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Marketing Your Business - Where to Start

Updated: Jun 17


Hello Friends!

Whether you're an existing business hoping for some new growth, or a spanking new business looking to implement your marketing strategy, I am here to help. And, as a side note, well done and congratulations. Having your own venture is no easy feat!

If you want to skim over this blog post (I hear you, I’m a skimmer too) then read the bolded copy. If you want to delve a bit deeper, grab a cuppa (or a wine) and sit back, relax and take it all in.

If you're not sure how to go about marketing yourself, this blog post covers where and how to start with creating, implementing and/or improving your marketing strategy. Sometimes I can even become overwhelmed with all the marketing options, lingo out there and ever-changing social media options. Let me simplify the complexities that can be marketing.

A few years ago, I taught marketing to law students. As clever as this group of students were, they found marketing difficult because there is generally never a black and white answer to any marketing problem. Their brains were wired to have a set problem with a set solution. We are all wired differently; we all have gifts and talents. If that is you too, I can understand maybe you find marketing tricky to navigate. My gifts definitely lie in thinking up ideas for any problem. The gift of fresh ideas, together with my marketing experience stands me in good stead for helping you find fabulous solutions for all your marketing problems. Sure, the answer may not be black and white, but colours are so much more exciting anyway!

What even is marketing?! Platforms and marketing mechanisms come and go…so don’t get too bogged down by the ins and outs of whatever is current. Marketing is really about relationships – building connection and trust with your ideal audience. If you truly put people first, results will follow.

Imagine an old school telephone; you know, one with electricity and a wire connecting phones. The wire is what connects your voice to the receiver. That ‘wire’ these days, could be Instagram, a billboard, podcast ad, sponsorship (the possibilities are endless!). Let’s say you make a phone call to a friend. The phone rings, they pick up, they can hear you through the ear piece and they can speak, their voice travels along a wire and you can hear them through your ear piece. It’s not the telephone or wire that keeps your friend on the other end, it’s you and your voice; it’s what you have to say. If there was no phone available, you could contact your friend in person, via email, snail mail (oh what a luxury!) and so on. So it is the same with marketing! It’s about reaching your ideal client with a message. I would argue that what you say is just as, if not more important than the tool (or phone) you use to get your message out.

To simplify marketing, it is just managing profitable customer relationships*.


Here is where I would recommend when starting with your marketing:

1. Market Research


First and foremost, make sure you have an offering people would actually pay money for. How do you know if you do? Ask and find out! You could organise a focus group, send out an email, if you’re a larger business, you could engage a third party to organise this for you…to simplify, this, you need to ask people.


You must insure there is a desire for your product or service so you don’t waste your precious time.


Please note: your family and friends want you to succeed. They probably think everything you do is fantastic. Be careful to ask people who will give you honest feedback. Take note of hesitation in their voice, for example a “heck yes” vs a “oh yes, maybe” could be telling. I would encourage you to seek advice from your family, however also make sure you do your best at finding some other honest opinions.


What questions to ask?

Ask questions around your product and price, eg: what would make them purchase your product over a similar product? For example: would they pay money for the product (or service?) and how much would they be willing to pay? Is there anything you could offer they would pay more for?

Once you are confident there is a need for your product and you have found the right price, go for it! If there isn’t a need for your offering, however fabulous your marketing is, it’s going to be very difficult to make sales and become a billionaire (that’s the goal, right?).


2. Identify your ideal target market & your unique offering

I recently purchased an $80 thermos. “Why on earth would I do this when I could have purchased a similar thermos for $20?” I hear you ask. I’ll tell you why. There’s a little button at the top that indicates when the water is between 25-45 degrees Celsius. “Still not worth it” I hear you thinking. Hear me out, I am a busy, working mum. I formula feed my baby. When I am out and about, I need a quick and easy process for feeding. My new fancy thermos saves me time and energy…therefore, $80 is a pretty great deal. The clever mums who created this product likely saw a need and met it. They knew they needed to appeal to mums like me. They knew my media consumption habits, so they advertised via influencers on social media (that's how they found me!). They didn’t waste thousands of dollars on advertising on free to air TV because they knew I don’t watch TV. They found me where I was at (Instagram) and offered me a product to save me time and energy. You can find it at Missta.com.au if you’re interested!

Your answers from your market research will help you identify your ideal target market. Choose a specific target market (you may want a secondary target market). The more specific your target market, the easier it will be for you to reach them with your message. Likewise, the more you know and can identify about your target market, the easier it will be to reach them with a message. What need does your target market have and what are you offering that can help meet that need? This is your unique offering. Your message and tactics will be around linking your offering with your target market.

3. Choose Your Tactics

Once you have your ideal target market pegged and your unique selling point sorted…it’s time to create a strategy with some tactics. This is all about the mechanisms you will use to reach your ideal target market.


Create content: I would recommend thinking about generating content that your ideal client is looking for. How can you help your target market? What do they care about? What do they need?How can you generate their trust and make connections with people? My target market is business owners, therefore my strategy is to create content that will help business owners with their marketing (pretty simple!).


Share your content: You should then to think about where and how you will share this content. Then you can use other platforms to re-share. Remember to think back to your target market – what are their internet habits? What are their media consumption habits?

Once you have identified your target market, you need some mechanisms to reach them. Where do they ‘hang out’? How can you reach them with a message? Sift through the options. Choose a couple of tactics. When it comes to marketing tactics, I think less is more. I feel you are better to invest in two or three tactics and use these well vs being ‘everywhere’.

I would recommend three tactics: for example, Instagram, events (for example a business launch party and product launch parties) and an email marketing campaign.


When it comes to marketing, here are your main tactics to choose from:


a. Digital Marketing: For example, website, social media (eg: Facebook, TicToc, Instagram, LinkedIn). web search (eg Google, Pinterest), email campaigns and text messaging.

b. Advertising: For example, Radio advertising, newspaper, magazine, billboard, public transport and digital advertising (eg. Facebook, Instagram, Google, Pinterest, YouTube).

c. Public Relations (PR): For example: creating newsworthy stories for promotion in the media, product publicity, events and event sponsorships.


d. Personal Selling: For example, customer service in store or outside of the store using a sales booth and telephone.


While every business is different, I would always recommend investing in:

· A website. It must be easy to navigate, should be on brand and should look great and have clear 'call to actions' (for example, making a purchase or contacting you).

· Email marketing: have a strategy on how you will collect contacts (how are you going to encourage people to sign up to a list? A competition? A freebie?). Then you need to create emails that serves your list. For example, my strategy is to send my list marketing tips to grow their business. Offer an incentive for signing up (for example, a competition, freebie or discount. If you're reading this and have noticed I don't have this, it's a work in progress!). Remember, platforms like Instagram and Facebook are ‘borrowed land’. Owning your own house is always a better goal! And email generally has a much better sales conversion rate.

· A Digital Platform: Who isn’t online these days? Do a bit of research to help determine where your target market might be. If you are weighing up Instagram or Facebook, I would always recommend Instagram if you have visually pretty content!

· Content Marketing: You need to generate content that serves your target market. What are their needs? How can you serve them? For example, if your product is geared towards busy, working mums, your content could be around ‘Mum Hacks’ and tips and tricks for saving time and energy. You then need to share and re-share content. For example, you might do one online blog post or podcast and then you can share this content on your Instagram Page and send via email.

4. Plan Plan Plan

Put a plan together! Write everything down!

There are so many ways to organise yourself. Some like everything written down on paper, some like to write lists on a tablet or desktop and use Word, Excel, Google Docs etc and some like a specialised program or app (if you’re looking for one, check out Plann, Planoly, Hoot Suite or Trello (I use Plann to map out my Insta content and a good old fashion Excel Spreadsheet to keep track of main themes for my blog, emails, Insta and to write my ideas down). It’s really whatever works for you. Like being organised in any area of life, if you write things down, it keeps you focused and helps you remember. I’m always thankful to ‘Past Jamie’ for writing all her ideas down (normally when she’s feeling fun and has a wine in her hand).

If you’re keen to write things down on paper, all you really need is a notebook. If you want to write things onto your computer, you can use Google Docs, Word or Excel.

I recommend four ‘lists’ as part of organising your marketing with a clear plan and approach:

· A Marketing Strategy

· Marketing Plan/To Do List

· Day to Day Content Planner

· Ideas List

Marketing Strategy:

I feel this really just needs to be a one-pager and should include the points we have covered above. In short, it should include: your offering, ideal target market, unique selling point (what are you offering that meets your ideal target market's need?), your tactics: how you will reach your ideal client with a message.

Marketing Plan:

This is your ‘to do list’. What are the marketing platforms you want to implement and use? For example, email marketing, Instagram and blog articles. Perhaps you want to give yourself some deadlines and in this case, include deadline dates beside each task.

Day to Day Content Planner:

I recommend also having a Digital Marketing Content Planner. This should include the tactics you have chosen (eg. Instagram, Blog posts, Email Campaigns). This is your ‘post schedule’ for the digital platforms you are going to use. What and when are you putting out into the world? This should include the date, the copy, the media (for example photo, image, boomerang) you will use, the platform (eg Instagram Stories or blog post). There are some really helpful content planners out there! As I have mentioned, I use Plann and a good old fashioned Excel Spreadsheet.

Ideas List:

When you wake up at 3am with a great idea, write (or type) it down; get it out of your head to make room for your next great idea! Ideas can be anything: ideas for a blog post, social media post or a new product! When I wake at 3am with a great idea, I sent myself an email and this ensures even groggy-morning-Jamie always remembers the idea.

5. Review, Measure and Try Again:

Marketing can be a whole lot of trial and error. As I said above, marketing can be all sorts of fabulous options and all kinds of colours (as opposed to being boring old black and white). There isn't always one perfect way of doing things. Have fun trying out different options to see what works for you. If it’s not working, don’t be afraid to cut it! This might sound a little contradictory, however invest in what’s working, not what isn’t! Or you’ll just be beating your head against a brick wall and wasting your precious time and money. For example, if you are going to invest into Facebook ads, boost posts that have the highest engagement vs paying to boost posts with low engagement (contact me if you want me to go into more detail about this down the track!). If radio ads are working for you, keep on investing in that or even consider investing more.

Also make use Google Analytics, track email campaigns, view Instagram Insights (make sure your Instagram is set up as a business page) and track your Facebook Analytics.


Ultimately, how do you know what’s working and what isn’t? The easiest way, is to ask your paying customers how they heard out about you! You should also ask long-term customers why they stay with you!

Do you have a marketing conundrum you need help with?! Please sing out!

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Find me over on Instagram @bedford.avenue.marketing for marketing advice, tips, templates and hacks to help you in your marketing endeavours!

*Principles of Marketing, Page 1. Armstrong, Adam, Denize, Volkov & Kotler


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