How to Stay Consistent Across Your Small Business Marketing Strategy
Who should listen: This episode is for anyone who struggles to remain consistent in their marketing and is looking for a solution.
Key idea: Branding consistency is about more than your brand.
Action item: Examine your clients’ experience. Put yourself in their shoes, and ask whether their experience is a consistently good one. What are you doing to ensure that your level of service remains at the highest level? If you’re not sure, or if you don’t know, then make the necessary changes.
Small business owners wear so many hats that it’s difficult for many to give their full attention to any single task for any significant length of time.
Think about it—on any given day, the small business owner needs to be a human resources specialist, an operations manager, a production manager, an accountant, a salesperson, a marketing professional, and more.
We don’t have to tell you that running your own business is a tough gig.
With that in mind, in this week’s Stay Paid episode we address what our clients and listeners (who are mostly small business owners) have told us is one of their toughest challenges—being consistent across their marketing strategy.
And they aren’t asking only about branding consistency.
They’re also asking about how to remain consistent in their outreach to customers and clients too.
If you hope to stay top of mind with your customers and clients, then you know it is important to stay in contact with them. Consistent contact helps to develop familiarity with your brand among your sphere, and it enhances their trust in your business. How often you need to reach out will vary by the segmentation of your database (raving fans more often than one-time sales) and across industries, but it’s safe to say that if you’re in a service industry like real estate, insurance, finance, law, or medicine, the more the better.
Gary Keller of Keller Williams Realty and the author of The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It’s Not About the Money . . . It’s About Being the Best You Can Be!, (#ad) recommends that agents create 33 customer touchpoints every year. Luke mentions a conversation he had with a financial advisor from Ameriprise Financial who tracked their touchpoints and discovered their magic number was 31 customer touchpoints.
If that many customer touchpoints sound daunting, check out this schedule. It provides 32 touchpoints:
- A monthly newsletter (12)
- A monthly report (12)
- Annual report (1)
- Handwritten note (2)
- Free item of value (1)
- Call or text (2)
- Notice of an event (2)
While customer touchpoints can be any type of outreach, like a phone call, a text, or an email, you need to be sure you provide customers and clients with something of value. If you send out information, for example, that is redundant, outdated, trivial, or of poor quality, you’ll soon lose the trust you were seeking to build.
If all this still sounds like too much to handle with your already busy schedule, click here to learn about our digital and printed automated, affordable, and personally branded solutions that can reliably connect you with your clients multiple times a month.
Branding can be a complicated idea. The same can be said for branding consistency. In the simplest terms, brand consistency is about the stability of your brand’s message, values, and identity in the marketplace. To achieve consistency across your brand, we suggest that you begin with clearly defining what it is your business stands for and then making sure that idea is communicated across all your messaging and service.
When you listen to the episode, give attention to Luke’s example of Chick-fil-A. Luke believes that this company knows what it stands for and that consistently delivers its message across all its marketing and service.
Beyond considerations like the uniformity of your website design, logo, and use of color—those aspects of marketing that make you recognizable—there are features of your business that affect the perceptions and expectations of your audience, the people who will ultimately decide whether your brand is reliable.
Quality and service
High quality and great service will build trust in your brand—but only if that quality and service are consistent.
Luke mentions our magazines and their content as being of consistently high quality. It’s what we’re known for. If that quality started to suffer—let’s say we started to print our postcards on thinner paper or our branded social media posts were mundane—we’d lose the trust of our clients, who would likely find another company to work with pretty quickly!
The same standard of consistent quality applies to your service and/or products. Ask whether your service and quality are consistent across all the interactions you have with your clients and customers. For example, and depending on what you stand for:
- Does everyone on your real estate team answer the phone with the same friendly greeting?
- Is your pizza cooked to the same standards every time?
- Are your advisors providing each client with a return call within 2 hours?
- Is your patients’ wait time under 10 minutes?
- Do your service providers wear booties to protect your clients’ floors and rugs?
Is all this consistency worth it?
Consistency is, by definition, the same thing over and over again. It can be boring. It can also make you second-guess yourself—after all, there are a lot of shiny objects out there that might have you thinking you should be doing something else.
In Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t,(#ad) author Jim Collins, writes about a flywheel. He explains that the first turn of the flywheel is the most difficult, but, after a while, momentum keeps the wheel going with little additional effort.
The same can be said of being consistent across your small business marketing strategy.
Once your marketing gets going, especially in relationship marketing, it picks up speed and momentum. The trust you built with consistency starts to bring you repeat business and referrals. After a while, the people in your sphere will supply the energy that keeps your wheel spinning.
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