Carrie Hartunian Smith is a marketing consultant in Arizona. She creates effective marketing campaigns, focusing on messaging for businesses actively marketing. Here she shares ideas on specifying your target, choosing a platform, and increasing retention rates.
Lisa: Good morning, this is Lisa Williams with Small Business Trendsetters and today we have Carrie Hartunian Smith Consulting. It’s a new year, a busy time for business owners and consultants. I’m sure you have big goals this year.
Lisa: Excellent. Carrie, let’s discuss how you help businesses. Exactly what is Hartunian Smith Consulting?
Carrie: Often, I work with people who haven’t started their business, but have a product or service, and are looking for the secret to get people to purchase it. No matter what they offer, the questions are always the same. “How can I get good SEO? Which social media should I use? How do I get more traffic?” etc. My belief is there is no secret weapon, there is no one single strategy better than another.
When working with clients, I explain it all comes back to basics. First, we define the goal, and then ensure they know their market. That might sound elementary, but too often people have these amazing products or services, yet have to work hard for a few sales. Frequently, when sales are not where they should be, it’s because they are not targeting the person who wants or needs what they provide. We live in an age where you can design a campaign to speak exactly to the target person you are looking for. Think of it this way, if you haven’t specified your audience, you’re out there with a big bullhorn talking into the wind. People hear noise, but they don’t hear your message.
I go back to the basics and say, “Let’s make sure we really know who the target consumer is.” Then when we get into the next step, creating the message, we’re able to create one specifically for that audience. We want to speak the client’s language, using words that resonate with them. After that, is when you think about which platform is best for that product.
People come to me and ask, “Hey, what media platform should I be on, Twitter, You Tube, or Facebook?”
I stop them and say, “First, let’s talk about your market and message, and then let’s discuss your platform.” Because I firmly believe, every platform out there is good for somebody. One is not better than another is, it’s just what’s best for your products or service.
Lisa: Who do you work with?
Carrie: I work with clients who are looking to put a solid campaign together for the long haul. As a consultant, I have dealt with, brick and mortar businesses, and professionals such as doctors, wealth managers, etc., in building their platform and creating campaigns to bring in their perfect client. Building a platform is a main key, but it goes deeper, it’s how you leverage all your marketing elements. Think of it this way, if you are actively engaging on different platforms, such as posting on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc., without purpose to the end game, then you’re not leveraging your efforts, and therefore not maximizing your best return on investment (ROI). Nor are you providing the most value to your clientele.
Lisa: So, that could be any business actively marketing, you help that person craft a campaign and distribute where it’s appropriate. Is that correct?
Carrie: Yes. I look for clients who are on their way to success. No matter what business you have, marketing is about getting your message out, and testing what resonates with your audience.
Lisa: I love it. What services do you provide?
Carrie: We offer a complete diagnostic of the marketing strategy, and execution. We take an in depth look at where they are, what their competitors are doing, and work to understand their clientele. We look at how they acquire clients and their retention rate, a full diagnostic. It’s key to review our client’s value ladder, and by that, I mean what are you offering? What do you have? What do you provide as value (freebies), and what is your big-ticket item. Knowing all this and everything in between, helps create a solid value ladder, providing value for the customers so they’re likely to become loyal customers. It’s the whole ‘Know, Like, and Trust’ theory.
Lisa: That sounds valuable, especially for a professional such as a doctor like the one mentioned earlier.
Carrie: Exactly. Marketing is one thing you have to pay attention to regularly. In my corporate years, I found that you have to look at issues and pay attention to them, then they get better … hence my saying ‘Everything gets better once you pay attention to it’. I have found that principal is the same when working with clients building their brand. After we complete the diagnostic and begin to execute changes within their current marketing strategies, we then begin to look at marketing elements to enhance what they already have in place, like building media authority.
Lisa: So to sum up your services, you offer authority positioning, help them become published authors when it fits, help them decide what platform fits, and the diagnostic of how they’re getting their messages out to that market. Would that be correct?
Carrie: Yes, I would say I help clients develop their platform, which is more than how many are following on Facebook, but it’s about leveraging it, in terms of seeing a ROI and growing their base, keeping it aligned with the client’s goals.
Lisa: What’s the common misconception business owners have about expanding and making more money?
Carrie: I think the misconception is this: “What I am doing is working, I don’t understand everything on the internet, so I don’t want to try anything new.” I’m NOT suggesting business owners go out and try the newest shiny object each time something comes out, but rather, that online marketing changes frequently. If you are not keeping up with how your clients are buying what you are selling, you will be losing potential customers/clients.