Twenty years ago, finding new clients was a pain in the rear end. For the most part, you had to use a dirty word to get new clients, “cold calling”. And if you were ahead of the game it meant costly marketing campaigns with very little feedback. In essence, you were standing in a field with a blindfold on, holding a heavy bow, shooting arrows at random targets. Not the most effective strategy, but it the best you could do with what you had.
Today, this is changing and fast.
The age of long hours, calling, visiting, and wooing potential clients is about at its end. That doesn’t mean that wooing potential clients is a bad thing but it doesn’t have to be so time-consuming or frustrating. You could automate almost all your wooing with the right technology today. But be sure to maintain that relationship because it’s still the key to long term success.
With technology advancing at a rate unimaginable two decades ago, targeting a niche audience has never been easier. The biggest struggle is that people feel overwhelmed with the technology. But given the right training, you can tap into that brewing pot of hot leads.
But first, there are a few myths that need squashing.
Digital Marketing Myths
Myth 1: The online market is flooded.
In actual fact, this is NOT the case in almost every industry. We have the incredible ability to imagine obstacles in our perspective of life.
The sheer number of people who need a solution that you provide is likely to be far more than you could imagine. And the number of people searching online is only growing.
Think of how many people need your solution at some point or another. Now think of the number of people you know who are in your field offering a similar solution. The numbers don’t add up. The market is so far from flooded that you will overwhelm yourself with work before its done.
The likely result is that, for every specialist in your field, there are thousands if not millions of people needing the solutions you offer. Now think of how many people you could realistically service with the time and manpower constraints that you face.
In the scenario, there can be thousands of specialists in your field and the market could still be wide open.
So don’t use market saturation as an excuse to not try.
Myth 2: Because you have a solution, they will come.
This is possibly the most damaging of assumptions today.
The internet is at a stage where you can be anywhere at any time and even everywhere at the same time. But this truth is the same for your competition. Don’t let that scare you though, smiple strategies and execution could get you a significant chunk of the pie.
The reality is that, in order for your clients to buy your solution, they need to e aware of your solution. This is the essence of marketing in any form. Brand awareness.
This is why digital marketing is one of the biggest industries in the world today. With all eyes on screens for the majority of the day, digital is the place to be. This means that every company from every industry can get in front of potential clients.
No longer is it about pitching for the ad during a TV show while everyone is sitting having dinner. Today, the interconnectivity of the world is such that you can feature anywhere. All you need is the right positioning. Here is where big data and AI are your friends. And no they won’t be taking over your fridge just yet.
With a good digital marketing strategy, the playing field levels out significantly. The opportunity for a small local business to succeed in visibility grows. And small businesses stand a big chance of widespread influence at a budget.
Which brings us to our third point.
Myth 3: I can’t afford to do digital marketing
Well today, this one is straight-up untrue.
If anything, I would categorise it under the notion of “you can’t afford NOT to do it.”
The fact of the matter is that sales come from exposure which means marketing is not a luxury. Yes, the cost of marketing on the internet can cost billions of dollars but can also, quite literally, be free.
Free Digital Marketing
The free option is useful in many spaces. But it can be far more difficult to create a significant breakthrough in a short period of time. Also, it may not sustain you long term. That said, if you can’t afford to pay for digital marketing then the FREE way is definitely THE way.
How to start digital marketing for free.
What you will need…
A free WiFi hotspot at your favorite local coffee shop.
A free account on Canva.
Your sales pitch in five seconds.
A social media account.
Humility! Understand that your first clients will likely be people in your immediate circle. Target them ALL.
Your First Social Media Campaign (summarised)
Log into Canva
Search for Facebook ads template
Find a design you like
Replace the text with your sales pitch
Download to your desktop
Log into Facebook (make sure your page is set to public)
Upload your image
Write a description (you can use this VERY SIMPLE template if needed)
If you are struggling with (enter problem here), we’re here to help! (Your solution) will (the benefit). If you want to find out more feel free to contact us on (your contact info)
Post it and add it to your “story”.
Send a link of the post to every contact on your personal email and phone contact list.
Repost with changes in images and descriptions at least three times a week.
But Jacques, what if people get frustrated with all my posts?
That means you made an impression. If they don’t need it now they can select to stop getting updates from you. But one day if they need what you are selling, they will definitely remember you.
From there, learn a bit more about design and ensure your posts are consistent.
That’s it! You are now marketing for free!
Manage Your Expectations
Get used to being ignored. At least until your solution is needed by someone in your circle. It starts off slow but then someone else, and then a friend of a friend and eventually a complete stranger. Next thing you know you’re taking over the world! Ok probably not, but we can dream, right?
Having big dreams and huge expectations are great but you need to be patient. Know that it takes time for good things to gain traction. The worst thing that can happen is for you to go all in and then give up halfway.
Like any seed that gets planted, the roots have to take hold before the plant can grow. Likewise, your marketing has to grow roots through consistent watering and fertilising before you see the fruit.
And it all began because of a simple decision to start a modest marketing campaign.
Your growth will come down to brand strategy, marketing plans, analytics, and execution. The better you can get with this, the faster you can grow. And as with anything, the more you invest the bigger the potential reward.
Bonus Coaching Input
With any growing company, your attention should be directed towards things with the greatest ROI. Hiring a dedicated team member or a third party to focus on your external reach should free up a lot of your time long term. This should always be your goal as the leader of an organisation. Allowing you to focus on making the big bucks and leading your team.
For this, you should look at marketing agencies or freelancers to manage your online presence. Giving you analytical feedback and suggestions of where to go next.
Upskill Your Sales Team
What if you are trying to equip your sales team?
With an experienced team, the best thing you can do is enroll them in some quality digital marketing courses. These will help them understand the digital terrain and see all new opportunities. Believe it or not, their ignorance could be your biggest asset.
This can drastically improve the ROI of your salespeople. What would happen if they could reach out to potential clients and only spend time with hot leads? Then keep these ‘virtual’ relationships alive without the overheads of travel costs and time out on the road.
At the end of the day, digital marketing, whether done by yourself, your salespeople, or an agency, is an absolute must in today’s world. The necessity and impact of it aren’t going away any time soon. If anything it will only explode in the near future.
Now go show the world what you have to offer.