A mighty tree starts from the tiniest seed.
Great businesses start with the tiny seed of hustle.
Take Apple, for example. Apple started as just a couple of teenagers assembling computer components in their garage, and then peddling their home made creations personally to a local shop owner.
They overpromised, and failed to meet the deadline on their first delivery. But they kept hustling.
The rest is history.
Wishing it could be that simple? With enough hustle and the right strategic plan, it really can be that simple.
Most businesses begin with an innovative new idea for a product or service. But like most new ideas, no one knows about it.
Plus, you’ve got no money to market your great new idea, because you can’t sell it, because no one knows about it.
It’s the perfect Catch 22.
If you want your new idea to become a mighty tree, you’ve got to plant the tiny seed. You’ve got to become scrappy and adopt hustle as your second nature.
Here's a few ways to market your new idea that doesn’t require a big budget.
Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience
Find out who may be interested in your service or products.
Put together a detailed buyer persona. This is a description of exactly who your ideal customer is.
- What's their role or position in the company? How senior are they? What are job titles that they may have?
- What is their age, income bracket, education level, interests (professional and personal)?
- Are there any other relevant traits that you can think of?
Then spend time finding these people on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social platforms. Research groups they belong to and you’ll find more potential customers in those groups.
Create a contact list that includes names, company information, and other contact information. Aim to get your list to at least 1,000 potential buyers.
Step 2: Create Some Videos, Pictures, etc. to Describe Your Product or Service
Offer a promotional trial offer for early adopters. Set up a simple one-page website or a business Facebook or Instagram page. Again, you don’t need to spend much on this.
Use free editing software like Canva and if you don’t have a website look at setting up something simple through Squarespace or Wix.
A video could be as simple as PowerPoint type slides with a voice over. For inspiration of what your product/service description and trial offer could look like, check out sites like Kickstarter and CrowdFunder.
Step 3: Make Phone Calls
Now you are probably going to have to get out of your comfort zone. This step cannot be skipped or cut short.
Pick up the phone and start calling each of the people on the list in number 1 above. Tell them what you do and direct them towards your promotional videos/offers.
Send them the URL and ask them for their feedback. You don’t need to be making a hard sales pitch. You are just letting them know what you are doing and asking them for their feedback.
If you find this awkward (and most people will) put together a short script to guide you on the calls. Don’t follow it word for word, but use it as a guide to make sure you cover your main points. If you don’t reach the person, simply make a note and move on to the next person on your list.
Step 4: Be Persistent
This part is even harder. You will get a lot of rejection. A lot.
Hang in there.
Make it a point to make each and every call with enthusiasm and positivity no matter what feedback you receive. And above all, be customer-centric. Focus on the customer’s desire to know “What’s in it for me?”
As you talk with more and more potential customers, you’ll get a deeper understanding of common pain points and what people are seeking from you. You will start to see consistent themes emerging, feedback on your product/service, features that are important, your pricing, common questions that people have, etc.
When you start to hear the same feedback over and over from different potential customers, you know you are on to something important.
Step 5: Tweak Your Product Offering Based on the Feedback You're Receiving
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Once you gather feedback from all those phone calls, you can’t just put it to the side. Adjust your strategy for what you’ve learned and use it to refine your unique value proposition or your product or service if need be.
- Did you find out something you offer means nothing to the customer?
- Did you discover that your value proposition has overlooked a major benefit that customers want? Go back to the drawing board and make the necessary changes.
Repeat Steps 1-5
Keep calling until you're in a place where it's not worth your time to be making so many calls. At that point you can start worrying about other forms of marketing and lead generation.
This isn’t just about cold calling to make sales.
This is about talking to potential customers and getting their feedback. Getting to know what’s important to them. Getting to understand how they think and feel about what you are offering.
It’s about putting the customer at the center of what you do and how you build your business. This type of direct customer feedback will be crucial to guiding your business to success.
Sure, this is hard work. And you’ve got to put yourself out there. It may not cost you very much out of pocket, but it will take time and it will take dedication.
If you want to succeed you’ve got to want it that bad. You’ve got to plant the seed of hard work and desire before your tree of business success can grow.
For expert marketing help for businesses large and small, startups to established small and mid-size companies, we’re here for you at Fixyr.
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At Fixyr we believe that "one-size-fits-all" marketing is the enemy, that you need strategy before tactics, and that the best path to success is through a results-focused marketing plan built just for you.Contact Fixyr for all your marketing needs.