How would you define marketing? Who cares? I just know I have to do it. I never bother defining anything, I just jump in with assumptions, which is probably why it took me so long to build an online business. Maybe you shouldn't do what I do...
I just like to get in there and get crackin' with whatever I'm seeing successful people do. Yesterday I bought a really good book on marketing, not because I thought I could learn something new, but because it's written by my favorite potty-mouth writer, Naomi Dunsford of IttyBiz. She makes me laugh.Click here to view more details: Marketing School PDF by Naomi.
I thought I was going to get some sort of X-rated advice, but apart from the lessons I learned about penis spam, it's pretty much packed full of solid marketing advice. I'll share some of here, but my advice is to go get your own copy here. It's a fun read and you'll learn something, especially if you take the time to write out the exercises: Naomi Dunsford's Marketing School.
Here's an excerpt:
What is marketing? The stuff you do that makes people buy your stuff.
In order to sell stuff, you need to know what makes people buy stuff:
- People buy stuff because they want it.
You also need to know what makes people NOT buy stuff.
- People don’t buy stuff because they don’t trust it.
Effective marketing comes down to convincing people that you have something they want and that you’re not going to screw them.
I've got a doctorate in psychology and 20 books on the shelf about how people make decisions and why people buy. But this says it all. Of course, it's skimming the surface. There's more...
A lot of marketers — especially the consultant kind who are looking to take your money — really like to complicate marketing. They like to make it sound like it’s all about research and testing and planning and execution and all manner of hard things you think you can’t do on your own. Those activities can come into play, sure, but if you have stuff that people want and they trust you, you don’t really have to do much else.
Good marketing is about finding what’s good for your customers and your business. That’s it.
Let's find out what's good for your customers and your business. Notice there are two parts to good marketing:
- One is all about the customer, the client, the end user of your products and services
- The other is about you, your business, your strengths and talents, what you have to offer
It may seem obvious to you, or clouded in mystery, but take some time to write down everything you know about your customers, especially those ideal ones. Write down everything you imagine about them, their demographics and their values, their buying habits.
This is important because you'll be writing to them. The more you can address their needs and appeal to their emotional triggers, the better your marketing content will do it's job of getting them to trust you.
But that's not all... (by the way, every marketing book starts out with this advice about defining your ideal target audience. Not new.)
Naomi is clever about this second part of good marketing because, in her Marketing School ebook, she has you do a lot of work defining yourself and your business. She asks you to write down your values, your strengths, your weaknesses, why it is you do what you do and why you want to sell what you sell.
It's psychological. The better you can define yourself and your business, the more easily you'll attract the right kinds of clients to your products and services.
And the easier your content marketing will be. Of course this is especially true to independent professionals and small businesses where the client is likely to do business with the owner, who is also likely to be writing the marketing materials, or in charge of them.
People do business with people, and even if you're trying to market a large company, you've got to bring in personalities and human qualities. This is why so many corporations bring in a persona, or spokesperson to brand their business on a personal level (think Mac and PC commercials).
Assignment time: 3 Lists
- Write out everything you know about your ideal client, the so-called demographics like age, gender, occupation, education etc.
- Write out your values, your strengths, how you differ from your competition, what makes you and your business unique
- Make a 3rd list of client stories, what their problems were, how you solved them
Keep these 3 lists somewhere handy. The next time you get an email or call from a customer, add something to your list about their values, their interests, their needs. Expanding your awareness of your customers is an on-going task that needs to be kept going in your mind.
The next time you solve a problem for a client, make a note of how your services were especially helpful or unique.
Use this material in writing case studies that show other prospects how you can solve their problems.
You need to make active use of client stories and testimonials in order to provide social proof to others who may not trust you quite yet...
Remember, people will buy your stuff because they want it, and they won't buy if they don't trust it.
Naomi says so: I've been to Marketing School, you should go too.