We see it over and over again, a smart entrepreneur will start a new marketing campaign and after a month or two declare ” it doesn’t work”. Marketing doesn’t work that way. It’s a relationship, so to speak. It needs time to develop, it needs nurturing and it needs consistency.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying that you spend time or money on something that isn’t bringing in business, what I am saying is that when you start a new marketing campaign (or new platform) you need to give it more than a month or two to see results. In most cases a year is what we recommend. For example, if you are going to send out direct mail pieces or email newsletters, be sure to budget for the whole year. Then, of course track your results.
3 Feet From Gold
In talking about this, I am reminded of the story in Napoleon Hill’s classic book, Think & Grow Rich called’3 Feet From Gold. Hill states, “One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.” He goes on to tell the story of a man caught by ‘gold fever’ in the gold rush days who went west to dig and grow rich. After weeks of labor, he discovered one shining ore and was convinced there was more. So he bought expensive equipment and hired a team and started digging. But after much digging and nothing to show for it, they gave up and sold the machinery to a junk man for pennies. Turns out, they were actually only 3 feet from the millions of dollars of gold they were seeking.
This is what a lot of businesses do, across all industries and it hurts them more than it helps. Sometimes they try all kinds of different marketing but end up frustrated and no better off. I say, do less things, do them better and do them for a longer period of time. Take on that one new real estate marketing platform, track the results, and if it makes you money, keep doing it! Then, when you have a good, solid system and process in place, add on another marketing effort. Then, do that for a year and track your results. If it doesn’t bring in enough business to cover your cost and time with a profit then stop doing it and try something else.
Tracking is Key
I can’t stress this enough, keep tracking where you business comes from! Otherwise, you are just guessing as to what is working to bring you new business. If you truly want to take your business to the next level you must track your marketing results.
Market Before During and After
Let’s say you go to a trade show or conference (wedding expo, non-profit event, etc.), you can’t think of this as a one-time event where you just hand out your business card and flyers and hope for the best. The goal of participating in the show is to promote your business, make some face to face contacts but also to build a list of people to market to after the event.
Before you go to the show you should have your plan in place. Are you promoting your attendance at the show on your social media channels? In your newsletter? Do you have a way to collect phone numbers and email addresses at the show? Do you have your follow up plan in place? You can have your email campaign ready to go as well as time set aside for follow up phone calls.
Stronger Referral Partners
You should consistently be building deeper relationships with your referral partners. Are you investing enough time in the people who are sending you clients month after month? Are you helping them achieve their goals? Are you spending advertising dollars together if you have the same target market? Are you keeping them educated on the latest happenings in your industry?
Spend some time thinking about how you can do more for your referral partners to help you both grow and prosper.
Call Past Clients
Reconnecting with past clients can be a very valuable way to spend your time. If they had a great experience with you, they can become a raving fan of yours and send lots of business your way.
Set yourself a schedule/goal to make that happen. For example, two nights a month from 5pm to 8:30pm spend your time calling past clients to just say hello find out how things are going. Ask them personal things like, ‘how’s the new job gong?’ how are the kids? Take good notes so you can follow up with them at a later time. Always start the conversation with, “I thought of you today because…” do NOT ask for business on this call. This is a ‘thinking of you’ call. Spend most of the time talking about them. This is a simple way to gather referrals and loyal clients – and you will likely really enjoy catching up with them.
So, to wrap this up, two important things to remember, give your marketing efforts some time to develop and track, track, track!