There are many different approaches to marketing but all involve the same basic elements. With all the shiny objects and new technologies we have available to play with today, the fundamentals of marketing – online or off – are often forgotten. When you keep these principles in mind, marketing is much simpler and you’ll be more successful in your results.

Your Target Market

Successful business all starts with your target market. Identifying and getting to know your audience is the first and most important step. Failing to define specific target customers is one of the most common reasons practices never thrive. The mistake they make is that they start with a service or niche they think is interesting. Then they try to find a market for it. You have to work the other way around.

There are several ways to identify your target market. If you’re already running a business, look at your current client base or your competition’s. If you haven’t launched your business yet but you have an idea of the niche or professional service you’d like to work with, look at who is in that niche and what they are hungry for. Use the Internet to find out what kinds of people are participating in forums, groups, and social media sites in that niche.

Feed the Hungry Crowd

Once you know your market well, it’s easy to get an idea of what they want.

The second step in successful marketing is to either create or find products that they need. If you know how to listen, your target clients will tell you this. Look for areas where there’s demand but a gap in the market – where no one is providing a solution to people’s most urgent needs.

Delivering the Goods

With a hungry crowd and the services they’re desperate for, your next challenge is to figure out a way to get in front of them. If you’re marketing offline, you need to communicate with your target market and make your offer. This often involves face-to-face or physical contact. Online, you create a website. This is the ‘home’ of your practice’s online presence.

Before you can make your offer, you need to calculate the best price point for selling it. There is no easy way to do this. Most companies start by determining the production and delivery cost, and then adding the desired profit margin. Another method is to determine a set return-on-investment (ROI) and price it so that you can meet that amount in a certain period of time. You should also take into consideration the prices offered by your competition and the psychological value your goods have to your target market.

Promotion Methods

Up until now, we’ve covered the basics of marketing research, which are fairly universal. When it comes to promotion methods, there is an endless array of options. This is where people get confused and stuck by the many different choices.

Offline promotion methods include advertising in print or on television, hosting or sponsoring events, promotional items, coupons, direct mail and networking in the community. To promote your product online, people usually start with search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, which can take more time and effort than you might think. You may also build awareness of your brand through social media sites, an email list, promotions, blogging, or similar

The Right Mindset for Successful Marketing

With all the options for promoting your business, try not to get overwhelmed. Simple is always best. The key to successful marketing no matter what methods you use or products you promote is to keep it focused on your prospects. Always start with what they need and want, and work your way back to your offer from there. If you know them well, provide what they want and promote it where they can see your offer, your success is assured.

Getting Started - Action Steps for Your Next Coffee Break

Before launching into the nuts and bolts of smart marketing strategies, let’s take a beat to integrate the importance of knowing your marketing and maintaining a healthy, grounded perspectivities. The simple activities below should help.

  • Create a three-question survey that you could run by your core audience for valuable input on their goals, needs, and frustrations.  If possible, run these questions past some clients or colleagues to get some feedback.
  • Spend 10- 15 minutes researching and considering the top promotion method that three of your top competitors seem to be using.
  • Take a break with this guided meditation to get yourself in a clear-headed, motivated mindset for approaching your marketing work with clarity and focus

Ready for a deeper dive? Explore the resource below!

When you are ready to really dig into this stuff, remember that there’s a real mix of marketing advice out there. Some of it’s awesome, some of it’s half-baked, lots of it is outdated, and a whole lot of it is designed to help sell products, not professionals services.

We’ve filtered through the best of what is available to provide you with actionable advice in our Deep Dive recommendations that are from the most trusted resources and are designed specifically to promote professional practices like yours.

Deeper Dive Recommendation: Neil Patel's How to Create an Online Marketing Plan that Will Grow (Nearly) Any Business!

Renowned marketing expert Neil Patel is known for the long form pieces that he presents on his blog. They offer exquisitely deep dives into the nuts and bolts of what makes different marketing strategies work. To get your head around the big picture when it comes to marketing fundamentals, we recommend that you spend some time with his walkthrough for designing a killer marketing plan.

There’s some great direction on here for how to approach each of the steps we discussed above, including target marketing, market research, and various methods of promotion

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