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One thing is for certain in today’s business climate, when there is no demand for your services, there is no business. Creating the need then becomes one of the primary focuses for any business development professional. Whether you are a musician who needs gigs, a photographer looking for a photo op, a graphic artist needing a project, a Realtor® looking for a new listing or buyer, or a loan officer needing to close a refi or mortgage deal, you need a steady influx of leads and prospects. In the old days we were taught that you had to make X number of calls to have X number of appointments to make X number of dollars. Somewhat true today. But thank goodness we now have access to other methods than the telephone and are connected to the entire world through the web and social networking – our sphere has just been enlarged!
Creating a demand for your product or services requires a steady, clear, concise and consistent marketing plan. People are just not going to wake up one morning with the desire to call Mr. Biz Guy for his product. And Mrs. Jones isn’t going to call you to book your services. There has to be a need first. Then they have to know about you, and maybe then, they will call you. Here are a few tried and true marketing pointers that if implemented and carried out will help create a demand for your services and keep your phone ringing for business.
Know your product(s). How can you market yourself if you don’t know what you are selling? What are the key selling points? What aspects make it superior to your competitor’s product? Tell “them” something about it. Educate!
Target your market. What market are you going after? Who is your customer? Decide SPECIFICALLY who your target audience is, what they look like, how much money they make, where they live, what car they drive, etc. Once you know your audience then you are ready to proceed to the next step.
Create your database. Now that you know your product and “who” your market is, how are you going to get your message to them? Build a database of the individuals/businesses that you intend to market to. Have on-hand and access to their names, contact information. Keep this info updated and accurate. Add to it daily.
Create your message. Now, what are you going to say? What message are you going to give them? Who are YOU? Get organized with your marketing materials. Create a professional “identity” that will be carried across all marketing lines. Tailor your message to you, your company, and your audience.
Establish your budget. Not just your financial budget, but also your time budget and imagination budget. How much money can you spend and how much time can you allocate to your marketing and how much imagination do you have to put into it? Decide, create, implement and stick to it.
Market consistently. Go for it! Carry out your marketing plan religiously, and passionately. Don’t expect a return right away. Look at it like you are teaching a class to a remote audience, a passing parade. Keep sending out your message, educating your markets on the importance of your services and creating a demand for what you do. This is how you become “visible” in your market.
Diversify! If you are not diversifying your marketing, you are missing business. Don’t get stuck in one form of advertising or marketing. Hit them all!
Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Bebo, and other social networking sites
Master Mind calls
Marketing yourself and creating a demand for your product and/or service requires a commitment. Recognize that your goal in marketing is to simply tell people what you are doing in your business. Your growth will be in direct association with your commitment and focus on aggressive marketing strategies.