Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

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4 Inspiring reasons to write regularly

There are many compelling business reasons to write regularly. For example, blogging can be massively valuable as a marketing tool. The same is true of newsletter writing.

Here are 4 less obvious benefits to writing regularly, which seldom get mentioned. In many ways, these are just as valuable.

  1. Writing makes you a better observer. As a result, you notice more of the world around you. You experience more from life.
  2. Writing helps you think with greater clarity. The process of getting ideas out of your head and onto the page, is a wonderful antidote for foggy thinking.
  3. Writing is a powerful development tool. To write effectively on any subject, you need to know about that subject. Even better, to write about a subject regularly, you need to constantly learn more.
  4. Writing is an act of contribution. When you share your ideas or stories with others, you invest in them. You also connect with them. How might that help your business? Think about that for a moment.

PS: Here are 25 reasons to write a business blog.

How to motivate people to buy from you or hire you

focus

I have a plea for you today: If you want your marketing to work, stop trying to please everyone.

The purpose of your marketing is to motivate just a small section of people. You need to inspire those who:

  • Buy the type of products you sell.
  • Buy the type of services you provide.

That’s it.

Directly relevant

Be directly relevant to your ideal profile of client and ignore the rest. For example, if you offer a high quality service, which is priced higher than most of your competitors, market it exclusively for those who appreciate quality and are happy to pay for it. They will immediately connect with your marketing message, because it was written exclusively for people like them.

Conversely, by marketing to the masses, your marketing is directly relevant to no one. At best, your marketing will be vaguely relevant to some people. The challenge here, is that being vaguely relevant isn’t enough to motivate people to buy from you or hire you.

So, get specific.

P.S. This will help you: Don’t let this guy ruin your marketing!

How to find a winning idea

ideas

It’s entirely possible you have a winning idea tucked away right now, without even knowing it. The thing about great ideas is that they often look like bad ideas, until they become hugely successful.

The laptop fad

In 1985, The New York Times asked; “Whatever happened to the laptop computer?” They pondered why laptops failed:

“[…] I.B.M. never legitimized the market with its much rumored ”Clamshell,” probably because the company realized that laptops are a small niche market, not a mass market.”

Similarly, when the electric light bulb was invented, some people said it would never become a mass market product. It was thought that there was no affordable way to get electricity to every home.

Is your idea a winner?

I speak regularly with business owners who want to know what I think of their business ideas. The challenge here, is that good ideas are not anointed. It doesn’t matter what I think or what your friends think. That’s not what makes an idea a winner.

If you want to know how good your idea is, you need to ship it. Get it out there. If you do, you will find it’s almost impossible to fail. It’s a win, win thing.

Here’s why:

  • If it flops, you will learn something, which you can invest in the next idea and greatly increase your chances of success.
  • If it flies, you have a success on your hands.

So, put your idea out there and give it a chance to fly!

P.S. — Here are 6 ideas to make prospective clients fall in love with your business.

Increase word of mouth referrals with this simple idea

Give this a try:

  • Think of 3 amazing things, which you would LOVE your marketplace to be saying about you or your business.
  • Write them down.
  • Next, put a plan together of the things you will need to do, in order for your marketplace to be spreading those amazing stories about you.

Switching focus

Every small business owner wants to attract more word of mouth referrals, yet they almost always focus on the wrong area. Instead of creating an experience, which becomes a remarkable story worth sharing – they focus on how to motivate people to share an unremarkable story.

People are hard-wired to want to communicate with each other. Give them an experience worth talking about and that’s exactly what they will do.

Why your marketing isn’t working and how to fix it!

direction

If a ship sets off on a voyage and it’s just a fraction off course, it will soon end up massively off course, unless it quickly adjusts it’s direction.

Why am I sharing this with you?

Businesses are the same

When your business isn’t achieving the targets you set for it, you need to quickly adjust your direction. More of the same is not an option. Doing what you did yesterday, only a little better, isn’t going to work either.

In fact, it could push you further off course. Allow me to explain.

Bankable results

I was prompted to write this, after a reader booked a one-to-one marketing session with me, so I could show her how to “get more traffic” to her website.

She had wasted years going in the wrong direction. Her focus had been on doing everything she could think of, to increase traffic to her website. What she should have been focused on, was how to turn her website into a business generating machine.

Now, her focus is all about how to get bankable results from her website. She’s aiming for new client enquiries, not traffic. The difference is huge. She’s now heading in the right direction.

[Note: You can find out about booking your one-to-one marketing session with me, here.]

Think about it

Marketing success comes when you do the right things, correctly. Most small business owners tend to copy the kind of things they see other small businesses doing. They do this, even though most small businesses go broke and the majority of those that survive earn peanuts. As a result, they end up at best, doing the wrong things reasonably well.

Yes, you can eat a bowl of soup using a fork, but it will take you hours. You could practice how to get the maximum amount of soup onto the fork, but it won’t make much difference. It makes far more sense to use a spoon.

Hold nothing back. Give it everything. Here’s why!

I used to say that the biggest mistake I made when I started my business, was that I burned my bridges. Back then, the 29 year old Jim Connolly was offered, and declined, freelance work from 2 former employers. I could have done with the regular retainer fees they offered, but I wanted to go out on a limb and start from scratch.

Why?

  • I wanted a new beginning.
  • I wanted to attract the right kind of clients.
  • I wanted to build a marketing business, that was unique, progressive and exciting.

In praise of burning bridges

Now, 20 years later, I understand that burning my bridges was the best thing I could have done. It motivated me to do what was required, rather than what was easy. It motivated me to work hard and work smart. It caused me to grow in a way I would never have, if former employers were paying me regular fees.

When it comes to business success, there’s no room for half measures. If you want to succeed, you must go for it with everything you have. Hold nothing back. Give it your all. Then watch just how high you can fly!

Marketing Tip: Sell them ideas!

sell ideas

The most successful business owners have discovered that you do not sell a product or service: You sell the idea. Today’s post explains why they do it and why YOU should consider doing the same!

Steve Jobs famously said that the iPhone was not a product, it was a lifestyle. Apple marketing went on to sell the idea of owning an iPhone and living the iPhone lifestyle. It was a product that became more than a phone: It became a statement, about those who owned it.

Sell ideas and capture imagination

Over and over, we see that the most successful people in business focus on selling the idea, rather than the product or service.

For example:

  • The most successful alcohol brands do not sell you booze. They sell the idea of the fun lifestyle, which they have attached to booze.
  • The most successful restaurants do not sell food. They sell the idea of enjoying a wonderful, memorable, culinary experience.
  • The most successful coffee shops do not sell hot beverages. They sell the idea of being part of the cool, coffee shop tribe.

Switching from selling products / services, to selling ideas

What is the idea behind the products or services you provide? If you save people money, save people time or make people more productive etc., that’s what you need to market to them.

For example, if you sell accountancy services, don’t just list the services you provide and tell them how much you care, then quote a fee. No! Instead, sell the idea of how it feels to know your financial situation is being looked after by experts, who will ensure you never waste a penny. Sell them peace of mind, not features.

In short: Spend some time thinking about the benefits of what you provide. Then, consider marketing the idea behind those benefits – rather than marketing the core product or service itself.

Here’s a simple way to attract more great clients

Why do prospective clients decide to use a different provider, even after you’ve clearly explained that your service is a better option for them?

I was thinking about that yesterday, after a friend of mine bought an SUV that carries 7 people. He’s married, with no children. I asked him why he bought such a large vehicle and he replied, “I don’t know. I just really like it”.

The problem with logic

The thing is, many of the purchases we make seem to defy logic. There’s a reason for that. People don’t tend to buy based on logic. Instead, we buy something because of the way we feel. We buy something because of what we believe and the stories we tell ourselves.

If too many of your prospective clients choose competitors, even after you have explained why your service is a better fit for their needs, try focusing less on the logic. Fewer graphs. Fewer numbers. Fewer facts.

Instead, tell them a better story. This will help you get started.

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