DOUBLE YOUR BUSINESS IN 3 STEPS
STEP 2: DO MARKETING LIKE A PRO
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to be a good marketer. But neither is there a silver bullet or one-size-fits-all solution. Every small business is different — the marketing plan and tactics for a software product are entirely different from those of a mortgage broker, and for that matter, a security services firm. However, the process of building a plan, sticking to it and applying the time and resources it needs is the common secret to success in marketing.
While there are countless marketing tactics that you can use, here are a few that have been tried and true in the security services industry.
First determine your target market
As appealing as it might sound, remember that “everyone” is not your target market! You need to determine which market segments are the best fit and most lucrative for you. Here are some major categories that you should consider:
- Building management
- Retail businesses
- Event venues
- Educational institutions
And there are of course several sub-segments within each market that might be worth further exploration such as banks, malls, construction sites, factories, gated communities etc. Only you can make the determination about which market is best suited for your skill sets and experience in combination with how much demand there is in each segment.
Create a marketing roadmap and monthly budget
While I won’t go into how to create a 50-page marketing plan, the general idea here is to list out your marketing goals and then develop marketing communications strategies and tactics that lead you to those marketing goals. For example, if one of your goals is to present proposals to at least 10 new potential customers in a month, you would need to come up with a plan that might include several marketing tactics that add, let’s say, a 100 new “leads” into your marketing funnel (assuming 10% conversion rate. These numbers are for illustration purposes only – your conversion rate might be very different).
And while there are literally hundreds of marketing tactics that you can deploy to achieve your overall marketing goals, I very highly suggest that you pick 3-5 and put your time, effort and money into the ones that have proven to work for you. We will cover a few of these below.
In this digital world brochures, business cards and other print collateral is still worth their weight in gold. Make sure to get professional looking brochures and business cards made and to always keep a stack of them on hand whenever you are out and about. You never know when they might come in handy.
If you are a small company, you might be able to get away with using your personal LinkedIn profile for businesses purposes – as long as it is professionally done and updated! For larger companies, investing a little time and effort into creating a great company page can pay off dividends in the long run. There are countless resources available online to help you create a great company page as well as best practices on how to market to and engage your audience there. Also, make sure to include a link to your LinkedIn profile in your signature in any email communications with potential clients.
When most people think of their personal network, they think of close family and friends. While you definitely want to leverage your relationships with those nearest and dearest, you really want to explore your extended network as well. These networks might include:
- All social networks that you are part of: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc
- Friends of friends – many social networks also let you see who is in your friend’s network
- Your alumni networks
- Previous clients, employers and vendors
- Any fraternities or sororities that you might belong to
- Any religious organizations you might be a member of
If you are struggling to find the right contacts in your current personal network, there are several ways you can expand your network to include those who can help you grow your business. Here are some ways of doing exactly that:
- Attend “Meetup” groups (go to meetup.com for more info)
- Attend industry conferences and trade shows
- Join professional or trade organizations (for example Chamber of Commerce, restaurant association etc). You should also consider sponsoring their events or advertising in their publications
- Volunteer where you might come in contact with people who might be able to help
While most of the above tactics require a considerable amount of time and effort, over time you will notice that tapping your network is one of the best ways to get more introductions and to grow your business organically. Also, I can’t stress enough that you do not want to approach the relationships you have built over time as a “lead” generation machine. This is not about how many people in your network you can “pitch” to but about building further trust with them and helping them to help you with your business.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO refers to a combination of strategies, techniques and tactics to increase the quality and quantity of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in search results. There are many aspects to SEO from the keywords on your pages to the way other sites link to your website on the web. Sometimes SEO is simply a matter of making sure your site is structured in a way that search engines understand while many times it is much more complicated. I highly recommend letting a professional handle your SEO needs. You can simply search for them online or better yet ask your network to see if they can recommend someone who is reputable.
Content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand. The goal of content marketing is to attract a clearly defined audience as well as to showcase your knowledge and expertise in your field. There are literally thousands of sites dedicated to helping you create better content. Some of the ones that come to mind include:
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) / PPC (Pay Per Click)
The difference between “SEO” and “SEM” is that Search Engine Marketing is paid marketing whereas SEO is organic in nature. SEM refers to the ads that you see on Google search results page or on Facebook and other sites. More often than not you are charged based on the number of clicks your ads receive and hence the term “pay per click”. As with content marketing, there are numerous sites dedicated to helping you with SEM. Some SEM training sites include:
Crafting an effective customer referral program is relatively simple and can produce a great return on investment especially if your offer is a lucrative one for those referring business to you. For example, you can offer your current clients $500 worth of your services for any referral business that you close. You can also put something similar in place (with a cash payout instead of offering free services) for those who are not your clients but rather service your potential clients, for example, accountants, real estate developers, smaller law firm etc. Also, I highly recommend offering your referral program to everyone in your extended network (see above) – a monetary incentive can be a big motivator for many.
I hope this was helpful to you. As a reminder, if you haven’t already taken ODIN was a spin, I very highly recommend you sign-up for a free trial. While ODIN can’t help you market your business, it can surely help you close more deals as it has done for many of our clients.
Also, if you haven’t already signed up for ODIN, make sure to start your FREE trial today. ODIN is an intuitive and low-cost scheduling and incident reporting system for security personnel on-the-go
ODIN has 2 components:
A Mobile App (iOS and Android) for the security personnel where they can:
– View their shifts (and locations) that they are assigned to
– Check in at the location when they arrive and check out when they leave
– Record any incidents with the ability to add description as well as pictures
A simple and intuitive Management Console where the manager can:
– See the location of all the security personnel who are on duty
– Manage employees and add client locations
– Create schedules for the security personnel (which they can access from their app)
– Review case notes and create reports for clients