On planning powerful and intentional marketing pieces that land with impact
Promoting your business with grace, intention and ease. What a lovely concept! Yet for those who are pretty modest about their talents, the idea of marketing can feel icky - forceful, uncomfortable and unsure. And beyond that, even the best of us struggle to clearly and concisely communicate the magic of what we do. It's all to easy to drift into waffle territory, telling customers your whole life story whilst their attention span slowly ebbs away...
Enough. There is absolutely no need to create 'sales-y' marketing pieces. The businesses that you and I run are not about cut price deals, limited time offers or incentivising people to buy with some sort of unwanted freebie. Our businesses require something much deeper than that. It's about creating a human connection, showcasing the very best of your work and quietly, confidently, letting your talents shine. It's about communicating in a way that makes the person on the other side of the conversation think, 'this is what I've been looking for'.
Before I delve in, let me just be quite clear in what I mean when I say 'marketing pieces'. This really covers anything at all that you've created for the purpose of attracting business - so it could include your website, your social media, blog posts, welcome brochures, proposals, email marketing, service menus, stationery and so on.
It starts by thinking about the journey that your client takes as they go from casual passerby to die-hard brand advocate. Where do your people normally find you? And at that first point of contact, what do they need to know? Your marketing should make it easier to recruit new business: that means cutting the admin for you, and answering the unvoiced questions for your client. So if you find yourself answering the same questions over and over again in those early stages of conversation, you'll have a very good indicator of what's on your clients' mind when they first reach out. How about creating a beautiful brochure that provides that information? It'll save you repeating yourself to every client, and shows them that you're able to empathise with their challenges - whilst giving them something gorgeous to look at that might just give you the edge on the competition.
When you consider how best to communicate with your people, allow your mind to think freely. Don't be constrained by the idea that you need to produce hundreds of printed items or that you have to do things in a conventional way. Just because everyone else in the industry uses flyers doesn't mean that you have to. Find your own way! Much better to communicate in a way that fits with your ethic and style than to follow the rest of the pack. I actually have absolutely no idea how the rest of the branding industry does things - I've deliberately not gone looking. I'd much rather design my own path that I know is totally original and not influenced by anyone else.
Remember that each piece your client receives should hold some value and lead them towards their decision to buy from you. So switch your thinking from 'what do I want to tell them?' to 'what might they be thinking at this point? What do they need to see in order to convince them that we'd be a great fit?'. As well as attracting your dream clients, your marketing pieces can help hugely in deterring those who you don't want. What a relief for everyone.
Of course, to do all of this you need to have the confidence and direction of knowing what makes your business so brilliantly epic, and precisely who you're out to impress. You'll find it so much easier to create pieces that make a connection when you're able to write with a specific type of person in mind, communicating in a more meaningful way that really knocks their socks off.
So, over to you! Go forth and be brilliantly original, brave and bold with your marketing. Put your client first, be inventive in how you tell your story and let your magic shine.