I had a session with my client Amanda the other day. As is often the…
Can a Business Be Successful With No Marketing?
That’s an interesting question, right?
Well, I’m here to tell you that you can run a successful business with no marketing, and I know this because I’ve been doing it for more than 13 years. And I don’t mean ‘not much’ marketing; I mean none, zero, zilch.
Far from being a radical concept, running a business with no marketing is really just an alternative business model. But the obvious question to ask is, “Why would you do this?” The simple answer is, of course, “It saves money.”
So, how do you run a successful business with no marketing?
- You need partnerships or regular returning clients, or both.
- You need to be awesome at what you do; not good, awesome.
- You need a backup plan.
Let’s consider each of these.
Have partnerships or regular returning clients, or both.
When I first started running my business over 13 years ago, I had a few regular major publisher clients who made up about 60% to 70% of my workload. When you only have to fill in about 30% to 40% of your schedule, you’re already in front.
In recent years as the major publishers started publishing fewer and fewer books, it became obvious that this model wasn’t going to work for us anymore. So, we moved to the other option; we developed partnerships.
After some careful business analysis and studying the direction of the publishing industry, we concluded that self-publishing was the future for us. So, we began to seek out partners we could work with, in this area. The obvious option for us was to look for businesses that helped people to write their books, because the next step is, they would want to publish them! So, over the last few years, we’ve developed a number of formal and informal relationships with a number of writing coaches, training organisations that teach people to write books, and editors. We’ve also developed relationships with other businesses in the book supply chain, such as printers, designers, publicity people and distributors. These relationships act as our marketing funnel.
Be awesome at what you do.
This is non-negotiable. We have the aim of producing the best self-published books in Australia, and I believe we achieve that. We also aim to provide absolutely top-quality customer service.
Being the best at what you do will lead to the second source of work; referrals. Ever since we opened our doors, a large amount of our work has come from word of mouth, from happy clients. This is only possible if we provide top-quality products and services.
Have a backup plan.
We have a detailed marketing plan in the top drawer, ready to pull out and launch. We update it regularly, and we always discuss whether we should start doing some marketing. But, so far, we’ve never had to. As I write this in April, our schedule is filling up into July and August, and we have more work pencilled in towards the end of 2018 and even into 2019. But, if we ever look ahead and see that the pipeline of work is starting to dry up, we have our backup plan at the ready.
Of course, I’m not for a second saying that you shouldn’t do any marketing. And no doubt most businesses will need to if they want to grow past a certain size. What I am saying is that it’s important to always consider all your options, and not just do something because everybody else does it. Things that often seem like automatic decisions don’t necessarily have to be.
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