|What good would a menu be on the door of a restaurant if it told the hours of operation, but didn’t list any of the food it offers? I think the answer is obvious; it would not be an effective menu at all. That’s why I find it so surprising that print, mail, and marketing service providers continually provide irrelevant first impression details such as who and when they were founded – forgetting to showcase all of their delicious offerings. When you discuss your affiliated mailing business to prospects, do you mention the real, practical ways your solutions can solve their problems? The point is, if you want to grow your customer base and increase long-term projects, you need to market in a clear, consistent way that tells your target audience why they need your solutions. Start with these five simple steps:Step 1: Identify Your AudienceThe more you know what your target audience looks like, the more you will be able to speak to them in a way that solves their needs. How do you go about this? Hang out on social media, follow digital conversations in online communities and blog forums, ask current customers questions, and send out surveys with great incentives. If you’re looking to identify your target audience, the key is to listen to what others in your industry are doing and saying.Once you’ve done everything you can to know and understand your potential customers, work hard to build your marketing message around them. Step 2: Know Your Strength If you’re going to tell your prospects why they should use your business over the competitors, they need to know what makes you the best choice. What is your differentiator? People want to know how your services and or offerings will: · Educate them · Make their job easier · Further their objectives · Represent their business Identify what your offer in terms of these bullet points and before you know it, you will have a solid message as to how you stand out from the competition. Step 3: Develop Your Message Your message needs to stand out. Crisp writing, compelling headlines, and copy that gets straight to the point providing clear calls to action will serve you well. Be strong, confident, and consistent in your marketing from blog to Tweet, and remember to always focus on the one question that will be at the forefront of your prospects’ minds, which is, “What can you do for me?” If you can answer this, you have your value proposition, remember to make it shine. Step 4: Show, Don’t Tell If you’ve been following my past articles, then you probably know how strongly I feel about talking with your audience, not at them. Talking about services is important, but nothing is more compelling than letting someone see what the solutions your services can do for them. Share free, valuable content that will benefit your audience, and give them a taste of what working with you can do for them. Step 5: Don’t Do All the Talking Your current customers are one of your best assets when it comes to marketing your business. Displaying testimonials is a great way to get your customers to do the talking for you. Give your prospects the chance to communicate with customers you have that have faced similar problems. Examples are, after all, the best way to lead, so use them to show the genuine benefits of your offers. The competition in this industry is tougher than ever. Hone in on your strengths and make sure your prospects know how those strengths can benefit them, making it clear why your mailing business is the best choice. Posted in Mailing System Technology About John Foley, Jr. John Foley, Jr. is the CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially. John and his team consult with print and mail companies on sales and marketing techniques, write strategic online marketing plans to get them on a path to marketing success, and John speaks frequently to print, mail, and fulfillment providers about expanding and transforming their businesses to grow revenue. Learn more about John at JohnFoleyJr.com, and his companies at www.interlinkONE.com and www.GrowSocially.com.