The Best Weapon For Your New Business: Non-Scalable Marketing
I’m sure you are familiar with this scenario:
Non-scalable marketing is the missing link if this feels like you: You have a great idea for a new business, create your website, and immediately start freaking out on how to get those subscriber’s numbers to go up. You try every strategy and tactic under the sun because you just know that without a huge following you won’t get anywhere, right? Well, not exactly…Non-scalable marketing is the missing link.
List envy is a very real thing for many entrepreneurs, especially when they are just starting. New businesses get crazy about numbers and metrics, and overlook the great advantage they have above the big names in the market: they are in the sweet spot to do non-scalable things for growing their business.
What is non-scalable marketing? It’s pretty self-explanatory: all those actions you can take that can’t be reproduced in large scale, and won’t bring thousands and thousands of new customers at your door. Oh no. They will bring the customers that matter.
Why you should do non-scalable marketing
There is a myth that somehow a business either has immediate success, or is just another failure. In reality, overnight success doesn’t just happen: you, the business owner, is who makes it happen.
All those tactics the big companies use do work and move the needle, but only in stages where your clients are in the thousands, where 1% growth equals millions in revenue. But when you are just starting, focusing on just growing your numbers no matter what is misplaced effort. You just need to focus just on getting those first, very real clients.
Business growth is not linear. There are a lot of variables in place that have direct incidence on the people that chooses to follow you. And while they may not be as glamorous as a great marketing campaign with bells and whistles, there are a lot of valuable things that you can do in early stages that will not work once you grow. The catch? If you don’t “play small” at the beginning, there won’t be a later.
So, let’s talk about what you can do to get those first clients, and start growing a healthy follower base.
The mailing list
Oh, the untapped power of the mailing list! I see business owners that don’t know what to do with it, that are too scared to send an email to people who already said they wanted to hear from you. Bloggers that only send blog updates and paid courses offerings…
Everybody knows they need to have a mailing list, but few know how to use it to its full potential: creating relationships with your readers.
Each time you send an email, it’s a chance to create a conversation with the real person on the other side of the screen. Automation tools make it seem very impersonal, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Try to send an email just asking your followers to tell you a little more about themselves: what they struggle with, what their goals are. Make it as personal as you can, and invite them to write you back.
The key here is that you also need to respond to those emails. Be genuinely interested in them, and be sure to show it.
People like being acknowledged. They like to feel special. And when you are just starting, small numbers make it very easy to connect with your followers in a level that most great companies can’t.
Getting your first clients
There is one thing that all startups have in common: in the beginning, the founders themselves went out to get those very valuable first clients.
Many business owners think that having a website and a blog is enough for people to throw money at them for whatever service they provide. In reality (unless you have a product or service that solve a very, very pressing need) that doesn’t happen. Is up to you to establish contacts and relationships with those that you consider your ideal clients, and prove the value of your business to them. Get them through the process of becoming your clients by the hand: show them exactly what you want them to do.
Keep in mind that customers are not stupid: don’t go to them just with the intention of closing your first sale; focus on providing value and making their life easier. The money comes afterward.
Going above and beyond
Making your clients feel special is something that should be a company policy. You ALWAYS should provide more than what they sign up for, is just good business (and key to get lifelong fans of what you do). However, there are certain things you can do with those very first customers that are hard to replicate when you grow.
From sending handwritten notes, to special gifts; everything that makes them feel one of a kind already sets the stage to get them from just clients to brand ambassadors: people who loyally follow your brand and business, and also share it with the world. There is nothing like mouth to mouth advertising!
Take advantage of being small: provide a level of service no big company can provide.
Creating relationships with those who “made it”
Reaching out to your market’s influencers can be a business life-saver. Busy people with thousands of followers and great businesses who already went through what you are experiencing in these early stages are a an invaluable knowledge source. But getting their attention it’s not always easy.
Create real connections with the leaders on your industry: reach out and offer them value. Trust me, most of them hear constant pitches of people who want to take advantage of their position, but are not interested in the people behind the business, only their fame.
Among the non-scalable things you can do: create content upgrades specifically for their blogs; introduce them to people you think can help them in any way; send them videos, podcasts, books, anything that you think they’ll find valuable. HELP them in your business without expecting anything in return. Be a friend, and they will acknowledge you as well.
Chances are you are already part of several Facebook groups, use Twitter, Instagram, and a plethora of other social media outlets. Being active and engaging with the community can be time consuming, but providing value with your comments or even sharing useful things is the right way to be recognized in the sea of digital faces: aim to be the name that people feel familiar with when you pop up in their newsfeed.
The key here is -again- to be genuine. See how that word keeps popping up?
Many new business owners are too focused on sales and followers that forget that being honest and showing themselves as real people (and not a number) is the real secret behind “selling without being salesy”.
Patience is King
Don’t be bummed out if the numbers are small at the beginning: is completely normal, especially with non-scalable marketing. But you’re creating much closer connections than regular marketing practices ever could.
Don’t judge the size of your business based on the successful ones. You are not there yet, but you will be! Focus in doing the right things, even when they seem laborious and inconsequential. Quality does much more for a business than quantity when it comes to the human asset.
And lastly, learn to enjoy the process of growing a business. You will regret not paying enough attention to everything you can learn along the way.
What non-scalable things are you doing for your business? Tell me in the comments!
Sol of Build Your Success has been her own boss for the past 7 years: from freelancer to branding strategist, and now as a business coach, she helps business owners pinpoint what’s going on in their business and provides growth strategies for smart entrepreneurs. She’s passionate about sharing her knowledge so everyone can build their own success and live the life they dream of. Join her facebook group, or follow her on pinterest or twitter