When you do this, you can always take a minimalist marketing approach with your small business. What’s this, you ask?
It’s a shift in mindset: Focus on customers, not just new leads
I get that this approach might sound a bit unconventional, but when you give it some thought, you realize customer happiness – and not shockingly impressive marketing – is how hugely successful brands have launched, grown and blown up to saturate the marketplace – and are able to keep it that way.
Amazon, Target, Starbucks and Chick-fil-a are all household names known more for their customer experience than the latest ad they ran (even though Chick-fil-a’s cows are pretty memorable).
These leading brands can do minimalist marketing (if they want to) because their customers are their best marketers.
As a new entrepreneur launching a small business, I implore you to not get on the yawn-inducing hamster wheel of marketing as usual. You know, that thoughtless default mode into “well, I guess I better set up all the social accounts and pay for some ads and start a podcast and blog for SEO all night long”.
Instead, do it right from the start and launch your new business with the goal of doing minimalist marketing, and then keeping your marketing minimalist forever.
How? By leaning heavily into building a rave-worthy customer experience.
This is what students in the Savvy Startup Marketer course learn to do, right from the start.
The secret to minimalist marketing: Think customers over leads
New entrepreneurs can get so excited about attracting new leads that they fail to consider; what is going to happen when those first few leads become your first few customers?
I’ll take it a step further. What kind of experience is your very first customer going to have?
Stay with me for a moment, this is truly critical to your business (and will help you prevent so much wasted effort along the way.)
Scenario 1: You spend the first three months of your business attracting new leads. Your first few leads turn into customers and you’re caught off-guard. You kind of know what to do with them, but you honestly didn’t prepare as well as you should have and now you’re making it up along the way. You give them a so-so experience and they move along and give you so-so reviews (or maybe even bad reviews) and weren’t impressed enough to recommend you to anyone else.
We’ll call Scenario 1 a huge miss.
Scenario 2: You spend the first three months of your business planning and establishing a fantastic experience for those first customers. Then you do some marketing to get some leads. You give the first customers a fantastic top-to-bottom, highly intentional experience and they’re blown away. They can’t help but leave you a glowing review and happily spread the word about your business to their friends (and, even better, on their social accounts.)
Scenario 2 is what you want.
Why customers matter more than fresh leads
- Feedback Goldmine: Customers provide invaluable feedback, helping you refine and improve your business.
- Testimonials and Reviews: Happy customers leave glowing reviews, serving as powerful endorsements for your business.
- Referral Power: Satisfied customers can become your advocates, referring your business within their networks, almost like mini-influencers
The Savvy Startup Marketer Approach
In my ultimate business startup course, The Savvy Startup Marketer, there’s a fantastic section titled “Repeat Ready” that delves deep into customer experience. Here’s a sneak peek:
The Repeat Ready Formula
- Rewarding Customer Experience: How to ensure every customer feels valued.
- Re-Engaging Strategies: Techniques to keep your customers coming back.
- Referral Encouragement: How to turn customers into vocal advocates for your brand.
Prioritize the customer experience
Making Customers Your Top Marketers (the key to minimalist marketing)
- Before worrying about attracting new leads, ensure your existing customers are happy and engaged.
- A delighted customer is more effective than any ad campaign in attracting new business.
- Implement systems that not only attract but also retain and celebrate your customers.
Savvy Startup Marketing: Beyond the Basics
- Automated Marketing Systems: Learn how to set up processes that work for you round the clock.
- Balanced Approach: While attracting new leads is important, the emphasis should be on customer retention and satisfaction.
Your minimalist marketing strategy: Your existing customers are your most valuable marketers. Put the most effort into turning them into brand advocates and you won’t have to pound your message out on lots of other marketing platforms.
By focusing on their experience and turning them into advocates, you’re doing the real marketing work ahead of time – meaning you can lean on customer love to grow your business and enjoy minimalist marketing forever.