Do you remember the scene in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade where they’ve finally reached the room where the Holy Grail is kept?
But the test is that the one Holy Grail is surrounded by a bunch of “false” Grails and you have to choose the right one in order to achieve immortality.
Elsa chooses the shiniest, most beautiful “Grail” in the room and gives it to Donovan to drink from. And, if you remember, it does not go well for him (although Elsa and Donovan are the bad guys so it does go well for the good guys and the audience).
And then it’s Indiana’s turn and he chooses a simple clay cup… the one true Grail… and he’s able to heal his dying father.
So what’s my point?
As entrepreneurs, we tend to make the same mistake that Elsa and Donovan did… going after what’s shiny and new…
Instead of being like Indiana… and keeping it simple!
Because the truth is that even the most sophisticated marketing campaigns are based on simple strategies and principles of influence that have been around forever.
And you won’t have to go down a Google rabbit hole or take additional trainings to learn to apply them!
So, keep reading or watch the video below for 21 marketing tips that’ll stand the test of time.
#1: Marketing isn’t necessarily what you think it is.
The standard definition of marketing is the process of getting customers and clients.
But that’s a really dull definition.
And if you think about marketing as only the process of acquiring customers, it creates a lot of resistance.
Over the last 11 years of being in business, I’ve learned that marketing is actually the process of developing the mindset, beliefs and conditions that people need to say “YES” to something they want but can’t do on their own.
Marketing is about transformation… not manipulation.
So my number one marketing tip is to understand that marketing is so much more than what most people think it is.
#2: “Before you can make money while you sleep, you’ve got to be able to make money while you’re awake.”
This is the quote I’m most famous for 🙂
Too many people think that they can set it and forget it by creating automated marketing evergreen funnels that just run while they’re on a beach somewhere sipping yummy umbrella drinks.
And yes, that’s 100% possible, at least most of it. But there’s still work involved.
You’ve got to be able to have a conversation with someone and connect with them to be able to see what they like and what they respond to (and what they don’t).
Because if you can’t convince one person to buy from you, what makes you think you’re going to be able to convince 100 or 1,000 people to buy from you?
Marketing starts with the ability to get one person to say YES.
#3: Don’t expect to find this miracle hire that’s going to allow you to bypass sales and marketing completely.
Now I know that marketing and sales do not come easily for a lot of people. But if you don’t know how to do this for yourself, chances are you’re not going to find the person who’s just going to land in your lap and be able to take care of all of it for you.
Sure you can hire a company to help.
But no company can possibly understand your unique perspective, vision and message for the world like you can.
So, first develop at least a proficiency in sales and marketing… and then you can hire people to help.
#4: Conversion Trumps Traffic.
Here at Live Your Message we’re obsessed with conversion.
We’re obsessed with the question:
How do we inspire more action and more sales with the same amount of traffic?
How do we get off the traffic and marketing treadmill and better serve the people who are already coming to us?
Because the truth is that you have to solve for the conversion first.
And once you solve for the conversion, then you can add more traffic… and ultimately scale your marketing.
Because here’s the thing: Traffic is expensive, especially if you’re paying for it on Facebook or Google and ad costs will only continue to skyrocket.
So if you’re sending people to a page that doesn’t convert — you’re going to run out of money fast.
#5: Start with warm traffic before moving to cold traffic.
Warm traffic comes from partners, clients and people who already know, like and trust you… and potentially, your own internal audience. Now, if you can’t get an offer converting to that audience, chances are, you’re not going to get an offer converting to a cold audience who does not know you from Adam.
This is what I call the Circle of Influence.
Marketing is a lot easier when you’re marketing to friends and associates and it gets more challenging when you’re marketing to total strangers.
Using warm traffic — kind of like friends of friends — is a nice sweet spot to start testing your offer before you begin trying cold traffic.
#6: Deliver something live at least a few times BEFORE you try to automate it.
When you have a live audience (like on Zoom), you can get their feedback right then.
You’re able to see the expressions on their faces and can fine-tune and refine your message in a super lightning-fast way.
Then you can automate it.
But when you try to bypass the process of delivering something live because you want to hide or feel self-conscious, you’re missing out on that valuable cycle of feedback and input.
And the feedback and input is what makes what you do even better because you’re getting to know your customers.
#7: There is no such thing as set it and forget it marketing.
When you get to a point where you have something automated and you’re making money consistently, you have to remember that the world — and the online business marketplace — is constantly changing.
Your customer expectations are changing, you’re changing, technology is changing and best practices for driving and converting traffic are changing.
So you can’t set it and forget it and expect that your marketing will perform year after year in the same way that it performed in the past.
You want to be iterating your way to awesome and evolving your marketing so it always stays fresh and current.
#8: Understand your market sophistication.
If you’re in an industry that’s been around for decades, you’ve got to understand that people have been interacting with that industry and that marketing for a long time.
So people are becoming a bit more skeptical and more sophisticated as consumers, and some of those broad messages and marketing campaigns no longer work.
You need to understand where your audience is in the stages of marketing sophistication and meet them there.
#9: Don’t be boring.
In some ways, this is the first rule of all marketing. Because when you’re boring, people kind of opt-out mentally thinking, “Been there, done that, heard that all before. I’m moving on.”
So you’ve got to dare to have a voice, have a perspective, share your beliefs and stories and create ways to interact with and engage your audience.
Be enthusiastic about sharing your message!
#10: You can only speak to everyone if you have unlimited time and unlimited money.
Entrepreneurs really spin out with their marketing when they try to speak to anyone and everyone. And the truth is that you probably can help a lot of people, but if you’re trying to speak to all of those people simultaneously, your message won’t resonate with anyone specifically.
So unless you’ve got unlimited time and money to reach all markets and speak to them in a way that will resonate, I recommend that you focus on speaking to a particular niche audience.
#11: Know your audience(s) better than they know themselves.
This means you’ve…
- Done the market research
- Had the conversations to understand what problems your audience has
- Know what solutions they’re looking for…
- And how you can solve their problem in a way they’re willing to say yes to!
Because when your marketing feels like you’re almost reading people’s minds, they’ll trust you with the solution.
#12: Speak to one person.
Now many people speak in generalities but you want to make it personal.
Speak to YOU.
“YOU know what I’m saying.”
“YOU’VE done this before.”
“YOU may have had this experience…”
The more you can personalize it, the better.
#13: Don’t make people wrong.
You don’t want to make people feel that they’re failures, that they’re to blame or that they should have known this beforehand.
But here’s a way you can spin your message where it doesn’t feel like an attack on them…
In the video for this blog post, I say: “Most people don’t understand these 21 marketing tips, so they make mistakes that are easy to avoid.”
Now notice that I wasn’t making it personal in that sense. I was talking about most people NOT you.
I’m talking about a systemic problem, so you can relate to it without feeling like you’re in the wrong.
But when I’m speaking about the solution, I will make sure I speak more personally to you (see tip #12).
#14: You cannot guess who’s going to buy and who’s not going to buy.
Some of the wealthiest people in the world with giant trust funds don’t necessarily look like wildly rich people. Not everybody poses with Lamborghinis or flaunts their wealth… a lot of people are a little bit more modest.
So you can’t guess who’s going to be ready to buy from you or who is prepared to say yes.
Someone may say that they care about solving a problem, but when push comes to shove, and it’s time to invest time, money and energy, they may not be ready to do it.
I once had someone buy from me for the first time after 10 years of being on my list!
So don’t decide for them… let them decide for themselves.
#15: You can’t assume that you know what’s going to work until you test it.
The thing with marketing is that everything is a test. You could have five different pieces of messaging, and you have your favorite angle, but you’re a little bit biased. You’ve got the curse of expertise. This means you resonate with a specific message more than others.
But someone who does not have your expertise and experiences may orient toward a different message. So you’ve got to try out your messages to see what resonates with people enough to get them to opt-in or buy.
#16: Marketing: it’s both an art and a science.
You have to trust your gut but you also have to trust the numbers. Unfortunately, so many people get super scientific about it and miss the creativity that inspires and catalyzes people to buy.
While others, myself included, are more gut marketers. We thrive off inspiration. We create angles and hooks based on what we see in the world.
But we don’t always go back and look at the numbers regularly. So while our marketing may be converting, it’s not getting better.
So to create THE best marketing you can, you want to blend the art and the science.
#17: Don’t create marketing that sounds like marketing with a capital M.
Everybody likes to buy but nobody likes to be sold to. Of course, when it’s time to sell — after you’ve created enough value — you’re going to want to market.
But at the same time, you don’t want to overdo it and have people feel like you’re shoving them in a particular direction versus allowing them to make a decision for themselves.
You’ve got to walk that fine line of making a strong offer and really inviting people in.
This is pull marketing (versus push marketing which is shoving your message and offers down people’s throats).
So don’t create marketing that sounds like marketing.
#18: Don’t be a copy of somebody else.
Marketing is all about standing out.
If you’re just trying to talk like the next guy, you’ll be forgotten and overlooked.
There are nearly 2 billion websites online and 4 billion people on the internet and it takes a lot to cut through all that noise. The good news is that you naturally are charismatic and have ways that you attract people.
But you don’t want to attract everybody. You want to attract the people attracted to you and repel the rest.
And you do this by being yourself and turning up the dial on your unique expression — your superpower.
Do this and your business will start to take off because you’ve developed your own unique voice, beliefs, perspectives and stories.
#19: Choose clear OVER clever.
When you try to stand out and sound like yourself, it can be easy to stand out a little too much and try to get a little too clever.
And what happens is people don’t really get what you’re saying.
It’s that balance of being unique but not too original or innovative that people don’t get what you’re talking about. You want to land the plane but also land it in a way that has your unique signature all over it.
So don’t overthink this. Just use simple words; use common and powerful words when you can.
Always, always lean on being clear over clever.
#20: Become a proud card carrying marketer.
You’ve got to identify with being not just a business owner or an entrepreneur but with being a marketer too.
Someone who loves to influence people to shape their attitudes and beliefs and create the conditions in which they can say YES.
So many people say things like, “Oh, that’s not me. I don’t market it, I don’t sell. I’m just here to serve.”
But when you realize that marketing and selling is service, the first yes – the one that creates all the other yeses to come in – is when your business starts to fly.
So, be proud to be a marketer!
#21: ABM – Always Be Marketing
You may have heard of “always be selling” or “always be closing.”
But I believe you’ve always got to be marketing because there are people all over the world that might want what you have to offer. If they don’t know about you, they may spend their lives with a problem you could solve if you were always marketing.
I’m guessing you’re in business because you’ve got something real to offer. So always be marketing to let people discover you and learn about the thing that you’ve got. Don’t be the world’s best-kept secret.
Come out of the shadows, stand in the spotlight and be seen and heard.
Believe in your products and services.
And if you’ve got that belief, remember to ALWAYS BE MARKETING.
I hope this post inspired you and gave you some ideas!
Just remember, no matter what’s happening or what’s to come in the tumultuous online world, these 21 basic marketing principles will stand the test of time.
Which tip resonated most with you? Let me know in the comments!
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