No time to read? Watch this episode of Minute Masters.
What comes to mind when you think of marketing? Is your reaction positive or negative?
How you acknowledge the M-word is important as a business owner because it can influence how you market your own products or services — good or bad.
The Merriam-Webster definition is neutral. It simply states: the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.
There’s no judgment there. There are no directions on what that process looks like. It can be any and everything as long as the end result is promoting, selling or distributing your product or service.
If your business is solving a problem in the world, there are people already actively seeking it. They just don’t know where to find it yet. It’s your responsibility to let them know about it. Marketing at its core is helping someone recognize if something is for them or not for them. If it’s a yes or a no.
If your initial reaction to marketing was negative, let’s take a moment and list out the reasons why. Did you feel pressured to purchase? Did the product or service not seem like it was made for you? Did the company appear dishonest in some way? Or was it something else?
Research shows that we all have a tendency to overemphasize the negative and it can impact the choices and the risks that we are willing to take. It’s something that we have to actively overcome, especially in areas that really matter to us, like our businesses.
You have to remind yourself that marketing is neutral. You aren’t being sleazy or annoying people. You are simply helping people find what they need. Chances are they will never hear about it otherwise.
So turn those negatives into positives. Reframe the practices or modify them to fit who you are and your brand. Let’s go back to our negative experience examples from before and see how we can spin them.
Did you feel pressured to purchase? Remind people in your “pitch” that it’s optional. If it’s for them, great! If not, that’s great too. That’s why people include “Money-Back Guarantees” because it helps to take the pressure off.
Did the product or service not seem like it’s made for you? Make sure that the value you’re offering is clear and that you are speaking to the right audience so it won’t feel muddled or all over the place. When people are confused, they walk away.
Lastly, did the company appear dishonest in some way? Make sure that you deliver on everything that you promise. Keep your website up-to-date. Keep things consistent on all your channels. Don’t offer one price in one place and another in another place. No one likes to feel like they have been taken advantage of, so don’t let them suspect it for a moment.