Hello gorgeous! Always good to see you again.
So last week we talked about marketing being gross, which definitely struck a chord with a lot of you. I don’t think I’ve ever had that many email replies to an article before. 🙂
This week we’re going to get into another big block — marketing just feels totally overwhelming.
Coping with the firehose of information
- There’s too much to learn.
- There are too many techniques.
- It’s too expensive.
- It takes too much time.
And now we have to figure out all this technology stuff on top of the rest of it.
This famous copywriter says I’ll starve if I don’t do some complicated technique he recommends, but that rich marketing guru says I’ll starve if I do.
Then there are all of these acronyms. And jargony things. I don’t even really understand what a brand is, and somebody’s telling me I have to make a brand promise.
It’s enough to make a person want to hide in dark room for about a week.
Or . . . not
The only reason marketing is complex is that communication is complex, because people are complex.
It’s actually possible to make this whole marketing thing a lot easier on yourself.
There’s a very old-fashioned saying that in order to sell anyone anything, you have to get them to know, trust and like you.
And that’s all marketing has to be. You don’t have to turn it into a climb to the summit of Everest.
Put some communication together that persuades a few nice folks to know, trust, and like you. Then make them an offer, on terms that you both find attractive.
The rest is just bells and whistles.
Add a few bells and whistles if they appeal to you. Or just leave it simple, clean and vanilla. Plenty of successful people do.
Why I think people get totally bananas
If you have the kind of personality I do, it always feels like we’re behind. Like our competitor is 100 times more successful than we are, because he’s some kind of marketing genius.
Like the people we meet at those weird business mixers are all mocking us for being small and clueless and out of the loop.
Even though we say we don’t believe the creepy guru guys who promise us a Lamborghini and a mansion in Malibu and a yacht, we kind of do believe it. And so we try too hard, and we don’t give any credit to small steps.
We try to create some gigantic complicated marketing empire from scratch. All at once.
This is a little like trying to give birth to an 11-year-old. Even if you could do it, a) it wouldn’t be any fun at all, and b) that would be one messed-up 11-year-old.
My 5 favorite ways to make marketing feel less overwhelming
- Imagine your business is a baseball game. If you swing wildly at every pitch trying for a home run, you’re going to wear out your arms and generally look like an idiot. Instead, you want to play “small ball.” Keep moving the game forward, hit by hit, base by base. Small victories build into big ones.
- Decide on a focus. You might have one person’s advice you really like. Or you might decide that there’s a style or flavor that feels good to you. But chasing after the latest and greatest shiny object every few weeks will just exhaust you. There are a million ways to do this — settle on the one you like and try not to get too distracted by the rest.
- Don’t try to look so big. No one wants you to be Microsoft. No one likes Microsoft. It’s ok to be small, imperfect, and funky.
- Keep all the pieces easy to change around. This is the biggest reason I don’t recommend that small businesses print a bunch of brochures. Or, actually, any brochures. You can read about an alternative here.
- Don’t think of it as marketing. Just think about it as communication that helps people know, like and trust you. That’s usually a lot less intimidating.
If you missed the first post in the series
This is the second lesson in a five-part series. You can read the first post here:
Next up: a close cousin to “It’s overwhelming” is “I don’t have time.” When we’re trying to make a business work, we spend so time time doing the thing that it can be terribly hard to find time to “market the thing.”
As always, great talking with you!
This is the second lesson in my five-part bonus “What Makes Marketing Hard” series. Subscribers to my email classes get these for FREE FREE FREE just for signing up. (What lucky ducks they are.)
If you’re not a subscriber yet and you liked this lesson, you can sign up here to get the rest of the series as well as a 10-lesson class on what I think is the most important marketing technique there is.
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