A few years ago, I had a client who taught me the best marketing lesson that all my fancy schooling had been unable to teach.
She was an impressive woman who owned three eyelash salons in central London, had already published two books and developed her own eyelash products; she had her own podcast and she said very proudly, “We have over 1 million followers on Instagram”.
She had built a mini production studio in one of her salons and was broadcasting content on many different channels, almost continuously. It was impressive.
So, I asked the killer question: “What do you expect from me? Why am I here?”
After a 2- hour session, the conclusion was simple, I was there because all that effort was only bringing 180K revenue in total for all three salons. After the salaries, rent and other costs, she was left with less than £1,000 in profit! She was working hard, and she had set systems that allowed her to produce the same amount of work of 3 – 4 people all by herself.
Basically, she was working as much as 3 or 4 people but only making a maximum of 18K per year (in her pocket) including her salary and dividend!
Me being me, I gave her the electric shock: “How much money could you make if you were working alone 5 hours per day – 5 days a week?”
Her painful answer was £36,000. She could work half the amount of time and make double the money if she was alone, freelancing.
Rightly, she argued that she had built an asset with her business… and I would agree in normal time, but I really do not know many investors who would pour money into a business that is so fragile.
Although this picture looks very silly, please ease up on the judgements and rolled eyes. That woman had built (with her sweat and blood) a business that could actually be transformed into a real saleable asset, or a franchise, very easily because she had all the systems in place to flood her business with clients.
She was super-efficient, but she was just not effective. She was doing things the right way, just not the right things. The basic strategic pillars of her marketing efforts were not clearly defined but she had established tactical excellence. So, she was attracting a lot of people’s attention and a lot of traffic to her website, but just not the right people to book eyelash extension appointments.
Therefore, especially as solopreneurs and micro-business owners, in marketing you have to have it all. Vanity metrics are a real thing: 1 million followers, mailing lists of 50,000 don’t mean that much if you are not selling what you should be selling.
Therefore, I firmly believe that the foundation of marketing efficiency is to first establish marketing effectiveness. If marketing efficiency is the success of the process (positive metrics), then marketing effectiveness is the impact of your efforts on your business.
Having it all: Establish Marketing Effectiveness and Efficiency in 5 steps
- What does effectiveness mean for your business? What is your main business objective for this year? Is it to grab 2% of market share, grow 50% per quarter, open in a new market, launch a new product, launch a franchise model, grow the associate team?
- What is the result that you want to achieve with your specific marketing efforts in that particular period or with that channel?
- Establish credibility
- Establish expertise
- Establish leadership
- Build a community
- Power sell an offer
- Understand the market… (yes, you can actually run a marketing campaign to evaluate the market).
- Who needs to buy in? Mainly it is your ideal customers but sometimes you might need to attract other people to better attract your customers…
- Where is your pool target audience? Which channel, online or offline? Should you actually own a channel or earn one to gain traction?
- What do they want to hear? What will make them stop what they are doing and pay attention to what you are saying? Or, should you actually buy the ones who are already ready to listen to you? (such as pay-per-click ads)
- When is the best time to talk to them? Are they going to be more open and available before bed-time or when they are walking in the park, or maybe at during their visit to a coffee shop?
Typically, there are three main channels that are mostly available to micro-businesses and solopreneurs, due their low cost and easy access:
- People: your ambassadors, your word of mouth people, referrers are your main channel of influence,
- Digital media: mainly website and social media,
- Print media: leaflets, brochures to be handed, etc.
Depending on your audience and your objectives you need to choose your channels carefully to increase both your marketing efficiency and effectiveness:
Typically, your ambassadors are a great source of quality lead generation, whereas your digital media activities (unless you have a high number of followers and a large mailing list) are your credibility and expertise stabilisers. When it comes to print media, depending on your activity, a leaflet can be both a lead generator as well as a sales convertor tool. As you can see, your media choice truly depends on your marketing objectives and your audience, therefore without setting these carefully you cannot gain efficiency in your tactical activities.
Having said that, we all know that digital marketing and more precisely social media is the big hairy monster that you cannot avoid. How, when, which channel, how frequently, what to say…?
That’s why we are very excited to announce that digital marketing guru Claire Masse has accepted our invitation to join us in creating a training module specifically designed to help you to gain efficiency in your digital marketing.
Mother of two boys, Claire is an inspiring female founder and a supportive mentor. She has led digital marketing and social media agencies on different continents for over a decade. In the last three years, she has been training and mentoring women solopreneurs and micro-business owners on how to become more effective and efficient with their digital marketing, and establish and grow their businesses through this channel.
You are in business because you wanted to create freedom of choice and options, we are in business because we can help you create a life where you are free to do what matters most to you! Join the movement now.