Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing tips & ideas to help you grow your business, by Jim Connolly

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How to attract the attention and interest of your marketplace

If you would like to attract the attention and interest of your marketplace, this post is just for you.

attraction marketingI was prompted to write this, after I shared something on my Twitter and Facebook accounts yesterday, which resulted in 2 very different reactions from people.

Here’s what I shared: “Giving and receiving starts with giving. If you’re not receiving enough, you’re probably not giving enough”.

Most people seem to have understood the point of this message. Some did not.

One message… two reactions

Those who understood the message realised it was about the power of contribution. That the best way to get value was to give value. That the best way to make a new friend, was to be a friend to someone.

Those who totally misunderstood the message, thought it was a selfish trick they could use. They saw it as a way to give something, with strings attached. They saw it as being a selfish way to gain an advantage over someone.

Them focused

The most successful businesses are contribution focused.

They deliver value and quality, which enriches the life or experience of their customers. They look for opportunities to help their marketplace. They understand that if they give enough value, they will receive enough value. So, they keep on giving and they do it happily.

Me focused

Selfish business owners really struggle with this. So, they choose to pester and pursue the marketplace with selfish demands instead.

  • They cold call us because they have our phone number.
  • They spam us because they have our email address.
  • They send us unwanted letters because they bought our address.
  • They pester us on social networks and corner us at networking events.

As business owners, we can work from a contribution mindset or a selfish mindset. We can attract people or pester people.

Whilst the answer may seem obvious, check out how many people today choose to pester you for your attention.

This is great news for you and your business

Of course, this makes it easy for you to attract the attention and interest of your marketplace, with your contribution focused approach.

In short: If you want to get more from your marketplace, give more to your marketplace.

What every business owner needs to know about optimism

dart target

It’s great to feel optimistic about your business, so long as your optimism is justified.

  • Justified optimism is born from knowing that your business is making measurable progress in reasonable time. It comes from seeing your plans and ideas coming to fruition.
  • Unjustified optimism is very different. It comes from ignoring the reality of your situation and hoping things will ‘just get better’. Hope is essential, but it isn’t a business strategy.

Here’s the challenge

Unjustified optimism has the same effect on your mind, as justified optimism. If your business is stagnating or shrinking, yet you choose to believe everything is great, it acts like a narcotic.

A narcotic? Yes. It takes away the pain you need to feel, in order to motivate yourself to fix what’s wrong.

It’s like seeing black smoke coming from the back of your car, but choosing to ignore it and instead, telling yourself that your car is doing great. The engine then gets trashed, because you didn’t take heed of the warning sign and take action when you should have.

Business owners tend to be optimistic. Let’s face it, the very act of starting your business, with no guarantee of success, required a lot of optimism (and courage) on your part.

If you’re reading this, knowing that your business is on track to achieve whatever your goals or targets are, you are justifiably optimistic. Your optimism will shine through everything you do.

Off track?

If your business is off track or stagnating, don’t allow unjustified optimism to rob you of the motivation you need, to make the improvements required.

Instead, look at where you are right now and where you want to be in the medium and long term. Then, make the decision to give your business the resources it needs; the time, attention, energy and professional expertise.

Don’t see the black smoke and ignore it.

An exciting announcement!

I have an exciting announcement for you!

jim connollyIf you have been waiting to join my extremely popular marketing service, where I help you to make more sales, attract better clients / customers and boost your profits, the first space in 7 months is available to you now!

This is a great opportunity for us to work together, one-to-one, on the marketing and development of your business. You can find out more about the service here.

As places are marketed just a couple of times a year, I recommend you get in touch as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

I look forward to hearing from you. Full details of the service, including my contact information, can be found here: Jim Connolly’s Marketing Service.

Why following the crowd is a bad idea

follow like sheep

It’s hard to follow the crowd and achieve anything beyond average.

The wealthiest investors buy, when the crowd is selling. The most successful businesses stand out, while the crowd fits in. The wisest business owners work smart, while the crowd works hard.

Clearly the crowd is missing a key point

The worst reason to do anything in business, is because everyone else is doing it. It’s a short-cut to being average. A guarantee you will never stand out from the crowd. An immunisation to stop you attracting word of mouth publicity.

We must dare to be different or accept the price of being average. Why? Because history shows that if we keep on following what the average, struggling business does, one day, everything they have will be ours.

Content Marketing: Is your design killing your content?

The primary design task of any newsletter, website or blog, is to ensure the content is as readable as possible. The design should work like a picture frame and enhance, not hide, your work.

content marketing design

I was on a site earlier, where the design was so loud and busy, that it was hard to find the actual content. When trying to read the content, the rest of the site was so distracting that I left after just 30 seconds or so.

Most newsletters are just as bad. Instead of focusing on the message, they’re packed with distractions. Lots of different font sizes, colours, options, boxes and buttons — all getting in the way and breaking the reading experience. As a result, their actual content gets very little attention… and the newsletter providers wonder why their readership isn’t growing.

The poor readability epidemic

Unreadable design is such a huge problem now, that there are apps that try to combat it. Readability is maybe the best known.

Take a look at the design you use for your newsletter, website and / or blog. If the content is playing second fiddle to the design, change the design. After all, it’s your content that people come to you for and your content, which builds your relationship with your readers.

A quick tip: Clear, big fonts and lots of white space work better than almost anything, when it comes to making your content stand out.

How to get more value from me

Did you know that the free information I offer you here, is just a fraction of what I share each week?

Here are the places where you will find the majority of my free work.


I write far more frequently on Creative Thinking Hub. It is sometimes updated several times a day! It’s a website dedicated to sharing ideas, to help you solve problems and think more creatively. You can find it here.

Let’s get social

I share ideas and useful resources every day on Twitter. You can join me on Twitter here.

I also share ideas and resources on Google+. You can join me here.

I have an active Facebook page, which you can join me on here.

Please say hi when you connect with me. It would be great to hear from you!

How to get better results without working harder

business development

I have a business development tip for you today, which is essential to the success of your business.

Most small business owners are busy people. They work hard. They work long hours, too. Yet, very few make the kind of progress they would like. All that movement and hard work isn’t getting them where they want their business to be.

That’s because there’s something missing from this picture… something that transforms movement into progress.

So, what’s the answer?

The answer can be found, when we look at those business owners who are making real progress, often working fewer hours than those who spin their wheels.

It looks like this: Those who make progress learn from every experience. Then, they invest what they learn, to make better and better business decisions.

Here’s how you can do the same!

Here are a couple of examples, which show how this works in practice. The same approach can be used to massively improve your success in every area of your business.

Example 1: What was the last marketing email you opened and started reading?

Dig it out and spend some time studying its subject line (or title). Learn what it was, which motivated you to open it rather than trash it like all the others. Then, invest what you learned from that email, so that your next marketing email gets a great open rate.

Example 2: What was the last service you received, which impressed you so much that you had to tell everyone?

Think about that exceptional service, from start to finish. Now, look at what it was, which made that service so different from what you were expecting. Then, look for a way to incorporate something similar into the experience you give to your own clients or customers. Congratulations… you’ve just massively improved the volume and quality of the word of mouth publicity you receive!

In short: Don’t just get through the day. Get from the day.

PS: I wrote an article for Microsoft.com yesterday, which gives you another 5 habits of successful business owners.

Create some momentum

new day today

Today could be just another day for you. Alternatively, you can use the opportunity today brings, to create some real momentum.

For example, you can:

  • Start reading a book today, which will educate or inspire you.
  • Publish something on a blog or social network today, which will be useful for your marketplace and showcase your expertise.
  • Learn the meaning of a new word today, which will widen your vocabulary.
  • Make a decision today, which you have been procrastinating over.
  • Invest in something today, which you know your business needs.

If you want to keep the momentum going, do something progressive tomorrow. Rinse, repeat.

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