As a company that focuses on supporting heart-centered entrepreneurs in their business growth, I spend a lot of my time studying marketing. The field of marketing is broad-ranging, especially with the rise of digital marketing. So we have some context for this article, I wanted to share a definition of marketing from the American Marketing Association:
“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
Now that’s a pretty tall order to undertake in under 2500 words, so I thought I would take a different approach. Google and I partnered on this piece to bring you the best of the best in marketing advice for your business. You can spend months reading all these experts’ books, or you can take just a snippet of their advice and learn from it. If you like one particular person’s approach, then by all means, pick up their book(s) and dive deeper.
And just because I know you are dying to know what I think (not!), I will share my .02 as well.
Author of Crush It!: Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion, The Thank You Economy, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, and Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Their Influence, and How You Can Too.
“Even if your ambitions are huge, start slow, start small, build gradually, build smart.”
There is definitely something to be said for this advice. In three years, my business has grown rapidly. At the same time, I have controlled the growth on purpose. With each and every new client I bring on, I am thoughtful and smart. Is this the right client for us and is this the right time? Uncontrolled growth creates chaos. Your customers will always feel the chaos, no matter how hard you try to hide it. Gary Vee knows what he’s talking about here.
Author of Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter to You, Co-founder and adviser of Influence & Co., a content marketing agency that helps brands and individuals leverage their expertise to create, publish, and distribute engaging content.
“The digital world is dynamic. Pay attention or pay the price of falling behind.”
John Hall is 100% correct. As I mentioned before, I immerse myself in the study of digital marketing, and believe me, it is tough to keep up. There are thousands of experts in this field. New trends are popping up all the time. Apps and software for managing all your marketing are constantly changing and growing. The big social media platforms change the rules and algorithms all the time. Experts are screaming from all directions – do this, no, don’t do that, do this instead. Frankly, it can be exhausting. As entrepreneurs, however, we have no choice but to do our best to keep up. The world of marketing is changing and we must change with it.
Author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior, How Ideas Spread, and The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind
“Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 percent to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions.”
Wow! That’s a very high percentage. So what does this mean? Do a damn good job and you will get free marketing. When I first started my business, the majority of my clients came to me through word of mouth. I delivered a quality service and word spread. I built a reputation and I became known as “Amazing Lori.” When I am looking for a new freelancer for my or my clients’ businesses, I always start with my network. Who comes highly recommended for this particular service? It is a lot harder to sell to a cold lead versus a warm lead that comes to you through word of mouth.
Author of Neil Patel’s Advanced Cheat Sheet to SEO and Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum
“Oftentimes in order to capture your dreams, it will require you to chase your fears.”
Marketing requires you to show up. Showing up sometimes brings out all our fears. There is a reason people hate networking, public speaking, and selling. They all require us to sell ourselves and our services. Showing up creates risk. We might fail. People might not like us. They might like someone else better. I have learned that all of the above is true, and that is 100% ok. We will fail. Some people won’t like you. And they will like someone else better. But if you don’t overcome your fears and chase your dreams, you will never learn that you will succeed and some people will absolutely love you, over anyone else.
Author of Digital Marketing for Dummies, 13 Ways to Hack Facebook Ads, Kindle Publishing Revolution, and Founder/CEO of DigitalMarketer.com
“This is what most marketers get wrong. They focus all their efforts on building email lists, and almost no effort on how they’re going to make money from that list once they have it.”
Exactly. What is the point of having an email list if your prospects are disengaged and uninterested in your products/services? One marketer that I follow recently deleted 700 names from her email list. Why? Because they never opened her emails. They never clicked to learn more. These individuals were certainly never going to buy her branding services or website templates. You can have 100 completely engaged followers that are potentially interested in doing business with you. Or you can have 10,000 email subscribers that have zero interest in what you have to say, let alone what you have to offer. The purpose of your email list is to educate, inform, engage, and build relationships with potential buyers.
Author of The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using the Social Web and The Relationship Age
“A large part of this relationship marketing concept is allowing yourself to be a little bit vulnerable and let people in.”
I am an open book. I am real. I am vulnerable and I tell people my truth. And I encourage my clients to do the same, especially in their marketing. People today are craving authenticity. They want to know the person behind the business. Why do you think Brene Brown is so popular? She oozes rawness when she teaches us about vulnerability. People fall in love with her real-life stories because they can relate. We are all human and although our experiences may vary, the themes are often the same. One of my favorite musical artists right now is NF. His music lets you inside his world, his mind, his life. And his fans go crazy! (including me)
Host of the Top Rated “Online Marketing Made Easy” Podcast
“Only one mode of communication with your ideal prospects remains steadfast in the face of a changing social media landscape – EMAIL.”
I came across some rather alarming statistics today about social media. Did you know that 45% of the world’s population are active social media users? To be exact, there are 3.499 BILLION active social media users. On average, a person has 7.6 social media accounts! So imagine if your prospects are scrolling through Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube for a few minutes each day. What is the likelihood they will see your content? It’s possible, but not likely. But email goes straight to their inbox. Of course, they can delete your message, but if it’s interesting to them, they will open it and read it. Even if they don’t, your name is imprinted in their memory. Make sure you are emailing your prospects at least once per week – stay top of mind.
Author of Will the Real You Please Stand Up: Show Up, Be Authentic, and Prosper in Social Media and The Quick and Easy Guide to Branding Your Business and Creating Massive Sales with Pinterest
“My name is CONSISTENCY, I am related to SUCCESS. We should hang out more often than…every once in a while.”
To me, this means your marketing needs to be consistent. Emailing your list every couple of months won’t work. Posting a few social media pieces once in a while will not do much for your marketing or business success. A new client recently hired us for one primary reason – to create consistency in her marketing. She knew, to be successful, she needs to show up consistently for her audience. Commit to what you can handle, but my recommendation is email once per week and daily social media posts. Your audience depends on your consistency.
Author of Superfans: The Easy Way to Stand Out, Grow Your Tribe, and Build a Successful Business and Will it Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money
“The riches are in the niches.”
So many business owners resist the idea of niching. But one thing is for sure – it is a lot easier to market to niches. If you have a service that you sell to anyone, how do you find those people? Or if your niche is so broad, what sets you apart from the competition? In my opinion, there are two ways to niche. You can niche with the group of people you target, or you can niche with a specialized service. Both of these options enable you to target more effectively. Think about your own business. Do you have a niche that enables you to easily find your tribe? Do you have a specific problem you solve for your market? Capitalize on that.
Author of High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become that Way and The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power
“You know the saying, “don’t recreate the wheel?” Well, that’s exactly what O-V-O is. It is the “wheel” in online marketing.
What the heck is O-V-O? It is an acronym started by Brendon which means Opt-in – Value – Offer. Brendon, whom I follow daily, is one of the best in online marketing. I love his O-V-O concept. It basically states that anything you sell online should follow this sequence. You create a freebie and get people to opt-in to download it. Then you provide massive value to build relationships and establish your expertise. Finally, you make your offer. Your freebie, your value, and your offer should all be related and follow this path.
Author of One Million Followers: How I Built a Massive Social Following in 30 Days
“Aim to create shareable content with your audience. Do research about what gets people to share and come up with a hypothesis about the type of content to create. Then test it.”
What I like about Brendan’s advice is the systematic and scientific approach he takes to creating content your audience responds to. There is nothing worse than spending time, energy, and money creating content that only gets a response from a couple of crickets. If your audience is not engaging with your content and sharing with their audience, then most likely you are not speaking to their needs. Engaging content resonates with people and the only way to find out what works is to create different pieces and test them. Pay attention to what blogs and social media posts receive the most attention. Use this information to guide your future content creation plan.
Author of KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays and Self-Employed: 50 Signs You Might be an Entrepreneur
“Someone who uses social media successfully doesn’t just create content; he or she also creates conversations, and those conversations create communities.”
One of the most overlooked components of social media marketing is the importance of engaging with your audience. I remember once responding to a guy’s content online with a heartfelt message, and he never responded to me. This left a lasting impression on me. We are all busy entrepreneurs, but if you aren’t going to take the time to respond to people who engage with you on social media, don’t do it. As a member of many Facebook groups, there are people doing an amazing job of starting conversations and creating large communities of people. The moderators of these groups always respond personally to each and every comment because they understand the importance of building relationships. It is called “social” media for a reason. (wink)
Now, I have given you a lot of food for thought. I’m curious. Which is your favorite piece of marketing advice?
Lori Young is the founder of Amazing OBM. She and her team support heart-centered coaches in their business growth by managing their day-to-day digital marketing efforts. Contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation.
Best Advice from 12 Top Marketing Experts (and my .02)
November 4, 2019