Marketing is really a bullshit way to get you to spend money on something you may not actually need and no matter how wise, un-materialistic or morally encompassed you may be, you do buy into marketing in some form or another.
Marketing when done right is highly strategic and in most cases subliminal, penetrating our psyche to buy into a grand sales scheme.
The question is, why are you not doing the same to promote your business. You might be dabbling in social media, doing a few mailshots and regularly attending networking meetings but what is it that you’re actually communicating with all these tasks?
Rather then using a simple approach of “services offered” and “discount prices” why not delve deeper into branding, marketing and design by trying these techniques to build your brand and market your business:
1.Making customers buy into your brand.
When making a purchase we all buy into a brand for one reason or another. Maybe you’re a big spender who wants the best that money can buy or maybe you’re a cautious spender looking for affordable value for money.
In both cases there’ll be a brand that’s speaking and marketing directly to you to solve your problem and the brand you buy from is the brand you bought into.
Buying into a brand is not about materialism, it’s about any given product or service connecting with you specifically.
If you don’t utilise branding to promote your business then give it a shot by starting with an identity system so you can start communicating visually with your potential clients.
2. Selling a lifestyle
Whatever we buy, we buy to improve our work, business or personal lifestyle so rather than selling your product or service, why not sell the benefit of it instead and I don’t mean just with words, sell the lifestyle that’s associated with your product or service.
Lifestyles represent an identity, ones that we already have or ones that we want and it can be broken down into so many variants:
Young, old, experienced, rich, poor, free, disciplined, happy, sad, liberal, conservative, productive, creative, family, single, bachelor, healthy, unhealthy, middle aged, middle class, upper-class, jetsetter, go getter, independent, hippy, celebrity, busy, success, stress etc.
All of the words above identify with a type of person and a lifestyle and you can use that information to visually design a brand that attracts that potential client base by mimicking their lifestyle or mirroring the lifestyle that they want.
Word of mouth is the biggest generator of business because it’s a dialogue between two people who share some form of trust. Apart from a brand or a lifestyle the biggest thing that people buy into is other people so why not use that to your advantage.
Personify your brand with yourself. Use your face, your name, content and expertise to generate your own word of mouth referral.
Personification builds trust and creates a relationship with the potential customer not to mention a visual confirmation of what to expect.
If you’re too shy to use your own face then be sure to use some form of personification in your marketing materials such as photos of other people. It adds the human touch which everyone wants.
Long gone is the 90’s sales pitch and in its place is content marketing, a more refined and honest sales pitch in the form of useful information.
People look online for information from anyone and everyone to ensure they can trust you before they buy from you and content marketing is way for potential clients to find you and build that trust immediately by you answering their questions specifically with tailor made content.
It’s a great way to brand, market and position yourself in today’s digital world and if you do it correctly, taking into account branding, lifestyle, design and personification then you can become an authorative figure for your niche sector.
Remember at the start when I mentioned that marketing taps into the human psyche? Well that’s what points 1, 2, 3 & 4 do but it’s all pretty subliminal. Everything is done subtly and likewise so should the design decisions for your brand creation.
Utilise colour, line, type, space and form to create subliminal messages that communicate with your potential clients. These might sound like hocus pocus and to be honest, it is but it does work.
All these little messages are what the brain picks up on subliminally and what’s remembered by a potential client after seeing your brand materials. It’s incredibly hard to find clients as a b2B service provider so the idea is to give them something to remember you by for that special time when they do your services.