Determined to Dominate

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I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. There’s no getting around it. These are uncertain times we’re living in.

And in times like these, so many business owners panic and go static. They stop making decisions for their business’ future and get tunnel vision in the present. When really, particularly in a time like this, the best thing you can do—aside from active and intentional hiring (see my thoughts in the November issue)—is master your marketing.

The shop owners that aren’t marketing right now are freaked out. I have clients that felt like they were working in a war zone this year. They’re in areas that have been especially shaken up by the pandemic, or protests or political issues and charged election events and they’re afraid to spend money on anything, let alone marketing.

Businesses around them are boarding up their windows and they feel like they’re going to lose everything. But if they’re not marketing, their businesses will die.

Not only will you be getting the word out that you’re in business, but you’ll be getting ahead and increasing your market share—because so many other shops aren’t.

We saw this back in 2008. The housing market crashed, and the people who marketed like crazy saw their businesses explode with growth, while everyone else went downhill. And you see this in so many industries. The breakout success stories are the ones that tried something new and went another way. You want to move opposite of the herd, because more often than not, the loudest voice leading that crowd isn’t the wisest.

That’s not to say you need to rush in and get ahead of yourself. Throwing yourself all in on a marketing strategy you don’t really understand is just going to keep you spinning your wheels. You’re better off picking one marketing medium to focus on and dominating at it.

If you’re going to go after direct mail, become a true master at all things direct mail. If you’re going to give AdWords a shot, go all in. Become the master of AdWords in your market. Whatever you choose, make sure you’ve gone after it and torn it apart before you move on to anything else.

It might sound limiting to focus on just one medium, but it’s a strategy that will actually help elevate your shop in the marketplace because the customers that visit that medium regularly will be seeing or hearing or reading your ads over and over again. Whether it’s a radio station or social media, or serving ads online, committing fully to that medium will make that customer think you’re the preferred provider in that market through all of their interactions on that medium.

Potential clients aren’t seeing you on other mediums just yet, but you’ll be making an impact in the spot they are seeing you. Carving out that niche for your shop will give you a key foothold to grab onto in a post-COVID market.

And once you’ve mastered that first medium, once you’ve owned it and you’re seeing progress, expand to a second, then a third, then a fourth. Trying to ace five completely different mediums at once is just going to overwhelm you and leave you with disappointing results, becoming a big waste of time.

You want to look back at this time and know you did it right, taking action with a strategy rather than acting (or not acting) out of fear. The people that do are going to see it pay off greatly down the line

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