Following a very informative meeting with Robin Sharpe of the Entrepeneurs Circle, I feel it’s important to share some of the advertising ideas I learnt, particularly about the options available to you when it comes to automation and scheduling.
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend a marketing meeting, hosted by Barclays Bank. It was a presentation by Robin Sharpe, who works with a certain Nigel Botterill, in the Entrepeneurs circle. The meeting emphasised the importance of ensuring that you continue to advertise your business as often as possible, even when you’re busy.
I’m sure you will have experienced the “feast then famine” cashflow situation – where you concentrate on acquiring customers, then when you have some you have a lot of work on so you concentrate on delivering that. Once that work is completed you then are short on cashflow as no new customers have been acquired because you’ve been locked away delivering your product or service.
Now, in order to beat this vicious cycle, the trick (so I learnt in this meeting) is to continue advertising and picking up clients while you are delivering your product or service. But how can you find time? Well, there are two powerful tools that can really make a difference – automation and scheduling.
These are slightly different terms with slightly different meanings, but the concept is the same. Basically, automation means initiaition of a set of responses based on an action. So, if someone signs up for your newsletter, you want to send a series of automatic email response follow up emails in a certain sequence over a set time frame in order to provide the necessary information for that person to decide to buy from you.
The great thing about automation is that it can go on for an unlimited amount of time – years, even. It is said in marketing (and the figure changes but I hear this the most often) that it takes around 7 communications with a client before they are in the right, trusting mindset to make a purchase from you. Now, without automation, like an automatic email response, that’s a lot of work for each client. However, if you have the same 7-10, well-thought out and relevant emails automatically being sent to each and every person that subscribes to your mailing list – suddenly you have a potentially powerful sales machine.
Scheduling on the other hand is more focussed on initiating contact without being based on an initial starting action. A good example of this would be to create a social media schedule, like setting up a weeks worth of tweets in advance, using the power of Hootsuite for example, which will fire off at the allocated time, no matter what sort of response they get.
Scheduling has limitations of course – it is unlikely to be relevant to current, real-time events and so is unlikely to ‘go viral’ (if you dont know what that means, I’ll be posting on that shortly) and so will attract a smaller audience. However, because you can set it up your social media schedule in advance, you can harness economies of scale, so-to-speak, and save a lot of time later in the week.
Now, it doesn’t take a genius to see that putting these two concepts together creates a very powerful sales process. You schedule the content to go out on the platforms that you have targeted, and when a response is illicited, your automatic email response takes over and follows up. This frees up valuable time for you to continue delivery to your existing and new clients.
Since I’ve been learning about this in business, I’ve noticed that it’s happening all the time! In fact, I KNOW when I’m in the middle of someone’s ‘sales cycle’ and many of you would think that it would put me off. In actual fact, I am even MORE likely to buy from these people as I can see what well established processes they have in place, what interesting and relevant information they have sent me and I know they are serious about their business.
So, what have you got in place? What would you like to have in place? Are you suffering from ‘feast of famine’ syndrome? If so, see what you can implement to take the pressure off. Would you like more advice about this? I’m happy to help – drop me and email or call today.