#227: SETTING YOURSELF APART WITH MARKETING
TAYLOR BRADFORD: You are listening to episode number 227 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. Today I’m talking about setting yourself apart with your marketing. On to the episode.
Today’s episode is brought to you by Gusto. If you have a business, and I’m sure you do if you’re listening to this episode. You probably know that small business owners wear a ton of hats, and some of these hats are great, but some like filing taxes and running payroll, those aren’t so great. That’s where Gusto comes in. Gusto makes payroll taxes and HR actually easy for small businesses, fast simple payroll processing, benefits, and expert HR support all in one place. gusto automatically pays and files your federal state and local taxes so you don’t have to worry about it. Plus, they make it easy to add on health benefits and even for one case for your team. Those old-school clunky payroll providers just weren’t built for the way modern small businesses work, but Gusto is. So let them wear one of your many hats because you have better things to do. Listeners of my show get three-months free when they run their first payroll. Try a demo and see for yourself at gusto.com/bossgirl.
Hey everybody, welcome to Episode 227. I am your host, Taylor Bradford. I’m excited that you’re here, continuing the series with this episode in setting yourself apart with your marketing and next week, we’re talking about copywriting. So, stay tuned for next week’s episode, but let’s chat about marketing this week.
And before we dive into this week’s episode, I want to jump right into this week’s community member feature, which is Shelley, and she is the Lynchburg Mama. You can find her website at Lynchburg tea in mamma.com. So, it’s spelled L-Y-N-C-H-B-U-R-G T-N, mama, M-A-M-A.com. LynchburgTNmama.com. And you can find her on Instagram @isAidansmama and it’s spelled I-S-A-I-D-A-N-S-M-A-M-A. This is what her blog is all about: small-town life with a unique spin because of what their town is famous for, Jack Daniels whiskey. So, go say hello to Shelley, give her a follow over on Instagram @isAidansMama, and visit her blog Lynchburg Mama, again LynchburgTNMama.com. Thank you so much, Shelley, for being a part of the Boss Girl Creative podcast and you’re this week’s community member feature.
Okay, so what’s been going on in your world? A lot’s been going on in my world. We got the official okay for our warehouse, Sugar Creek warehouse. I’m super pumped about that. We closed our building loan on Friday afternoon this past week, and it’s time to rock and roll and get the Sugar Creek warehouse built. And I’m heading out to wedding MBA in Vegas this upcoming week and I’m pumped about that, too. Pumped because it’s Vegas and I will be able to get to see some of my friends and hang out with them and it’ll be awesome. So that’s that. Let’s dive into this week’s episode, which is all about setting yourself apart with marketing. And we’re just going to dive straight into the nitty-gritty of that.
With marketing, there is no one size fits all, especially when it comes to communication. Every industry is different, every business is different, and you yourself are unique. So your marketing messaging needs to be crafted based on those things, your industry, your business, and your uniqueness. Because again, nobody can replicate you. And you need to put yourself into your communication. What is your branding messaging?
So there’s different types of communication that you can explore whether or not you’re writing a blog post, a newsletter, social media updates, that sort of thing. So you can communicate in words, quotes, lessons, photography, graphics, animations, audio, video, and then a combination of those, which would be multimedia. You need to figure out your frequency of how often you’re communicating via your blog or your newsletter or your social media updates. Is it daily? Is it multiple times a day? Is it weekly or bi-weekly? Is it monthly, at the end of the day, you have to commit to a schedule, I suggest starting small and infrequent but frequent, so you have to be consistent, but commit to a schedule and stick to it. That’s why I say start small, so once a week, for example. Start small, don’t come right out of the gate and, you know, trying to communicate to your people five days a week and you can’t keep up with that that will just be terror for you.
Don’t look for a formula when it comes to communicating to your audience. Focus on what is right for you. Because that at the end of the day is the difference factor. Focus on what is right for you.
Remember, just recently I talked about the SWOT analysis, and you kind of walk through what are your strengths and you need to use your strengths in your favor with your communication with your marketing, free communication, equals stain and regular touch with your audience. serving your audience in the right capacity, and selling when appropriate. You want to choose a type of communication, whether it’s words or quotes or photography or graphics or whatever. Choose a type based on your excitement for that type of communication. Because this will help not only in selling your messaging, remember free communication, this stuff that you put out on your blog or your newsletter, your social media updates. That’s good. Consider free communication. When you choose a type of communication that you’re excited about, that will also help you stay consistent.
Now, if you struggle with consistency, I’m going to encourage you to batch your content. For a while I was really good at batching for the podcast, I’ve got to get better at batching for the podcast. It is on the “you gotta do better at” list. With my email newsletter, I write that every single week. So I’m really not certain what exactly is going to be the content for that week. And hopefully, that changes soon. I’m exploring hiring a Content Manager for the podcast, which I’m really excited about. But you have to be excited about the type of content, the type of communication I should say that you are putting out through the newsletter, through your blog through your social media updates or posts, because that’s going to help you stay consistent. And then batch, so that you can stay consistent that goal is to build trust with your audience. And if you stay consistent that will help that goal.
So, if you get the Boss Girl Creative newsletter and I hope that you do. If you don’t please go sign up, you can find it in today’s show notes, which you can get to by going to bossgirlcreative.com/episode-guide, or just go to bossgirlcreative.com/podcast and it will get you there. And I want you to go sign up for my newsletter because you’re part of this community and I want to be able to communicate to you but only if you want to hear from me, but with my newsletter, I include GIFs. So it is words, my words to you about that week’s particular episode, but it also includes GIFs, because that’s my personality. I’m trying to give you a punch line. I’m trying to make you feel something based on what I’m writing about. And so I always include a GIF in my newsletters, and you never know which one is going to be in there. And so I hope that encourages you to at least look forward to my newsletter and see what GIF I’ve got in there.
But here is something that you need to hear: You are creative enough, you are smart enough, you are pro enough, you are enough to do this. Do not think that communicating to your people is something that you are lacking in. You are not. You can do this. You can do your blog, you can do the social media, you can do your newsletter, you are creative enough, you are smart enough, you are pro enough, you are enough to do this. I know marketing is probably the hardest thing to do because it requires us to sell. When you write a piece of content for your blog, you’re not necessarily selling your product or service unless you’re talking about that product or service. You’re simply just building authority. That authority, though, gets somewhere. It is building trust with your audience. So, don’t doubt yourself.
When in doubt, just start simple and choose quality over quantity. Because starting small doesn’t mean you are thinking small, let’s be real about that. Starting small doesn’t mean you are thinking small. Here is a great quote from Marie Forleo, “If you have a product or service you believe in and you don’t do everything you can to market the heck out of it. You’re stealing from those who need you most.” Let that sink in. “If you have a product or service you believe in and you don’t do everything you can to market the heck out of it. You’re stealing from those who need you the most.” Marketing requires you to be honest, to be compassionate, to be generous, to be encouraging to be truly serving others. from a place of deep understanding and respect, that’s what real marketing is about. It’s not smarmy, it’s not salesy. That is what it’s made of. The best marketing feels like someone is taking care of you, informing you, helping you, delighting you, inspiring you, and inviting you to do things you actually want to do, and buy things you genuinely want to buy.
So, I need you to do these five things when it comes to marketing, when it comes to communicating to your people. I need you to embrace it. I need you to practice your copywriting. I need you to connect with your market on a consistent basis. I need you to pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. And I need you to continually be learning.
Let’s talk about embracing marketing.
Are you currently spending at least two hours a week actively improving and expanding your marketing skillset? On a scale of one to five: one being, “Oh, heck no” and number five being “I’m a total pro and I’m raising the bar on myself.” And if you feel like you need more help in this, I want you to come up with one action that you can do to improve your skill in that area.
Alright, number two: Practice copywriting.
Can you answer this following question? Do you practice writing your email subject lines, headlines, teaser bullets or product descriptions for your business and actively collect inspiration from others to learn more and up your game? Scale of one to five. If you need to improve, what action can you take to improve that?
Number three: Connecting with your market.
Answer the following question. Are you consistently being a “marketing detective”? Are you having at least three real conversations every single week with your ideal client, with prospects, with customers to learn more about their needs, their desires, and how you can best serve them? On a scale of one to five. If you need to improve that, what is one action that you can do to improve this particular skill?
Number four: Are you paying attention to what works and what doesn’t?
Answer this question, every single week, are you reviewing what your market most responds to in terms of the content you’re producing and the products you are selling? Are you regularly tracking and reviewing your metrics and conversions? To have a real-time understanding of what works and what doesn’t? On a scale of one to five. If you need to improve what is one action that you can take, that’s going to improve that skill?
And number five: All about your continuing education
Answer the following question. Are you always learning more about marketing? Are you reviewing articles, interviews, podcasts, books, to learn new things and stay inspired? Are you attending at least one marketing or business conference or seminar every single year? Scale of one to five. How do you fit in that question? If you need to improve, what is one action you can take to get better? I want you to constantly be asking yourself those questions, staying in tune with how you’re doing with marketing the thing that you sell the thing that you are trying to make a living at.
Okay, so here are some more questions to ask yourself related to timeless marketing techniques and your business. And this is making sure that you stay away from the shmarmy, the salesy cars-men tactics, okay. If possible, how can you use urgency in your business right now? Can you brainstorm ways that you can integrate an honest and legitimate reason for your people to act right now? Remember, it’s not about scaring your people into doing something. What you’re trying to do is heal their fear and pain with something that you already sell. How can you add value inside your products or services for the people that need your things? How can you create that urgency?
Number two: How can you communicate authentic scarcity in your business?
Meaning maybe you have only two more of one thing, or you only have five more appointments to book this month to work with you one-on-one. Brainstorm ways that you can help your audience. Take action right now, if there truly is limited availability. And I mean that truly, not just because you’re trying to book a spot, like truly ‘this is your schedule or truly you only have that many things left’.
Number three: How can you use risk-reversal in your business?
I want you to brainstorm ways where that you can create strong guarantees for every product or service that you sell, that will set your customers minds at ease. You’ll see this when people say, “30-day money-back guarantee”, or “7-day money-back guarantee”. I want you to think about creating some of those strong guarantees because you believe that much in your product. Not because you’re just putting that out willy-nilly, because you truly, truly believe in it. If you do the work, you will gain something from doing X, Y, and Z.
And then number four, how can you increase the use of social proof in your business?
I want you to take an honest look at how you stack up right now and write down concrete, actionable steps that are going to help you raise your social proof. Do you have testimonials, or customer results on your website and in your sales materials? I want you to list all of the ways that you currently use social proof in your current sales and marketing strategy.
If you don’t have any, no worries, let’s fix that. One of the hardest things for me to do in the Sugar Creek business is get client reviews, even if I asked for them, and do follow-up asked for them. Part of my issue is that my clients and I never meet and create that relationship with each other. And so I am just a means to the thing that they want for their event. So, there’s not much relationship building happening on the front side of their event, which means that there’s really not a strong reason for them to write a review. However, with the clients that I do meet one on one, and start that relationship building, and make sure that I’m a valuable part of their experience, these clients do write reviews. So, I have to figure out how do I flip the script on the ones that never meet me? How do I get them to write a review for me?
So, I want you to create a plan for gathering more social proof for your products or services. It can simply be you asking via email, you can send something through Facebook or put out an Instagram post that says, “Hey, if you have hired us in the past, we’d love to hear from you. Leave us a review out on blah, blah, blah site.”
I want you to list the areas of your business that you can mine for reviews and social proof, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, emails that are sitting in your archives, calling people that our previous customers. Even sending handwritten letters. And then what actions can you take right now that are going to increase that bank of social proof that you can use on your website and in your marketing and sales materials? How can you create this ongoing flow of social proof that you can constantly use in your marketing, and your social media posts and your email newsletters on your website?
There’s a lot that goes into marketing your business. We’re going to talk about copywriting next week. It is one area focus that I am working hard to get better at, because I’m the kind of person that if you want it, you’ll buy it. If you don’t want it, I’m not going to pressure you into it, but I’ve got to get better at the copywriting aspect of what it is that I do. And trying to put words to what it is that I do and how I can help you because it is such a strong part to setting yourself apart in your business.
So this is all about setting yourself apart with your marketing with your communication. And I hope that you’ve been enjoying this series First of all, and that you have gain some nuggets of wisdom because we are in this to succeed. And there’s room for every single one of us, and you are smart enough, you do have the skill set to do it. Do you need to practice? We all do. That’s what makes us so human. We’re each unique individuals and we each approach things differently and we each attract our own audiences. And that’s the beauty of running our own businesses.
Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. I will be back next week with another episode, which is going to be about copywriting. Again, shout out to this week’s community member spotlight, Shelley at Lynchburg Mama. And also, to this week’s show sponsor Gusto. Visit gusto.com/bossgirl. Try a demo. See for yourself get three months free once you run your first payroll. Okay guys, we’ll be back next week. Until then I hope you have a great rest of your week.