A Recipe for Simpler Marketing

We’re in the age of hyper-complexity in business and especially in marketing.

The number of places and ways you’re told you need to show up is now infinite.

And that’s a huge problem that I see business owners grappling with every day.

They don’t know what to focus on.

They read an article about how they need to post on LinkedIn…and have a Facebook group…and tweet with influencers…and Snap like Gary V.

And while you’re doing that, have a FB live, streamed to YouTube, and live posted to Instagram…

And maybe someone will pay attention to you.

There are two problems with what’s happening in marketing advice right now:

  1. We’re so afraid to do the things that actually work, that we jump to the next new thing hoping it’ll bring clients without us having to step up and lead our market.
  2. We spend way too much time on strategies and tactics that will radically change in a year, forcing us to re-invent/re-learn how we’re marketing.

Keep reading, we’re going to fix that…

Why Rapid Constant Change is Bad for (your) Business

There seems to be this assumption in business that change is the new constant. That the ever increasing pace of change is our new reality. And that businesses that don’t figure out how to deal with it are doomed.

I don’t disagree with any of that.

Where I think we go wrong, is in assuming that the solution to rapid change is to participate in it.

The most successful businesses I see acknowledge the reality of change, and then…

(This is the important part)

…discern what’s not changing and focus their energy on the few things that won’t change.

And, here’s the obligatory quote from Jeff Bezos…

“I very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next 10 years?’ And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’ And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.”

If you look at and read much from Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger, you’ll find similar thinking.

Participating in rapid change has three negative side-effects:

  1. It creates inefficiency. You never get into “flow.”
  2. It kills momentum, even when you achieve it, because you have to stop and change direction.
  3. It creates stress…on you, and on your team. Some stress is good, it stimulates growth. Think, the stress of overcoming a constraint. Some is bad, it shuts down creativity. Stress from change is like that old book title “Who moved my cheese?”

All of that makes your business vulnerable.

What Will Remain the Same?

So let’s answer the better question…what will be the same in 10 years, and in 50 years, and in 100 years…

In marketing, there are three things that are unchanging…

1. The Need for Leadership

Your market—your future clients—want and need leadership. They’re looking for someone to help them navigate the world and make decisions (now more than ever because of the constant and rapid change).

Going back to Bezos…Amazon has created a system for leadership with the product reviews on the site. It’s peer to peer leadership facilitated by Amazon, and because of it, Amazon gets to make the sale.

Your market is looking for someone with your expertise.

And sooner or later, a leader will emerge. There are really only two important questions:

  1. Who is your market (what’s your minimum viable audience)?
  2. Will you lead them?

You get to answer both questions for yourself. The good news is that, we humans have been looking for leadership since the beginning and all of this change only makes it more important from now on.

To be a leader you need valuable ideas (valuable to your market). And you need to present them from a position of authority.

2. The Desire for Relationship

We want to be in relationship with one-another. Even the most introverted among us have that desire.

It’s always been, and will always be. We were created for relationship.

Unfortunately, many of the marketing tactics promoted today actually push you away from creating real relationships that will support commerce, towards thin relationships that lack real familiarity, shared interest, and human bond.

In my opinion, that’s shaky ground if you’re building a business to last.

Relationships are required for commerce. Your marketing and your delivery systems should optimize for relationship first, profit second, and scale third.

Too many of the tactics for getting attention right now are focused on scale first and do little to create commerce-ready relationships.

3. The Necessity of Regular Communication

You’re not in relationship with people you don’t communicate with. Conversely, your best, closest, most trusted relationships are with the people you communicate with the most.

All of your marketing needs to mimic this pattern of real life.

That doesn’t mean you start spamming people tomorrow. Start with #1—leadership.

Develop valuable ideas that people need. Create relationships and bring those people to your audience.

Use your leadership and your relationships to feed your communication to people that you don’t have relationship with yet.

Now, because I know you want “leverage” and “scale” let’s look at the specific marketing tactics that allow you to take unchanging principles and scale them with stable tactics.

The Core-Four Marketing Strategies

#1. The Lowly Newsletter (email edition)

I’ve been sharing this idea for the last eight years…and I laugh every time someone tells me it won’t work anymore, because a “newsletter” delivered by email (or in print), like the one you’re reading right now, is your single most powerful marketing tool.

It allows you to show-up to everyone in your minimum viable audience every week or a couple of times a month, be valuable, build trust, create relationship, and do it with LEVERAGE and SCALE.

The hard part is the writing. So don’t write one, use Strategy #2…

#2. The Audio Interview (on a Podcast)

Relationships drive business. Always have, always will. But reaching out to strangers with a lame email isn’t the most effective way to start a relationship. And waiting for an introduction puts your business on hold.

But an invitation to appear on a podcast (a media platform) and promote their business will get even the big boys responding to you pronto.

If you’re curious about the details of how to build relationships with interviews I spill all the beans here and here.

#3. The Position Book

Want to be recognized as a leader of your audience? Write the book on the solution to their biggest problem.

I know, I know…books are hard to write. At least that’s what most people think. I’m a big believer in small books. Don’t try to write 250 pages. Write a great 10,000 word book on a very specific topic.

Most importantly, use the book to stake out your position on your audience’s problem and the solution they should choose.

#4. The Conversion Presentation

Presentations delivered to persuade and compel action have been around since there were two humans on the planet and will be around as long as there are at least two of us left.

There’s no better way to create action with a group of prospects at one time (leverage) than a presentation. Do it live, do it in a webinar, do it on a livestream. The format isn’t important.

The fact that every prospect that attends commits focused time and attention to hear you is a significant buying signal.

Stop Chasing and Start Mastering

You don’t need all four strategies to be successful. Pick one or two and master them. Then add another, until you have all four…

And start enjoying a simpler experience in business.

Want my best ideas for growing your firm, plus winning ideas from successful firm leaders?

Twice a week I’ll send the latest actionable ideas to your inbox. Just tell me where to send them and let’s get some clients rolling in…