Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

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Choose: Fit in or stand out

When it comes to business we have 2 choices. We can strive to fit in or to stand out.

In or out?

From a marketing perspective, most business owners will say they try to stand out. To get noticed. To be outstanding.

Then, you look at what they do and it’s usually designed to fit in. It’s safe. Predictable.

Decision time

Think about the work you do and the way you market your business.

So, are you doing work that fits in or stands out… and is that consistent with what you want to achieve?

If you don’t like the way your future looks, change it!

Your future has not been written yet. No matter how things look today, by making better decisions and backing them up with action, you can turn things around.

What a wonderful, empowering opportunity.

Apple died in 1996

According to one of the world’s best known research companies, Apple were already finished when Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1996. A Forrester Research analyst was quoted in The New York Times saying:

“Whether they stand alone or are acquired, Apple as we know it is cooked. It’s so classic. It’s so sad.”

Of course, what followed was the transformation of Apple, into the world’s most valuable company.

Start today

Rewrite your future, starting today. Be the star of your own success story. Let go of the failing familiar and embrace the changes required, to take your life and your business to the next level.

A great way to start is to answer the following question: “If my business (or life) was perfect in every way, what would it look like?”

Then, get writing!

Include as much detail as you can. Don’t compromise — if you can imagine it, no matter how amazing, exciting or scary it sounds, write it down and make it a part of your future.

Once you know what your ideal future looks like, you will have the focus and clarity required, to start moving in the right direction. You will find it easier to avoid distractions and make progress like never before.

Then take just one step, each day, to an amazing future. YOUR amazing future.

Need help? I’m here.

Do you have a strong will or a strong won’t?

It’s hard to achieve anything of real value, without a willingness to persevere.

It started when you were a baby

You persevered for months, falling and getting back up, before you learned how to walk. Then you persevered for even longer, learning how to talk. And today, your results are largely defined by your decision to persevere… or quit before victory.

As Henry Ward Beecher said:

“The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.

Sometimes it isn’t our strategy, our tactics or our intelligence that blocks our path to success. It’s our commitment to persist for long enough.

When we improve our mindset, everything else follows.

Learning from the uphill climbs

I recently started cycling again, after a long time away from the saddle. One of the things that immediately struck me, was how hard it was to climb hills.

For the first couple of weeks, I’d see a hill ahead and dread it.

Then it struck me that the climbs were the most valuable part of the ride. Climbing hills built my stamina and worked the rest of my body more than the enjoyable, flat part of my route. The climb was my friend.

Soon, I started looking for routes that had hills. Hills equalled growth. Hills equalled progress.

The business cycle

In many ways, business is the same. We often achieve our most remarkable results, when faced with an uphill challenge — for example, the loss of a major client. These challenges force us out of our comfort zones.

  • They cause us to grow in a meaningful way.
  • They show us what we’re capable of.
  • They make us more resilient.

Embrace the climbs, my friend. After all, no challenges equals no progress!

Tip: Read this – What everybody needs to know about comfort zones.

Select your prospects then ignore the rest

A business owner has a couple of options, when deciding how to market her business.

  1. Try and appeal to everyone.
  2. Choose the kind of customers or clients you want to service… and ignore the rest.

Many small business owners select the first option

The thinking looks like this: If we try and appeal to everyone, we’ll have more prospective customers.

The reality is very different. By trying to be relevant to everyone, they end up being directly relevant to no one.

Smart business owners take the second option

They figure out exactly who they want to serve. They then focus exclusively on communicating with this highly profitable section of the marketplace. They learn what matters most to this group and learn their language. This allows them to market to prospective customers, with a directly relevant message, which will resonate strongly with them.

As a result, their marketing is massively more compelling… and that’s the kind of marketing, which generates sales.

Tip: Read this – A tested, proven way to attract sales leads.

How to do your best work

Here are a few things worth remembering, if you want a successful business.

  • People don’t give you their email address when they subscribe to your newsletter. They loan it to you.
  • People don’t give you their loyalty when they buy from you. They loan it to you.
  • People don’t give you their trust. They loan it to you.
  • People don’t give you their attention when they follow you on social networks or subscribe to your blog. They loan it to you.
  • People don’t give you their endorsement. They loan it to you.

You do your best work when you accept that you have to earn, then RE-EARN, all those assets.

How to tell a genuine business opportunity, from a scam!


In today’s post, I have some ideas to share, which will help you spot genuine business opportunities and avoid getting ripped off.

I was prompted to write this, after Tim emailed me (that’s not his real name). Tim has wasted around $15000 on various sure things — programs, seminars, social media gurus, schemes, software, networks and memberships, which promised amazing results. None of them delivered.

Here’s how to avoid the same thing happening to you.

Heads and tails

Every coin has 2 sides, heads and tails. The only exception here, is a fake coin. A forgery that’s used to trick people.

Business opportunities are exactly the same!

Every genuine business opportunity comes with a flip side. A down side. A chance it will fail. The only exception here are fake opportunities, the scams that swallow people in with the promise of a sure thing.

The attraction of risk free opportunities

Scammers are masters of selling you the idea that something is risk free. They know that most people are risk averse, so they pitch you with promises, fake bank statements, fake testimonials and fake supporting evidence, which PROVES to you that their thing, is a sure thing. Ironically, the people taken in by the scams are the same people, who refuse to invest in legitimate business opportunities, because of the potential risk.

Three things to remember if you want to make better decisions:

  1. Genuine business opportunities will never interrupt you. In other words, they don’t come via an email, phone call or social media message from someone you don’t know or hardly know. YOU have to seek genuine opportunities out.
  2. Never trust anyone, who claims they can make you rich.
  3. The best business opportunities seldom seem obvious. A genuine opportunity only exists, because no one else has spotted it yet.

If you think your friends will find this post useful, remember to share it with them. It could be exactly what they need right now, to stop them from being scammed!

Tip: Here’s some solid advice, with lots of examples: How t build a successful business.

Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!


The difference between good and great, is huge.

A great accountant, coach, lawyer, designer, etc., can sell her time for 3 times or 5 times more than a good one. She is also likely to have a waiting list, whilst her lower priced competitors are pestering people for leads at networking events.

From good to great

Great service providers earn more, work with better clients and attract more referrals… far more referrals than they need. Why then, are there so many good providers out there and so few great ones?

It looks like this:

  • Good feels familiar and comfortable. A good provider is someone who works hard, doing what’s expected of them, as well as they can. They were trained at school that you got the best results, if you fit in and studied hard. So, they took that mindset into the workplace.
  • Great feels risky and uncomfortable. A great provider is someone who stands out, by adopting the opposite approach to the good providers. They lead. They embrace change. They do work, which is meaningfully different. There’s no guidebook or dummies guide on how to be great, so they navigate their own route.

A great mindset or a good one?

Good service providers and great service providers are separated not by intelligence or work ethic, but by their mindsets. This difference in their mindsets is reflected in their decisions, causing them and their work to either blend in, or stand out.

I was prompted to write today’s post, after reading Dr Seuss with my son. Here’s a quote he really enjoyed:

“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”

That’s a very good example of the mindset behind great service providers. A little risky, sure… but massively more exciting and rewarding.

PS: To improve your business, let go of the Failing Familiar!

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