If you’re a business owner, it probably feels like there are 110 things that you should be focusing your time on. I know because it’s something I struggle with every day.
No matter how hard Tim Ferris tries to spin it, single-tasking just doesn’t quite pack the same punch as multi-tasking. All of us have places to be, clients to see and problems that needed solving yesterday.
So if the thought of directing your energy and resources to one area of your business is just not where your head’s at right now, don’t panic. That’s not what this blog is about.
But I do think you need to have a killer strategy in place to keep you on track when you’re struggling to come up for air.
In fact, I think there are three essential business strategies that you need to have in play if you want to increase awareness for your brand, generate results and secure more sales.
In short, I’m talking about your marketing strategy, your content strategy and your sales strategy.
What does strategy even mean and why is it important?
Strategy. It’s a complex word that sends the best of us running for the hills (especially us creative folk). But it’s critical to the success of any business, no matter what your area of expertise might be.
A strategy is a longterm plan that outlines the goals and objectives for your business, and the all important steps that you’ll take to achieve them.
When I first started my business, I didn’t think I needed to worry about strategy. I picked up clients easily and channeled all my energy into the work I was doing for them – social media management, website design and other digital marketing services.
I was productive, even profitable, but I was most definitely working IN my business and not ON it. I spent all my time creating content that helped my clients’ businesses soar while completely ignoring my own.
And then I started taking my business a bit more seriously. I realised that to be successful, I needed to focus on my personal growth, my productivity as well as many other aspects of how I was choosing to run my business (and my life!).
THE THREE ESSENTIAL BUSINESS STRATEGIES THAT PUT ME ON THE PATHWAY TO SUCCESS
Around two years ago, my business went through a digital transformation. I felt that with a stronger online focus, I could serve more clients and make better use of my limited time.
But this also meant that I needed to look much more seriously at strategy. I had to ask myself how I was going to attract new people and convert them into paying customers.
I knew I needed to invest hours and money into myself and my business. And I 100% believe this is something that every business owner needs to do, too.
Even as a marketing professional, I’m constantly overwhelmed by the endless marketing and advertising tools out there. There’s just so much choice and it’s easy to forget why you’re applying these tools in the first place – to grow your business.
So I channelled my energy into learning from some of the best business heads out there, which helped me to understand the three magic ingredients I needed to promote my services effectively.
Which is how I landed on the three essential business strategies: Marketing. Content. Sales.
Let me walk you through them.
I truly believe that the heart of your business success lies in its marketing. It’s a key way to build awareness, engage your customers and increase your sales. But your efforts can fall on deaf ears if you don’t have the basics in place.
Before investing too much time and effort, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
• Who is your target audience?
• What is your unique selling position?
• What do you want to achieve over the next 3, 6, 9 or even 12 months?
To begin with, you might want to start by defining your ideal customer. Are they male or female? How old are they? Where do they receive messages and what do they care about? What’s going to make them listen to you?
Competitor research is also critical to a successful marketing strategy. It will help you understand trends. see any gaps in your current approach and define your positioning.
You’ll then want to think about messaging. Is your offer right? Are you providing a solution to your audience’s problem or are you just adding more noise to the marketplace? We both know you’ve got value to add but if you don’t frame it in the right way, your audience is more likely to tune out than sign up.
And what happens when they do interact with your messaging? To make sure that your messaging is right, you need to perfectly understand your customer’s journey from awareness to consideration right through to conversion.
Branding is another big component. You might have a business but if you don’t have a brand, you’ll struggle to find and maintain an audience. Branding is more than your logo or colour palette. It encompasses your voice, your vision and your mission – and when you get it right, it will speak volumes.
Once you have a firm grasp on all these moving parts, you’ll want to think about the types of marketing channels and tactics you’ll use to get you to where you want to be.
And this feeds directly into number two of the three essential business strategies – your content strategy.
A content strategy will help you to define your marketing goals and ensure that your efforts are goal-orientated. So many business owners (myself included at one point in time) randomly show up and post whatever comes to mind without any strategy behind it.
But with a clear plan in place, every bit of content you put out into the world will help to establish you as an expert voice in your field. Which will translate into tangible results –win!
Think carefully about how you want to communicate with your audience or customers. Will you try short form or long form content? Do you want to connect with them on Instagram or do they prefer reading blogs? What about video? Or podcasts? There are many content avenues but you need to determine which one (and there could be more than one) is right for your audience.
A sales strategy will typically include your growth goals to make sure you stop leaving money on the table.
When creating your sales strategy, you’ll want to think about these points:
Are you following up with warm leads and helping them along the customer journey?
How are you going to get them to make an appointment with you?
What touch points do you have in place that will convert your audience into paying customers or longterm clients?
Do you have automation in place to streamline any tedious or time consuming tasks that are taking you away from the actual selling part?
There’s a lot of things to contemplate but without a defined approach, getting people to actually buy your product or service will be challenging to say the least.
A GOAL WITHOUT A STRATEGY IS JUST A WISH
To put it simply, you need to determine what you are trying to achieve before you try to actually achieve it. As the saying goes – a goal without a plan is just a wish.
If you have any questions about crafting your three essential business strategies, don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’d love to help you reach your goals and make money!
Thanks for taking the time to read this post, If audio is more your thing, why not check out the podcast version?
Do you want to get results from your marketing? If you struggle with making money doing the thing you love, it’s time to act.