Begin with a marketing strategy, then pick your tools and integrate your processes and your media.
When you’re a hammer, all the world’s problems are nails. That’s the dilemma that marketing specialists must overcome, because not everyone needs their specific skills. Metaphorically speaking, it turns out that nails are only a subset of the marketing world’s problems.
Nedra Rezinas is a marketing strategist, coach and “delegation trainer” for businesses that want to grow, but coaching wasn’t always her thing.
“My journey began in web design,” Rezinas said in this episode of the Publio Podcast. “I was a web designer and ran my own web design agency for many years. My clients wanted much more than just the website, because it’s only one of the pieces of a marketing strategy.”
When she discussed website strategy with clients, the conversation would always shift to other marketing platforms like social media, email marketing, SEO and other platforms that ebbed and flowed in everyone’s consciousness. Nobody wanted a cookie-cutter solution, and Rezinas had to pivot her business, so she started to listen to clients and other contacts at conferences and meetups.
“I learned their strengths, what they were trying to achieve and, and developed a plan that actually addressed what they’re trying to solve,” she said. “I truly helped people on an individual level.”
Strategy is a powerful tool. Practitioners are passionate about their work because they listen to people’s goals and help them sort through the situation to organize the resources into a plan. Why do you want a website? What are your goals? Let’s start with the end in mind and design a program to get you there.
Rezinas’ experience is a little like Marketing Therapy, Publio founder and CEO Keith Reynolds noted in the podcast. This approach to client engagement allows clients to openly discuss problems and ideas in a safe space. Publio, Reynolds said, uses Marketing Therapy as a metaphor, not so much about fixing something broken, but the approach of diagnosing the situation and designing a program for improvement. Just like your physical therapy appointments, the goal is to get you on the road to success.
Marketers understand things like market data or SEO to identify opportunity, how messaging works and the sequencing of events in a digital campaign to achieve desired results. Clients with an expertise in software development or financial services, for example, are good at what they do and marketing is a means to their end.
“They appreciate the opportunity to work with marketing and content strategists to analyze what is going on and define their options,” Reynolds said .
The result is that both client and marketer get a better grasp of the problems they are trying to solve. They also clearly define tools to integrate work processes into sequences that produce cohesive media and content assets that ultimately produce qualified leads.
4 Marketing Ideas That Connect with Clients
You’re marketing yourself and your team long before you market your product or service. People need to trust you before you get permission to talk about your offerings. Just as your offerings involve an entire kit of tools that are not “hammers,” so it is that connecting with clients requires more than talking about marketing.
Rezinas discussed her top four techniques that she uses to connect with her clients.
Define your passion. Be honest: You don’t have to be passionate about your job, even if you find it endlessly interesting. Are you passionate about golf? Old movies? Motorcycles? Vintage video games?
“Your passion can open a door to conversations and introductions because now people understand your values and know you as a person,” Rezinas noted.
Give back to your community. Your service to causes and organizations is an opportunity to share what you do best. It also opens the doors to meeting people who normally would not be on your radar.
Focus on the low-hanging fruit. Some marketing ideas are immediately available, even if they’re not noticed. “I have a client who has been a personal stylist for about a year. I asked her if she told her past colleagues, family and friends about her business,” Rezinas recalled. She had not, so they drafted a letter and mailed it.
“Lo and behold, as soon as she started doing that, she got work. It was immediate,” Rezinas added.
Sometimes the most obvious and easy things are hiding right in front of us as a CEO.
Concentrate on what has been successful. It’s so much easier to expand successful marketing tactics than to try to create brand-new ones. Find new ways to increase your presence in your existing markets, for example.
“If you attend a particular conference every year, and it produces a predictable number of projects, then you should have a plan and a strategy to maximize the conference on social media. Create content about the conference and reuse it over and over again.”
You will be surprised how many people will engage with your at a conference to showcase their participation. Invite people you meet to appear on your webinar or podcast. Offer to exchange backlinks to enhance your SEO, notes Reynolds.
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