Marketing Strategy Things You Control

As an entrepreneur, there are many things outside of your control. But remember, you do have control over...

• The amount of sleep you get
• How you fuel your body
• The people you surround yourself with
• How much water you drink
• How you talk to yourself
• How you react to situations
• How much effort you put in
• The books you read
• How generous you are
• Your attitudes and beliefs
• What you focus on
• How often you exercise
• How often you meditate
• How often you appreciate the little things
• When to say yes
• When to say no

Marketing Strategy People Do Not Care

Great copywriters acknowledge that, on the whole, people don’t care. Human beings are busy, infantile, inward- looking types that certainly don't care about whatever it is you're trying to sell.

To stand any chance of communicating with us, the human beings, effectively, you need to do all the work for us and just give us bits that really matter to us. Each sentence or paragraph has to work hard enough to push us on to the next one, then the next.

If you’re particularly passionate about what you sell, it takes almost zen-like conditioning to show the restraint to do this effectively.

Less is more.

Marketing Strategy Building Something Bigger

Rather than just building a business, what if you set out to build a movement? A rebellion that inspires and mobilises others. By giving others a cause to believe in, and the tools to share that cause with other people, you can spark real change. There are three crucial ingredients. You need a cause so bold and compelling that people can't ignore you. You need to make people feel something. Anger, joy, injustice and fear are all great motivators. And finally, you need to craft the story that your comrades can share, a call to arms that can spread exponentially.

You have the knowledge. You have the tools...

Marketing Strategy Clarity Sells

As Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky famously noted, people don't choose between things, they choose between descriptions of things. Yet if you take a few minutes to visit a few of your competitor's websites, you'll notice how few of them clearly articulate what's actually for sale within the first few seconds. If it's confusing for you to grasp what's on offer,  imagine how frustrating it is for potential customers.

Articulating a compelling proposition using the written word is an art form that has been eroded over time. In years gone by, traditional advertising space was so expensive, a copywriter's role was to craft short, memorable sales messaging using as fewer words as possible. Paying  per word, literally, forced ad men to be economical and creative with the language they used.

Online, however, there's no need to keep it short. In fact, we're encouraged at every turn to write more copy rather than less, because that's what Google likes. And after all, in the digital world, it doesn't cost us more to use five hundred words instead of five.

Except of course it does.

Marketing Strategy The Entrepreneur’s Mantra

I’m different. I am the 1% who doesn’t just talk about it. I did it.

I do the work. When I’m tired. When I’m ill. I do the work. I made a promise to build something bigger than myself and nothing will stop me accomplishing my mission.

Though I may not keep conventional hours, my family will always come first.

My journey will take longer than I thought. It will be harder than I imagined.

I will surround myself with strong, inspiring allies. I will avoid those who are loud or aggressive and those who secretly want me to fail. (I know who you are.)

I will listen to my kinder self. Ego is my enemy.

I will be measured, calm and reliable. I will deliver the things I promise.

I will do work that matters. I will learn and grow every day.

I will build systems that deliver great value and joy. That provide wealth and freedom for myself and the others I care about.

I will not always be at my best. I will falter. I will need help. Those who guide and stand by me will be rewarded first when the time comes.

I will serve others. I will not short cut. I will give an outstanding account of myself at all all times. I will always deal from a position of strength.

I value relationships over money.

I will keep my body safe and conditioned. I will fuel it properly. I will sleep.

I will do my most unpleasant task first thing in the morning.

When things go wrong, I will own my mistakes. I will give away the credit for my successes.

I am an entrepreneur in one of the most exciting times in the history of this planet.

I am blessed to be on this journey.

Marketing Strategy Social Media Anxiety

Frequent users of social media are 2.7 times more likely to suffer from depression. Nothing new there. If you spend every day looking at the airbrushed lives of other people, you will, understandably, start to develop a sense of despondency. There's another type of social media anxiety that is rarely acknowledged. Anxiety caused by the constant pressure put on business owners and marketers to be present and active on every social platform, every day. It seems every other headline in the marketing press is 'Why You're Missing Out if You're Not on SnapChat' or 'How to Make More Sales Using Instagram'. We're constantly being corralled towards one shiny social platform, then another, then another.

This creates anxiety in many of us. Are we missing out? Should we be focusing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest or SnapChat?

The fact is, you can't give a great account of yourself in six places at once. Nor should you try to. There's a sense of empowerment that comes with assessing and then ruling out any platform that's not core to your business.

Be ruthless. There's a lot to be said for avoiding bandwagons.

Marketing Strategy The Email Marketing Fallacy

Even though nobody would dream of wasting time designing an email to send to a friend, colleague or relative, we lose our minds when it comes to emailing customers and prospects. Somewhere along the line, it became commonplace to design marketing emails. A bold typeface here, a big image there, and of course, a massive 'click here now' button wherever you can squeeze one in.

The irony is, we all use email every day to send simple, personal, text based messages. Using it as a relationship building tool to forge strong bonds with people all over the world we've often never met in person. Emails don't need designing to become more effective in communicating a message. The email is the message.

It's time we stopped filling inboxes with digital junk mail and started sending personal, well written emails instead.

The more you treat somebody like an old friend, the more likely they are to become one.

Marketing Strategy Saying Thank You

We're all guilty of taking our customers for granted. Even though we know that customers are the oxygen that keeps any business breathing. Neglecting meaningful customer communications comes in two main forms. Either we ignore them completely. Or we bombard them over the head with constant sales messaging, hoping to squeeze more revenue from them. Neither shows the level of care and appreciation that should be reserved for these rare breeds. Here's a thought. What if the next communication your customers received from you was a beautiful letter, sealed with a wax stamp and written on a heavy, embossed letterhead. And it reads:

'I don't get the time to write to you as often as I'd like to, but today I finally got the chance to block out some time to drop you a line. I  just wanted to say a big, heartfelt thank you for being such a wonderful customer. It means the world to me and we really, really couldn't do it without you. If you need anything at all, please drop me a line by email or call me directly. Thanks again.'

No selling. No promotion. No call to action.

Marketing Strategy The Content Myth

If someone had told you 10 years ago, before content marketing was a thing, to invest your resources writing an article, shooting a video or designing an infographic that delivers value to your target audience (for free), then, share it by posting it online in places that some of your customers might hang out, and then sit back and wait for the sales to start rolling in,  you'd have had some serious reservations. And quite rightly. But the content marketing juggernaut is out of control. With even great marketers being blind to the fact that content marketing, as it is currently understood and executed, is way too passive. Businesses are knowingly spending a fortune creating and cranking out content, because they feel pressure to, even though nobody is engaging with it, nobody is sharing it and certainly nobody is enquiring or buying as a result.

It's not that the content itself isn't important. It's the lack of strategy, research, targeting, follow up and measurement that kills it before it even gets out of the gates.

Herd mentality is can be to your advantage as long as you're not part of it.

Marketing Strategy Deeper Connections

In a world where we're told that 'going viral' is the marketing holy grail, it's worth remembering that what we really crave, as marketers, is to build deeper connections with those who matter. So yes, a million people watching your video is exciting. But not if those viewers just go onto the next video, and then the next without giving you a second thought. Sensational and attention grabbing content has its place but like paper on a fire, it burns brightly for a very short time. Deep connections are forged gradually, through consistent, generous action. If you were to try to organise a hierarchy of connection levels, it might look like this:

1) Face to face
2) Phone call
3) Text / SMS
4) Letter
5) Email
6) Fan / Follower
7) Like
8) View

Most businesses only need a handful of deep connections with the right people to transform everything.