In today’s episode, we will cover the following key takeaways:
- We should understand what success looks like before we build or implement an entire marketing plan.
- Instead of trying to be on every social channel, we should pick one to start and be consistent with our content.
- If we’re not consistent, our lead generation won’t be consistent.
- Marketing is relationship building. We should build a relationship and earn our customer’s trust before asking them to buy our $1000 product.
- We should start with value, be original, be clear, and be a better solution.
- We should test and adjust our marketing strategies. If it works, improve it. If it doesn’t work, tweak it.
The First Steps
Nikki’s greatest home run is writing her book, Market Your Genius. She split the book into three sections to walk her readers through the marketing process.
The first section goes over how to package what you are an expert in in such a way that people want to buy your services. How do you package your magic into something sellable? The second section goes over how to build an audience and gain leads. Finally, the last section goes over how to gain customers in a way where they want to keep buying from you and refer you to others. Today we’re going to go over some of the best tips from her book.
The first step Nikki encourages her readers to do in their marketing strategies is to get a clear idea of what success looks like.
“Often I hear from people that they want to know what they should be doing to market their business. And my answer is, what’s your goal? What are you trying to accomplish? I can’t really answer that,” Nikki said. “Get clear on what the vision is, what success looks like for you . . . [and] do it before you try to build or implement an entire marketing plan.”
If we don’t know where we want to go, there’s absolutely no way we can get there, so we have to be very clear about that destination. It is a critical element of success. Our goal could be to gain more followers on social media, earn more leads, or increase our website traffic. Whatever it is, we simply need to set our goal before we dive into our plans and strategies.
After our goals are set, the first question we often ask ourselves is, “How can I capture my audience’s attention and attract my dream clients?” The mistake Nikki sees so many people make as they search for their target audience is they try to be in a million places. Instead of focusing on one social media channel, they try to keep an active account on 10.
“In theory, the idea is if I can get in front of more people and reach more people, then I can get more leads, right? But I think what ends up happening for most people is they are spread way too thin and they aren’t consistently visible on the platforms or the channels that they choose,” Nikki said. “The first step if you want a consistent flow of leads is you need to choose a marketing channel and be consistent there in the first place. Because if you’re not consistent, your lead generation won’t be consistent.”
This same principle applies to the types of marketing strategies we run. We can run organic strategies, paid advertising, or work with partnerships. Instead of trying to do them all at once, we should choose one method to start with. We should choose one social media channel to start with. Then, we can consistently show up, add value, and continue the conversation.
“Think through that process of going, ‘I’m going to show up where my people are. I’m going to consistently show up. I’m going to capture their attention. And then I’m going to ask them for their contact information so I can keep bringing them amazing content and ultimately make an offer,’” Nikki said.
The Similarities Between Marketing and Dating
Marketing is relationship building. Nikki likes to compare the process to dating. With marketing, we’re looking at a group of people we want to believe our product is the solution to their problem. It isn’t too much different from someone trying to find a partner to complete them. When we look at our marketing plan, the phases are similar to dating.
With dating, the first thing we want to do is find out who our ideal person is. Who would we want to date? Who would we want to marry? Then, we have to determine where we would find this person. Will they be at a university, at a bar, on a sports team, on a dating app? We typically choose one of those places, look our best, and then go there.
Once we see the person, we try to capture their attention and spark a conversation. Sometimes we go up and start the conversation ourselves, and other times we have our friends introduce us. In the conversation, we take the time to get to know each other and at the end, the goal is to get their contact information so we can plan a date.
These same phases are true in marketing. We find our target audience, find out where they are, show up in front of them, get their attention, get their contact information and then set up a time to meet. The problem many marketers run into is that they jump the gun. They don’t take the time to get to know their customer before they pitch their offer.
Just as we shouldn’t ask someone to marry us when we first meet them, as marketers, we shouldn’t ask our customers to buy our $1000 product when we first meet. We need to build a relationship and earn their trust first. We should remember to never skip that step that we would never skip when dating.
Before we make a customer an offer and send them that Instagram DM or LinkedIn message we should take the time to do a bit of research. Who are they? Would they like our products? Are they our ideal client? Once we get an idea of how we could help them with our product, then we can reach out and start to get to know them.
5 Marketing Tips
1. Start with Value
In our marketing strategies, we have to put the customer first. We don’t want to push our own agenda on them first. This is especially important when we are taking the first steps to get to know our customers.
If we are going to cold message someone, we should start with, “How are you…” Or we can do our research and say, “Hey, I saw you just posted this… I think I can help with…”
Even before that, we can focus on providing free value to our customers. This slowly builds trust and makes conversation much more natural.
If a customer comments on or likes our post, we can reach out and say, “Hey, I noticed you liked this video. Would you be interested in learning more in my free challenge course?” Starting with value is the key here. We can provide value on social media, on a podcast, in an ebook, etc. Once we’ve provided value and the customer knows us, likes us, and trusts us, we can invite them to come to a webinar or whatever that next step is.
2. Be Original
A common question marketers have is, “Is it okay to copy or use someone’s marketing plan?” And the short answer to that is no. This is because we likely have completely different goals from that person. Their marketing plan wasn’t made for our brand so it might not be the right fit for us.
“I truly believe that the people who are meant to hear from you, connect with you, and buy from you are on this wavelength that is tuned in to you,” Nikki said. “If you try to copy somebody else’s messaging or marketing strategy, you’re not showing up as you. . . . You want to show up as yourself in a way that’s going to be right for you and your audience.”
We want to be original with our marketing plan. While we may take a general concept that works for someone else and apply it to our brand, we have to remember to make it uniquely ours. How can we make it different to fit our business?
At Adoption.com, we have a Parent Profiles service where pregnant women can find families looking to adopt. A lot of times those families looking to adopt try to be all things to all people. They try to be so “safe” so they won’t offend anyone, but by doing this, they’ve removed all of their connection points. We try to advise people to not do that. If you’re a huge fan of the Boston Celtics, say that. If there’s a birth mom who was a big fan of the Boston Celtics, maybe she will connect with you because of that.
If we try to make ourselves appeal to everybody we’re not going to connect with anybody. We have to remember to be ourselves. I believe that we have more original ideas than we would think, we simply have to give ourselves the time and space to think. Then, once we have those ideas, we have to trust ourselves.
3. Be Clear
What makes a good marketing message? Clarity. “A good marketing message is one where you are really clear about the value that you bring to your target audience,” Nikki said. “Often people try to get fancy with their marketing messages and I don’t think that’s necessary. I think clarity is key and I think putting yourself in somebody’s shoes and using the words that they would say, makes all the difference.”
When we create our marketing messages we want to communicate the value our company will bring to the customer. How will our product or service make their life better? How will our product or service solve their problem? This is what will attract our customers’ attention and create a consistent flow of leads.
4. Be the Better Solution
Sometimes we see people selling a product similar to ours but they are more successful than us. This is likely because they have done a better job at getting their customers to believe that they are the solution. They have made the customers believe they can help them. So how do we make ourselves stand out?
We have to show our customers that we are the better solution. “What is unique about you?” Nikki said. “Get really clear on how you can uniquely help your clients or customers and focus on differentiating yourself.”
Gaining customers is not just about having people know, like, and trust us. We have to make them think that we can do a better job at helping them than our competitors. We have to be different. Maybe our energy or our geolocation creates a better solution than our competitors. We have to find the thing that makes us different and use it to our advantage.
5. Test and Adjust
Finally, if we want to create a consistent flow of leads, we have to run tests and adjust. We have to look at what we are doing and find what is working and what isn’t. If it works, improve it. If it doesn’t work, tweak it.
“The best advice I have for somebody that wants consistent leads is to come up with your [marketing] plan, use the just-like dating method, and then test and validate it,” Nikki said. “There’s no one magic secret to generating leads. It’s consistently showing up and doing things and testing it and making sure it works.”
Nikki came up with the acronym MAAD: Make a plan. Activate the plan. Adjust the plan. Do it again. As we follow this process we will likely find more success in our marketing strategies.
Connect with Nikki
Thank you so much Nikki for sharing your stories and insights with us today. To learn more about or connect with Nikki: