Most of us have a cupboard in our kitchen with pantry essentials–perhaps a bag of flour, some sugar and spices. These may seem like basic ingredients, but when the occasion calls for it, they can be turned into a celebration cake or other fitting treat.
Marketing can be the same. With a few items in stock, you can easily take advantage of any opportunity to promote your business. Let me give you an example. During my PR days in London, I worked on a campaign that won multiple awards, fostered civic pride and has continued to evolve for over ten years. The campaign started with a box of button badges.
We got a tipoff our borough was to be named “Worst Place to Live” on national television. With 48 hours’ notice and no allocated budget, we had to act fast. We called on local journalists, turned local outrage into positive stories, created an e-card for people to respond directly to and handed out thousands of badges.
On the day of broadcast, every public building had a banner professing love for the borough. Bus drivers, shops, police, postal staff and many others wore badges with pride. The campaign became the story. In this case, our store cupboard ingredients were the badges and the relationships we had established with journalists and the local people.
What do you need in your marketing store cupboard?
Think through what “just in case” things you can have to help you whip up some magical marketing. This might be as simple as always having a snazzy jacket in your office for an impromptu TV appearance. It might be making sure your website is ready to cope with increased traffic should your coaching receive acclaim. For others, it might be having signage ready to attend a trade show or flyers for a short-notice networking event. Some of the best opportunities need a rapid response to maximize the opportunity they create.
What about your daily marketing habits?
So you spotted a survey about leadership burnout, and you offered a media interview on a coach’s perspective. Whipping out the snazzy jacket from your office, you head to the TV studio. Suddenly you are the go-to coach and all over the press. You are so busy trying to fit it all in that when the interest subsides, you realize you have neglected the marketing for your core business. This might be an extreme example, but when we get busy, many of us stop marketing.
No matter how busy you are, I bet most of you brush your teeth several times each day. You probably have a series of habits you do every single day, no matter what. To be successful with your marketing, you need to create systems and habits that allow that level of consistency.
If you use social media as a marketing tool, scheduling your posts is one great example. Building a series of auto-responders is another. But these daily habits don’t have to be high-tech. Every time you go out, be sure to have a handful of business cards. It’s a basic approach that nets results. Developing a value proposition that you are comfortable using when meeting new people is another.
Marketing can sometimes feel overwhelming. By breaking it down to basic simple approaches, it can become as ingrained a daily habit as brushing our teeth.
Mary Anna Wright Ph.D., PCC works with coaches from around the world, helping them develop their businesses and deepen their coaching skills. She runs regular mentor programs that support coaches applying for ICF Credentials, and she also does some coach supervision. Her coaching focuses on leadership development, particularly for communications managers in the nonprofit sector. Five years ago, Mary Anna left a successful PR career in London and moved to her family farm in Donegal, Ireland. She was welcomed by ICF Ireland and is a past President of the Chapter. Learn more at www.maryannawright.com.
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