My children wrote exams recently. In a bid to show them how to revise, I dug out my old marketing coursework, which featured many examples of mind maps that I created when I was studying marketing years ago.
I found the coursework again this morning and had a read of the top sheet. It was the very first chapter called 'The Marketing Process'. As I read it, two key points jumped out at me.
They are blindingly obvious. I mean SUPER DUPER obvious.
But so many of us are so busy being busy that we forget these basics. We dive in, excited by our idea or inspired by a coach because we've been told that we should follow our passion. But we forget to think about the people we're trying to sell to. We've become a 'me-centric' business world, rather than a customer-centric one. I'll put my hand up and confess that I've been just as guilty.
As a result, you could be doing everything that all the experts tell you - writing blogs, creating sales funnels, using social media, doing PR, building up your newsletter list, etc. etc. etc. - but you are still battling to get clients in.
If this sounds like you, it's highly likely that you could be overlooking these two basic things.
Do you do that? Do you genuinely make your customers' lives easier? If so, how do you do that? Do you know what their problems are? When you boil it down to that, it makes it far simpler to figure out whether what you're offering is what your clients actually want.
Which leads neatly onto Basic 2:
Before you say, 'No Sh*t Sherlock!' ask yourself whether you are guilty of this? Are you continuing to offer whatever it is because it's what you've got or what you know, rather than what your clients want?
This is actually an extremely common failing. We make or sell what we have. When no-one buys, we think we're doing something wrong with our marketing. So we invest more and more time, money and energy into trying to flog this thing. And still no-one buys.
It's time to stop and go back to basics. What can you do to make a customer's life easier?
I know this may seem like a simple question but it can actually be incredibly difficult. I have grappled with this exact question myself. It can be really hard for a small business to understand what potential clients truly want because you don't have a big marketing budget to conduct extensive research. So you just start and hope for the best.
I'm a big advocate of not waiting for things to be perfect, otherwise you'll never start. But the trick is to listen to your gut and look at your bank balance. If things aren't going as well as they should be, it may be time to look at why. It may be time to go back to basics.
I've spent some time looking at this very issue and I've realised that that is a problem I can solve for my customers.
I can make your life easier by helping you figure out how to make your customers' lives easier. Take a look at my Clarity offering.
It can be really hard to figure this out on your own. You're too close to it. Which is why I work with you to figure this out. And once we've got it nailed, we'll create an awesome marketing plan to get it out there.
So tell me, are you guilty of these two basics? Feel free to share your experiences below.