Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

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Want more from your business? Make this decision, today!


Someone needs to do the dull, uninspiring projects – but it doesn’t have to be you.

Someone has to be another average provider – but it doesn’t have to be you.

Someone always ends up working with pain in the ass clients – but it doesn’t have to be you.

Someone will learn shortly that they have just relived the same old year, over again – but it doesn’t have to be you.

The choice is always yours

Those who find themselves making little progress, doing uninspiring, average work for low quality clients, do so through choice. Always.

  • You decide whether to market your business professionally or ‘just take’ whatever comes along.
  • You set your own fees.
  • You choose which clients you will work with.
  • You decide what projects you work on.

Making progress

Your business today is the sum total of the decisions you have made, so far. This means that you can improve any area of your business, by learning how to make better decisions (if you have the time) or by getting expert help (if it’s important enough to you).

Stop accepting less than you deserve

You don’t have to ‘just accept’ working for less than you are worth.

Pain in the ass clients are not just part of being in business.

These are nothing more than the predictable results, of making poor quality business decisions. The moment you start making better decisions, you start seeing better results.

Your starting point?

It always begins with the commitment to no longer accept less than you deserve. Make the decision today to do something… rather than wait and hope for things to just get better.

Hope is essential, however, it’s not a business strategy.

Unproductive? You’re probably just bored


It’s hard to be productive, when you’re bored with your work.

It’s equally hard to do nothing, when you’re excited with your work.

Your answer

If you’re feeling unproductive, look at your work… why it’s not inspiring you. That’s usually where your productivity answer is.

When work is inspiring, productivity is no longer an issue. Inspiration brings motivation. Always.

All the tools you need are here, for free


Everything you need, in order for you and your business to reach more people than ever before, is ready for you.

  • Social networks have given you free access to a global audience.
  • Podcasting has given you a free radio show.
  • YouTube has given you a free TV channel.
  • Ebooks have given you a free publishing platform.
  • WordPress has given you a free magazine with free global distribution.
  • Email has given you an intimate, one-to-one communication channel, which scales to infinity.

You have permission!

You can reach an unlimited audience and get your work in front of them, for free. Plus, you don’t need permission from anyone. You don’t need a; talent scout, publisher, radio executive, TV producer, magazine editor or anyone else, to ‘pick’ you.

So, what’s stopping you? Find out. Fix it. Then do something amazing… something worthy of you and your business.

Create enough molehills and you end up with a mountain

mountains moles

Business success is never the result of one big thing. It’s the natural conclusion of doing 101 different things extremely well, which combine to create something amazing.

Allow me to explain.

Looking for the secret sauce

Some years ago, I spoke with the owner of an office supplies company. He told me that he was going crazy, trying to figure out how one of his competitors was doing so well. He explained that he had studied them for a decade, trying to find their secret sauce, as he put it.

Then, he hired one of his super-successful competitor’s former employees and discovered the root of their success. It wasn’t any one thing or secret, which made that competing business so successful. No. It was the combination of 101 little things, which created an outstanding customer experience that the marketplace adored.

He’d been looking for a mountain and totally missed the countless little molehills, which made all the difference.

Enough molehills and you get a mountain

Look at each element within your business and seek to improve it… even if only by a small percentage. Then, look at additional things you can do, which will delight your clients or customers.

If you create enough molehills, you end up with a mountain.

PS – Here are 2 additional resources to help you:

Some tips on building an outstanding customer experience: Is your business making a difference?

How to find the things you need to change within your business: Step outside your business.

Your headlines are promises, which your content needs to deliver

Using sensational headlines, to get people to open emails or read content, is a super-fast way to lose the trust and respect of your marketplace.

People hate being taken for a fool

If the content of a blog post, article, free download or newsletter, etc, fails to deliver on the promise of its sensational headline, the author has just broken a promise to the reader.

Yes, titles are important. However, they need to accurately reflect what the content delivers. Otherwise, any success gained through getting more ‘traffic’ will soon be lost, as people realise they’re being lied to.

People respect honesty

With Content Marketing, using honest, well crafted headlines is the only way to attract and retain the attention of your marketplace.

It builds trust. It earns credibility. It’s worthy of you and your business.

Content Marketing: More about Content, than Marketing

content marketing

Do you use content marketing as a way to generate sales or inquiries for your business? If you do and like most people, you’re not happy with your results, you may find the answer you need right here in this post.

Here’s what I believe to be the primary mistake people make with content marketing, and how you can avoid it.

Focusing too much on the marketing

The main focus of most content marketing articles and guides, is the marketing part.

  • How to promote your blog, podcast, video etc.
  • How to motivate people to forward your newsletter to their friends.
  • How to get more people to share your content on social networks.
  • How to make your content rank highly on search engines.

In short: How to increase the number of people who see your content.

Marketing gives your content a push. It doesn’t give it legs

The challenge with that approach is that it presupposes that churning out content is enough… so long as you market the crap out of it. This is 100% incorrect.

The most successful people, who use content to market their products or services, actually do very little marketing of their content. Like me, they write, hit publish and then share their work on whatever social networks they use. It takes around 2 minutes if you do it manually.

  • If the content is useful enough, lots of people read it through, then a subset email you or call you. Others share it.
  • If the content isn’t useful enough, few people read it, even fewer get in touch with you or share it.

The key thing is the content. That’s what gives the; newsletter, article, blog post, video or podcast, legs. It’s what causes the reader to connect with you or ignore you. It’s what builds a tribe around your work or means you have to start from scratch each time. It’s what positions you as an expert or yet another purveyor of generic information.

Yes, the marketing is important

However, it’s by far the least important part. If you’re writing content, sharing it with your networks and not seeing much response, it’s the content you need to focus on.

It could be any number of things related to the content, which means it’s failing to engage and motivate people.

Writing with passion, clarity and brevity on your chosen subject, is something you can become very good at, relatively quickly.

It means being willing to practice. It means writing often. It means being prepared to adjust your style. However, you can do it and it’s well worth the time and effort involved.

This will help

This explains how I manage to publish lots of useful information, (I published 50 posts last month across 2 sites) and how you can improve the quality and quantity of your writing: How to write great content, every day.

The thing about Most People


When you have an idea for a new product or service, what do you do with it?

Most small business owners will flesh the idea out a little, then try and get feedback from people. You often see them on social networking sites, polling their contacts. Here’s why this is often a bad idea.

Can you guess what I am describing here?

I want you to read the following 3 statements. They are typical of what people were saying, when the media first revealed rumours about the arrival of, what is now, a very well known product.

  • It will never sell, because it’s so expensive and the economy is in such bad shape.
  • No one will buy it, when they can buy a netbook for less money, which does more.
  • The was no demand for these devices a few years ago, when HP was making them.

They were wrong

The iPad went on to become one of the most successful consumer electronics devices of all time.

Most people

Sometimes you need to go with your instincts… your gut feeling. Listen to your heart. Most people can’t tell a winning product from a failure, in advance. That’s why we need to be extremely careful, about allowing most people to influence what we do.

If you believe in it. If it feels right. If the numbers stack up – give your idea the chance to fly!

PS – Here’s some useful information on putting your ideas into action: Getting an idea Vs Working an idea.

How to build a successful website

How to build a successful website

Yesterday, someone asked me for my best advice on how to build a successful website or blog. Here’s my answer, along with 6 useful resources for you.

The answer that came to mind immediately, was this: The technology that builds a successful website is not as important as your ability to communicate a useful message, in a compelling way, to the reader.

In short: Put the content before the technology.

The world is packed with great looking websites, which no one notices. That’s because the people who own those sites saw the need for their site to LOOK great, but they didn’t invest in great content.

Where to start?

If you want to create compelling content, the best way to start is to put yourself in the shoes of your target readership. Speak to them, in their language, about what matters to them.

For example:

  • Answer their questions.
  • Empathise with them.
  • Share useful resources with them.

And if you want them to get in touch with you, be approachable.

PS – Here are 6 useful resources, to help you write compelling content:

Are you 1 question away from 10,000 daily readers?

How to write great, creative content every day.

Get better results from your content, by removing these 3 words.

How approachable are you?

8 Tips to help you attract more readers, sales and business leads.

It’s all about doing the work.

Now, you’re on track to build a successful website. Just remember, content first, technology second.

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