Who are you trying to please today?

marketing tips, marketing advice, advise,

If you try to market to everyone, you’ll fail to be relevant to anyone.

Here’s why this matters: Your ideal prospective clients respond to directly relevant marketing.

It cuts through the noise and grabs their attention. It’s clearly intended for them. It’s meaningful. And it’s incredibly powerful at converting prospective clients into actual clients.

It looks like this:

  • Decide who your ideal client is.
  • Market exclusively to them.
  • Talk their language.
  • Help them identify opportunities.
  • Solve their most pressing problems.
  • Give them 100% of your marketing investment.
  • Ignore the rest.

And let the best prospective clients fall in love with you.

3 Reasons why NEW is overrated

marketing tips, marketing ideas, marketing advice

New is overrated. At least when it comes to marketing.

There are 3 reasons for this:

  1. The newest service is a risky bet. At best, it’s a bigger gamble than the trusted incumbent. At worst, the customer feels like a paying guinea pig.
  2. The newest service is seldom the best. It lacks the improvements that come with time.
  3. New doesn’t last for long. This makes it a short-term marketing message. Anything that’s new is only new for now.


Offer something, which is proven to motivate your marketplace to hire you or buy from you.

For example, instead of offering them a new way to do something, offer them:

  • A faster way.
  • A more enjoyable way.
  • A greener way.
  • An original way.
  • A safer way.
  • A cost effective way.

The fact your service is new is only of interest to you. So, focus on what matters to your prospective clients. Remember, people buy for their reasons. Not yours.

Why marketing blogs remove the dates from their posts

content marketing, blogging, newsletters, articles

A lot of popular marketing blogs now hide the dates of their posts from their readers. A number of you have emailed me to ask why this happens and why Jim’s Marketing Blog doesn’t remove the post dates.

Firstly, here’s why so many marketing blogs have removed the dates: It’s a proven way to increase the number of times an old post is reshared on social networks and linked to.

It works like this:

  • One of your friends shares a post on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • You see their update and click the link. It then takes you to the blog post.
  • With no date to guide you, you assume this newly shared post is current.
  • You then share it, thinking the information you’re sharing is up to date.
  • And in doing so, you’ve just shared inaccurate, potentially damaging information with your friends.
  • The blogger gets the extra traffic and social links.

As you can see, it’s all about the blogger. It’s 100% selfish. More importantly, it’s extremely reckless.

Why marketing blogs need dates on their posts

Marketing blogs offer information, which hard working people use in order to build their businesses. If a business owner makes decisions based on inaccurate marketing advice, it can seriously damage their business.

For example:

Imagine you have found a marketing blog post, on a blog that hides the dates from its readers. Unknown to you, you’re reading a post on how to get organic traffic from Facebook Pages, which was written in 2010. Back then, Facebook Pages were a great driver of organic traffic. Today, Facebook Pages are a terrible source of organic traffic. That post is not only out of date, it’s highly toxic. If you follow it you will waste your time and your money.

Marketing is not an evergreen subject

If you write on an evergreen subject, like baking, the date of a post is less important. A dessert you make from a recipe that’s 5 years old, will taste just as delicious today.

But marketing is not an evergreen subject. The tools change, as with that Facebook Pages example. And things change regularly too. Just last month, Apple decided to allow the blocking of ads on iPhones and iPads — changing the face of online advertising in the process.

By deliberately hiding the date of a marketing blog post from his or her readers, the blogger intentionally removes a vitally important element. They remove the data the reader needs, to know whether the advice is current or not. And they do this, just to get some extra traffic and social network links.

Here’s the thing about THIS marketing blog: I don’t like the idea of trying to fool people. I want you to know if you’re reading something I wrote in 2008 or something I wrote this week. That helps you evaluate the information more accurately.

And that means more to me than an increase in traffic.

PS: Here’s my approach to blogging and business. [And how it can work for you].

Blogging: Here’s why your readers are already your clients

blogging, content marketing, blog tips, marketing

Thank you for being a client. Yes you!

Think about it: A client is someone you provide a service to. I regularly provide you with ideas to help you grow your business. And you pay me. You pay me with your attention. [That’s why they call it paying attention.]

So, I’m the service provider and you’re the client.

More importantly

How might your attitude to writing your newsletter or blog improve, if you saw every reader as a client? [Remembering that a subset of your reader-clients will become fee paying clients].

And how might that client-focused approach improve your results? Well, the only way to find out for certain… is to do it.

Recommended reading: 25 Reasons to write a business blog.

Totally unoriginal. Wholly unremarkable

Professional development, business, improvement, marketing tips

You can optimize anything. If you want to.

  • You can automate your blog posts, newsletters, tweets and Facebook updates, so they are published at the optimal time.
  • You can use the optimal number of words or characters too, if you’re really keen.
  • You can use calculated keyword loading, to optimize your website content for SEO.
  • You can use clickbait titles for your blog posts and social network updates, to optimize traffic.
  • You can smash visitors to your website in the face with a pop-up box, to optimize sign-ups.

And in doing so, you’ll be like every other clone working the same tricks. You’ll be sheepwalking into anonymity. Totally unoriginal. Wholly unremarkable.

There’s an alternative approach, which some of us find extremely effective.

Rather than optimize everything, we turn up regularly and try to be useful.

The thing about turning up regularly and being useful

The idea is too simple for the content marketing gurus to sell a course on it. It requires way too much long-term thinking, for the growth hacker crowd to embrace it. And it takes a lot more courage, than many business owners feel comfortable with.

Yet somehow it works. And it works beautifully.

How to sell your services to huge companies

Professional development, marketing tips, business

Have you ever considered selling your services to huge corporations? If you haven’t, then maybe it’s time that you did. I’m going to show you how to remove the main barrier, and make it far easier for you to land extremely valuable clients.

Once you understand what I am about to share with you, you may find it easier to gain a $100,000 client than a $1000 client.

Allow me to explain.

It’s amazing what big companies spend money on

I was prompted to write this, after receiving an email from a friend. He’s a head of department for a massive corporation. Last week, he sat through what he called a “cringe-worthy” motivational talk from a former, professional sports person.

Apparently, the speaker:

  • Had no business background.
  • Had no idea about the challenges they face.
  • Didn’t understand their industry.
  • Didn’t offer a single idea for how they can improve things.
  • He “shared a few funny stories, dropped a few famous names and finished with a predictable, self-improvement pitch”.

My friend wanted to know, why do such people get hired as speakers by huge corporations?

Here’s why that guy was hired

The reason people like that get hired to speak is simple. More importantly, it also explains what motivates massive corporations to spend money on any kind of product or service.

That speaker may have been a waste of company money, but he was a very safe bet. An easy hire, with no risk attached.

Hang on Jim, if the guy is a waste of money, how can hiring him possibly be a very safe bet?

That’s a great question! :)

Here’s how it works:

  • The decision maker [who hired the guy] isn’t spending his or her own money. The money comes from a budget, which they need to spend.
  • The decision maker’s priority is to spend their budget every year, without screwing up. So they “invest” in what they hope will be the safest, least risky option.
  • The risk with a speaker like this is close to zero. That’s because it’s hard to measure the impact of a talk in any meaningful way.
  • Bonus: The decision maker can’t be blamed even if the speaker is demonstrably terrible. After all, they did hire a famous person!
  • So, decision makers eagerly grab any opportunity to spend lots of money on these low value, but 100% risk free, speakers.

The lesson here?

I think there are a couple of lessons.

1. Corporations should reward courage

Corporations need to stop rewarding decision makers, for making lousy, but safe, decisions. Instead, they need to reward courage. They need to reward decision makers for advancing the company with smart investments.

Until then, former sports people [and social media “gurus”] can fill their boots with very easy money. At least until their impact is measured and they are no longer a safe bet for decision makers.

2. It’s easy [really easy] to sell into huge corporations

Here’s what you need to know.

If you’re selling into a billion dollar corporation, remember that the decision maker is frightened. They will only buy from you if you can convince them that you’re a very, very safe bet. If they see you as a close to zero risk, they will pay you thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands. And if you’re better than average, they’ll pay you regularly too.

Of course, in order to sound as safe as possible, you need some supporting evidence. Former sports people have their fame. Social media gurus have their huge follower numbers, [most of which are the result of following hundreds of thousands of strangers, using software].

If you’re neither famous or a social media sleaze bag, you will need to work on building your brand, like the rest of us.

If the decision maker hasn’t heard of you, you’ll sound risky. So get your name out there for all the right reasons. Highlight notable media mentions, accomplishments and anything else, which will reduce or eliminate the decision maker’s fear.

Then remember the following, before you market your services:

  • You’re never selling to a billion dollar corporation.
  • You’re always selling to an individual, whose priority is not to make a mistake.

Lasting success for your business

I have been in business for over 20 years and have worked with some of the largest corporations in the world. I’ve learned that lasting success comes from being a safe bet… AND from being someone who provides measurable value and takes the lead on ethics.

Get the balance right and you’ll build yourself a world-class reputation. You’ll also find yourself able to attract the most valuable clients, again and again.

You may delay, but time will not

professional development, marketing, business

Much has been said about the importance of persistence. And rightly so! After all, if you persistently do the right things correctly, you will succeed.

However, persistence is also the cause of almost all business failure.

Allow me to explain:

  • If you persistently repeat patterns of decision making, which are failing you, you’re wasting your time.
  • If you persistently attend a networking group and get the occasional crumb from a struggling business owner, you’re wasting your time.
  • If you persistently use marketing that fails to generate the volume and quality of clients you need, you’re wasting your time.
  • If you persistently work hard for too little reward, you’re wasting your time.
  • If you persistently find yourself lowering your goals, to make up for an under-performing business, you’re wasting your time.

And the kicker here, is that we each only have so much time.

The clock is ticking

As  Benjamin Franklin said; “You may delay, but time will not”.

Your time is too precious to waste. So use your persistence wisely. Find patterns of decision making that are not working for you. Then, replace them with more effective alternatives. If you do, you will find yourself persistently doing the right things correctly… making progress and enjoying the fruits of your success.

If you’re not sure about what you need to do, I’m here for you and happy to help.

2 Marketing ideas from a very weird experience


The weirdest thing just happened to me. And once I explain what happened, I’ll share 2 useful ideas from my experience, to help you grow your business.

I switched on my MacBook Air earlier. I hadn’t used it for a week and immediately noticed that the screen looked terrible. It’s usually bright and everything looks crisp. Today, it’s dull and everything looks grainy.

What makes this weird, is that I know the screen is exactly the same as it was the last time I saw it!

I have changed

No, my eyesight [thankfully] hasn’t got worse. What happened is that I’ve spent a week working with a new MacBook Pro, with a brighter, higher resolution screen. I have become accustomed to a better quality display. What I was delighted with a week ago, is now substandard.

A better quality alternative has raised the bar on what I expect. I’m now dissatisfied with what was the status quo, just 7 days ago.

So, what can you learn from this, to help you and your business?

2 valuable marketing ideas

Firstly, just because your clients love you today, does not mean they will love you tomorrow. That’s why you need to continuously improve the quality of your work. You need to make your service so outstanding that:

  • Your current clients will want to stay with you [and recommend you].
  • Your prospective clients will see what you offer and become dissatisfied with their current provider.

Secondly, if you develop a new product or service, which is massively more valuable than your current one, a subset of your clients will demand it.

The fastest way to dramatically increase your revenues and profits, is to find new services for your existing clients. These people already know you. They have an existing business relationship with you. And most importantly, they trust you. It takes a lot longer to find new clients for your existing services.

I hope you found these ideas useful. More importantly, I hope you do something with them.

Tip: Read this and learn about offering new services to your existing clients.

It’s time for your business to get edgy. Here’s why!

business development, biz dev, marketing

Today, I have a quick, yet extremely effective idea to share with you. It’s simply this:

Success comes to the business owners, consultants, freelancers and trainers, who embrace the edges.

Allow me to explain what this means to you and your business.

Why it pays to embrace the edges

Clients will eagerly hire you if your service is measurably better than the competition. The best providers are few in number. They are always in demand. This means they earn the best fees.

Other clients will eagerly hire you if your service is measurably faster than the competition. The fastest providers in some industries are always in demand. The 2 hour dry cleaner. The express delivery service. Providers like these are always busy and can charge more, because they solve a problem fast.

And some clients will buy from you if you’re cheaper than the competition.

Avoid the middle ground

Most business owners choose to cling to the middle ground. They’re neither better or faster or cheaper. And as a direct result, they make it impossible to grow their business in any meaningful way.


Think about it: There’s nothing to motivate a prospective client to hire an average provider. Nothing. Average businesses are everywhere. They compete on fees or prices and make life extremely hard for themselves. This is why the average business struggles [at best] or struggles for years and slowly goes broke.

A better approach

One of the first things I do when I work with a new client, is to show them how to get their business from the middle ground to the edge. Once we have done this, we have a massively more motivating proposition for their marketplace. It becomes easier for us to market their services and they can charge higher fees. Win win.

In short, every one of us needs to choose where we position our business. I strongly recommend you embrace the edges and avoid the over-crowded middle.

Read This: Here are real world examples of how to embrace the edges, starting today.

Are short blog posts a good idea?

blogging, content marketing, blog tips, marketing

Olivia noticed that my previous blog post is just 54 words long. She said she really enjoyed it, but wanted to know if it’s a good idea to write such short posts.

Here’s my answer. I hope you find it useful.

54 word posts are a bad idea

If you write for SEO, 54 word posts are a bad idea.

If you want to defend every point you make, to try and appease the critics, 54 word posts are a bad idea.

If you are too lazy to condense your thoughts, so they don’t waste the reader’s time, 54 word posts are a bad idea.

54 word posts are perfectly fine

If you write for humans rather than search engines, then 54 word posts are perfectly fine.

If you are brave enough to write what you think, then 54 word posts are perfectly fine.

If you are prepared to embrace brevity and eliminate the fluff from your message, then 54 word posts are perfectly fine.


If you want to connect with people, then write for people. If you want to connect with Google, then write for Google.

If you think you’re doing both, you’re doing neither particularly well.