Here we are in June (!), and I’ll open this here with a reminder to many of my business owner friends (because most of you have to deal with this): estimated taxes for the second quarter are due June 15th.
This one always feels as if it came a little quick (two-month gap instead of the normal three), so you’ll want to make sure you have that set up in time.
Yes, yes, I know. So much “fun” to write that check. But we have to do this … and hopefully it might provide for you a little reminder to make sure we get ahead of the game this year on some proactive tax planning for you and your business.
We do a lot of work with local Columbia, MD areabusiness owners, of course, and so as a result I happen to receive a fair amount of marketing from clients and friends, in addition to the marketing that comes my way simply because people want to sell me their stuff.
So I thought I’d take this week to talk about how I’ve seen some of my business clients do well in getting their marketing tactics to be actually welcomed by their prospects.
Yes, you can market to your prospects and clients without feeling like a hype artist.
Because as much time as we spend “in” our businesses, it sometimes comes as a bit of a shock that our clients and prospects just don’t seem to care as much, right?
And in my (experienced) opinion, that’s often because we ignore this truth in the way we speak to our clients, and to prospects, and how we communicate to them…
Marketing Tactics that Lead to Business Growth, by Rajiv Mahajan
“No one has ever become poor by giving.” -Anne Frank
Let’s face it — most people will not instantly welcome “marketing” with open arms. Your prospects are busy, and they don’t (usually) spend their time thinking about you and your products or services. So, business owners need to learn how to market their businesses … without making it feel like they’re marketing their business too hard.
First, you need to be consistent.
The majority of small businesses are inconsistent in their follow-up to prospects (if they even DO follow up at all!). They might send an email or direct mail piece and then wait months before sending another one.
Unfortunately, without consistent communication, your prospect has no idea who you are. Do you know how quickly emails from unknown senders get deleted? Furthermore, inconsistency can cause a perception of ineffectiveness. Nobody wants to buy from a company they don’t believe to be well-run.
Don’t pitch so much.
Too often businesses and entrepreneurs, struggling to survive, send marketing pieces whose only goal is to promote their products or services … again, and again.
Now, promoting your products is necessary, and even great. But you need to do a lot more than that with your marketing tactics, if you want to get your information actually read! Your marketing messages should be positioning you as a respected authority in your industry. Be sure to include testimonials, endorsements, and awards your company has won, along with your sales message.
The story’s the thing.
Your follow-up and marketing must be informative … so provide valuable information! If you’re showing up with no value, you’ll wear out your welcome fast. You need to communicate that you are on their side and deserve to be trusted. You’ll accomplish this if you provide them with accurate, insightful, and *interesting* information.
One of the best ways to do this is to tell stories — about yourself, about your customers, your products (and their origins), even your suppliers and staff. People are hardwired to respond to stories, so don’t fight that reality.
You’ll notice that I try to put these marketing tacticsinto practice myself … they’re a big reason why our practice continues to grow, even in our current economy.
And you can do it too (if you’re not already).
I’m grateful for our chance to serve you and your business — and we are dedicated to its success. Which means we are here to keep you focused on what really works.
Feel free to share this post with any of your Columbia, MD area business associates or clients you know who could benefit from our assistance. While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for families and business owners.
Shalini Gupta & Associates, PA