Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
Marketing. A key part of our business, or something to wedge into a quiet Friday afternoon?
In my experience of business coaching most people would say the former, but do the latter.
If you can stop reading this right now and print out your marketing plan, then you’re in the top 10% of business owners. (Source: R. Maun, 16 years of experience of asking the same question and getting the same reply of; ‘aha yes, a marketing plan, hmmm, that is something we don’t appear to have right now’).
A marketing plan sets out what our message is and how we are going to get that message out to people who may be interested in our products and services. It’s not about simply placing a couple of adverts and then being mildly disappointed when no sales occur.
Like a happy garden, a marketing plan needs to be tended, updated and regularly reviewed. Weedy phrases and overgrown ambitions need to be pruned back and the bright flowers of our uniqueness need careful watering on a regular basis.
When we think about uniqueness I’ve found that people often struggle to say what makes them, or their busines unique. Odd really, given that no two individuals are exactly the same and we readily accept that as part of life.
A USP is a unique selling point. If we can articulate what that is we can put clear water between us and our competitors and therefore give our potential customers strong grounds to choose us. Or not.
We can’t sell to everyone all the time. Abundance theory suggests that there is enough work for everyone, we just have to find it.
Trying to be all things to all people means we can end up being nothing to nobody. Then people buy on price and that can lead to a race to the bottom.
Standing proud and being confident about what makes us special enables customers to make an informed choice and in doing so, we can help to maintain our prices and market niche.
Our USP can be best described in terms of combinations. I’m the only business coach I know who lectures at Cranfield University, hosts a business radio show and has published 6 books about business and careers.
These nuggets of information tell you something about me and my breadth and depth of experience. They infer qualities and expertise about who I am and the work I do and I’m proud of them.
Being proud of ourselves is important. We all have special skills and bring a uunique flavour to our work and it’s our job to know this and to be happy to share this with others.
If we don’t, then we are just one of the herd. Selling is harder and we may go bust.
This week take a moment to ponder what makes your busines offering unique. Which combinations of skill or experience make you special, different, or interesting?
Next week: Business Mojo
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Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in
Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish
Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age
Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish
An insider's guide to working for yourself
Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish