What do you think of when you hear the word marketing?

2 women sitting at table talking

The word marketing can have a negative connotation sometimes. There are plenty of marketing tactics that feel a little dishonest, spammy, or slimy. 

You know your product or service is good and can help others, but how do you get them to pay attention and learn about what you have without compromising your faith or values or feeling like you’re being annoying?

In this episode, I’ll share what marketing is really about, and then go through a few ideas about how to do it WELL. 

What Marketing is NOT:

Marketing is not sales. Often, people want to  jump right to the selling before doing the marketing. This is a mistake. They need to be two separate parts of your process. 

Think about dating and marriage. Connecting, getting to know each other, and dating are like marketing; popping the question is when you get to sales. You don’t ask someone to marry you when you first meet them! You don’t want to jump into trying to sell to them that quickly either. 

Marketing is also not just advertising and promotion. This is only part of marketing, and if it’s all you’re doing, you’re skipping an important part of the marketing process.

What is Marketing?

Recently, I heard Cathy Heller make this statement on Clubhouse, and I could not agree more:

“Marketing is about connecting and clearly communicating what you do.”

Marketing is Connecting

Marketing starts with connecting. I teach this in my Connection Catalyst System to help clients grow their audiences, and it’s a super important part of the marketing process.

Here’s why: in order to effectively market your product or service, you have to know your target client and their needs. Connecting means figuring out what their struggles are… what their needs are, and how what you’re offering could help.

Another part of connecting that I teach my clients (you get a sneak peak today!) is to collect the words and phrases your potential clients and customers use. If you know how your client speaks then you can use that language in your promotion to reach them effectively.

“Marketing starts with connecting.” -Esther Littlefield

Marketing Is Communicating

This is the part of marketing that we think of right away:  FB and YouTube ads, messaging on the radio, podcasts, and TV. 

But here’s the thing about all of these methods of communication: they have to be crystal clear. Essentially, it’s the better communicator, not the better product, that wins. (Thanks Donald Miller for making this point many times).

Often our communication is confusing and unclear. We know what we’re talking about and why it’s important, but if we’re not communicating it in a way that makes sense to our potential clients, it just won’t work.

So, marketing starts with connecting with your potential clients, getting into their heads and knowing exactly what they need and want. Then it moves to communicating your message clearly. These two halves of the marketing process will help you gain traction and be effective.

How to Do Marketing Effectively

1. Have a strategy

I’ve been in a place where I was trying to be visible everywhere, all the time, and do #allthethings to market my business. This was not a good or sustainable idea. I also didn’t have a clear plan for what happened after clients moved through my marketing process and wanted to work with me. I realized how important it is to have strategies in place. 

Here are some examples of having a strategy:

  • Knowing what you are going to sell at the end of your marketing efforts. Getting really clear about your offer(s) and what it is you want someone to buy.
  • Having a clear path to take someone to the point of buying. This might be having customers go to your website and then to a discovery call. Or it might be that they go from social media to your email list to an offer for a coaching session. Or from a FB ad to an email opt-in then to a small course. You need to know what you want your customer journey to look like.
  • Having a plan for your content marketing. For me, my podcast is my main marketing tool. Then I take what I share on the podcast and repurpose it to FB, which is my main social media platform. Especially if you’re just getting started, I recommend one main content platform (blog, podcast, video) and one main social channel. 

“The way to do marketing well is to have a strategy.” -Esther Littlefield

2. Stay in Alignment with Your Personality and Your Values

You don’t want to use marketing techniques that are not in line with your faith, or your values. I’m not suggesting that you throw away ideas just because they are uncomfortable…I’ve had my own business coach suggest some ideas that were a little bit out of my comfort zone, but ended up working well for me. There’s a difference between being uncomfortable and being out of alignment with your values.

If you’re not sure about a particular tactic, try putting yourself on the other end. For example, if you’re thinking about cold messaging as part of your marketing process but you wouldn’t want someone cold messaging you…don’t do it!

And don’t try to conform to a system that just isn’t true to your own personality. Your message still needs to have you in it.

“Don’t compare where you’re at to… a business that’s been well established for many years.” -Esther Littlefield

3. Learn to Communicate More Effectively

To help you with this piece, I’m excited to be sharing my FREE Communicate & Connect Challenge coming up March 1-5. 

The challenge will help you come up with the words you can use to clearly communicate what you do and who you help. We’ll work through this together so you feel confident when someone asks you what you do, have the words to create curiosity instead of confusion, and can keep the conversation going to lead people down the path of working with you!

Sign up for the challenge at estherlittlefield.com/challenge.

What Marketing is Really About and How to Do It Well - 2 women sitting at a desk talking

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