I do say, because it's making my clients thousands of dollars.
Why? Your perfect customers (or readers, or buyers, or students) want to hear from you. And not just once. They want to hear from you consistently, clearly, speaking to them and delighting them with what you have to offer. They want you to remind them that you exist, and that you have what they are looking for.
That’s the essence of my perspective on marketing strategy: Delight them (as I learned from Seth Godin); speak their language in their own words (learned from Ramit Sethi); and be authentically yourself in your content and delivery (thanks, Jennifer Lee, for that one), because your perfect customers are interested in your uniqueness.
My additional advice is to do it consistently. If they are open to hearing from you (via email newsletters, social media, in-person meet ups, whatever it is), use their permission and their interest to your advantage by being in touch regularly.
I’m happy to say that this strategy is working well for one of my clients, Kelly Clancy, an occupational therapist here in Seattle who offers in-person and online continuing education for other health professionals. A student of Kelly’s wrote her recently, unsolicited, with the best news:
Thank you for your regular communications about your classes. I'm looking forward to taking the Fascia Journal Club, and I think my coworker will sign up. Additionally, I'm looking forward to pursuing the Holistic Structural Therapy program and plan to take the LIFT classes next. You are doing a great job of marketing your program and communicating with students and potential students.
We were THANKED for sending regular email newsletters!
And simultaneously told that she looks forward to pursuing two additional higher-cost courses!
The marketing and communicating that the student refers to are our email newsletters. We send them out once or twice a month. We use our newsletters to deliver valuable content to our subscribers—essays, tools, and tips they can use to address their needs—and to highlight one or two classes that are relevant to those subscribers. We are not hard-selling in these newsletters. We are clearly communicating things that we believe can help or at least interest our subscribers, and we are reminding them that we offer what they are looking for.
So, the basic marketing strategy that is getting results for my client—results that make her thousands of dollars—can be summarized as follows:
1. Delight them—with content that helps address their current needs and makes their lives better.
2. Speak their language in their own words—listen to your customers describe their issues, and then discuss their issues with their exact language. That’s how they recognize what you have to offer.
3. Be authentically yourself in your content and delivery—focus on content that feels right to you, and deliver it in ways that make sense to you and your customers, whether that’s writing, visual art, audio recordings, graphic design, or short videos.
4. Be in touch consistently. Your customers need to know you, understand what you offer, trust that you’ll deliver what you promise, and then remember that you offered it in the first place before they buy anything from you. The shortest path to accomplishing those relationship milestones, from my view, is through regular communication that promises something of value and then regularly delivers above and beyond, done consistently over time.
I’m developing some tools that I believe can help simplify the marketing needs of small businesses, artists, and nonprofits, and as I do, I’ll be sharing tidbits here. I want your valuable ideas and products to be out in the world, the sooner, the better.