When a client of mine asked me recently if there were other ways to market herself that were more consistent with her being an introvert, I decided it was time to address one of the biggest misconceptions in small business: the one-size-fits-all marketing, which is based on assumptions of how marketing should be carried out.

I am a marketer, and I have fell prey of what marketing should be like. How not to? Every day there is a new tactic, app, tech, trend or shiny-object distracting us! I have lost count of the times I rolled out marketing strategies and tactics that at some point became unsustainable. I wondered if there was a marketing that would work for me.

The real problem is that we’re carrying many worn-out assumptions about what marketing should be like (you need to be present in all social media platforms, you need to blog, secure speaking gigs, etc.). The result? You can’t bring yourself to do it consistently. In consequence, your business suffers, and your wallet too.

Time to set you free from pushing yourself to do something that feels icky!

If you want to grow your business, more than the latest hot trend, you need a marketing strategy executed effortlessly, so that you can be consistent over time. When you build your business on these two fundamental components (marketing that works for you + consistency over time), you’ll never have to worry about getting an ROI on your small business marketing or feel you have to force yourself to do stuff you do not fell aligned with.

How to have a marketing that is effortless?

By having a marketing strategy in place and paying attention to your marketing style.
Simply put, marketing style is the manner how we do marketing. If we do not enjoy writing or spending time on social media, basing our marketing strategy on tactics that rely heavily on blogging and posting will become unsustainable.

Additionally, when you think about how much time you need to invest in your online marketing and social media strategies, it just doesn’t make any sense to force yourself to do something you don’t like, or that makes you feel uncomfortable or inauthentic.

So why not create a marketing strategy that suits your style? Here are things to consider.

Identify your communication style

From my experience in working with small business owners, I have noticed the following styles.

Introvert: you tend to spend more time on listening to your customers rather than on talking and advertising to them.

Extrovert: the more you engage and talk to people, the more energised you feel. You love the limelight and prefer to take action quickly instead of overthinking things.

Tribal: when you prefer to promote and sell your products/services to related people with whom you already have a relationship.

Person-to-person: you prefer to create lasting and more profound results, and hence you look to connect with your audience in a personal way. In many aspects, it is similar to tribal.

Pro automation: you use applications and software to promote your business automatically on the Internet and social media. You favour technology above being more personal.

Strategy  by style

Introvert: strategies that give you the time you need to formulate your thoughts and engage your audience on your terms like blogging and email marketing are a good fit for you. Promote your content on platforms that allow you to engage without sapping your energy, such as LinkedIn, and Twitter. And if you are the analytical style, leverage on Google ads using keywords.

Extrovert: If sharing your endless energy is what keeps you going, consider vehicles that capture your personality, such as videos, public speaking, webinars, and workshops. Share your videos on platforms that allow you to engage with your audience and enroll them in your brand like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat.

Tribal: since you generate leads or sales by creating a relationship or affinity with your customers consider joining groups in different places, whether online or offline: Facebook, LinkedIn, and various fora or associations. Help out with causes you care about so that you’re quickly connecting with like-minded people in structured and meaningful ways. Evaluate building joint ventures with complementary brands. This combination of brands and personalities is the ideal way for you to grow your business.

Person-to-person: inspiring your customers and touch their lives is a pillar of your strategy. Build relationships with your target customers by listening, storytelling, and sharing experiences with them.
Referral marketing is also a good fit for you, as it works on word of mouth, and this is the ultimate person-to-person form of marketing. Social media are great amplifiers for your message, and while you may not like them, you need to consider them in your strategy.

Pro automation: Nothing wrong to leverage on automation to spread your message. Efficient people manage to be so by, well, automating processes and repetitive tasks. Just be watchful, tools aren’t magical, and you may end up missing the connection and become unable to truly and accurately understand customers and address their issues.

 

When you choose an online marketing strategy that respects your style, your efforts will have an enjoyable feeling that will render your marketing almost effortless, and they will get you real results.

Claudia Schalkx is a small business marketing advisor. She is the founder of bridge2MORE and helps entrepreneurs and small business to move from random acts of marketing to concrete action so they can grow their business.

This blog was originally published in Business Fit Magazine Jan/Feb 2018

Images: freepik

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