Is your marketing really working?
Your business, unfortunately, is probably wasting money on your marketing. At the very least, you’re leaving money on the table. And when the whole purpose of marketing is to make you money, that’s a real problem.
Most business owners don’t realize it’s even happening, because they’re not marketers. They’re great at what they do - the service they provide.
And that’s how it should be - business owners like you should be free to focus on what you do best, and you shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not your marketing is working for you.
We get it - there’s too much on your plate to spend time diving in to exactly where your marketing may be missing the mark. So we created the 5-Minute Marketing Checklist so you can do a quick analysis of where you might need to shore things up.
It’s broken down into 7 simple questions, and you can download it here. I’ll break down each question below, so use this article as a companion for your checklist to make sure you’re applying it correctly to your business.
Breaking Down the Marketing Checklist
Question 1: Who is your messaging about?
As a Certified StoryBrand Guide, GuidePost helps companies speak clearly and directly to their customers using the power of story. It’s a sense-making device that humans have used for thousands of years to understand and navigate our world. It’s one of the most powerful tools in human communication, and most businesses are using it wrong.
Because when most businesses tell stories, they’re telling stories about themselves. Your customer is the hero in their own story. They’re the ones living their lives, experiencing their problems and frustrations, and they aren’t looking for another hero. They’ve got their own story to live.
What they need is a guide.
The guide is the character in the story who’s been there and done that. The Yoda to Luke Skywalker, the Dumbledore to Harry Potter. In just about every story, the guide is the most powerful character - way more than the hero (who’s typically kind of a chump up until the VERY end). Their power and experience gives them two very important qualities that the heroes they serve need from them - empathy and authority.
Guides need to understand what the hero’s going through AND be competent enough to help them overcome that problem.
And you’re the guide. You’ve got to display that empathy and authority. You’ve got to speak to the results you deliver for your customers, not tell them how long you’ve been in business or what your widgets are made out of or where you went to college. They don’t care. They only care about how you can help them.
So the first part of your marketing checklist is auditing your messaging on your website - is it about you, positioning you as the hero in the story, or is it about them? The customer is always the hero in the story.
Question 2: How are people getting to your website?
If your messaging is right, but no one is there to see it, does it really matter? You need a way to get eyeballs on your stuff. That’s traffic.
Traffic can come from about a bajillion different sources. It can be through search engines, consistent content production like blogs, social media posts, word of mouth, local event participation, networking groups, paid advertisements on websites and social media networks, hiring a clown to jump around and wave a sign, smoke signals, carrier pigeons, whatever.
The point is, you need a way to drive people to your website. If you’re not actively and strategically implementing a plan to do that, no one is seeing you. You’re invisible.
This shouldn’t be a “throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks” situation. Your traffic plan should be strategic, long-term, and will take consistent effort. Posting something on Facebook every once in a while and then wondering when the herd of customers will come stampeding in, cash in hand, isn’t much of a strategy.
Question 3: Are you calling people to action when they get to your website?
Your website is a store, not a museum.
People aren’t there to look and “ooh” and “ahh.”
They’re there to buy stuff. Or at least they should be. But if you’re not clearly and directly telling your customers what you want them to do, they won’t do it. Your website should have a brightly-colored button with a bold call to action - not “learn more,” “contact us,” or “get started.” Those don’t mean anything.
You want to tell them exactly what they need to do now - “buy a widget,” “schedule an appointment,” “book a tour.”
The goal here is to take the customer relationship to the next step, not to let them get stuck looking around. It should be plainly obvious to your customer what you want them to do.
Question 4: Do you have a free, high-value offer to collect contact info?
Typically called a Lead Magnet, this is usually a PDF, Video Series, checklist, template, cheat sheet, or case study that provides specific, quickly consumed value to your customers and allows them to solve a specific problem.
The lead magnet serves 2 primary purposes:
- It establishes your authority as an expert in your field - they’ve put their trust in you enough to download your guide on how to do something they’re trying to do, so you’re the expert in their mind.
- It gives you their contact information - typically an email address - so that you can continue to follow up with them and nurture that relationship towards future business.
People generally don’t buy the first time they’re on your website, even if you’ve got a reliable traffic system, clear messaging that positions them as the hero in the story and speaks to how you can solve their problems, and calls them directly to the action you want them to take.
They need a lower-stakes way to begin a relationship with you. This free offer provides just that. For the people who aren’t ready to buy yet, this is a great middle ground for them to test the waters on your business without giving up their time or money.
Question 5: Do you have a lower-cost entry level offer that you can give new customers?
There is a fundamental change that happens in your customers’ minds when they have spent a significant amount of time or any amount of money with you - the relationship has changed from that of fan or follower or friend to that of customer.
And when a customer has given you money (in any amount), it is far easier to make a sale to that person again. Because the relationship has fundamentally changed. So in order to make that first sale happen, it’s often really helpful to give them a frictionless way to become a customer.
That can mean a discounted trial period if you offer a service, it can be a steep discount on a product that is more valuable than your lead magnet, a product that can stand alone. It can also be a discount on something that your customer would already be buying, that’s necessary for them to engage more deeply in the service you provide.
An example would be a music shop whose primary source of revenue is the sale of musical instruments and music lessons selling guitar picks at a steep discount. The only people who are going to buy guitar picks are people who play guitar or who want to, so it’s an easy transition to offer those people your core products and services once they’ve bought your entry point offer.
Brainstorm ways that you could acquire customers by using a bundled value, lower price point, or standalone product that transitions nicely into your core offering. These can serve as a valuable bridge between your lead magnet and your main products and services.
Question 6: Do you have email follow-up in place?
Because most customers won’t buy right away, you need a way to keep in contact and stay top of mind. Email follow up is a great way to introduce the customer to your company and show them how you can help them overcome their problems and succeed.
Most of us behave exactly the same way with email, which is that we delete most of what we get. The advantage that companies have who regularly send valuable content and offers through email is that even if their customers delete the majority of what they get, each morning they wake up with your company’s name in their inbox.
It’s a simple, highly effective way to stay top of mind for when your customer is finally ready to take action. And every once in a while, you’ll write a headline that captures their attention and they’ll open it, read it, remember you, and you’ve just strengthened that relationship.
Email follow-up is a long game. It won’t produce massive results overnight, but with thoughtful growth and nurturing of your email list, it can become your most valuable asset in growing your business.
Think of it much the same way you would any other relationship though - if it gets neglected, it can be difficult to re-establish trust. You can’t go radio silent on your list for 6 months and then blast them with an offer.
Aim for 2-3 emails per week, giving your audience content that educates them, entertains them, inspires them, and lets them know about offers that pertain to them. They’re a friend at this point. Treat them like it.
Question 7: Are you delivering consistently excellent customer experiences?
Amazing customer experiences don’t happen by accident. You’ve got to have a plan in place, especially as your business grows, to make sure that each customer gets special treatment. That means things like handwritten cards, remembering birthdays, celebrating their wins, and building a community of loyal fans, not just customers.
An exercise I have every client go through is to list every phase of the sales process, from the moment a stranger first encounters your business all the way until the delivery of your product and service.
At each level, make a list of what you think your customers’ expectations of you are at that stage - what would it take to deliver a service they’re satisfied with?
Then, build on that. What can you do to go above and beyond your customers’ expectations so you not only serve them but delight them?
Customers who are thrilled with your service will spread the word. They’ll post about you on social media. They’ll tell their friends. But if you’re not delivering experiences they’re excited about, if you’re only giving them what they expect, they don’t have anything worth sharing.
Once you’ve gone through the 5-minute checklist, you’ve probably identified some spots where you can improve your business’s marketing. Every business has them.
Once you’ve done that, we want to help you make sure you put systems in place that take your business to the next level - it doesn’t happen by accident, and we know you’ve got enough on your plate as-is. We also know that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to building a marketing plan that works. But if we know a little more about your particular situation and the places you can improve, we can come up with a custom plan that’s perfect for you.
So we want you to book a free strategy session so that we can build the marketing that will grow your business.
All you’ve got to do is click the button below, schedule your time, and get marketing that works for your business. That way you can make more money, make more of an impact, and focus on what you do best.
Book a free strategy session with our team today and get your business on the right path.