Here are some crucial marketing lessons to carry into 2013…
- There’s a Huge Difference Between Principles and Tools: no, you don’t need to do Social Media, SEO, Adwords, or video marketing; those are just TOOLS. Lots of people have a Facebook Page or website that sits there and does nothing for them. What you *do* need to do is build scarcity into your offers, follow-up regularly with clients, and give prospects a no-brainer reason to buy now. Those are PRINCIPLES. They have been true since two cavemen fought over one cavewoman, and PRINCIPLES are the real reason customers buy.
- Excellent Tools Plus On-Target Strategy Trumps Hard Work: A good chef with an awesome recipe trumps an amazing chef with a mediocre recipe…. EVERY TIME. An average business owner with excellent tools and strategy will out-perform the most passionate, hard-working, intelligent, good-hearted entrepreneur who has mediocre tools and/or weak strategy. This is true more than ever due to technology. I can automatically contact 2,000 customers simultaneously using technology; can you do that in-person? I can automatically access 1 billion consumers using technology. That’s impossible using technology from 1980. The divide is only getting wider as technology drives more and more marketing and advertising. You’re either on the winning side or the losing side.
- Stand in the Path of Cash! This is 50% of strategy (above)… making sure that you’re getting in the path of pre-existing demand. You want to intercept people who are actively searching for your solution. Convincing is bad; it’s expensive, slow, frustrating, and will make you poor. But speaking directly to people who’re already convinced, already seeking, and basically just need to pick between you and your competitors… now *that* is power. You’ll be shocked how fast they’ll buy.
- Marketing is as Simple as Fishing! Your potential customers are fish. They are swimming down many rivers. The internet is an example of a river. Google (and other media) are like a bridge over the river. By advertising on Google Adwords you get to stand on that bridge and throw your fishing line down amidst the customer-fish that are rushing by underneath you, over and over again. The quality of your fishing hook and bait (your ad and sales pages) will determine how many fish you pull up.
- Your Business is Nothing More Than a Black Box! Keep it simple: you put money, time, and energy in one side of the box, and out pops money and customer goodwill. Keep it just that simple… do you like the results that are popping out? Your whole business is the wiring of that box. The better that you achieve the principles of profitable business, the more profit you’ll make on the “out” side, and the more customer goodwill you’ll create too.
- Customers Can Be Bought! Selling to your near / warm network will only take you so far. So will referrals. Make no mistake – these can be a very powerful source of business. But sooner or later you’ll need to find strangers to check out your business. This is possible – you really can make total strangers appear from the ether (provided you’re following marketing principles). So then it just becomes a game of buying customers affordably, sustainably, then monetizing the enough to make a good profit.
- Be Easy to Understand! A total stranger must understand your business in under 30 seconds. This is related to standing in the path of cash.
- It’s ALLLL About Copywriting! Everything is copy – text of a Google Ad, script of a video, text of a sales letter or website, speech that you give, webinar that you teach. It’s alllll copy, and the quality of your copy can literally be the difference between success and failure. Subtle-yet-significant changes in copy can 2x, 4x, 5x, 10x a promotion’s performance. I’ve seen a single letter “s” bring one of my clients an extra 400% of business.
- Just Do It – Just Make an Offer to Your Database! Do not overestimate the difficulty of doing so, nor should you overestimate your competitors’ likelihood to sell to the same cohort of customers – they probably won’t – most small business are clueless about promoting to their database. Also, don’t underestimate your skills and/or value proposition. Just put an offer out there!
Hope that helps,