The Best of Ask Christina First: Marketing

By Christina Suter on Jan 31, 2015 at 10:54 AM in Business Issues
The Best of Ask Christina First: Marketing

Just as I've discussed leadership in the past, so too have I often covered the topic of marketing. As a leader in your company, management is essential. You are to watch the bottom line, interact with employees, manage the profit margin, and ensure the company is moving forward. Another piece to leadership though, is marketing.

The first step in effective marketing is realizing that branding is involved in everything you do. From the initial vision you had of your company to client and customer interactions, it’s all branding.

If you woke one day with the idea of opening a luxury spa in an area that could financially support your business, that luxury vision is where your branding begins. Your vision determines your branding, so you know that you want to offer a relaxing spa experience, which means furnishing your business with sofas, comfortable tables, qualified staff, and luxury amenities. Unlike a nail salon down the street, your business offers hand massages as well as manicures, mask treatments, and massages. All of those are products that speak to your vision and when you have a clearly defined product, you brand accordingly.

After you've done the work to market your brand, to put your business together, it's essential that you make your product find-able. There is no use in doing all the work and making the time and money investment and not have anyone know that you exist. 

Have a marketing plan and use your strengths. If you are naturally great at socializing and conversing, speaking in public, and you are energized by being around others, networking events, and speeches are a great way for you to market yourself and have your brand seen. Use a ground swell marketing strategy where every person you come in contact hears a little about what you do and offer and is given a business card. 

If you are a stronger writer, social media and blogs on your website are great ways to market. Use your strength of written word to write about all the products and services you offer and interact online with potential customers and existing ones.  Be willing to share your product and garner some brand recognition.

I've spoken about his book before, but Hans Finzel has a wonderful book called, 'The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make' and in it he speaks about servant leadership.

Two of the mistakes I think are worth repeating are that business owners put paperwork before people work. Just like a client I had who started a dog grooming and boarding service because of her love for dogs and years later found herself managing paperwork and not nurturing dogs. 

The second mistake is top-down attitude, which is the style of leading that mimics a dictatorship. That style of 'leading' breeds contempt and misery, and the goal of any leader should be to inspire, motivate, and encourage their employees.

Establish what your brand is and what your business stands for, and from the vision to the most recent customer or employee, make sure that brand is affirmed.