2020 taught us a few lessons about working smarter not harder … or working more smartly, if you like grammar. It turned out that we had been wasting time and effort over an office, a commute, a car and an alarm clock. Even getting fully dressed (well, wearing trousers at least) was not actually a necessity with Zoom.
Doing it differently
Joking apart though, January arrived and we found ourselves bravely facing the New Year, determined not to waste any more time in 2021… then… lockdown. Finding long term solutions and working smarter so that business continues as usual is an absolute must for everyone. 2021 needs to be done differently.
Systems failing you
The events of 2020 meant that some processes and systems were no longer effective. For many entrepreneurs, though, the prospect of having to wrestle with mastering new marketing methods, added to all the day to day of running a business, has prevented their business from taking advantage of all the technology on offer. Working harder has won over working smarter because it’s just one thing too many to bring the website up to date and automate sales and marketing.
Improve your marketing without leaving home
How much does your business rely on you being able to get out and about to make sales and tie up deals? Most entrepreneurs would report a dip in their car fuel costs over 2020 – but has that meant a dent in sales? How about improving your marketing without leaving home?
Automation creates conversation
The good news is that there is no reason why processes related to client contact should be adversely affected by lockdown. Digital systems and processes to streamline and improve your marketing are available to anyone, whether you’re a startup or an established business. Adopting them makes perfect sense as the way people are consuming marketing is on a digital device, often from home (especially now). Any business that wants to market their products and services successfully needs to start conversations in this arena.
Targeting your audience using digital tools has become much easier, and considering that the audience is now confined to the sofa, targeting them is even more straightforward, but it needs to be done with respect! I believe that having access into people’s lives comes with a certain responsibility. Creating a conversation and a collaboration with people rather than just trying to sell, sell, sell is the key to smart marketing. Nobody wants to be just a number on a list of possible conversions.
Smart marketing uses content to communicate. You need to start by empathising with people’s situations. Know where your audience is at and what is their biggest pain point. You can help to solve it by writing a regular blog to inform and help people rather than saying, ‘Buy from me now!’ To me it’s lazy to try to sell to someone straight away on LinkedIn, for example, following a direct message. It makes the person on the other end feel valueless when someone does that. You know that you are one in a long list, and you’re being viewed as a transaction or a conversion, a sale rather than a person.
How to start smart conversations
Use social media to direct people towards your website or landing page and give something away for free (advice, free information or membership of your community). Facebook advertising enables you to target your adverts to different demographics. Invite people to join a Facebook group and help them with your expertise. Think education rather than offers.
Smart marketing gives insights
Your landing page or website needs to collect data. There must be somewhere for people to leave their email address so that you can start a conversation with them – a conversation for clarity rather than conversion. Be clear on how you can help. People are happy to leave an email address in order to receive something free in return, and then you can put in motion a series of emails that are behaviour sensitive. (More on that in a bit).
Getting smart with your data
The email addresses are then stored in your CRM. A cloud based CRM (customer relationship management system) keeps all the customer data in one place and helps you to track all your interactions. Everything then becomes more personal, not only making for great customer relationships, but if your salesperson leaves, important client details won’t leave with them! At Cre8ion we use Infusion Soft, and we highly recommend it as a product.
Smart marketing saves on activity
As I mentioned earlier, you can preload a sequence of emails based on people’s behaviour. If an email is opened, for instance, another is triggered. If the email is not opened an alternative email is triggered. Continue the conversation in this way and if people like what you have offered them they are more likely to buy from you.
Smart marketing makes your website work harder
Using analytics and heat maps helps you to see people’s behaviour when they are using your website. You can then change the navigation to maximise the benefits. For instance, you might change the size of certain buttons if you see that not enough people are pressing them. Or if the analytics are showing that your blog is proving to be a popular read you can make it work harder on the SEO front to attract more attention.
If you have been putting off stepping into the wonderful world of smart marketing and feel a bit overwhelmed at the prospect, why not get in touch? We can help you set up and teach you how to get the most out of it. Then we’ll either support you as much as you need, or, if you’re confident, we’ll leave you to get on with it. The possibilities are infinite!