The terms marketing, sales, advertising and cold calling can send chills up the spine of any aspiring business owner. Over and over again we hear about people who have a great idea for a business and who want to pursue entrepreneurship, but they don’t want to sell their products or services. Many business-owners-to-be write hiring a salesperson into their business plan during the first year of operation so they don’t have to pound the pavement themselves. But with the right marketing and advertising strategies, “sales” becomes easy and less stressful. Here’s how you can get started with your marketing strategy so you can stop worrying about sales.

Marketing to the Right Audience

There’s a lot of great advice out there about how to find the right audience or customer base for your product and service. But rather than take an off-the-shelf approach to customer segmentation, why not try working backwards? Think about what you don’t want in a customer. When dreaming about your ideal customer– the person who you will try to sell your products and services to – what do you not want them to be like? Perhaps you don’t want them to live in a certain area, make a certain amount of money, dress a certain way, drive a certain car, or eat certain foods. Everyone is so concerned with what they do want to include in their marketing that we forget to explore the other side of our customers. When you sit down to create your customer avatar, imagine what kinds of things you don’t like about them and use it to your advantage. For example, if you don’t want your customers to buy similar products online, make your products exclusive in-house opportunities that are advertisedto people who shop local. We often think that the internet is the window to the world, but there are plenty of homegrown customers right in your backyard that would love your products.

Marketing is All About the Messaging

Everyone loves to be a part of an exclusive club. If you’ve got a travel rewards credit card, you know what we’re talking about. Getting special perks and discounts because of who you are and what you buy is an important marketing strategythat many companies and small businesses offer. Buy 8 coffees and get one free: it works every time. So when you think about marketing your business, you need to ensure the messaging is clear: what’s the perk? What’s the thing your customers get more than anyone else when they do business with you? What club do they get to belong to? How do they benefit from being in your club? Of course, you don’t need an actual club or subscription service to make customers feel special: entice them with email-list only options and brand awareness and you’ll get customers to be more engaged and more likely to buy. Take Apple for example: it’s the ultimate status symbol for people these days. “I use a Mac or I have the latest iPhone.” It’s what people want. You don’t have to be Apple; you just have to be like Apple for your customers.

Marketing is All About Consistency

Whether you are trying to start your own dispensaryor you are raising capital for a multinational conglomerate to take on the finance industry, marketing matters. What matters more than your marketing efforts, however, is the rate at which you are being consistent with those efforts. Half-assed attempts to reach your email list, once every 3-4 weeks, or spamming Instagram for a week and then disappearing is not consistent. It’s a long game and your business needs you to dedicate time, energy, and resources to your marketing efforts in order to see a return on that investment. It won’t happen overnight, but with the right consistency – doing it every single day – you will see results.

Contributing Author