Article #74, October, 2008
3 Secrets to Profit in a Supposedly 'Bad Economy'
When the perception in the marketplace is that there is a bad economy, you must stand out against your competition. Even if you don't believe the economic problems affect your business directly, your clients' confidence may be suffering and they may be afraid to spend anything.
The three secrets are:
- Use Outrageous Marketing
- Let Your Personality Shine
- Network, Network, Network
What is outrageous marketing? I know a woman who owns a wig shop and occasionally attends the same networking meeting I do. When it's her turn to give her 30 second intro, she whips off her hair - twice - to show her beautiful wigs. She does this wearing a pretty cocktail dress. Everyone remembers her.
You may be asking yourself how you can use outrageous marketing. The first thing you have to do is 'decide' you are ready because you may feel uncomfortable, so you need to be completely committed. You can be outrageous in your appearance, like the wig woman, or you can be outrageous in your actions or your words.
You know how boot camps have been growing in popularity over the last couple of years? How can one stand out? Add 'kicka*s' to your product name. (If I were marketing a fitness boot camp, I would probably have a great body - I would show it off to also make an impression.) That word can pump up a lot of different products and services, and really catches people's attention.
What words would catch the attention of your target market that your competition is not already using? What about fear-inducing words? For example: Do you know what your children are doing at the babysitters while you are at work? Scary! Or: The 5 Absolute Worst Foods You Can Eat. Don't you want to know what they are?!
Behaving outrageously has to be within reason, of course. You don't want to truly frighten people, but you do want to catch their attention. Sing, dance, skip, offer free stuff or huge discounts - whatever works. If you offer a deal so good that it gets your target market lining up, excellent! If you offer a deal so good everyone lines up, not excellent! You only want *your* people to be excited, not everyone.
Why not everyone? Because they'll just take the deal and leave, whereas your target market will hang around and buy other, more profitable, stuff - again and again. You want to build a relationship. Building relationships with your target makes marketing easier and easier over time.
You must let your personality shine in all you do. If your business persona is out of alignment with who you really are, people will notice. Your clients want to know who you really are so they can trust you. First you share with them all the ways in which you can solve their problems and fulfill their needs, then you give them a taste, then you let them get to know you a little.
They don't really care about you at first, but they do want to feel a connection to you. It's difficult to foster that if you are not being yourself.
And finally, Network, Network, Network. Determine where your target market gathers and go there. If your sales are down, advertising will cost you more than networking - marketing basically either costs you more time or more money
If your target goes to networking meetings or mixers, join. If they hang out on Facebook, join that. If they frequent singles mixers, go there. If they belong to a trade organization, speak there and join. These are all ways to build relationships with your target market for a minimal investment.
If you really don't know how to be outrageous or genuine or how to network, get help. Read free articles, take free teleclasses, read books and ask people. If that's not enough for you, attend programs or hire a coach.
Just don't cut out your marketing - that's the worst thing you can do. You might need to cut your budget, but don't cut your marketing. Your marketing strategies will keep new clients coming in and keep you afloat.