Marketing is an important component of every business, but many entrepreneurs aren't getting as much out of their efforts as they could because of their approach.
Today, I will outline three powerful ways you can get more out of your marketing so you can build a more scalable and more profitable business.
Before we get started, I want to emphasize that this is not a silver bullet. You still need a great product or service that delivers more value than the cost you charge, and you need to work harder and smarter than your competitors, many of which are just as eager to climb to the top as you are. But these tactics can give you an advantage over those who don't properly leverage them.
Repurpose your content.
The biggest complaint I hear from business owners is that they don't have time to create the content they need for effective marketing.
Between blog posts, podcasts, social media, video, email and countless other types of content we need to create to stay in front of our audience, it can be overwhelming. But the problem most people have is that they're trying to create everything from scratch even though most have plenty of fresh, useful content already at their fingertips.
You've probably given an informative presentation or trained employees on how to perform the service you provide for your clients at least once, right?
Then, take that content and turn it into one or more blog posts, several smaller posts for social media, several short videos, and probably one long one, and a number of graphics with a quote or small nugget of wisdom. All from that one presentation.
You could also use these smaller pieces of content in your emails, for lead magnets and maybe even as a mini-course. And it doesn't end there. You can also use this content to demonstrate your expertise in your pitch to podcast hosts, journalists, television producers and other people who might want to share your knowledge with their audience.
This is a powerful way to produce more content without chaining yourself to your desk. And you can do this with most of the content you create. Each presentation, blog post, video, podcast interview, and many other pieces of content can be repurposed into multiple smaller pieces, exponentially increasing your reach and exposure, and helping to stay at the top of customers' minds.
Outsource low-level marketing tasks.
Most entrepreneurs believe that we're better at the tasks we do than anyone else, including our employees. Maybe we're right, but that doesn't mean that we should try to do everything ourselves, because that's not a scalable business – it's a quick path to burnout.
If we want to grow, we need to accept that our team often may not do things exactly the same way or as well as we might. Delegating to in-house employees is one option, and for certain types of work, it may be the best option. But more often than not, we're better off outsourcing most, if not all, of the tasks that aren't core to our business.
Marketing is one of those tasks. Particularly low-level tasks like posting to social media, link-building outreach and compiling data for our marketing efforts. Outsourcing these tasks enables us to cut fixed costs, which is critical during uncertain economic times. It also enables us to have our core employees focus only on the most important tasks that are core to our business. But it's essential to have a solid, documented process before heading down this path. Most entrepreneurs overlook this step, which leads to disaster.
As entrepreneurs, it's easy to forget that we have specialized knowledge that others don't. Often, we have years of experience that allow us to use that knowledge more effectively. But when we try to delegate to someone who doesn't have the same knowledge and experience, which is most people, the outcome is usually a colossal failure.
A comprehensive, documented process ensures that the tasks you outsource are consistently performed properly. The key is to document each step of the marketing tasks you're planning to outsource as you perform them. This ensures you don't miss any. Then, when you do outsource these tasks, continue to update the documented process to address any uncertainty or questions from your virtual assistants.
This also makes it easier to scale, because the process can be used to help train new virtual assistants, saving you and your team a tremendous amount of time.
Automate repetitive or mundane marketing tasks.
Automation can completely remove people from certain tasks, dramatically increasing productivity while decreasing costs. This is an area that I approach with extreme caution, because while there are some marketing tasks that can and should be automated, there are also some that should never be automated. One example is engagement.
You've probably been on the receiving end of this when you accepted a new connection and were immediately hit with a DM pitching a company's products or services. This creates a bad impression, because it demonstrates that the sender sees people as nothing more than a number.
On the other hand, an example of some tasks that should be automated might include some social media posts, monitoring the web for mentions of your brand, and compiling and sending marketing reports.
For example, web-based software allows you to queue up content to be repeatedly posted based on a schedule you set. This means you can set a number of posts sharing videos, quote graphics or articles to be automatically repeated indefinitely while you or your team focus on the important task of creating new content.
Another example, which we recently implemented, involves the integration of three separate tools to build our list of podcasts. We use this list to pitch the hosts or producers to have our clients on as guests.
The way this automation works is that when a member of our team finds a podcast, whether on a website, social media, or anywhere else, they simply snap a screenshot of it, and save it to a shared folder. From there, automation takes over and uploads that image to our project management system, creates a set of instructions, sets a start and due date, and then assigns a task for a team member to compile all applicable contact information for that podcast.
The key to using automation to get more from your marketing is to apply it only to repetitive or mundane tasks – never to tasks that require engagement with real people.
Build a personal brand.
People prefer doing business with people they know, like, and trust. To get people to know, like and trust you, you need to build a personal brand. Today, we no longer have the luxury of hiding in the background.
I have a specific process for creating press coverage for your business, which applies to building your personal brand, but ultimately, it comes down to two core components. The first part is actually building your personal brand, and the second is creating awareness and authority for your personal brand.
Building your brand is relatively simple, but it's not easy. What I mean is this – the process itself is not complicated – you need to consistently create content that demonstrates your expertise and personality. But it is not easy, because that requires a lot of work over a long period of time – both in terms of creating the necessary content and in terms of distributing it through your website, other publications, social media, email, and other channels. I've already explained in-depth earlier in this article how to create more content with less effort, so you'll be ahead of the game compared to many of your competitors.
Creating awareness for your brand is an entirely different beast – it is both complex and difficult. You need to first have a compelling story and then effectively pitch your story to the right people in order to be featured in authoritative publications, podcasts, television, and radio. This requires you to frame your story in a way that demonstrates why their audience will be interested, and it's often dependent on timing. In other words, your story, no matter how compelling, must fit into their editorial calendar. Building the right media relationships critical, because that sometimes can open you to opportunities others may not have.