Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

Page 30 of 184

Perception: The key to improving every area of your business


How do you feel about your business and the work you do? That may seem like an odd question. However, the way you feel about what you do has a huge impact on the quality of your work and how others feel about you.

For example, think about those people you see from time to time, who are going through the motions with their work, but clearly not enjoying it. You can spot them instantly. That’s because it shows in their energy, their body language, their attitude and their output.

Now, think about the opposite. Think of those people who clearly love what they do. It’s just as easy to spot them. That’s because people who work with passion have a super-attractive quality, which stands out and makes us feel good about them. Their enthusiasm is infectious. That’s what I want to share with you today — how you can improve every element of your work, with a slight shift in your perception about what you do.

Allow me to explain.

Improve your perceptions and you improve everything

Around a decade ago, I realised that work was no longer as enjoyable as it used to be. I was stuck in a dull routine. So, I made a decision to change my perceptions about my business.

For example, one change I made was regarding the daily grind of working from my office. So, I decided to stop working from my office and start making things happen from my studio. That switch in perception may seem small, but it improved how I felt about going to work. It improved my attitude. It motivated me. Although the actual room I worked in was the same, ‘going to my studio’ felt a lot more inspiring, than ‘going to my office’. ‘Making things happen’ seemed a lot more creative, than ‘working’.

Small changes in my perceptions like that, quickly started to shine through in everything I did. The marketplace noticed too, which resulted in me attracting great clients and amazing opportunities.

How it works

So, how did such a relatively minor change result in such a huge improvement? It happened because people are attracted to those, who are driven, inspired, passionate and who enjoy what they do. By changing my perceptions, it changed how I felt and this created a domino effect that improved every element of my business. It also transformed how others felt about me, including prospective clients.

Whatever line of business you are in, try looking at it slightly differently. Have some fun. For example, don’t work from your officeexperiment from your lab or create from your studio. Instead of working on a big problem try unlocking a challenging puzzle.

In short: When you feel better about what you do, you do your best work and everybody notices it!

Is that ladder you’re climbing leaning against the wrong wall?


After 3 years of hard work, she achieved it.

Yet, she wasn’t happy.

I was emailed last week, by someone whose primary goal for her blog was to get a minimum of 1000 visitors a day, for 30 consecutive days. She achieved this goal after years of hard work, writing content and marketing her blog.

Why so unhappy?

She reached her traffic milestone and realised that she wasn’t in the traffic business. She owns a translations business. What she needs is for her site to generate regular, high quality leads and inquiries for her business, which it is failing to do. Instead, she is attracting zero value, drive-by traffic from Google and social networks.

It’s easy to get seduced by the wrong numbers — especially online. Before you invest years of your time working hard to achieve a marketing goal, make sure it’s a goal that is in line with your overall business objectives.

Otherwise you risk wasting years climbing a very long ladder, which is leaning against the wrong wall.

How to turn time wasters into gold dust

gold bars

How do you feel about people, who either ask you questions about your service or look around your products, then leave without buying?

Some business owners get angry at what they perceive to be time wasters. In doing so, they miss out on a massively valuable opportunity. They leave a huge business asset on the table… untapped.

I’m referring to the feedback these so-called time wasters can provide you with.

Time wasters are attracted to us for a reason

If you’re attracting lots of the wrong kind of inquiries, there’s a reason. It’s usually a sign that:

  • Your marketing message needs to be improved.
  • You are marketing to the wrong people.
  • Or both.

It’s extremely easy to learn which applies to your marketing, so long as you ask these people for feedback.

Before they end the call or leave your premises, ask something like: What was it that prompted you to (visit or call) us today? This will give you some feedback to work with.

For example

If they often say they were looking for a low priced (whatever), yet your prices or fees are average or above average, you need to review your marketing message. Take a look and see if you are overstating how low your prices or fees are. If you are not overstating how low your prices are, then you could well be targeting your marketing message at people with too small a budget. You get the idea…

The key is to try and get as much feedback as you can from those who fail to hire you or buy from you. It will help you improve your marketing message, improve your targeting and generate more business!

In short: Speak with people who don’t buy from you. Listen. Learn from their feedback. Then, make the necessary improvements to your marketing. Don’t just assume that someone is a time waster and therefore of no value to your business.

Their feedback could be commercial gold dust. In fact, it often is!

Marketing Tip: Embrace the edges


It’s coming to the end of our family holiday and I wanted to quickly share a simple, yet extremely valuable marketing tip with you.

We remember the edges

I sat down earlier, thinking through the various things we have done together over the past week and realised something. Each of the memories that stood out, were ‘on the edges‘. In other words, they were experiences that were not what we were expecting, because they deviated from the predictable, middle ground.

Truly great customer service, beautiful buildings, delicious food, outstanding value, interesting people… all of these were only memorable, because they were significantly different from what I expected.

In business, if we want people to remember us, hire us, buy from us and talk about us, we do well to embrace the edges.


A great place to start, is to avoid offering the same kind of experience as your competitors and to focus on being exceptional in at least one meaningful area.

This is especially effective if you offer a service with little perceived differentiation, such as; law, accountancy, training, SEO, copywriting, web design, marketing, etc.

In short: If you want to stand out for all the right reasons, avoid the predictable. Stay away from the middle ground. Embrace the edges!

How to get results AND avoid unnecessary stress

focus influence

Each of the following have one thing in common:

  • The economy.
  • The arrival in your marketplace of a smart, agile competitor.
  • The next trend.
  • The price of commodities.

Answer: They are all beyond your control. You can worry about them or complain about them, but you have no influence over them.

Focus on what you can influence

As a business owner, it’s essential to only invest your time and energy in what you can control.

Any result you want to achieve, needs to be within your influence.

For example: If your plan for a better future is based around making business improvements, you can adjust as required and achieve real progress. However, if your plan for a better future is based around ‘the economy picking up’, you put yourself in a position of zero influence.

Relying on things you can’t control is a major cause of stress. It’s also a really bad business move. So, take control. Plan to succeed and then follow your plan.

Seek out the dissatisfied (not the disinterested)

It’s a fact: People who are happy with their current provider, are not looking for whatever your business is offering.

Even if you’re providing amazing value, it’s invisible to those who are not interested.

Focus on the dissatisfied

Yes, build an awareness of how great your product or service is, so people know who you are and where you are, when they have a need.

However, if you want to have the full attention of people, who are ready to make a purchasing decision right now… seek out the dissatisfied.

It’s a far more rewarding business building strategy, than trying to convince the disinterested.

Marketing 101: Make it more attractive, not more annoying!


Around 30 people email me every day, with some kind of pitch. They do this, even though I specifically ask people not to pitch me, on the contact page of the blog.

They think their email is somehow special

They spam me, because they think that spamming is something that other people do. It’s OK for them to ignore my request, because they think their pitch is different.

It isn’t. In fact, the type of people who use that uncreative, pushy ‘spray and pray’ approach to email marketing, never have anything interesting to say.

The rules apply to all of us

Here’s the thing: No matter how special, ethical, important or valuable we believe our message is, the rules of effective marketing still apply to us. Spam is spam, even when we do it.

If you want people to take notice of you, do something worthy of their attention and make it easy for them to share. Build an email marketing list, from people who give you permission to email them.

If our message is genuinely of use or interest, the first 10 people who hear about it will each get us another 10, who will do the same, and so on…

If we have to keep pushing our message, because too few people are sharing it, it’s time to make what we’re doing more attractive – not more annoying.

25 Reasons to write a business blog

business blogging

Without doubt, business blogging is the most powerful and cost effective marketing tool I have ever encountered. It’s also extremely enjoyable.

Here are 25 reasons, why I recommend business blogging to you.

  1. Business blogging encourages you to keep learning, so you have something useful to share.
  2. Business blogging can generate regular (daily), targeted business leads. The caveat here, is that you need to learn how to write well and how to market your blog.
  3. Business blogging is the best way to build a huge, targeted, professional network. You don’t need Linkedin or any other network, when thousands of people already know who you are, exactly what you do and how to contact you.
  4. Business blogging allows you to reach people… lots of people, with your message. That’s because blogging scales to infinity. In other words, a post can reach one person or a million people, yet it still takes you the same amount of time to write it.
  5. Business blogging is more fun than watching prime-time TV.
  6. Business blogging is also far more rewarding than watching TV.
  7. Business blogging publicly demonstrates your ability to show up regularly. Reliability is highly valued in business.
  8. Business blogging provides a showcase for your knowledge. This is enormously valuable. People who hire me, know all about my work long before they ever speak with me.
  9. Business blogging increases your professional profile, as new people discover you and your work every day.
  10. Business blogging gives you the best tool on the planet, for building a community or tribe.
  11. Business blogging gives you a voice. If you have something important to say, people will hear you. This is especially the case if you stick with blogging, for long enough to build a large readership. How long does that take? About a week longer than the typical blogger is prepared to invest, before she gives up.
  12. Business blogging sometimes inspires people to email you, to say how your work helped them. This is far more rewarding than most people imagine.
  13. Business blogging makes you a more informed reader, as you understand the work and creativity that people put into their written work.
  14. Business blogging causes you to have to regularly dig down deep, really deep, to find something worth sharing. That sounds like hard work, but just as lifting weights builds your physical muscles, digging down deep builds your mental muscles.
  15. Business blogging makes you a better communicator. I’m convinced that regular blogging has improved my communication skills across the board, not just in writing.
  16. Business blogging is a great way to meet new people, especially if you publish a link to your email, on every post and page of your site as I do. (It’s on the sidebar.)
  17. Business blogging makes you a lot better at asking questions.
  18. Business blogging also encourages you to question your own opinions, to ensure they stand up to scrutiny and are worthy of your readers.
  19. Business blogging encourages you to regularly do research, increasing your own knowledge base.
  20. Business blogging can get you recognised in the mainstream press, for being named the most influential blog in your class, by the world’s biggest PR company.
  21. Business blogging allows you to build fantastic contacts. My initial contact with my friend Nile Rodgers, started because of something I wrote here on this blog a few years ago.
  22. Business blogging teaches you to look at things from more than one perspective.
  23. Business blogging provides you with a creative outlet, which helps you grow as a person. In fact, blogging has been the most powerful professional development tool I have ever used or researched.
  24. Business blogging ensures you remain constantly curious… this is priceless.
  25. Business blogging allows you to build a business asset, which grows in value with every passing week.
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