As a small business owner or entrepreneur, by now you’ve hopefully come to the conclusion you don’t want to compete with folks selling their services for $5. So then, how to market a new business and build a brand? Here are a few ideas:
First, I would consider your story. Why do you do what you do? Why are you personally invested in your clients’ success? Why have you chosen to make this your personal mission and what can you tell us about your personal mission? What is your ‘why’?
Further, what sets you apart from the other guy or gal? Why would people pick you? What makes you so special? Something does, so what is it? By answering these questions, you are beginning to develop your value proposition.
Testimonials are another useful tool. Go to past clients and ask them why they chose to work with you, what problem they were seeking to solve and how you provided the solution. There is a template here that helps with that:
Don’t have any past clients yet? You may want to do some free work to build up your client porfolio. Once people can see others have trusted you in the past, it becomes easier for them to trust you. Think of this as building social proof.
Case studies are very similar to well-constructed testimonials in that they offer a description of the problem and then tell how you provided the solution and finally communicate the happy result.
Best recommendation: Share before-and-after stories. If you’re a writer, show the ad copy in its prior miserable state and then show the revised ad copy after you’ve finished with it. (“Feel the difference? Here is how we saw conversion rates improve…” P.S. If you’re not tracking this yet, you need to start!) Another example could be for an orthodontist; here is the patient’s mouth before we fixed their snaggle-teeth, and here is the patient’s sparkling smile after the procedures were completed.
Finally, since we’re on the topic of building a brand, you may want to work through this short brand archetype quiz:
The quiz results will provide you with three archetypes, listed in order of relevance. This will definitely help you determine the “flavor” you want your brand to exude. For instance, if you are a rough and tumble pioneer type, the Explorer archetype may be the archetype you identify with most. Once you know your archetype, you can ensure your ad copy, imagery and brand all align with that archetype, which strengthens your position in the mind of the consumer.
Okay, this should keep you busy for a while. If you have more ideas to share or have questions about applying any of these marketing tactics, leave a comment below!
In support of your efforts,
About Matt Schoenherr
Matt is a husband, father of four, marketing consultant and founder of Marketing Ideas 101. As a student, teacher and published author, Matt supports the worthy goals of service and commerce in the small business and nonprofit communities. You may find him on Google+, Twitter and Facebook. Creative marketing ideas and marketing strategies may be found at MarketingIdeas101.com.