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How your senses can help your marketing strategy

We often think that marketing can be a daunting concept, something that we have to spend copious amounts of money on before we see a return, and most business’s get caught out by actually doing too much marketing rather than not enough.
Trying to get all your services and product information out there, and to everyone without a clear target audience can be quite damaging to your marketing budget. Your so excited by your products and services you just want everyone to know about it and be as enthusiastic as you and your employees, after all it is the best, isn’t it?
Well the cold hard truth is there’s people in the world that don’t need your product, don’t want your product and just don’t care! But wait that’s ok, because these are the converters and these are the ones you need to keep happy by non direct marketing, yep that’s right, by non direct marketing.
They don’t need your product…… Well they may do one day, or know someone that does today.
Don’t want your product………But it could be a gift for a friend and they may need it one day.
Just don’t care……….ok that hurts, but we need to move on, when their needs change we’ll be here, and they’ll know we’re here because of our fantastic marketing strategy!

So with that in mind, you need to target customers that need your product, want your product and also customers that have your product.

Firstly put a criteria together for customers that need your product or services. This could be age range, gender, related products and interests. Think about where these customers will be, put yourself in their shoes and go where they go. Listen to them, talk to them and find out what they want, don’t hard sell. You need to do market research before you market your product, you may think you have what people need but you have to make it what people want.

At this stage you want to introduce the senses strategy. Invite people to try your product or services, it’s up to you and your business budget if you would like to charge for this but I would recommend an incentive or discount. It’s important that customers or clients are aware of the purpose of the exercise, if they know it’s for the purpose of marketing and feedback they will be more inclined to give honest feedback, but if you bombard your regular customers with questions they may just give white washed responses.
Once your customers have used and experienced your products and services, give them a questionnaire to find out if you met there expectations. Remember to use a scoring system, make it simple and quick for your customers to answer.
Once you have your customers responses you can tweak your products or services to meet demand. You’ll be able to target your target audience confidently and understand their needs better. But most importantly you will have customers that have seen your product, touched your product, experienced your product and these customers will lead your non direct marketing campaign. They will tell family and friends, talk about it on social media, all you have to do is wow the now!
Remember every customer or client and even friend and family member is part of the non direct marketing campaign, but more importantly it’s the senses that create a response. Don’t get stuck behind a keyboard, Facebook is a great way to advertise but don’t rely on this for your business, it’s one of many tools but the most important tools are you and your current clients.
I’ll be putting together future posts on how to generate clients from social media, but in the mean time remember don’t blanket your marketing campaign, and stop and listen to your customers, they may have lots to say!

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Back to work

Well I have made the decision and I’m not going back to work after my maternity leave ends this month. I’ve now relaunched my business and after opening my studio, I’m finally a full time photographer!
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Well so much has happened over the past few months and I’ve wanted to blog about everything but that’s proved very difficult. Not because of time but just respect, you see my blogging journey set off a series of events and decisions that together have changed the course of my immediate future. 7 months ago I said goodbye to my work colleagues and my manager with full intentions of returning back to work, not in a million years did I think that that wouldn’t happen. So when I was faced with the childcare bill I had to face some tough choices!
It wasn’t just not returning back to work, it was more of a case of what would I do instead if I didn’t go back to work, unfortunately I can’t afford to work and I can’t afford not too, ironically!!
But up until last year I was a part time photographer, but due to a miscarriage I felt I could no longer continue juggling a full time job and a business, something had to give.
So now fast forward 12 months and I’ve got the baby I so longed for and I have my own studio!
So why the radio (blog) silence? Well I had a plan, a business plan and a dream but although I was confident I could pull it off I wanted to give the business a few months head start before I handed in my notice. Also out of respect for my company after 8 years service , I wanted them to hear it from me and not read it through my blog.
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I’ve been so busy with promotional shoots and marketing aswell as working on Mad Mummy Crafts & design, I’ve not even been worried about my weight, which is why I started blogging in the first place. I’m pretty sure I’ve not lost much but it’s not important to me anymore, my focus is now on being a successful business owner and a happy mummy. I’m so excited for the future and am so loving what I’m doing. I’m still working hard but I can work flexible hours, spend time with my children and I get to be creative every day.
My first few months of launching the studio have been fantastic and I have reinvented myself from a Wedding photographer to a baby, toddler and children photographer.
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I still do weddings but I can now work around the kids too, it’s pretty much perfect for me.
When I started photography 5 years ago the dream was always to one day become a full time photographer, I just never realised it would be my children that would give me the opportunity to follow my dreams! What’s the biggest change you’ve made since starting your family?

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Mad Mummy Crafts & Designs is official

I’ve mentioned in previous post how walking has helped me to think clearly and make decisions. I’m not sure if all of them have been good decisions but time will tell with that.
But it’s funny how we can start a journey and end up getting lost but than we still find where we need to be even if we are a little late. Or in my case get lost and when I do get to my destination realise I’ve been here before! And if you hadn’t realised Yes I am talking in metaphor.
4 years ago I talked about starting a business and successfully started that business. I wanted to run a business and stay at home with my new baby, life was meant to be perfect. But it wasn’t, the conditions weren’t right, I wasn’t living in the right house or area and my business was a start up, I couldn’t possibly afford it. But the biggest obstacle I faced was me, I had no faith in myself, I never fully trusted myself so I never let go of my day job. Which meant I never had to work hard on my business.
So after a few successful years I started to drop the ball, my focus was on concieving and going to work and business took a nose dive cause it had no one to love it. I than suffered a miscarriage and I realised I couldn’t do everything. So I decided to stop! Put my camera down and step away. I was dissapointed but I didn’t feel like a failure cause I knew I had simply given up and I think that’s different to trying and failing, I’d stopped trying along time ago!
I kept my bookings and commitments through 2014, even a wedding a few weeks after I had had my daughter.
And it was different, because I still loved it, I wasn’t sad anymore and I wasn’t at work so my focus was back to being passionate about photography. I began to have doubts and I knew I had made the wrong decision, to give up my photography business . So I started small jobs again for friends and got myself back into the saddle.
But the real catalyst was my childcare bill, I knew going back to my day job was going to be hard, financially and finding a work life balance would be even tougher. But giving that up would be the hardest desicion I’ve ever made, but was it? On paper it seems like a no brainer but the reality of being financially vulnerable is a very scary concept and that’s exactly what I needed,  a bit of fire in my belly!!!
That’s how I would make this work, by taking full responsibility.
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So today I open my home studio, I’ve managed to fill half my session slots this month and have been working hard to get ready so when I do have to finally make that decision and not go back to work it won’t seem like such a gamble.

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I’ve also been busy planning and designing word art prints for my craft business which I also launched this week. It’s been a really busy 6 weeks but I’m so focused and unlike 4 years ago, the conditions are just right, I just have to have a little more faith in me.
So walking 6 miles a day hasn’t just helped my waistline but it’s helped me work out what I want to do in my life and given me the courage to make changes. But I’m not gonna lie I’m back in the car now, it’s been a good 4 months of walking so I don’t feel guilty, I’m 25lbs lighter and I’ve started 2 new businesses so that’s not bad going from a new year resolution to sell my car.
What new year resolution changed your life? I’d love to hear your story!
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