From my years running this blog, the brick wall Black entrepreneurs encounter is taking their hustle to market and generate sales. The reason why is we are not taught marketing and how to do marketing the right way. The public school system did not teach us how to market our products and services because they wanted brothas and sistas to work for other people and get a job when we grow up, do you still remember that? So yes, I see it over and over where we brothas and sistas do become entrepreneurial and setup a product or service to sell but then we run into that awkward moment when we first launch the hustle and expect some people to come through the door or visit the web site. Then what cats do is stuff like have some dancing character holding up a sign outside their store or start doing crap like SEO and paying for ads wasting money trying to promote themselves. At the time of this writing, I’m getting ready to launch and take to market our Shop Wall Star service and the first hustle from Swagg-Scientific. What I want people to understand about Dream and Hustle is I’m not going to pretend I’m this perfect entrepreneur with nothing but a success story to tell cats – no, we do stuff in real time to show cats this is how it is done. In this article, we are going to share with brothas and sistas how to market their hustle. Let me define marketing for you – it is communication you provide to your customer. Every communication regarding your hustle is defined as marketing. You will understand by the end of this article, some cats engages in worthless and distracting communication practices while others zero in on the most effective form of communication regarding their hustle. Marketing is nothing more than your communication with your potential customer. The Fundamental Science of Marketing If there is one thing you should take away from this article is 100% of all of your marketing efforts should be directed towards a sale transaction and get money. Getting the sale is the only purpose of marketing and this is where the majority of Black people go sideways with their hustle. At the end of the day, your hustle need to pay back the investment you put into it, pay the current bills and reward you with extra money for you to enjoy and spend how you see fit. Marketing is about getting directly to the money part; screw everything else you heard about marketing. The two fundamental concepts you should be aware of when it comes to marketing is funneling and channeling. Your entire hustle should revolve around funneling and channeling and we will discuss each one of these concepts. Funneling. When you put out a marketing communication to a group of people, it will be filtered down to a small percentage who will give you the ultimate response you want – a sales transaction. If you look at the diagram above, you will see a realistic model of the kind of response you will get when you put out a message to the general population. At the end, only about 3% will probably follow through on a transaction. So you have to understand that if you want a goal of 3 people a day doing business, you have to target 100 people a day. Channeling. Channeling is the process of moving people into your sales transaction cycle. You should have a defined sales transaction cycle similar to the diagram above and understand how to enter customers into that sales cycle. For example, the follow up phase is where you have your existing customer recommend or refer a friend for a 5% discount – this is how you create a channel for a new customer to enter into your sales transaction cycle. Most of your customers will enter when they see the benefit/value or see an offer they cannot refuse walking by your hustle. Now that I explain both funneling and channeling, that is 95% of all you need to know about marketing and the rest is building upon those two concepts. You have to find a way to reach a large audience, extract the customers from that generation population and get them into your sales transaction cycle to do business with you and get your money up. Marketing is a Science, Not a Relationship or Network When you hear someone talk about relationship marketing or network marketing, that person is full of crap and just talking out the side of their neck. Marketing is applied science and a STEM discipline. You cannot go around shaking hands and passing out business cards to promote your products or service – that is what those MLM characters be talking about. Remember the core theme of this article; you are looking for sales, not contacts or networks or whatever these cats be talking about. The science of marketing involves positioning and conversion and those are the two strategies you must implement as you funnel for customers and channel them into your sales transaction cycle. Now let’s discuss position and conversion as strategies for your hustle to get sales. Positioning. This is simply putting your marketing message in the best place and time to reach as many people as it can. The position can be a busy location or transit area, a high traffic web site or spamming lots of people over and over again. In general, people think you can just run an ad on the SuperBowl where millions of people are watching or put up a digital billboard in Times Square where millions of people are walking and 3% of them (30,000) will buy the product – it don’t exactly work like that. In your positioning, you have to consider the conversion rate. Conversion. Conversion is the measure of your positioning efforts to determine how effective your marketing was able to funnel customers from the general population and enter the sales cycle. If 100 people walk by and 3 people made a sale transaction, then your conversion rate from that positioning was 3%. You must understand that you want to increase the percentage, not the number to be most effective. For example, you position your next-day hair extension QR code shopping poster inside of a nail/salon shop and they get 25 people and 6 of them make orders, which is a 24% conversion rate. So in your marketing efforts, your strategy should be to position your marketing where you are going to have the highest conversion rate. A lot of brothas and sistas strongly want to believe you just focus on where 100,000 cats are at and 3% or 3,000 will make an order and this ignorant thinking is why I’m writing this marketing article. No, you want to focus on positioning at the right spot where you believe the highest number of potential customers are and if there are 50 people and 15 of them follow through, that 30% conversion is what is more powerful. Let me give you two reasons why you focus on the smaller, targeted crowd for a higher conversion rate. Number one, it is cheaper and you probably ain’t got the kind of money to waste trying to target 100,000 people in one area to get a 3% response rate – only big businesses have that kind of money to throw around. Number two is the area domination strategy I blogged about that came out of 7-Eleven Japan. By focusing on hundreds of small areas with just 50 people and all of them doing a 30% conversion rate, 15 people at each of these spots will talk to each other and word of mouth in that small area will have an explosive effect on the conversion rate from 30% to probably 60% in some cases. Avoid the Getting Famous Before Getting Rich Trap The number one problem with Black entrepreneurs today is they are too busy trying to get famous before getting rich. They are all in schemes like trying to get their name out, trying to get popular on social networks with a bunch of likes or twitter followers and get on these reality TV shows. Then many of them are trying to get nice write-ups in blogs and newspapers or featured on a TV news program. All of this is not marketing - it is a distraction and going sideways. Your marketing communication for your hustle will have consequences, don’t ever forget that. If you are looking to make yourself famous or known or popular, then you will funnel out curiosity seekers to your hustle who ain’t going to buy ish from you. These curiosity seekers will be around trying to find out who you are, trying to judge you, trying to befriend you and talking about you behind your back, will try to make you acknowledge them and all of this crap got nothing to do with your hustle. Then you attract haters who will be damn if they witness your Black behind succeeding at anything without their permission and will spend energy trying to distract you and tear you down. You have to remember something and this is very important for brothas and sistas – a lot of these media writers and bloggers are some broke low-paid cats and very jealous. Why would they write up something about you and your hustle when they broke and not shining like you? Think about it – they write a whole article about your hustle and how you about to blow up but that writer get paid some broke rate or wages to crank out content. Don’t be relying on these low-level media cats to give you any publicity, including Black radio hosts. Let me stress this again because cats in the rap game know what I’m talking about. The new rap group got a hot track just came out the studio and they are new. The DJ is some z-list clown at a club and you approach them to play your track. That DJ is going to get jealous at the thought of you being in the house, cats feeling your track and praising you instead of admiring the z-list DJ who is jealous. And most of these radio DJs are wannabee rappers, they ain’t going to give you shine because they jealous also. You better keep this in your head when you run around trying to get media attention and don’t even bother. Instead, use marketing to get your product out to your customer and bypass the middle man alogether. How Swagg-Scientific Will Market Shop Wall Star All you have to do is look at Steve Jobs in the photo above and that is exactly how you do marketing. You show off your product and market the product or service and explain the benefit and value directly to the customer. We will position our marketing efforts in the best conversion rate areas to funnel out customers to enter directly into the sales transaction cycle. That means I will create videos and other media content to demonstrate how to use the Shop Wall Star service and how to create QR code shopping walls. I will explain the benefits in this content and that will be our marketing material – the actual service. We will not distract ourselves with any publicity whore stunts and focus 100% of having our service seen in action to get people engaged and want to enter our sales transaction cycle to get paper because this is a hustle and not a hobby. Marketing Message. Our message will be straightforward – let the customer see the Shop Wall Star service in action and have hands on experience. We will use video and other media as our marketing message to demonstrate how the service is use. We will show real-world implementations of the Shop Wall Star service with real people using the service. Also, our instruction manual is a detailed guide on how to use the service and that is also our marketing message. Positioning Strategy. We will position our marketing in locations where brothas and sistas can try out the service themselves. QR Shopping walls work best in high density hub areas with a lot of people around looking at others using the QR code and after being onlookers, they go ahead and do it also creating a viral effect. We will also employ Facebook to share experience and information to spread the message virally. FYI, Swagg-Scientific is probably going to choose Facebook pages over creating individual web sites for many of our hustles down the road. Channeling Strategy. So how do we channel the people we marketing to into our sales transaction cycle? We will have a “powered by Shop Wall Star” in the footer line of order confirmation pages as one way to direct general users to our service sign-up section. We will have physical signup forms and giveaways when we rent tables to sign up side-hustlers at little trade show events around Atlanta to get started. We can also use teasers such as offer the first 500 Facebook likes a free month of service to channel them into the sales transaction cycle by using it on a trial basis. Summary – Understand that the Message Will Eventually Change Brothas and sistas should understand the basis of marketing and how to get their products and services out to the general public. The biggest mistake among Black entrepreneurs is trying to “network market” or trying to get famous before getting rich and why cats cannot launch their hustle successfully. Marketing involves understanding the nature of funneling and channeling and employing strategies such as positioning the funnel at the right place as well as increasing the conversion rate among the best channels. Keep in mind the message will likely change for example, Shop Wall Star service probably need to switch from QR posters to actual showrooming of products in a micro-mall setting with NFC tags attached to them for small entrepreneurs who open up a brick and mortar presence. As long as we keep in mind the fundamentals of our communication strategy then we will stay on track with our marketing efforts. Remember at the end of the day, you want to make a sale to make money and spend money earned from your hustle – make sure your marketing effort is 100% focused on getting that money.