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Over the years marketing seems to have become a bit of a dirty word and many entrepreneurs get an icky feeling as soon as the word is mentioned. I’m not entirely sure why but I have a sneaking suspicion that everything that gets put in front of us gets labeled as marketing these days. I want to turn this upside down and make you fall in love with marketing by looking at it in a different way. Big mission, yes it is indeed!

Here’s what marketing really is:

Connecting

True marketing is about making connections with your potential clients and clients. Marketing is much more than shouting ‘buy this from me now’. It’s about having a genuine conversation with someone who could be your ideal client and creating a connection. It’s about seeking out ways to make that connection, authentically and not through force.

Building relationships

Especially in this day and age it’s about building relationships. People buy from those they know, like and trust. So firstly, you need to look at the first point – connecting to let people get to know you, then you work on building relationships to get people to like you and the next step is trust.

Listening

Listening to your audience and responding to their needs builds trust as well as likeability. We live in a noisy world and people like to be heard, they want to know that their question or request is heard and acknowledged. The best marketing tool you can use is to listen and genuinely feel your customers’ ‘pain’. Let them know you understand and how you can help them.

Being authentic

We’ve all seen the glitter and glamour of big business, these days it’s about being authentic and showing that there is a person behind the brand. People buy from people so it’s good to show emotion and personality.

Story telling

Marketing is about telling your story in a compelling way. Each business and product has a story and it’s your job to tell this story in an authentic, fun and compelling way. It’s about evoking emotion in your clients.

Marketing is not:

Sales

A lot of people confuse sales and marketing and think they’re the same thing. They’re not. They are surely related and should really be used simultaneously but there is a difference. To put it in a nutshell, marketing is everything you do to reach and entice your potential client whereas the sales process is what you do to finalise the process to get a purchase, contract or signed agreement.

Marketing is made up of strategies (or at least it should be) that you can measure and work to entice your potential client that you are the right fit for them. It’s your message that prepares them for the sale. Marketing could consist of advertising, public relations, social media, relationship marketing, email marketing, brand marketing, viral marketing, and direct mail.

Sales on the other hand is the process of interpersonal interaction. It’s often done by a one-on-one meeting, cold calls, and networking. It’s anything you do that engages you with the potential client on a more personal level instead of at a distance.

Pushy tactics

I’m sure we’ve all had the pushy sales assistant trying to talk us into buying something we don’t need or want but we buy it anyway because we can’t say no and they push us into buying. That’s NOT marketing, that’s just a pushy sales assistant. I’d like you to think about marketing as storytelling, as sending your much needed and important message that people need to hear.

If you speak from the heart and come from a place of authenticity, you will attract those that want to hear from you and need you in their lives. It’s not a case of build it and they will come, because you do actually need to work for it. It’s more a case of stand tall and shine your bright light around you and they will come.

Sleazy/icky/insert own word

Marketing is marketing. It doesn’t have to be sleazy/icky/insert own word. Marketing in it’s purest form is authentic and is what you make it. You define how you send your message out to the world. I’m really hoping that by now you are able to rephrase marketing into storytelling. Stand tall and let your bright light shine on the world. You are needed and your message needs to be heard.

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