I hear this ALL the time from business owners: How do I scale? How did you DO it? If only I could bring in enough new business to relax a bit…To which I say: Tell me specifically what you are doing marketing-wise?
I run sales/discounts, I’ve been posting more to Facebook, I email my customers sometimes… Yeah, okay — but HOW will those things get new people familiar with you, interested, visiting your website and ultimately dining with you?
Well, when they see us, they’ll want to come in. That’s great — but how will you get them to see it? To even know who you are?!
Okay, let me help you with specific outreach tactics to your target audience in the proper quantity!
Promote, promote, promote! And truthfully, still the best way to do that — what I’ve built a $45 million business on — is postcards.
Here’s the thing. You can’t grow a business waiting for people to suddenly be interested in your restaurant on their own and then search for what you have and hopefully find you. A friend of mine learned this recently, and now he sends out 1,000 cards per week for his painting business.
1. Generate interest
2. Turn that interest into a bona fide lead (meaning you have their contact information)
3. Get that lead to like and trust you enough to buy from you (with a follow-up system)
4. And THEN they will buy and you make more money
You don’t get to #4 without #1. If you could, no one would ever go out of business.But unfortunately, businesses do fail — all the time:
• About 25% of startup businesses fail within the first year
• Almost half fail within the first five years
• About 90% of businesses fail within 10 years
• And everyone who starts a business thinks it’s not going to be them
If leads and revenue are down at my company for a few weeks in a row, what do we do? PROMOTE. The very first step my Chief Marketing Officer takes is to look at who our best clients are for that time of year, and then she focuses on the most effective way to reach people in that industry.
You might be thinking – if revenues are down, how can I afford to market more? The answer is that if you want to stay in business, you can’t afford NOT to. My company is a perfect example of that.
Remember when the recession hit in 2008? The housing market tanked and took a lot of my customers with it! (46% of my clients at that time were in the real estate and mortgage business.) It was the first time ever that our annual revenues went down.I needed to cut expenses, so — against my better judgment — I cut my marketing budget. I will never do that again!
After trimming my marketing budget by 3%, my yearly revenue went down 13%! Did I panic? Okay yes, on the inside, A LOT. But my correction was simple, and I knew it would work. The next year, I bumped my budget back up by 6% — to more than it was before I cut it — and revenues went up 16%. More marketing creates more sales. Postcard marketing especially.
• 60% of consumers have made a purchase in the last three months because of direct mail (USPS)
• 39% of people have been influenced to try a new business by direct mail they received (DMA)
• Direct mail outperforms all other marketing channels by 600% (DMA)
And in case you’re thinking direct mail is outdated, 92% of millennials say they’ve made a purchase as a result of direct mail they received. Postcards not only create leads for your business (YOU turn them into sales!), but they also create interest — when you send out direct mail, you get more people Googling you, visiting your website and following you on social media.
Then: The more social media followers you have…The more visitors you get to your website…And the more prospects and customers you have in your database…The more effective your digital marketing efforts will be! But first, you have to generate interest — and KEEP generating interest — in your business.
(Source: RunningRestaurants.com, by Joy Gendusa)
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