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Part 1: Setting the Foundations

First Things First…

We’re about to jump into the first part of the series covering my quick business and marketing strategy. But first I want to make sure that you will receive the subsequent parts of the series without a hitch.

You’re about to receive an email from me with a link to this page for your records. Remember to whitelist my email address ([email protected] ) to make certain that you receive the emails to follow.

And if you’re a Gmail user, then the new tab system might affect you. There’s a good chance that my email might end up in your “Promotions” tab. To make things easier, go into that tab and drag that email into your “Primary” tab to make sure you see the next email as soon as it gets there.

The process is simple and looks something like this:

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For any email provider: if you don’t get the email within the next few minutes check your spam folder.

Ok, let’s jump into it…

Do you know what you’re aiming at?

Honestly, this is the first step that needs to be taken in any marketing campaign. So it’s an important one.

If you’re well-read on the topic of marketing, some of this may not be new. But make sure to read through this. There may be some new nuances here. And it will all culminate in something pretty awesome when you put all the steps together.

Business is really very simple. You just need a good offer, and the right people to get in front of it. Once you get a repeatable system for doing those things, you’re pretty set.

Before you shoot you have to aim. And preferably you should know what you’re aiming at.

If you’ve looked into marketing your business long enough, you have probably already heard that you should pick a target market to go after. There’s a reason they tell you that…it’s absolutely essential.

And it’s going to be the basis for what you’re going to do in steps two and three of this three part process.

Now, this may scare some people. And it may even seem counter-intuitive. But narrowing your field of potential customers is actually the quickest way to success and growth.

Plus, it makes life a whole lot easier for you.

  • Branding? You can come up with your branding in just a few minutes.
  • Marketing? Once you’ve targeted someone you can figure out exactly what you need to do to go after them or get in front of them.
  • Sales? It’s a lot easier to sell someone when you are speaking on their level and in their language.
  • Advertising? It’s a whole lot more effective (and much cheaper to advertise to a specific set of people than to the world at large.

If you are an accountant or bookkeeper you can pretty much crunch numbers for anyone. But what happens when you say you perform your services for everyone? 

By performing your service for everyone, you are also competing with everyone. 

By marketing to everyone, you are really marketing to no one. 

But let’s assume that you decide you’re going to focus a bit more. And you decide that you’re going to do accounting for entertainers. Hell, let’s go one step forward and say you want to market yourself as the accountant for stage play actors.

In most cities that probably won’t get you very far. If you do that here in New York, however, you’d probably be pretty well off (assuming you actually get the clients that are getting paid for their acting :) ).

Go as detailed as you can without whittling down to the point of not having a profitable market left.

So anyway…let’s assume that’s what you go with.

Now, your marketing can be laser focused. Instead of having a website that says “small business accountant” like ever…single…other…accountant…in…existence…

You can have a website that speaks directly to that prospect. Your headline can now read “We take care of the number crunching so that you can focus on what really matters: perfecting your craft.”

Boom!

That just went to the heart and soul of every actor that will land on that website. And when you can craft messages that talk directly to someone in this fashion, you can go as archaic as you want with your marketing and still see some results. Even cold emails can work. I know because I’ve used them to some extent with one of the businesses.

Although I wouldn’t recommend it…it’s not efficient. And I’ll tell you a much better way of reaching your audience in one of the next installments of this mini-course.

Put into Practice…

In 2013 I launched two separate businesses that gained very quick traction. And that traction was completely based in this idea of focusing on a target market.

It’s no coincidence that I used accountants as an example here. One of the businesses I launched is focused at accountants:

ProfitCrunching: Marketing Services and Training for Accountants

Through Content Strategy Hub I provide general marketing advice for basically anyone that wants to hear it. The focus is often on using content, which narrows the subject somewhat, but it doesn’t narrow the target audience. And that’s what you want.

Even the name “ProfitCrunching” is a play on words. Accountants are often viewed as number crunchers. Well one of the lines I like to use with this business is…

Number crunching is a lot more fun when the numbers are profits…and the profits are your own.

I came up with the name and tagline almost instantly after figuring out the target market. And it just so happened that the domain name was available…which didn’t hurt :) .

So you can see how something like this would speak more directly to accountants than my blog at Content Strategy Hub.

The other business I launched is one focused at dentists. Again, I branded it in a similar manner. And again it didn’t take very long.

I don’t want to go into this particular business in detail here. But the early results were tremendous. After about 30 cold emails I had the first client paying me $97/month (for which the vast majority of the work takes one day up front).

That’s the power of speaking directly to someone and their needs.

But again, I wouldn’t recommend doing cold emails because they are very inefficient. Especially in my case because I was harvesting the contact information myself. I’m not a fan of buying lists because most of them are absolutely terrible. So quite frankly, it was exhausting.

But don’t worry, over the next few installment of this series you’re going to see a much better (easier and more effective) way to get in front of a targeted audience.

Choosing Your Target Market

If you are starting from scratch, begin on a high level. There are really just a few main factors that you need in a target market:

  • You have knowledge, a product or a service that they will find valuable.
  • There need to be potential buyers (they need to have money to spend).
  • There needs to be potential interest (your business is relevant to them).

If you aren’t starting from scratch, but rather already have an established business, evaluate if you are targeting the right audience. If you are, then you’re in good shape for the next few parts of this series.

Choosing Your Offer

I was actually thinking about leaving this section off completely. If you already have an established business with a customer list then you don’t really need with the offer part.

If you’re starting from scratch, however, there’s a whole different reason I was going to leave this off. It may be counter-intuitive, but…

The offer is often less important than the audience.

Building a list of potential buyers can help you validate your offer before you invest any serious time or money into it. There are even plenty of instances of people make some serious money pre-selling products or services before they were even available.

There is nothing to validate a business idea like someone actually reaching into their wallet and purchasing from you.

Focusing on building your prospect list rather than building your offer allows you the ability to be flexible. It allows you to create an offer they would actually want. And it allows you to pivot into a completely different direction of the initial idea is a dud.

I actually did this with the small initial list of prospects I built at ProfitCrunching, scrapped the initial idea and provided them with something that there was a lot of interest in.

However, you do need to start with something. And unless you have a completely new, revolutionary idea, you want to have an idea of whether it might be successful or not, right?

The quickest way to decide is to look out into the marketplace and see if something similar exists. Again, this counter-intuitive for most people, but competition is a good thing!

First of all, it validates that there is a demand for your offer in the market place. And second of all, I’m going to show you how to leverage your competition in the next few sections of the series.

Coming up next…

That’s going to do it for the first installment. We’ve covered the foundations you need to establish for speedy business success.

In the next installments you’ll discover how to build credibility, avoid the mistake that most business owners make which leads to leaving a lot of money on the table, and I’ll give you a way to get in front of your target market to get a ton of targeted leads for your offer.

Stay tuned and check your email tomorrow!