But, what happens after you’ve landed them? Should all of your marketing stop?
Not if you’re smart, and below are 8 practical reasons why thinking of marketing strategies should be a priority above the products or the services that you currently offer.
And for those that sell clients on marketing, it’s even more important to have your marketing working for you while you’re busy sending off that next marketing proposal or work on the next social media proposal.
Stay On Top Of Your Clients’s Minds
Everyone understands the importance of disrupting a potential client’s point of view enough to gain an entrance into their lives. But, here’s one of the top mistakes that all marketers make-they take their customers or clients for granted.
Most marketers assume that just because they’ve landed a client, this means that they’ll always stay at the top of their client’s mind.
Not only is this false, but operating this way makes all of the hard work that you’ve put into landing the client in the beginning a waste of time. Every relationship takes maintenance, and marketing allows you to maintain your relevance and importance by staying at the top of your client’s mind.
Forbes contributor Alex Lawrence states things plainly:
When it comes to growing their startups, many entrepreneurs are so focused on gaining new clients and customers that they fail to effectively address the need to retain those they already have.
This is counterproductive considering that it’s far easier (about 50% easier according to Marketing Metrics) to sell to existing customers than to brand new prospects.
Let’s look at some prominent examples, such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Walmart.
All of these brands are revenue behemoths that need no introduction. We know what these brands are, we know what they’re about, we grew up with them, and they’re global. Yet, each of these brands spend untold fortunes in marketing and advertising expenses. Why in the world would such solid brands feel the need for such continuous marketing and advertising efforts?
The reason comes down to one word: Longetivity.
Sure, if any of the brands mentioned stopped marketing today, then they’d still earn massive revenues for the rest of our lives. They’d probably continue to earn great revenue for another generation. But, what about the next generation?
Why should the next generation care about these brands over any other that will inevitably crop up over time? Why should a generation that hasn’t developed strong brand loyalty or exposure continue to support today’s behemoth brands?
Now, if you’re reading this article, then your marketing needs probably aren’t in the realm of McDonald’s, or Coca-Cola’s. But, the idea is the same: If you care about building a brand that generates revenue for years to come, then you’ve got to stay at the top of your clients’s minds.
You have to keep showing interest in maintaining the relationship that you’ve created with them. And, you have to keep putting yourself out there for new prospects to find you, as well.
You’ve probably heard it said that every customer has at least five friends. Well, the same concept is true of your business clients. People who work in the same industry space tend to know of others who do the same. It makes logical sense that if your client sees the value in what you’re selling, then they know of friends and colleagues who will feel the same.
The Houston Chronicle published a story about the power of referral marketing. They said,
According to the Referral Institute in Ithaca, New York, referral marketing is especially helpful for businesses that have little to no budget to put toward marketing and advertising. That’s because referral marketing, in its simplest form, is essentially free.
All you have to do for basic referral marketing to work is give your clients or customers a positive experience, and encourage them to refer your business to other people based on their positive experiences.
This also goes back into why it’s important to stay at the top of your client’s minds in the first place. I personally experienced referral marketing when a potential client wasn’t able to hire me when I approached them, but they surprisingly referred me to a colleague who needed a content marketing writer.
It was flattering to receive the vote of confidence from the prospect. I was able to find another client lead that I didn’t have to work for, and as it turned out, the timing has become right for the original client and I to work together.
Your Competition Markets Their Services
This says it all, doesn’t it? The fact is, if you want to gain an edge over your competition, then you’d better give your prospective clients a good enough reason (or argument) to choose your service over another.
The good news is, you don’t have to be negative or sleazy while you’re marketing against your competition. Simply perform research on what your competitors might be offering, and then find ways to offer more, or better.
And, if you’re offering a product or service that no one has caught on to yet, then you need to toot and blow your figurative horn as loudly as possible! This leads to…
Continually Establish Your Unique Selling Proposition
Your unique selling proposition is the tangible (or the intangible) thing that gives you a competitive edge. It can be as simple as offering free services, fast service, exclusive service, etc. Your unique selling proposition is as unique as you are.
One of the best ways to have a clear unique selling proposition? Niche down and focus on an industry. That’s why you see everything from marketing services for insurance agents, to designers that target event planners.
But, no one will know what that is unless you let them know through your marketing efforts!
Client Relationships Can Turn Sour
Here’s a sad but true fact of life-relationships can turn sour. It sucks when this happens, and your relationship with your clients can take a turn for the worse for a wide variety of reasons, regardless of who’s at fault.
When this takes place, you’ll feel disappointed, but one thing that will help you to get over the loss faster is when you can reflect upon a full schedule of client projects. This only takes place when you continue to market, even when all is well with your current clients, and even when your schedule is so full, you’re signing up new clients on a waiting list.
And, here’s something else to consider: Marketing even when don’t need to will help you to establish authority, which is important when your schedule starts to fill up.
I asked a copywriting colleague what they did when they had more client projects then they had days in a month. They replied that they created a waiting list for their clients. Since this person is a well-respected name, they were able to retain clients for months in advance on their waiting list.
Start A Customer Service And Retention Dialogue
One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from clients who purchase digital services is that they feel as if they’re plunked into the deep dark abyss after they’ve rewarded a product or service provider with their business.
Not only does this speak to poor customer service, but it’s also an example of bad marketing in play. Everyone wants to feel that their patronage matters. Don’t leave your clients hanging!
Use marketing tools such as email mail or social media accounts to start a dialogue with your clients. Learn what’s going on inside their minds by sending them periodic surveys. Ask them to send you questions that they’d like answered.
Roll up your sleeves and get in there with your clients. Showing them that you care and that you’re present for them is one of the best marketing messages you can offer, and it’s so easy to do!
Learn What’s Working And What’s Failing
Speaking of getting in there, you’ll need a way of learning what’s working for your business, and what’s not working. You can only test these when you practice continuous marketing strategies.
It’s very simple for you to observe what’s working for your business as far as your marketing strategies, and what’s working regarding the service you offer. Simply observe how your market is responding.
Have sales spiked? Are your clients gravitating towards certain services more than others? Are they rejecting certain products or services (no matter how great you think they are)?
These are all indicators of things that need to change, or stay the same. But, you won’t be able to glean this valuable data if you slack off in your marketing efforts.
Create Revenue Options
Options are a beautiful thing, especially when it comes to business. When you’re first starting out, your options are sparse because you’re usually cash-strapped. However, as your marketing efforts generate more clients and revenue opportunities, you’ll be able to build a nice war chest for your business.
Then, you’ll find that you have options when it comes to how you want to work, and who you want to work with. You’ll also find that you can start letting go of clients who:
- You’ve outgrown
- Aren’t paying you enough
- Are too taxing to your sanity and well-being
You’ll be able to take on clients who offer:
- More satisfying work, even if the pay is lower
- Opportunities to break into new markets
- Work with people you gel with personally and professionally
There’s the type of marketing that allows entrepreneurs to gain new clients. But, it’s almost more important to continue to drive the type of marketing that allows you to address issues as your business develops and grows.
Your turn: What are you doing to remix your marketing efforts? Are you caught on the hamster wheel of marketing for new clients because you’ve allowed things to slack off? Leave your comments below, and please share the article!
*Photo courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net