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Marketing & Sales Support

The central challenge for every entrepreneur is how to acquire clients in a sustainable way. In what follows, we’ll show you what you need to pay attention to.

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Why is this relevant for me?

Things are always difficult when you are just starting out, especially in the first few months when you often have to rely on networks and recommendations. However, these will diminish in importance over time and it is critical to understand how to systematically acquire clients. It is also crucial to recognise which clients are a fit for your business and to succinctly describe the added value you offer them. Entrepreneurs are often enthusiastic about their own offering and lack a neutral external perspective.

The basics of successful marketing:

1. Define a clear target group

Who is your target group?
Determine exactly who you want to address – in business-to-consumer, this is done using criteria such as age, income, place of residence, etc., while in business-to-business, it is done using criteria such as company size and the decision-makers’ title.

What do you offer your target group/what is your added value?
Describe clearly what benefits the client will receive from your service. Do you solve a task that the client needs to carry out? Do you produce something that improves their well-being? Or can you help them with a problem? Typically, you should be able to succinctly formulate the added value you provide in 1–2 sentences.

2. Simple channels and regular interactions

Which media channels do you use to reach your target group?
Based on the above considerations, define which channels you would like to use – email, social media, snail mail, etc. It is important that you don’t start from your own interests, but from the media your target group consumes. If your clients are 14-year-olds, you should have a presence on platforms such as TikTok, while for a target group of 80-year-olds daily newspapers are likely more promising. It can also be helpful to talk to existing or potential clients to better understand their preferences.

How frequently do you communicate?
Get in touch regularly with all your prospects and clients, typically at least every 1–3 months.

When do you make one-on-one contact with potential clients?
Figure out when to initiate one-on-one contact, for example whenever someone has clicked on an email newsletter from you.

How do you track all your interactions with potential clients?
Measurement is important – among other things so that you don’t lose the overview. The foundation for this is a customer data/customer management system (known as CRM). Here, some simple and inexpensive solutions can help.

3. Experiment and optimise continuously

Start quickly, be persistent and optimise
The proof is in the pudding – at some point you have to get started. Just get down to work.

Take a break every four weeks
 
After trying things out, pause for a moment and evaluate what has worked and what has not. You can then try out new approaches. The mantra is: “Try, fail, fail better.”

Maintain an active dialogue with existing clients and partners about the topic 
Actively exchange ideas with them. Conversations help us to create context and to engage in reflection. An external coach/consultant can also help here.

4. Scale up, if your attempts are successful

As soon as the first sales work out, standardise
As soon as things start to work, standardise quickly. Do more of it – everything starts small, but it doesn’t have to stay small.

Hire people or outsource tasks
Avoid getting stuck on the hamster wheel. As soon as things start to go wrong, you should quickly bring in help and focus on growth. In doing so, you should not lose sight of the speed and costs of growth.

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