Updated: Dec 10, 2016 / Article by: KeriLynn Engel
For many business owners, “marketing” is a dirty word.
You hate self-promotion and don’t want to be pushy. And you’re not into cold hard data and analytics – you’re passionate about what you do.
You’d rather connect with other people who are also passionate, understanding, and excited about what you have to offer – people who love what you do, and are truly interested in supporting your business.
Well, if that sounds like you, I have good news…
That’s exactly what good marketing is.
It’s not about being pushy with people who have no interest in what you do. It’s not endlessly talking about yourself without listening to your audience, and it’s not all about numbers and data and analytics.
Good marketing is about finding just the right person, connecting with them, and developing a real relationship.
If you think that sounds like a bit more touchy-feely definition of marketing than you’ve heard, you’re right… in fact, good marketing is a lot like online dating.
If you’re stuck thinking about marketing as pushy and annoying, or cold and detached, try to think of it like online dating instead with these 6 tips.
1. Keep Your Standards High
Whether you're dating or marketing your business, you’re not trying to reach everyone; you’re looking for people who are a good fit for what you have to offer.
When you get into online dating, you’re not looking to meet up with anyone and everyone. If you’re looking to begin a healthy, successful relationship, you need to keep those standards high and only date those who fit your needs. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time.
When marketing your business, attempting to appeal to everyone will leave your marketing bland and uninteresting. When you target everyone, you’re actually targeting no one.
The more focused and specific your target audience is, the easier it will be to reach them. That’s because when you have your ideal target person in mind, you’ll know exactly where to find him and how to connect with him.
Tip: It’s much easier to laser-focus your marketing efforts if you’ve defined your target audience in the form of a buyer persona.
2. Use the Right Tools
Once you’ve defined your target audience, it’s important to use the right tools to reach that audience.
This works for dating, too. If you’re looking to date geeky introverts who love spending time at home playing a board game or reading a good book, then the local dive bar is probably not a good location for scoping out dates. Instead, you might join a book club or attend a board game night at a local game shop.
And if your target audience for your business is C-level executives, then LinkedIn is a much better choice of social media platform to market your business, while hanging out on Tumblr would likely be a waste of your time.
You have to use the right platforms, tools, and strategies to reach your audience.
In marketing and in dating, it’s crucial to present your best self.
When dating, it’s important to take care of yourself first, both physically and mentally. Of course, before going on a date, you should make sure you’re attractive and presentable. No, you don’t have to look like an airbrushed supermodel on the cover of a magazine, but you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re clean and dressed nicely. You also want to make sure you’re happy with yourself before looking for fulfillment in another person, or you may come off as desperate.
In business, you need to be sure you’re offering something your target audience really wants. Before creating a new product or service, it’s important to validate your idea before launching.
Bloggers who are monetizing their blogs should keep this in mind as well. It’s easy to come up with a great creative idea you’re sure will make you money, only to find out that it doesn’t appeal to your audience the way you thought it would. It’s important to offer exactly what your readers want, not what you think they want.
Try conducting surveys to find out what product or service will appeal to your target audience.
In the Internet age, no one has the patience to read huge walls of text, whether it’s on a dating profile or a landing page for a product.
Don’t assume that interested people will take the time to read through your entire text for the important parts. These days, people read by scanning. There’s so much information out there that no one has time to read it all.
If you want your message to be read, keep it short and to the point. Decide on what the truly important pieces of information are, and focus on those.
Learning about writing killer headlines for blog posts will help you to focus your writing, keep it on-topic and to-the-point, and also keep it interesting enough to get clicks.
Excessive worrying about your competition is a waste of time and energy, in marketing and in dating.
There’s no way you can duplicate exactly what another individual or business is doing, so why bother?
It’s best not to compete directly by copying your competition – instead, focus on your own unique features and what you can offer that your competitors can’t.
In dating, this might mean focusing your online dating profile on what makes you different from other individuals.
In marketing, this means only watching your competition enough to make sure you’re differentiating enough to appeal to a different audience. It’s not a great idea to fight over the same target audience as your competitors, when you can target a different audience and have them all to yourself.
It may sound a bit gimmicky, but in the end, both marketing and dating are about developing relationships! If you can work on developing personal relationships in your own life, then you have what it takes to market your business, too.
About KeriLynn Engel
KeriLynn Engel is a copywriter & content marketing strategist. She loves working with B2B & B2C businesses to plan and create high-quality content that attracts and converts their target audience. When not writing, you can find her reading speculative fiction, watching Star Trek, or playing Telemann flute fantasias at a local open mic.