by John Sanpietro
One of the most important aspects of any business, stamping or other, is their marketing & advertising. What kind of M&A you do, as well as how much and how consistently it's done, will go a long way in determining how successful your business will be.
Marketing & Advertising is broadly defined as the way you let your current and future customers know about your business. If these two important target audiences aren't aware of what you're doing, they can't participate. In that case, it doesn't matter how well you do what you do. If they don't know you're doing it, it won't be successful.
In this article, I'd like to focus on the Marketing and Advertising you do to attract new people to your stamping business. These are the people who don't know you… AND they don't know anyone who knows you. As you can imagine, this group represents a very large percentage of the population.
The problem I see with most stamping business owners is they only engage in word-of-mouth marketing. In other words, they rely on the people they already know to become their customers AND they rely on those customers to tell the people THEY know about the business.
There are two problems with relying exclusively on word-of-mouth marketing:
1. You're only exposing your business to a very small percentage of people – as I mentioned, the number of people who know you or are separated from you by one degree, pales in comparison to the number of 'strangers' out there. If you're not marketing to the strangers, you're missing out on 98% of your potential audience or more!
2. Word-of-mouth is a downward spiral – the average customer has a shelf life of 1-2 years. After that, they tend to fade away. At some point, the majority of your current customers will be on the wane, and that's where you'll start to encounter some problems. Word-of-mouth marketing will not replace your customers as quickly as you lose them at that point. And it certainly won't you to actually grow your customer base.
That's not to say you shouldn't be doing word-of-mouth. You just shouldn't be doing it exclusively!
In addition to word-of-mouth, you should be conducting concurrent marketing campaigns to groups of 'strangers' who fall outside your word-of-mouth 'sphere of influence.' That way, you have the best of both worlds. Your customers are helping you bring their friends into your business AND you're working on bringing in the people who never would have heard of you if you didn't market outside your sphere.
You have, literally, hundreds of different marketing opportunities available to you. It's just a matter of deciding which opportunity is going to be most effective with the target audience you'd like to attract.
The most important thing to remember is to conduct your marketing campaigns concurrently (don't put all of your eggs in one basket) and consistently (marketing is NOT a one-time thing – it's all about frequency and repetition).
So, plan your campaigns… then execute them. The result should be a consistent influx of new customers and energy into your stamping business.
Certified Professional Development Coach
Stamping Is My Business!