Why aren’t you generating clients? If you’re trying to market to everyone, you will always struggle.
Small business ownership should be liberating, it should never be viewed as a burden or headache. As a small business coach, the number 1 problem I hear from my entrepreneurs is not being able to generate clients. They have completed the business set up process, they have designed a great website and still the phones aren’t ringing. My response is always go back to the basics. I’m sure as you’re reading this, you’re making the same faces they make when those words come out of my mouth. And in the back of their mind, they’re thinking, if it were that easy, everyone would be making money!
The truth is that in many cases, entrepreneurs move too fast. They often zoom through their marketing plan and rush their website design process. No one wants to slow down and really concentrate on their target audience. Everyone thinks that they know this bit already, especially professional service providers. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard, “My target market is the small business owner or the solo entrepreneur”, I would retire. No matter how great your services are, your target audience will never be every business owner.
If you’re trying to market to everyone, you will always struggle. Most small business owners don’t have a marketing budget huge enough to cover this type of order. Once you narrow down your market and change your thinking, you’ll begin seeing a shift in your finances. You may even need to narrow down your service list in the beginning so that you can get a clear focus. For example, if you are a Virtual Assistant, choose a niche like bookkeeping, administrative support or online marketing for starters. Once you’ve narrowed down your service list, decide what type of businesses you like or want to work with. I suggest sticking to one or two groups in the beginning like business coaches, authors or non-profits.
Choosing an industry to target will give your marketing efforts more focus and make it easier to track results. Once you’ve found the industry you’d like to target, you need to roll your sleeves up and do some online research. For example, if you decide to focus on business coaches, it may be a good idea to do some searches online for forums or groups that target business coaches. If you’re marketing through social networks, make sure you’re making connections with business coaches. Once you know where they are, the rest should be smooth sailing. The only thing you have to do at this point is build a relationship and gain credibility as a business owner. It’s important not to go in marketing full speed as you don’t want to be viewed as someone with ill intentions.
Getting back to the basics is a surefire way to drum up some business. Once you’ve mastered this strategy, you can later increase your service list and target market. It’s important to remember that it’s all about the baby steps. You have to learn to crawl before you can walk.
Contributor: Trena Stubbs