Entrepreneur Marketing – How to Inject It into Your Marketing Strategy
Entrepreneurs work hard and show a dedication to their craft, unlike any other profession. They define grit and determination, and we could all use a little of that motivation, even if we are not entrepreneurs ourselves. Developing an entrepreneurial mindset and applying it to your marketing strategy can help foster new leads, develop brand loyalty, and ultimately improve your bottom line. Here is what you need to know about entrepreneur marketing and applying it to your strategy.
What Is an Entrepreneurial Mindset?
Have you ever woken up for work and just couldn’t bring yourself to get out of bed? Was the only thing that could get you out of bed the loss of potential income, or the thought of losing your job altogether?
You may feel like you are the only one who does not enjoy doing what they do – but you are not. Many of us go to work every day only to receive a paycheck and come home, without feeling any motivation or sense of purpose in our work. Many people have accepted this fact as the reality of the working world without considering its consequences.
A monotonous, meaningless job can significantly damage our mental health, our productivity in the workplace, and our overall creativity. These declines can spell trouble for many industries, including digital marketing. However, you can find passion and motivation within any job – if you adopt the right mindset.
Entrepreneurs come in all shapes, sizes, and types. What makes a person an entrepreneur is how they think, solve problems, and produce new, exciting solutions and opportunities. Different entrepreneurs think and act in different ways, but they all value similar concepts: passion, goal-oriented attitudes, collaboration, and networking to name a few.
Here are a few tips to help you inject an entrepreneurial mindset among your marketing team and to reinvigorate your passion for your current position.
What Is Entrepreneur Marketing?
Entrepreneur marketing is not so much a single strategy as it is a philosophy toward the marketing process itself. Entrepreneur marketing strategies tend to buck traditional methods of marketing simply because they are intended for larger businesses. In essence, entrepreneur marketing uses a dynamic toolkit of practices that help smaller businesses gain traction in a competitive marketplace.
Entrepreneurs know how easy it is to get lost in a crowd. Most are painfully aware of the odds of their business collapsing within the first few years. One of the biggest barriers to success is differentiating from the competition – and making sure that the target audience knows it.
Examples of Entrepreneur Marketing
To achieve this end, entrepreneur marketing strategies may involve novel or unusual moves. Examples of entrepreneur marketing include.
- Expeditionary Marketing – the act of creating innovative or disruptive products or services and creating new marketing. Uber is a classic example.
- One-to-One marketing – this involves the hyper-personalization of a product or service. Marketing is to an individual, not a target group.
- Marketing in Real Time – leveraging the power of technology, marketers can reach a customer in real time and encourage a buying decision.
- Viral Marketing – an entrepreneur social media marketing strategy that focuses on the power of sharing.
- Relationship marketing – this brand of entrepreneur marketing focuses on creating a bond between a customer and the emerging brand.
Many entrepreneur marketing strategies emerge from necessity. Large businesses may have entire marketing departments at their disposal, while an entrepreneur wears many hats, from CEO and CFO to accountant and bookkeeper. A marketer is just another line on the job description. Smaller businesses also face hurdles such as access to fewer resources, limited budgets, and more. Entrepreneurs do not enjoy the luxury of advertising consultants, so they have to use creativity to create the best impact possible with the resources they have.
While entrepreneur marketing strategies vary, they do have several elements in common: risk-taking, innovation and taking a proactive, even guerilla approach to advertising. Trying to emphasize the company’s strengths and proving value to a consumer with limited resources can be a challenge. Often, entrepreneur marketing focuses on the innovative nature of the product or the exemplary nature of the service. By leveraging free tools like social media, video recording, and email marketing, entrepreneurs use the same drive, passion, and creativity in their marketing strategy as they do their business.
What Do Entrepreneurs and Marketers Have in Common?
We often hear that entrepreneurs must have digital marketing savvy to succeed, but the opposite also applies. Marketers can benefit from an entrepreneurial mindset, and the two may have more in common than you might think.
- High Expectations. Both marketers and entrepreneurs are visionaries of sorts, and they have high expectations for success. When something does not go as planned, both look to spin a new angle and make it work.
- Future thinking. Both marketers and entrepreneurs think of what’s next. They tend to be goal-oriented and set a new one as soon as possible. When they fall short of a goal, they diversify.
- They think outside the box. Marketers and entrepreneurs are both creative, sometimes out of necessity. Both think of innovative ways they can stand out from the crowd.
- Type-A personalities. People in marketing and in entrepreneurship tend to be highly organized and focused. This makes it easier to set goals and accomplish them.
- Budget constraints. Both marketers and entrepreneurs are familiar with the idea of working with small budgets. In fact, many entrepreneurs start marketing with campaigns that only cost time, not money. Both value the power of decisions based on data, not feelings. Both make judgments using numbers and flex their creative muscles to make them work.
Marketers and entrepreneurs have more in common than you might think. They often want the same things and use a similar approach to achieve those ends. By leveraging creativity and making data-driven decisions, both help takes their businesses to the next level. As a result, it should not be difficult for marketers to adopt an entrepreneurial approach to their strategy.
How Can You Adopt Entrepreneur Marketing Strategies?
Even if you are not an entrepreneur, you can still market like one. Every strategy will look a little different, but here are a few tips for developing one that works for your business.
Thinking like an entrepreneur can help you inject life back into your daily life. This mindset can also help you reinvigorate passion among your marketing team, stimulating new ideas and innovative solutions for upcoming projects.
Know Your Passion
Entrepreneurs are passionate people. Their passion motivates and drives them to complete their work, as well as engage in new opportunities to enrich their passion. Without having something to be passionate about, the day-to-day functions of your job will become boring. You will become bored, unmotivated, and feel stuck in your position.
Identify what you are passionate about. Do you enjoy coming up with new ideas? Do you love graphic design, writing, videography, or another art form? Are you passionate about social justice, building your brand’s success, or leading teams? Whatever you find passion in, make this passion the focus of your work.
View your current situation as one stage on your path to success. Incorporate your passion into the enterprise at large. If you cannot find a way to use your passion in your current position, consider changing your position or helping with another department.
Encourage Employee Autonomy
If you are an employer, manager, or another team leader in your company, implement greater opportunities for employees to work on their own or in small groups. If you are micromanaging each aspect of your employees’ work, this leaves little room for them to develop their own skills.
One of the most important aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset is autonomy. Entrepreneurs should be able to work alone, with a team, or in a small group. This flexibility allows for the greater development of ideas because employees can work on their personal solutions and refine their ideas in a team setting.
If your current office structure requires employees to work under the boss’s watchful eye and get approval for each portion of their work, consider changing the workflow. Divide employees into teams or encourage individual work. Then, have them present the final product to the rest of the team for additional refinement and discussion.
Adopt a Goal-Oriented Attitude
Entrepreneurs understand that they are responsible for their own decisions. As a result, they define the goals they want to attain during different periods of their lives. They then shape their life paths to help them attain those goals.
One of the biggest lessons we can take away from entrepreneurs is that you can’t wait for success to come to you. You must create your own success. If you feel stuck in your current position, brainstorm goals for the future. Start making small steps toward those goals, such as taking online courses to gain new skills or making new professional connections.
In the workplace, encourage your team to set their own goals for the future. Create regular team goals at the beginning of each quarter, month, or week. Hold your team accountable for meeting these goals and create an action plan to attain them. These actions will bring your whole team into the goal-setting process and encourage the entrepreneurial mindset.
Network, Network, Network
Entrepreneurs recognize that they cannot accomplish their goals alone. These people know that they can’t do it all and that they need help in areas where they are lacking. A surefire way to make sure you have great collaborators available to you is to increase your networking skills. Realizing you know someone who can help you with your current project will add excitement and a sense of autonomy to a position.
Sign up for a LinkedIn account, if you haven’t already, and start connecting with your coworkers, past employers, old friends from college, and other people you’ve met in a professional setting. Start going to industry meetups and other professional gatherings. Collect phone numbers, social media accounts, emails, and business cards – whatever you can to build your professional network.
In the workplace, encourage employees to engage in networking outside of work. Encourage your staff to introduce your colleagues to other people in their networks who might be helpful to the company’s operations. You could find your company’s next consultant while helping your team build their professional networks!
Think About the Future
Entrepreneurs have their eyes set on a series of goals. As a result, they are constantly thinking about the future: which degree to apply for next, where to get funding for the next venture, which skills they need to hone to get the position they want.
To truly embrace the entrepreneurial mindset, make sure to think about the future whenever you can. Encourage your employees to do the same by thinking about the long-term impacts of their projects, analyzing their long-term goals, and thinking about their job functions as ways to benefit their futures.
Invest in Your Skillset
Your network can help you get out of a lot of difficult spots. However, an entrepreneur doesn’t rely on a network for everything. In fact, entrepreneurs try to take advantage of every opportunity they can to expand their skills. They recognize that assigning another person to complete a task they can’t do does not help them progress toward their long-term goals.
Encourage yourself and your team to learn new skills, increase skill flexibility, and become adaptable to different situations. Move outside your comfort zone and identify weak spots in your work. Create proactive solutions to strengthen your weaknesses.
Be a Collaborative Leader
Entrepreneurship is all about sharing ideas, working with other professionals, and creating collaborative solutions. Entrepreneurs do not work alone all the time – in fact, they recognize that input and influence from knowledgeable others can help drive strong ideas.
Encourage collaboration within your team by fostering discussions between different departments and teams. Have multi-team meetings to discuss common projects, goals, and solutions to drive progress forward. Through these actions, deep and meaningful work can occur in a more interconnected environment within your company.
Executing Entrepreneur Marketing Strategies
You can only develop a marketing plan after you complete some essential introspection, weigh priorities, and understand your business model. At its core, a company must understand its mission, who they will target, and the competition that could derail success. Self-analysis is the essential first step in developing a marketing strategy that creates a maximum impact.
The planning stage is the most important in terms of execution. Businesses must define where they fit in the marketplace and set goals that make sense for their size. In general, businesses must abide by the following to be successful in entrepreneur marketing:
Be Realistic about Priorities
Having too many priorities or setting the bar too high can be a recipe for failure for businesses of all sizes, but particularly startups and small businesses. It is essential to set one goal at a time and create supporting initiatives to back the goal. For example, if the goal is to reach a new target market, then the initiatives could be market research and creating an entrepreneur social media marketing plan that matches.
Make Data-Driven Decisions
Remember that entrepreneurs must make a maximum impact with fewer resources. This makes data-driven decision-making more important than ever. The creation of specific and measurable goals is one thing; actually measuring them with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is another.
Mine data that will help your company measure the results of marketing initiatives on a regular schedule, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly. Evaluation will help you use your marketing dollars where they will have the most impact and minimize waste.
Keep Everyone in the Loop
Without continuous communication, it can be hard for employees to know what’s going on in a business owner’s head. It is important that everyone involved in the entrepreneur network marketing plan knows the strategic plan and vision. Meet periodically and review goals as well as their current status.
Evaluate Progress Frequently
Entrepreneur network marketing involves more than just evaluating goals and objectives, but also how they fit into the strategic plan. Strategy meetings should re-examine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a given initiative in relation to the company’s strategic plan. Doing so helps mitigate the risk and exploit the strengths of a given marketing strategy.
One More Word about Successful Company Tactics
Keep in mind that the details of executing entrepreneur marketing strategies will largely depend on the tactics a company chooses. For example, a company that relies on viral marketing will employ a different set of strategies than a company that leverages one-to-one marketing. In the planning stage, companies should choose a type of marketing plan that best fits their mission, vision, and overall culture. In other words, a small company that markets to older professionals is not going to find much success in making low-cost videos for YouTube.
Entrepreneur marketing may also differ because it does not involve long-term plans. Since startups face more budget uncertainties, it is often essential that an entrepreneur network marketing strategy is flexible and able to adapt to sudden changes in company status or finances.
Marketing with an entrepreneurial mindset also involves creating a strategy that relies on input from every aspect of the company. Everyone should be involved and work together in a coordinated fashion to maximize the impact of company resources. While stories about viral marketing success abound, marketing decisions should ultimately stem from the real-life circumstances that a company faces.
Executing a marketing strategy with an entrepreneurial mindset should involve specific goals and metrics that match. Every goal that the company makes may require a different execution strategy and should be evaluated differently. Small businesses, like entrepreneurs, should be able to revise their strategies quickly if they cannot meet their targets within a designated time frame. A flexible approach to marketing is essential to growth.
An entrepreneurial mindset is not always easy to get into, but for marketers, it is not as much of a stretch as you might think. Entrepreneurs and marketers have a lot of essential qualities in common, from creativity and flexibility to good organizational skills. All are essential to success in business.
Entrepreneur marketing may involve several different strategies depending on the nature and size of the business. Marketers can tap into these by adopting a goal-oriented attitude, being forward-thinking, and engaging in basic network entrepreneur marketing practices. Applying basic principles into a marketing strategy can help businesses, even smaller ones, thrive.
Proper execution involves aligning goals with the company’s strategic plan and adjusting course when necessary to mitigate risk and avoid wasting of resources. By adopting several different practices, marketers can think like entrepreneurs, renew their efforts, and drive business success. An entrepreneurial mindset can benefit companies and professionals of all shapes and sizes but is particularly beneficial for small businesses due to similar budgetary constraints.
Featured image by Freepik