My Marketing Tactics in the Second Year of Business
In just a few days, it’ll officially be my business’s anniversary month!
That’s right – two years ago, on August 1st, 2016, I put my four week notice in at my super-stable-with-good-pay-and-incredible-benefits job to start my own company.
Four weeks later, on August 26th, 2016, I walked out of that office, never to be bound by the confines of a traditional work environment or someone else’s rules and vision for their company ever again.
I left. I started “my own thing.”
And no matter how long ago that moment ever becomes – the moment of immense faith that I wasn’t totally bat shit crazy for wanting to start something from nothing – I will gleefully and intentionally celebrate that time of my life every time August comes around.
So, here we are – a few days early to the party but ready to kick things off just the same.
To celebrate, I’ll be publishing a series of blog posts to summarize my second year in business, much like I did last year when I summarized my first.
I write the same 5 posts every year for you:
- What marketing efforts worked (and which ones didn’t)
- A guide to business tools and software I used
- A guide to learning resources (i.e. courses, books, classes) I used
- A review of the One Big Thing I did each week for a year
- What’s next for me and my business!
Kicking things off, let me share what marketing tactics and strategies I employed in my second year of business. I’ll run through what worked and what didn’t for me.
Plus, I’ll give you a sneak peek at how my marketing strategy will be shifting soon!
And in case you’re curious, read this post to see what marketing tactics worked/didn’t work in my FIRST year of business, published August 2017.
Marketing Tactics That WORKED in My Second Year of Business
Does this surprise anyone? Nope. It doesn’t.
As a service-based business owner, word-of-mouth referrals continue to be the lifeblood of my incoming client load.
I’ve tried to generate more word-of-mouth referrals by asking my clients this question in their Client Satisfaction Surveys: “Who in your circle should I work with next?”
That question has directly correlated to one six-month coaching client over the past year. All other clients who’ve come from a word-of-mouth referral were referred to me more organically. Most often, I hear my coaching style simply comes up in conversation between a current client of mine and their business friends. That positive rapport then earns me my next client.
I, for one, couldn’t be happier that this is the case. At the end of the day, I’m a Coach. And if my coaching style and the results it yields is working to market my business, I’m doing something right.
Connecting with Respected Influencers
As my business gets older, it becomes better connected with the online business world. I’ve been able to make connections with other business owners who work with clients and customers I’d also like to work with and through that friendly relationship, my work gets shared organically with these new audiences. This becomes a two-way street – they share about me and I share about them simply because it makes sense to both of our audiences.
In my second year, most of these connections to influencers happened through Instagram. Not in a spammy way like sending a DM saying “Hey, we should work together!” But in a natural, effortless way by simply making friends. It’s incredibly easy to make friends on Instagram, y’all. If you have a heart to serve and uplift others, there is no shortage of people to connect with on Instagram.
I’ve also created friendships by attending two conferences this year – the Rising Tide Society Leaders Retreat and the She Did It Her Way Summit. Again, for me, I feel best when I’m simply making friends, asking questions about what these new friends’ goals are, and then helping them out if I can.
Straight Up Asking
There was a shift I made in my second year, around April 2018, that completely changed my business. I began straight up asking for what I wanted.
Up until this point, I was timid. I’d give tons of free content, I’d make time for anyone and everyone on my calendar, and I’d talk about what I stood for in my business… but I wouldn’t ask for what I wanted.
I’d hold off on asking for the sale. I wouldn’t pitch myself to be on a podcast or a guest expert in a virtual summit. I’d have an idea of how I could help someone but because I feared being rejected, I’d tell myself they didn’t need my help – they were MUCH more competent than I was (or so my inner critic would tell me) – so I’d keep my idea to myself.
I held myself back. I stayed small.
Until I experienced one out-of-character moment (at least it was at the time) where I straight up asked someone if they needed my help. Someone I BIG TIME respected. I had the voice in my head telling me she’d never actually need my help. Who was I to offer assistance to this person? I mean, sure, we knew each other through our businesses, but she was “killing it.” She was probably over-resourced. She didn’t need my help. BUT I ASKED ANYWAY.
And she SAID YES.
Long story short, I emailed Amanda Boleyn in February, asking if she’d like an extra set of hands on-deck for her live Summit happening in April. And within just a few hours, she got back to me with a HECK YES! She was thrilled to have some extra help during the event!
YAY! So in April, I flew to Chicago and had the time of my life serving Amanda and her tribe. I helped manage her Instagram account throughout the weekend, kept the coffee, tea, and snacks in good supply, and did a bunch of other little things that just needed to be done by an extra set of hands.
That weekend totally changed my life. That weekend helped me realize the true power of straight up asking.
May I help you with this?
Do you think we’re a good fit for each other?
Would I be a good guest on your podcast?
I have this idea – may I run it past you?
And I now firmly believe that straight up asking can and will change your business for the better. It certainly has mine. From landing podcast interviews, to virtual summit training gigs, to paying clients and customers.
It’s truly mind-blowing what can happen when you let go of timidity and the fear of rejection to be able to boldly ask for what you want.
Offering a One-Time Deep Dive Session
The Deep Dive Session I offer has proven to bridge the gap between being interested in coaching and actually becoming a coaching client. Prior to having the Deep Dive Session in place, committing to a three-month coaching contract was a big hurdle for my potential clients. They didn’t know if my coaching style would suit them or if I’d be a good fit for their business. The Deep Dive Session slides in to ease those worries with less commitment up front and because the session always breeds such incredible ah-hahs and progress, it’s a smooth transition right into a longer-term coaching relationship.
Marketing Tactics That DIDN’T WORK in My Second Year of Business
Engaging in Facebook Groups
DON’T GET ME WRONG – I’m not saying this won’t work for you. I’m saying it wasn’t something I chose to make a priority in my second year of business.
Engaging in Facebook Groups is still an incredible way to make connections with influencers and potential clients. I used this strategy in my first year of business quite a bit and it worked for me. And then I got burnt out by the constant conversation so I chose to simply not show up in those spaces anymore.
Focusing on Any Social Media Platform Other Than Instagram
I doubled down on Instagram in my second year of business because that’s where I am happiest and where my ideal client feels most comfortable.
Therefore, I let go of forcing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to do heavy lifting for me. I still show up in those places, but not with the same concerted effort I put into Instagram.
Highly Technical Strategies Like SEO or Digital Ads
While I could’ve spent time, energy, and money on these technical tactics, I chose not to because they don’t align with who I am as a person.
I’m an ENFJ (Protagonist), which means my best marketing strategy (according to MarketingPersonalities.com, shameless plug, obvi) includes getting behind a microphone and guiding and coaching you, my audience member, to the “promised land.”
On the flip side, my worst marketing strategy includes highly technical funnels. When I get sucked into the tiny little details of what keyword leads to what blog post, which then leads to this ad and this email sequence and this link and that funnel… it drains me. So in my second year, I did very little technical funnel work.
And funny enough, this segues beautifully into what’s next.
Marketing Strategies I Expect to Work in My Third Year of Business
I’ll go more into detail on what’s next in a few weeks, at the end of August, but for now…
I’ve been working on building a more technical funnel specifically for MarketingPersonalities.com. And because this arm of my business is going to be main focal point for me for at least the next year, this technical funnel, which includes heavy reliance on SEO, digital ads, and detailed email sequences, my marketing strategy will be shifting pretty drastically.
The cool part, though, is these funnels will open up space for me to offer even more helpful content and get behind a mic more often – hopefully on actual stages! And so far, I’ve been loving the process of strategizing these funnels and then having others implement them.
More on that in a few weeks.
For now, what questions do you have for me regarding my marketing efforts in my second year of business? Anything pop out to you that you’d like to know more about? COMMENT BELOW and ask!
Wondering what marketing tactics might work best for YOU? Go to MarketingPersonalities.com to find out.