You don't need any products or services
- You don't have to put yourself out there and embarrass yourself
- You can live "the good life" without risking anything
- Your business is about you
...is not a real business owner or is selling you a get rich quick program for "one easy payment of $2,997."
Once you realize that building a business is a challenging and purposeful pursuit of serving other people?
Ethical marketing comes naturally.
You begin thinking, "How can I help more of my people?"
Instead of, "How can I extract more money from people?"
“Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'”— Martin Luther King, Jr.
#2 Solve Real and Painful Problems for Your People
Now that you know who your business is about (your people), you must ask: What do my people struggle with?
Remember, "your people" (a.k.a. your audience) are a specific group or segment of the market that you feel a connection to and wish to serve.
To do that, you must determine a deficiency they experience. You can figure that out by asking a few questions.
- What do they struggle with?
- Where are they suffering?
- What is their most painful problem?
Once you've found that problem, it's time to ask, "can I solve this problem for my people?"
A creative way to discover the solution to the problem is to use the "Magic Wand" concept: If they had a magic wand to make their biggest problem go away, what would that look like?
Then build a basic solution, get your offer in front of your audience and ask for the sale.
If you land customer #1? Get customer #2.
If nobody buys your offer? Ask them why, and use their answers to either improve your offer or build a different solution and try again.
It's as simple as that.
There is no magic trick, hack, secret or way around it.
#3 Always Be Marketing (Honestly)
If you have the solution to your peoples' problem, then marketing is your duty, and you must always be marketing (honestly, of course.)
“Marketing is the generous act of helping others become who they seek to become. It involves creating honest stories—stories that resonate and spread.”— Seth Godin, author of This is Marketing
Marketing is a continual effort to:
- Reach your audience
- Connect with them
- Share your solution
- Improve their lives
You can reach your audience through dozens of "marketing channels", some of which include:
- Word of mouth
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Social media
To name but a few.
You can connect with your audience by speaking directly to their experience, telling stories, building rapport, and creating free resources and content for them.
Then you share your solution by simply telling your audience about what you have to offer, and how it can solve the problems they experience, or make their lives better.
Finally, do what you said you'd do and improve their lives with your products or services.
And to ensure your marketing efforts are ethical?
For starters, make honesty a core value!
And to close, I'll leave you with a few tips to consider:
- Serve your people before yourself
- Price your offerings fairly
- Be generous
- Tell the truth
- Avoid hyperbole in your sales copy (a.k.a. "Hype")
- Be transparent and upfront when selling something
- Be curious and ask questions
- Listen more than you speak (important for phone sales)
- Only use scarcity when it's authentic
- Underpromise, overdeliver
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