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Issue 4
Sunday June 26 2011





Letter from the Editor

Welcome back to the latest issue of the Shoestring Entrepreneur Newsletter!

Lee and I are excited to have you on board and look forward to a long relationship together.

Each week in the Shoestring Entrepreneur we will give you the latest and best information to start and grow a business for $1,000 or less.

Both Lee and myself, along with our guest panel of writers, started out with very little money, but through hard work, persistence, and solid marketing, built our business to where they are today..

One thing I promise you. There will be zero hype in this newsletter, only solid time-tested, proven methods to market, manage and run your business.

So set back, relax, and get ready to be blown away each and every week with rock-solid, timely, usable content.

In this week's newsletter, I'll share an article titled "The Four Levels of Marketing Strategy" which is the fourth part of my Marketing 101 series.

To your success,
Brian Carson


Marketing 101: The Four Levels of Marketing Strategy

by Brian Carson

There are four levels to a sound marketing strategy. Without all four your marketing will be lackluster at best and non-profitable at worst. Learn and master these four levels and watch your marketing efforts bring you amazing results.

The four levels of a sound marketing strategy are:

  1. Lead Generation
  2. Cultivate the Sale
  3. Repeat Business
  4. Strengthen the Relationship

Let's look at all four separately.

Lead Generation

The lifeblood of any business is a targeted, qualified list. Developing effective lead generation strategies to bring in those qualified leads is the first step in your marketing campaign.

Keep the barrier of entry as easy as possible. Offer a free or low-cost report, product or service in order to capture the contact info of the prospect. Remember, this is lead gen here. Don’t try for the sale yet. Be patient.

Use whatever cost effective methods you can to attract leads. These include Yellow Pages, newsletters, classifieds, direct mail, display ads, pay-per-click, and SEO.

Make the free or low cost offer something the prospect would pay for if they had to. Give value. Make it high quality. Go above and beyond expectations and your prospects will turn into life-long customers.

That’s exactly what we did for a small pizzeria in Northeastern Pennsylvania who hired the Market Ownership Group to improve their bottom line.

We created a monthly email newsletter sent to everyone signed up through their website. Anyone who opted-in got the newsletter, coupons and specials available only online. Next, we rented a list of new movers in the area and sent them a welcome to the neighborhood letter along with a gift certificate for a free pizza.

The results: 484 signups to the website, 42 gift certificates sent out with 38 redeeming, and almost triple the monthly gross revenues in just five months.

Is lead generation important? You bet it is.

Cultivate the Sale

Cultivating the sale is very simple: give more value than expected by creating wow experiences for the prospect/customer.

A wow experience is just that. You want the prospect or customer to say wow every time he comes in contact with you. Give before you receive. Sow then reap. It’s the law of life and of business as well.

The prospect is interested in what you have to offer, but isn’t ready to buy yet. Lead them, build the relationship first. Show them you are the expert that can solve their problems, ease their fears, and give them what they want.

When someone is truly interested in a subject, education is what they crave. Inform and educate. Don’t sell yet. Defenses go into overdrive when you start pushing to soon for the sale. Ease them into it by offering products, services and information for free to develop the relationship and build trust.

If you decide you want to charge for the info or service provided instead of giving it away, make it a very low price point to make the decision super easy and provide tons of value.

John Carlton calls this the greased slide. Make your prospects think it would be crazy if they didn’t buy from you. Give away so much value with your free or low-priced offer and they’ll jump all over the stuff you have to sell to them.

If you keep your name in front of them and provide outstanding value, when they’re ready to buy, you will be treated like a welcomed guest instead of a pushy salesman.


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Repeat Business

It’s much easier and cheaper to sell to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. Recent research suggest your existing customers who buy from you a second time are 3-5 times more likely to make another purchase again than a customer who bought only once.

In order to get repeat business three factors are needed: 1.) the customer wants the product or service again; 2.) you created unbelievable value (there’s that word again); 3.) the customer was happy with the quality and service rendered the first time.

A second purchase is your cue to begin building a deep, lasting relationship with that customer. Don’t let it go to waste. This is how the big money is made.

Strengthen the Relationship

It takes hard work to acquire a customer and it even more work to keep them. It’s very important to put even more effort into your existing customers. The odds are they will make up 80% of your business.

Yes, it’s the good old Pareto Principle in action. The 80/20 rule. In business it means 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers.

Never stop marketing to your existing customers. Too many businesses are so focused on acquiring new customers and generating leads they leave the most important part of their business – the existing customers – in neglect. They are flushing profits right down the drain.

Don’t make the same serious mistake.

You want to turn repeat buyers into champions for your business. You want them to be word of mouth, tipping point, buzz marketers for your business and brand. Just like Apple, Starbucks, and Google have done.

Capturing a lead is the first step, turning the lead into a qualified prospect is next, getting the prospect to buy follows, and transforming them into champions for your business is the final step on the path to a powerful marketing strategy designed to explode your business growth and build your brand the right way.

 

Brian Carson

Brian Carson is the president and CEO of the Market Ownership Group. Before founding the Market Ownership Group, a marketing consulting/business coaching company, Brian owned three brick-and-mortar businesses that he ran profitably for over 15 years. Brian sold them off to focus all his attention to the formation of the Market Ownership Group, founded in 2008. Brian has created marketing strategies, done for you marketing materials and given advice in a diverse range of businesses, from restaurants to barber shops to online only businesses to small retail stores, and financial advisors. If you would like to grow your business to new levels of profit and growth, or if you need help starting a business from scratch, email the Market Ownership Group at bricar@marketownership.com.

 

The Brian and Lee Show

On this week's episode of THE BRIAN AND LEE SHOW, Brian and Lee interview entrepreneur, author, and relationship expert Tony Gaskin Jr. At only 27, he has already appeared on the Oprah and Tyra Banks show, started his own production company and has inked a deal with a major televsion network to begin shooting pilots for his own projects. He also has over 100k followers on twitter. His clients include, Tyrese, Kandi Burress, and NBA star John Wall

 

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Brian and Lee Resources

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