Of everything you do to make your business successful, MARKETING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. You should be constantly looking for new ways to attract buyers and clients to you. Consequently, everyone is looking for the new silver bullet. News Flash: There are no silver bullets! There is just the hard work of testing and tracking.

Here Are A Few Essential Marketing Maxims to Hang on Your Wall.

1. You should spend 25% of your time working on marketing. You have two things to work with: Your time and your money. You’re a marketer now.

2. All marketing is experimental. Get used to it. As soon as you find the perfect formula something will change, and it won’t work as well anymore.

3. Because you’re seeking to influence people, a deep understanding of the people you want to reach is critical. Who is your target market? The more you focus, the more accurate you become. You can’t meet the needs of any market if you’re not an expert in it.

4. Research, research, research. Investigate your competitors, the marketplace and trends to name a few things. www.trends.google.com/trends will give you insight into trends. You can look up your competitor’s panties and discover the products or services they provide, how they market them to customers, the prices they charge, how they distribute and deliver, the devices they employ to enhance customer loyalty, their brand and design values, and best of all, the keywords they are using. www.spyfu.com is just one of the sites you can use for free.

5. Plan your marketing tactics out for the next quarter. Planning too far in advance will not take advantage of your ability to be nimble. A marketing plan for the next year is good, but you need to nail down exactly what you will be doing in the next quarter. This will save money and stress, believe me.

6. Advertising (especially Facebook) can quickly drain your pocketbook and bring very limited results. If you’re smart about it, you can get away without spending anything until you are big enough to have funds to buy advertising. Once you do any advertising, realize that one ad won’t get you anywhere. You must advertise consistently over time.

7. Marketing is NOT sales. Sales are the result of marketing. Marketing is the pitcher. You’re the seller/catcher. A class in selling is always a good thing. If you’re averse to selling, read my popular little simple booklet Selling for People Who Don’t Like Selling at https://midd.me/Oloh

8. Growth costs money. There is no magic formula to estimate your marketing budget. You can’t get by spending nothing. Pick a figure you’re able to meet comfortably and spend it consistently. There’s no big bang, one-time, sure thing.

9. Believe NOTHING that comes to you as an email pitch or a cold call. There are zillions of marketing siren songs from buying email lists to automated marketing services to lead generators. These sales pitches are hard to resist. Don’t be a Muppet in Sharkland. INVESTIGATE! Be Cynical!

10. Track everything you do to reach your prospects. “Test & Track” is the formula. How much did it cost compared to the buyers you received? You can break this down to cost per buyer.

11. Don’t drink the social media/digital Kool-Aid. With notable exceptions, it’s a happy fantasy that you can sit behind your computer and grow your business. Everything you want to achieve cannot be done entirely on line.

12. Nothing will benefit you as much as networking. Who you are matters. Make deals, shake hands, and meet influencers. People need to see you face-to-face to get to know who you are.

Get out there!

13. People buy from people, not companies. Relationships count. Buyers should be encouraged to think they know you. Yes, this is a perception you can cultivate, and it works. For examples start with the local advertisers who show up on the TV screen so often you think you know them.

14. People buy from people they know or think they know. It’s up to you to manage prospect perception. Your reputation is everything. Marketing is about creating trust. If you don’t protect your reputation, treat customers fairly, and always strive to do the right thing, the word will get out and trust in you will be destroyed. It is almost impossible to recover from this. (See Boeing)

15. Understand the marketing basics. They still apply. Find them at Part 4 in my Simplebooklet titled Startup – Take Off at https://midd.me/7Sse

16. To be a good marketer it helps to be a good writer. I strongly recommend getting the FREE book How to Write Copy That Sells by world-class writing guru Ray Edwards. Open this link https://rayedwards.com/

Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Operation Vetrepreneur & President of Marketing Impressions, a 33+ -year- old marketing consulting firm.

Apply NOW to join her Operation Vetrepreneur’s FREE Brainstorming Groups for veteran entrepreneurs at www.veteransinbiz.com and visit https://www.nvtsi.org/ov/ for more info.

If you want support for starting up a business, email her at [email protected].

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