Marketing is the way that you attract new leads to your business. What if you could improve the marketing performance of your business by simply shifting your mindset?
There are eight critical mechanical components of business. There are seven levels of core energy. I’m creating a series of posts called Business Mechanics & Mindset. You can read about these topics in more detail in my book entitled, “Business Mechanics & Mindset: How Your Thoughts Create or Sabotage Your Business Success”. Today’s post is the second of this series entitled Core Energy™ Marketing.
Before I go too far, I have created another post that you may want to read before you read this one. It is entitled “What is Core Energy?”. It explains the seven levels of Core Energy™ in detail that will be mentioned in this series.
Regardless of how you attract new customers to your business, marketing can be a great source of frustration for many business owners. If you’re starting out, you need to find your marketing voice. If you’re an established business, you need to maintain a strong marketing machine.
I have discovered that there are seven common foundational components of marketing in any small business: 1) niche, 2) message, 3) strategy; 4) tactics, 5) advertising, 6) lead generation, and 7) budget.
In today’s post, I will tell you a story of five different candle makers with five different marketing mindsets. Please pay attention to see which one of these are representative of your marketing mindset.
Debbie was told by others that she made great candles and that she could probably sell her candles to others. Debbie reluctantly decides she’ll give her candle business a try. She’ll try to sell her candles, and if it doesn’t work out, she’ll go back to looking for an unskilled job in retail.
Niche: Debbie decided that everyone could use a candles and that coming up with any specific person would limit her candle selling success.
Message: Debbie’s message was, “Candles by Debbie.” She tried out her message with a few close friends. Her friends looked a little bewildered. When they told Debbie, “I don’t get it.”, Debbie decided that there was really no way she could tell people about her candles until they bought one and so she gave up on the message.
Strategy: Debbie decided she should create a website and then build an e-mail list to attract people who liked candles. She printed business cards and attended local free networking groups. It seemed that she spent a lot of time and money, and no one was interested in buying her candles.
Advertising: Debbie created an Instagram account and posted a picture of the candles she made. Debbie didn’t want to beg people to share her posts or comment on them. Unfortunately, Debbie had few followers and so few people noticed her posts.
Budget: Since Debbie sells her candles for $5 and it costs her $4.50 in materials, she doesn’t have much money to market. She sticks to posting on Instagram and Facebook. She believes if she can’t sell candles this way, it’s no use wasting money on paid advertising.
Results? Debbie sold a few candles to a few close friends. She called these “pity sales”. She decided no one wants her candles, so she gave up on her candle business.
Francine noticed that her neighbor, Clair, was selling candles on Etsy. She thought, “I can sell candles, too. In fact, I can make better candles than Clair, sell more and make more money.”
Niche: Francine decided she would focus on selling her candles to the same people who were buying candles from Clair. After all, it would be easier to sell a better candle to people who had already identified themselves as candle buyers. Right?
Message: Francine’s message was quite clear, “Get Clair’s quality for 20% less with Francine.”
Strategy: She created a website that was identical to Clair’s website. In fact, Francine had many of Clair’s keywords on her website so that when people would try to find Clair’s website, they would be re-directed to Francine’s site.
Advertising: Since Francine was charging 20% less than Clair for her candles, she couldn’t afford to launch a formal ad campaign. Instead, Francine would comment on Clair’s ads with a link to her website to try to pick off clients from Clair.
Budget: Francine spent little on advertising. She believed that most online social media sites were rip-offs that didn’t work. There was no way they’d take advantage of her.
Results? Francine was able to get a few clients from her competitive tactics to pick off leads from Clair. Once Clair caught on to what Francine was doing, she blocked her on social media. Her limited success was short-lived. Francine decided that she would try a similar tactic selling something else to see if this malicious strategy could work for other products.
Easy Going Emily
Emily loved making candles. She was told by friends that she could make some good money by selling her candles to others. Emily got free coaching from a local business development center. She listened intently to the coach’s advice on creating a niche, message, strategy, getting the right advertising and setting her budget.
Niche: Emily decided to get some traction selling her candles to her friends who said they liked her candles so much. Her friends loved flower graphics on scented candles. Emily decided her ideal client was a woman between the ages of 25 and 55 who was attracted to flower patterns.
Message: Emily had a hard time coming up with a creative message to sell her candles. She decided that she would copy others who said they offered good service. Emily’s message was “flowery candles and service with a smile.” Her friends seemed to like her message, so it must have been compelling.
Strategy: Emily would attend women’s networking groups. She was able to sell a few candles to women in her groups. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like her network contacts were doing a very good job of referring her to others.
Advertising: Emily created brochures to hand out at networking meetings. She also posted pictures of her candles on social media to get noticed. Since Emily was getting a few leads and sales each week, she felt like this was probably the best she could do.
Budget: The cost of Emily’s brochures wasn’t that much since she used a local printer. She paid nothing but her time for social media posts. Occasionally, she’d pay to boost one of her social media posts. All-in-all, she paid about $100 a month for advertising to sell $300 worth of candles each month. She wasn’t making much of a profit, but she liked the fact that others were buying candles that she loved to make.
Results? Emily did okay. She may eventually grow her craft into a viable business once word-of-mount improves.
Felicia was a candle-maker just like the others. However, Felicia was in it for the social interaction. She really loved people and wanted to create something that would make their lives better. Like the others, Felicia also wanted to grow a business that would serve people beyond her circle of friends.
Niche: Felicia was very clear about her niche. Her candles were focused on uplifting her customers. Each candle would have an encouraging message printed in bold text on the outside of the candle. Her ideal client was a mom who was stuck at home with kids or cleaning chores.
Message: Her message was simple but effective… “When you’re feeling stressed out, relaxation and encouragement can be as easy as lighting an Uplifting Candle.”
Strategy: She created an Amazon store that allowed for quick delivery of her candles to willing buyers. She would attract women on Facebook and allow them to quickly purchase multiple candles in her Amazon store.
Advertising: She knew that “stay at home” moms spent a lot of time on Facebook. This meant that she would run Facebook ad campaigns targeted to women between 25 and 45 years old. The ads had images of her candles with a woman drinking a glass of wine while chaos was happening in the background.
Budget: Felicia would have to stock her Amazon store and ensure that she had enough orders. Felica budgeted $1,000 per month for advertising on Facebook. She estimated that she would spend $1 per click and that she would sell one candle per three clicks. This meant that she would sell close to 300 candles per month.
Results? Felicia lost money for the first three months. She had some good weeks and some bad weeks. After her fourth month, it was apparent that Felicia would need to hire help or start mass-producing her candles. The money was good. However, the primary reward for Felica's success was the praise she received from happy customers.
Olivia the Opportunist
Olivia was Felica’s neighbor. When Felicia became successful, she started asking neighbors for help. Olivia was one of the first people that she contacted. Olivia was successful at helping others grow craft businesses and Felica believed that Olivia could help her grow her candle business.
Niche: Olivia helps Felicia create two other niche customers. The first niche of “stay at home” mom’s is doing well, so this stays the way it is. However, office workers are also stressed. Right? Felicia creates a niche for male office workers between the ages of 25 and 45; and another niche for female office workers between 25 and 45.
Message: Felicia’s message remains the same as it serves her two new niches as well as her previous message.
Strategy: Felicia’s Amazon store is booming. However, to attract random seekers on the internet, Olivia convinces Felicia to educate clients on how the scent of the right kinds of candles reduce stress. Felicia creates video shorts on Instagram and Youtube that illustrate ways to reduce stress.
Advertising: Her advertising has shifted from Facebook ads to video shorts on relaxation techniques. She includes advertisements for her candles in her videos. Her videos are short and create a massive following on Youtube. Her brand of Uplift Candles has become synonymous with her relaxation technique videos.
Budget: Felicia is spending 20% of her revenue on advertising campaigns to dramatically ramp up sales of her Uplift Candles.
Results? Olivia is helping Felicia create supply chains to create candles at a pace that will keep up with sales on Felicia’s Amazon store. Felicia has made it. Thousands of people are getting the stress relief they desire, and Felicia’s candle business is a wild success.
As you listened to these five stories, I hope that you identified with one of the five. Let’s review…
§ Debbie Downer is at Level 1 Victim with the core thought of “I Lose”. The victim mindset in marketing is defeatist. The victim may try something and quickly give up. Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Most small business owners fail on their first try at marketing their business. Victims won’t try a second time.
§ Fighting Francine is at Level 2, Conflict with the core thought of “I Win, You Lose”. Francine wanted to beat her competition. She was so focused on this competition; she couldn’t create a unique and sustainable strategy to grow her candle business.
§ Easy Going Emily is at Level 3, Acceptance with the core thought of “I Win”. Emily did relatively well at creating a small craft business. She may have eventually grown as more people bought her candles. This was fine for Emily, and she had little energy to grow her craft business to higher levels.
§ Friendly Felicia is at Level 4, Compassion with the core thought of “You Win”. Felecia had a mission to make her customer’s world a better place. This is always a winning strategy in business. Ironically, most business outsiders see businesspeople as greedy narcissists. Felicia proved that you can create business success by putting your customer’s needs first.
§ Olivia the Opportunist is at Level 5, Opportunity with the core thought of “Win-Win”. Olivia saw the expanded opportunity of Felicia’s candle business to expand to other markets.
I created these fictional stories to illustrate these five Core Energy™ levels. I run into these mindsets with my business owner clients on a regular basis. When my clients shift their mindset from a lower level to a higher level, they experience positive results. Even when they experience negative results at first, they use those negative results as a learning opportunity instead of proof that their product or service isn’t desired by willing buyers.
How do you use Core Energy™?
If you’re struggling in marketing your business, try to identify which level you’re at in these five levels. Here’s how you do it.
Identify a frustrating component of your current marketing effort.
Describe that component at five different energy levels.
Identify the level that you are currently at.
Shift your thought one level up to see how things improve.
Keep doing this until you stay most of the time at Level 5.
One more thing…
Marketing success looks quite different for different businesses in different industries. There are hundreds of marketing tactics. Don’t feel bad if what worked for someone else doesn’t work for you. Find the unique marketing tactic and strategy that works for you; and give it at least six months before you try something different.
I hope that you now better understand how Core Energy™ works with marketing in your business. If you’d like to learn more about how I coach my business owner clients with Core Energy Coaching™, please visit my website at www.mmbizcoach.com.