The most successful businesses bake marketing into their services.
If you have not heard the term before, baking marketing into a service (or product) means creating something, which is of so much value and interest, that people want to buy it and also tell their friends about it.
Most small business owners do the opposite
Look around you at your competitors and you will see that with few exceptions, they all seem remarkably similar. So, they try and undercut one another on prices or fees, out network one another or outspend one another on marketing. They are focusing their time and money in completely the wrong direction. They are trying to get people interested in something, which isn’t interesting. This is a costly, avoidable mistake.
That’s why I want something far better for you and your business!
Bake marketing into what you do
Today, I am going to ask you to consider doing something bold. I’m asking you to consider not changing your marketing, but changing what you market – your core services.
Why? Because you can waste years of your time trying to sell a service, which is simply not interesting enough to the marketplace. Great marketing is no substitute for an uninspiring service (or product).
Conversely, a service that is of exceptional value will often sell itself, as people are so impressed with it that they spread the word. I regularly speak with business owners who don’t need to spend a penny on advertising, because their customers and their marketplace are always recommending them.
Most small business owners use the opposite approach. Instead of inspiring people with the story behind their business, they try to motivate uninspired people to talk about them.
- Some pay people to talk about them or offer commissions.
- Others try to pester people into recommending them.
- Many join networking clubs, hoping that social pressure, reciprocity or rules of membership, will get people to talk about them.
- Some spam us with unsolicited emails – I get around 50 of those a day, from people pushing dull, uninspiring services at me.
All of those work to a degree, but you can do massively better, by shifting your focus 180 degrees!
Here’s what we know: People do not need to be pestered or pressured into recommending a GREAT service. They automatically spread the word when they encounter something exceptional. However, we must first give people something worth talking about – a story worth sharing. When we do, they can’t help themselves. They shout from the rooftops.
An alternative approach
The alternative is to bake marketing into what you do. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
- Observe your marketplace and develop a product or service, which is based on what they want, rather than ‘just’ offering your version of what your competitors already provide.
- Give people a story about you or your business, which is worth sharing. This means having the courage to be different. Easier said than done, but essential if you want to attract the interest of your marketplace.
- Deliver a customer experience, which stands out for all the right reasons. Pull out all the stops. Leave your clients and prospective clients feeling moved and roused by the experience of working with you, visiting you or connecting with you.
- Demonstrate your passion for what you do and your desire to help others. Passion stands out. Passion is infectious.
- Have outsiders. You can’t have insiders, without outsiders. Insiders are the people who buy from you. Insiders are the people your services are aimed at. Don’t try and be all things to all people. If you do, your story will be vague and cease to motivate people.
- Learn from the products and services, which you recommend. What lessons can be adapted to help you deliver something remarkable?
- Strive to become remarkable. It’s the only way to compel people to remark (or talk) about your service to their friends and contacts.
Just don’t fall into the trap of trying to get people inspired about an uninspiring service or product. It’s expensive, low leverage, frustrating and the least rewarding way to develop your business.