Marketing strategy vs. marketing tactics and why you need both.

One of the most common areas of confusion I see among my clients is the difference between strategy and tactics.

“Should I make a brochure?”

“Should I update my business cards?”

“Should I be making videos? A podcast? A blog?”

Read More

Knowledge is free, time costs extra

In modern marketing, there’s a saying that you should give away your knowledge, but never give away your time.

I encourage all of my clients to publicize their process to potential clients. This means creating service packages and a pricing structure that is clear, honest and transparent with pricing to match and making this information as accessible as possible on their websites.

I also encourage my clients to create helpful, free content based on their audience’s needs.

‘But if I put my process out there, won’t others just copy it?’

‘If I share what I know for free, why would anyone want to buy from me?

Both valid questions. Copycats and lurkers abound online.

And if your process is the sum total of your competitive advantage or if your grasp of theory and concepts is your core competency, you do have something to worry about.

But I suspect you have more to offer than that. Your competitive advantage is your unique world view, the sum of your experiences, the way you show up for your clients, the energy you bring to create great work.

“Do not covet your ideas. Give away everything you know and more will come back to you” - Dan Arden, It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.

Failure to launch

If you’ve run an online marketing campaign before you probably know the feeling. That fullness with anticipation at the thought of legions of new fans halfway across the world. Untapped audiences who never knew they needed your wisdom and skills until you popped up in their newsfeeds.

A few days later, you’re hit with a different kind of feeling. Overwhelm, as you realize just how many moving parts need wrangling. How every tiny element - headlines, calls to action, images, video, email subject lines, emojis, hashtags - in your sequence is a variable and every variable requires testing to get right.

Say for example you want to run a webinar to launch a new workshop you have created. Over the years, you’ve built up an email list of about 1000 contacts and have about 400 Facebook fans.

Historically, you have shared content with your audience in fits and starts. You may have even tried a Facebook ad campaign once before and seen lacklustre results. But for your webinar campaign, you are pulling out all the stops. You have a Facebook ad running, a beautiful landing page, an email sequence encouraging registrants to show up live and are sharing content about your webinar on all channels.

Yet, on the big day, only five people show up live to watch your webinar - a far cry from the 250 you were aiming for. You hope more people will catch the replay yet only a handful even open your follow-up email. You make no sales on your workshop and wonder how it all went so wrong.

At this point, you’re probably wondering why even bother with marketing campaigns at all? After all, you get most of your clients through word of mouth.

The thing is, while you’re focusing on what a failure your first campaign was, you’re missing a ton of learning, a ton of new information about who your audience is. You also just created more content via your webinar you can share with a more engaged audience.

This is not the time to quit. It’s the time to commit to working on every little piece of that campaign until you get the results you want. And getting it right doesn’t mean following all of the advice out there about how to write great headlines, how to use video in your ads, how to get more people to click your links.

It means getting it right for your particular audience, communicating with them about their particular needs where they have a tendency to be. Every headline, every caption, every image, every call to action until it’s spot on.

The content trap

When you think of online content for your business, how do you feel?

Obliged?

Overwhelmed?

Content marketing can quickly become just another thing on your to-list. Just block out a couple of hours per week to churning out the next batch of posts. Quantity over quantity. Keeping up appearances.

But the way we read online is even more frenetic than the way we read print. The old upside-down pyramid of news journalism is even more relevant today than ever.

Every single word counts.

When you write for your audience, everything you say needs to be tighter, sharper, shorter, clearer.

Give yourself time to write it. Then more time to tighten it, clean it up and write it again.