Marketing has changed – have you?
One of the biggest lightbulb moments for people who attend our courses is this: The most vital thing you can do to grow your business is to have a sound marketing strategy and to be consistent with it. But often, when things get busy for us, marketing is the very first element of our business that we neglect. It’s unfortunate that it has become one of those things that we all tend to put on the back burner, something that we know is kind of important, but it can wait until we’re less busy.
There is a real danger in adopting this strategy though, because what ends up happening is you get tied up in a ‘feast and famine’ cycle. If you only tackle your marketing when you feel that you have to (i.e. when you see a drop in clients…and income), then you’re always going to have an inconsistent income.
On top of this, marketing is one of those subjects that is ever changing and evolves quickly. Trends change, technology changes, and if you’re not keeping up with it, your current marketing strategy can quickly become stale.
So what can you change – today – to make sure that your lettings business continues to grow?
Focus on one thing
On those days when you’re short on customers and you are desperate to get new business through the door, it’s easy to use a scattergun approach and try to do EVERYTHING. But stop – is this really the best strategy?
We’re constantly being told that we need to adopt social media, we need to be writing blogs, we need to be advertising in the press, doing trade shows… but the problem is, we simply can’t do it all. If your marketing is haphazard then it’s not going to have any effect. What you need to do is choose something that you can truly put your energy into and focus on that, at least to start with.
There are two elements to think about here; what are your natural talents, and who are your customers? If you can answer those two questions truthfully, then you are part-way to finding the right way to market your business.
Who are your target audience?
Something that we tend to like to focus on when we talk about how to market a lettings agency is finding our Ideal Client, or AVATAR. If you have a clear idea of who you are targeting, then it makes implementing your marketing strategy so much simpler, because you know exactly who you’re talking to.
Gone are the days when we advertised to our general audience – that really doesn’t work anymore. Your customers are more savvy – they know what they want, and that’s a PERSONAL SERVICE. You need to figure out who they are, and talk to them like they are the only customer. Don’t preach to a crowd – talk to ONE PERSON.
You can be pretty specific on this – it’s much easier to have a real person in mind… even if they are completely fictitious!
How do you WANT to market?
We are really fortunate that we live in an age where there are so many options available to communicate. Snail-mail and phones are still very prominent (and should be), but we also have many other ways to talk to people now – email, social media, live video, blogs… the question is, what do you want to focus on? Which tool do you believe that you can use with the most passion and sincerity?
Think about what you’re good at. If you’re a terrible writer, then it might not be a good idea to create a blog. If you’re a whizz at social media, however, then make that your focus. Got a talent for taking photos? Use Instagram, or make impactful features or ads on Facebook. If you’re always reading industry specific news, share it with your followers and become known as an industry expert. Write up reports and articles and share them on LinkedIn, or on your blog. Something got your goat? Talk about it on a video – most social media sites now have the option of creating live videos.
Set a schedule
The one thing you have to establish in your growing business is when you’re going to do your marketing. If you’re not consistent, it’s not going to work. You have to be strict on this – it’s important.
Work out exactly what you’re doing with your time. If it helps, write down what you’re doing every day, what time, how long for, and how important it is. You could install an app such as Rescue Time to see exactly where your time is being spent – and find out just how much of your day is wasted on unproductive tasks. Once you know this, you can find some space to slot in some regular marketing.
Put it in your diary – whether you’ve allocated half an hour or a couple of hours or half a day, stick to it. Make it an unnegotiable task every day.
Get your team involved. If you’re using social media, get them to share your posts to expand reach.
Think outside the box
This is one thing we definitely advocate – we don’t want to be the same as every other letting agent. Being the same doesn’t help us grow. We have to stand out, we have to get noticed. So what can you do that’s different to all those other high street agents?
Look at your competition – how are they marketing? And what can you do that’s different to what they’re doing? Use your imagination!