You’re an entrepreneur because you want your business to change your life. Having more time, achieving financial freedom… These are dreams for so many small business owners.
But you might’ve noticed that your business isn’t helping you make these dreams a reality. In fact, you’re working long hours and your bank account isn’t better for it.
Bestselling author Mike Michalowicz has lived this struggle himself, and now he’s on a journey to help business owners make money and take back their time. It led him to write books for entrepreneurs like Fix This Next and Profit First.
We spoke with Mike about his latest book, Get Different. It’s about finding better ways to market your business to potential customers. Here’s what you need to know.
Take these steps to help your marketing stand out:
1. Pick a marketing idea that nobody else is doing
Does everyone in your industry follow the same best practices? Are all of them marketing their businesses the same way? And most importantly, are you doing the same thing?
If you and your competitors are following the same marketing practices, your ads won’t stand out and customers won’t notice you. That’s why best practices should be a starting point, not a how-to guide.
Note what the rest of your industry is doing, then do something that stands out from your competitors. When you do things differently, you’ll get attention every time.
“The customer’s mind is designed to ignore certain things. You have to do something that isn’t ignorable.”
2. Engage your audience by relating to them
Now that you have your audience’s attention, attract them with something that’s relevant to them.
They’re looking for the solution to a specific problem, so tell them how you can solve it. Show the client what life will look like when your home services are a part of their life.
If you have a cleaning business, you give clients back time they would otherwise spend cleaning. Show them visuals of a client coming home after a long day to a clean house, or enjoying more of their favorite activities.
When you engage potential customers, they’re participating in your marketing, not just passively absorbing it. This gives you a better chance of turning them into loyal, long-term clients.
KEEP READING: Mike shares what makes a business successful
“Different for different’s sake is not adequate. We also must be engaging to the recipient. They must say, ‘This speaks to me.’”
3. Direct viewers to take a specific action
Some companies design their marketing with brand awareness in mind—that is, telling audiences who they are and what services they offer.
These ads usually don’t offer a next step for viewers to take. Because of that, brand awareness ads don’t usually get results that can be directly tied to sales.
Ask viewers to take a specific action and give them something in exchange. For example, they can share their email in exchange for home maintenance tips, or contact you for a free estimate.
When a potential client knows what you do and how they can get it, you should start to see better results from your marketing in the form of sales.
“Don’t just market for brand awareness. Always have viewers take an action that will get them closer to the transaction.”
Case Study: Fitness Studio Marketing
In Mike’s hometown, three neighboring fitness studios used to advertise with the same industry best practice: customer before-and-after photos in their front windows.
Because their marketing looked identical, people walking down the street weren’t taking notice. Mike approached one of the studios and invited them to do things differently.
He placed two funhouse mirrors in the front window. One mirror made viewers look short and squat, with a sign saying “before.” The other said “after” and made viewers look tall and lean.
A sign next to the mirrors said, “We just changed you in the mirror. Let’s change you in real life. Please come in.” People on the street began to stop, read the signs, and even take selfies in front of the mirrors.
The studio stood out with a new concept, engaged viewers by showing them their own reflections, and directed action by inviting them inside. As a result, foot traffic rose by 400%.
“We can have a radical change if we’re willing to do different.”
Now it’s your turn to think of ways to help your business stand out, engage viewers, and direct them to take action. Experiment with a small budget and see what gives you the best results.
Good luck and happy marketing!
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