Finding business means knowing your market
There are two ways to find new business – building an audience and prospecting. And to do the first, you need to know who your customers are and where you can find them.
That’s what marketing consultant Paul Davis always tells his clients. Of course, most businesses have plenty of choice when it comes to suppliers. So if a customer is going to select you, you need to differentiate yourself and highlight what makes you different and better than your competitor.
You have to figure out where people are, and initiate a conversation with them. Being able to listen is a huge part of prospecting and in the digital space.Paul Davis
Paul does note that prospecting in the digital space can take time and can seem overwhelming. “You feel overwhelmed when you see someone’s posts that says, ‘Hey, I’ve got this’, and they’ve got 85 comments. Everyone’s saying, oh, pick me pick me. If you see that, you’re probably in the wrong group.”
The key thing is being able to build relationships with an interested audience and strike up conversations with people, so that you can listen to what they want or need.
With engagement comes trust
When engagement happens, it’s possible to to build trust. And if you’re building trust, and that’s huge, he adds. With a website, you can increase people’s trust in your business, your social media, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Paul is drawn toward towards the type of marketing that feels organic and in the moment, as well as the fundamentals. He encourages his clients to invest in strong websites that speak naturally and authentically to their customers.
“When clients get on a website that reads like they speak, they’re going to actually engage with that more. And so finding that voice is a key thing and your planning has to look at that,” he says.
With my clients, the key thing I need from them is that they continue to engage with their customers and hear them and and give me the feedback that you can’t get from digital informationPaul Davis
“What I want from those I work with is real-time feedback from customers. For example, not long ago one client told me they had a client come into their office who said it was closed on their map app.
“So I had to look on and figure out which I was able to do very quickly. And that provided value in me seeing the process customers using maps that are pulling their data from MapQuest,” Paul expalins. “And that’s the kind of stuff I want from them.
“As far as the marketing goes, I want my clients to really engage their their customers, because it’s their business and if they have happy customers than I have happy customers,” he adds.
The importance of content marketing
Paul is occasionally asked why he focuses on written content when so much now is video? He explains that the ability to find a business is still based off the text on a website or on the front of your store if you have a brick and mortar location.
“People drive by and if they can’t see dentist, they aren’t going to know there’s a dentist there. The same thing goes for online. If people are searching and you have a whole bunch of great how to videos on YouTube on teeth cleaning, and keeping your teeth healthy, but you have no website with no written content, you’re not going to show up.
“Even though the search engines are not my primary customer, when I think of writing the content they are a big because they are how the primary customer finds you. And so you have to think content marketing,” he says.
Content is how you communicate with someone who’s not you in your presence, that’s my simple definition for marketingPaul Davis
If you’re not creating content, then the only people who could potentially be your customers are the people that you’re talking to in person. And that’s pretty useless unless you have a full team of salespeople.
When creating content, Paul encourages people to think about potential customers as people, and focus on putting themselves in their shoes. In other words, identify their pain points and address those with solutions.
Artificial intelligence and writing
Does Paul think artificial intelligence will be producing content marketing anytime soon? Well, he’s never seen anything that he would even think about enjoying come out of a computer, although he belives AI can be very useful for automating sales processes.
“As far as marketing goes, yes, when it comes to average things on average blogs on a website, computers are going to be producing that in the next two to three years as fast as more than a human can, if they aren’t already. But the problem is, it’s average,” observes Paul.
The computer itself isn’t saying how can I improve? That’s the goal of a human marketer. That’s the goal of a human business owner is we are saying, I want to do better for you.Paul Davis
“And that’s why I prefer the art of marketing over the science of it, because the science will be replaced, computers will be able to do it faster, more accurate and better than a human can. But there’s this art aspect, where we are communicating to to each other in a way that a computer – until it becomes a lot more human – it won’t be able to do,” explains Paul.
Three immediate for start-ups to make strides
“The first step is to find something you can do or provide within your time frame in the next three weeks. Find something you can do for your clients without a lot of building; you can build later as your cash flow grows. You want to cash flow, so think of something you can do in the next few weeks to start that cash coming in,” says Paul.
Step number two, start creating your content can be on social platforms. It can be on LinkedIn, a website, wherever you are.
“Number three, listen to the people who you are asking to serve. You have something that you can do for them – a product or a service that you can sell. You have content that’s talking about it and why why you are unique, what your story is, and how they can relate to your story,” says Paul.
Learn from potential clients
Paul stresses it’s important to listen to potential clients so that you can find out why they like current service providers so that you can improve your own business and better develop your competitive edge.
Finally, Paul stresses that small business owners sould always remember that they are valuable apart from the online environment they’re involved in.
“It’s so easy for us to get sucked into it and feel like our shares, likes, or comments, all of this becomes how we are encouraged as you’re building, creating, and listening,” he expalins. “Step away from the phone and computer so that you’re able to connect with other people or with nature.”
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