Jim's Marketing Blog

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

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The naked truth about shortcuts to success

The shortcuts to success have 2 things in common.

  1. They are not shortcuts.
  2. They don’t lead to success.

Rather than looking for shortcuts to success, the smart business owner looks for proven paths to success. Instead of looking for the easy route, they look for the best route.

Does it sound like harder work than trying to game the system, with growth hacking and other get rich quick fads? Sure.

It’s a vastly better use of your time though.

PS: This post offers an alternative approach, which could make you extremely successful. WARNING – Requires effort!

How to quickly get more from your marketing

I’m going to show you how to avoid a common marketing mistake, which is causing a lot of pain to a lot of small business owners. I’m also going to share a cornerstone of great marketing with you, which can quickly improve your marketing results.

Here’s the challenge: No matter how good your product is. No matter how good your customer service is. No matter how good your marketing is — you will attract very few clients or customers, if you’re marketing to the wrong people.

Allow me to explain

If you sell a commodity service, one that is offered by lots of equally qualified competitors, you’re wasting your time marketing to people who want a top class, boutique service.

If you offer a boutique service, you’re wasting your time marketing to the bargain basement crowd, who buy cheap from commodity service providers.

And no matter what service you provide, if you spend time marketing to freebie hunters on social networks, who are simply looking to pump as much free advice from you as possible, you’re wasting your time.

Instead, get specific

Know who your ideal profile of client or customer is and focus your marketing exclusively on them. Delight them with the things they value the most. Answer their most pressing questions. Give them highly specific information… the type of information that demonstrates you are exactly the kind of provider they need.

In short, make delivering the correct message, to the right group, a cornerstone of your marketing.

PS – Read this if you want to know more: Marketing 101: How to get specific.

How to build a massively valuable client list

If only your prospective clients knew how great your service was, they’d hire you. Right?

Well, I’m going to show you how to totally overcome that marketing challenge!

How your competitors ruin your marketing promises

Almost every small business owner claims to offer an amazing service. Especially the really terrible providers!

So, as you are one of the few who genuinely produces work, which is meaningfully different, your marketplace needs to know. They need to know that you are the real deal. That it’s not just words or empty promises.

How?

It works like this:

  • Put your work out there, where people can see it. Use either a blog or newsletter to showcase what makes you meaningfully different from your competitors.
  • Show us, without holding back, exactly how your work is meaningfully different. In other words, don’t just make claims about how great your services are — show us. Remember, your average competitors all claim to be great.
  • Make your blog posts, articles or newsletters visible and make them easy to share. If you are doing great work, people will want to tell their friends. Make this as easy as possible, with a small number of reliable sharing options.

Why bother doing all this? Because as I am about to explain, it is extremely effective.

Something about me you never knew!

For the past year, I have successfully provided a service, which I have never (even once) marketed to anyone.

What is it?

I write articles and marketing material. My fee is £1000 for an article or marketing piece (around $1600 USD at today’s exchange rate). There is currently an 8 week waiting list for the service. All that, without marketing the service even once.

Instead, people have come to me.

Why? Because they read my articles and blog posts, see the value and want their magazine, website, blog or whatever, to be just as valuable.

Others needed to see sales results from their marketing. They figured out that if they hire me to write the main conversion page of their website, it could be the difference between them motivating potential clients to hire them — or being ignored.

Why would any savvy business owner risk losing out on a fortune, by using ineffective, amateur copywriting? Exactly!

Show them who you are and what you do

The marketing promises and claims you make are largely ignored by your prospective clients. They have seen them too many times before.

If you want to earn the trust of your prospective clients, (which is essential if you want them to hire you), you need to demonstrate what makes you better than your competition.

No one hires me wondering if I can deliver. They already know me and my work.

Now show YOUR prospective clients what YOU are capable of.

If it feels safe, it’s not moving you forward!

If that idea you’re working on feels safe, it’s probably not moving you forward.

Our best work feels neither safe or comfortable. It requires us to stretch… to embrace the edges.

If you feel comfortable with your work, for too many days in a row, stop. Check that you’re not mistaking activity for progress. Otherwise you end up working hard — for too little reward.

Get out of your own way

Don’t wait for permission. You don’t need it.

Don’t wait for the perfect time. The time is never perfect.

Don’t wait for them to pick you. Pick yourself.

Don’t wait for the initiative. Take it.

So, what are you waiting for?

Want to attract more clients? This will help. A lot.

I’m a marketing guy. So, why do I help my clients develop genuinely great products and services?

  • People queue around the block, when a genuinely great product is launched.
  • People book weeks or months in advance, to secure their spot at a genuinely great restaurant.
  • People pay 500% more, to hire a genuinely great designer, accountant, trainer or coach, etc.

The most successful business owners focus mainly on making their product or service genuinely great. It’s an enjoyable, rewarding way to grow an amazing business.

The average business owner focuses on ways to get people interested in buying average stuff. It’s a stressful, thankless and unrewarding way to run a business.

If your product or service isn’t motivating people to buy from you and recommend you to their friends, I’d spend less time pushing it. Then, I’d use that ‘push’ time making what you do, utterly irresistible.

Attract — don’t push.

PS: I can help you.

6 Extremely powerful questions to help you grow your business

Here are six great questions, which will help you uncover some amazingly valuable ideas for your business.

Ask yourself the following:

  1. If this month was going to be the best ever for my business, what would I be doing right now?
  2. Why should somebody become my client or customer, rather than go to one of my competitors?
  3. Who are the most influential people in my marketplace and how can I connect with them?
  4. If opportunity isn’t knocking for me, how can I build a door?
  5. What would I attempt to do right now, if I knew for certain I couldn’t fail?
  6. Because we tend to get what we expect from life, what am I expecting and is it consistent with what I want?

Now that you’ve read the questions, start writing down the answers in as much detail as you can. Spend as much time on this as you need to. Once your answers are written down, you will find yourself with lots of powerful ideas.

Work on at least one idea every day, until your list is finished.

Don’t just find these questions interesting. Do something with them. Work on your answers. You’ll be amazed at the improvements this can have on your business… if you give it the time and energy required.

Why most small businesses die and how to avoid it!

This post is about an extremely important topic. Good, hard working business owners go broke every day. What makes this tragedy even worse, is that in many cases it can be avoided — with one change to the way they think and feel about their business.

I want to explain why these business owners fail. More importantly, I will show you how you can learn from this common mistake and grow your business more successfully than ever before!

Here’s why the problem happens

Most small business owners make it impossible for themselves to succeed.

It looks like this:

  • They know what they need.
  • They know what they want.
  • However, what they need and what they want are 100% incompatible.

They know they need expert help. They work long hours, yet their business is struggling and no matter how hard they work, they make no real progress.

However, they don’t want expert help. No. They want things to just improve.

That’s like knowing you need to water your house plants in order for them to live and grow, but not wanting to water them. So, you sit and slowly watch them die –  wondering if they will magically start growing.

How to turn this around

The reason the vast majority of small businesses go broke, is that they break a golden rule of business success. It’s simply this:

You must align what you want, with what your business needs.

All the time your wants are out of alignment with what your business needs, you will be working against yourself. This is what causes struggling business owners to mistake movement for progress. They are busy. They work hard. However, they are busy working hard on the wrong things.

If you’re not getting the results you want from your business, you will 100% definitely be making this mistake. There will be at least one key area of your business where you are refusing to give your business what it needs, because it doesn’t fit in with your wants.

Try this

If that sounds like you, think about the stories you are telling yourself, which are causing you to neglect what your business needs.

Then find a better story to tell yourself… one that puts you and your business in alignment. You will be amazed at the results you see, when you and your business are pulling in the same direction!

PS: Here’s some very useful information on your wants and needs.

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