I will admit that I had trouble sticking to only 7 secrets to successful marketing and would like to state that in addition to the 7 below, it is extremely important that you have defined your target market; keep it simple (business does not have to be complicated); know the importance of building relationships with prospects; and why you are the only person who can write any advertising and promotional material for your business - although you can get someone to edit it and improve the layout!

1. You must have a database – this will prove to be the key to your success. Your database should contain as much information about your clients and prospective clients as possible so that you can contact them with details of new products and special offers. Of course having a database alone is not enough, you must be constantly following up with leads and building relationships so that in time prospects will choose to buy from you.

2. Attract new clients and keep the interest of existing clients by using PR. Public relations does not have to be expensive or difficult and you can do it yourself without employing an expensive PR agency. What you need to remember is that every interview you give or article you write, must contain your contact details. Other great ways to raise your profile include writing a book or publishing a report.

3. Offer promotions that give people the chance to try your product or service and make your company stand out from the competition. These promotions must be exciting in order to make potential customers want to take immediate action - for example, there are not many people who can resist a ‘buy one, get one free’ offer. Here it is important that you have higher priced products to up-sell in order to make it financially worthwhile offering promotions. What you need to remember is that the promotional offers that are the most successful are those that have a time limit so tell prospective clients what they need to do and how little time they have in which to do it.

4. Get your clients to do your sales and marketing for you by asking them for referrals and testimonials – if they are impressed with your product or service then they will want to tell others. The easiest way to do this is when a customer compliments you on your product or service, ask if you can quote them. Write down what they said and ask them to agree it and then use it.

5. For your marketing to really be successful, you need to show your target audience that you are an expert in your field and there are many ways of doing this - one of the quickest is to be a published author.

6. Effective marketing is far more important and cost effective than a large sales team. A well worded direct mailing to targeted customers can produce great results especially when accompanied with a time limited promotion. If potential clients want more personal contact then you could try offering a teleconference but be sure to follow up afterwards.

7. This should probably be up at number 1, you must niche your product or service if you want to succeed. The 80:20 rule also applies in marketing. It is highly likely that 20% of your income comes from 80% of your customers. This means that since most of your income comes from 20% of your customers, it is this 20% that you really have to focus on even if it is to the expense of the other 80%.

And of course, if you really want your marketing to be a success, your reason for being in business must be more than just taking money from people in return for your products of services - you must provide outstanding customer service that people will not find elsewhere!

"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself."
Peter F. Drucker

Author's Bio: 

Anne Galloway is a careers consultant who believes that work can and should be creative, meaningful and enjoyable.

Her aim is to help people put the fun and passion back into their working week and she specialises in working with:
• clients on career change and/or career development, CV writing & interview skills, confidence and time management skills;
• students on career choice, study skills and confidence;
• and for those who realise that their dream career is to run their own business, I provide advice on how to start up, grow and develop your small business.

Anne also develops and presents workshops on personal development, branding, improving confidence and career planning including CV writing and interview skills.

Her first book, ‘Your Future - A practical guide to action’ was published in 2011 and ‘The Secrets to Workshop Success’ has just been published as an eBook.