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As marketers we all want to be seen and heard. We want people to choose us, our products and services. We want to connect with people and stand out. But it’s hard.
There’s a lot of noise online. Everyone’s shouting and cutting through that seems like an impossible task.
One answer to this problem is to turn up the volume. To add to the noise with more and more content but this just leads to burn out. And for our audience it leads to tune out.
This post assumes two things.
1 – You actually care about your business.
2 – You are actually into whatever you do for a living.
Creating content without a plan often feels like trying to push water uphill. It’s not fun and that shows in how it connects with your audience.
This week’s podcast goes was Pascal Fintoni. Pascal spoke about the three qualities of great content marketing. A previous guest, Mike Kim, talked about his personal branding trinity.
In this post I want to show how by combining these you can discover both the map and the compass to great content marketing with much less resistance.
Pascals three qualities.
So Pascal spoke of three qualities of great content marketing and I’ll expand on them here a little.
1 – Be curios. The quality of curiosity is important because by sharing your curiosity, by taking people on your journey with you allows you to flip from creator, to documentor.
You simply need to record what you’re thinking about, working on, learning about or discovering.
By taking the role of the researcher you generate great content as a by product of your activity instead of it becoming an additional activity.
2 – Be helpful. Sharing your discoveries and helping other people see your world through your eyes allows you to connect your curiosity with others who are on the same path.
Become a tutor or a way finder, helping others who are’t as far along the particular road you’re on as you are. Be a friend or companion, tutoring and sharing what you know.
3 – Be present. Posting on social media gets you seen but it doesn’t build relationships. Posting on social media is like turning up at event. Some people might see you but they won’t engage with you. Engagement is where relationships are built.
Give a little thought to how many platforms you publish on. It might be none or it might be *all* of them. If you’re active on many platforms you can’t hope to be fully present on them all. Decide on where you’re going to spend ‘quality time’ and then make sure you do.
This can be expanded out into Facebook and Linkedin groups. Simply dabbling in them takes time. Decide on where you’re going to be present and then make sure you schedule time do be there.
Presence is about having conversations. Too many people forget good manners on social media. Don’t be the guy who does the social media equivalent of drive by networking. Don’t be the guy who sprays business cards into everyones pocket but never asks about you. Take time to get to know people.
As the old saying goes. ‘People won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel’. Take time for people on social media and you’ll amplify the effect of qualities one and two tenfold.
Small business owners get very bad advice when it comes to content marketing and social media. Social media calendars, post templates and all the other hacks will only take you so far ( and that’s not far. ).
These three qualities offer a really useful map. They make it easy to visualise a landscape and make sense of things. You can imagine yourself there but without a compass it will be hard to navigate.
The three circles of personal branding.
Mike kim spoke about this on the podcast and it really sunk in for me. Imagine an old school ver diagram or three intersecting circles.
1 – What pisses you off.
What makes you angry about your industry, service, customers, competitors, lack of knowledge, what you’ve learned. Simply put, what pisses you off about whatever it is you’re into.
2 – What breaks your heart?
Who needs what you have? Who needs to know what you know? Where is there a right you can wrong.
3 – What problems do you solve?
What are your expertise and how can you help? What skills do you have?
The point where each of these three intersects is where you’ll find your superpower. It’s where you find the magnetic north of your personal brand. It’s where you’ll find your *mission*.
If you’re using your imagination then you might be worrying that this compass of the three circles might actually get a negative reaction. And you’d be right. I guarantee it.
You can’t get a strong positive reaction without an equally strong negative. Polarising an audience isn’t a tactic I’d advise of to’s own accord, but here it’s a by product. A polarised audience is one which is reacting and as personal branding legend Chris Dicker says, “..you need to market like a magnet – to attract the best – and repel the rest.”
If you want to stand out online, and I’m sure you do, then it comes down to working for it. You need to be truly into what you do because you can’t fake passion. More than that you need to make time for it.
Garry Vaynerchuk wrote that every business should be 80% whatever it is they do for money and 20% media company. Everybody wants you to delegate or subcontract that 20%. You can’t. It won’t work. You need to take responsibility for your own content mission.
First off, feel free to jump to the end of this post. I’m going to give you a lot of ‘why’ before I get to the ‘how’ of things. This post is as much about getting your head right for video marketing as it is about some practical advice. If you’re hear looking for some quick tech tips – you’re in the wrong post.
I started the Amplify podcast back in October 2018. My goals for the show were to make a start with content marketing and then build a business around that.
Some of the best things about starting the podcast weren’t what I thought they’d be and many of the benefits were unexpected.
Besides the outward success the show’s had, here’s what happened.
1 – It’s transformed my network. Because my show is guest based I need to reach out to people I think will add value to my audience every week. I’m spending time with them we get to know each other and guests often become friends or at least acquaintances.
Living in a fairly remote location, my network isn’t now limited to the people I ‘happen’ to meet. I get to choose who I meet. And because I have a podcast and need guests I have all the reason I need to reach out to anyone I want and actually offer them some value.
2 – It’s transformed my knowledge and perspective. Spending so much time with the smartest marketers, experts, coaches, consultants, and creatives has completely transformed my own knowledge and practice. Real insight into any issue only comes when you shine a light on it and work through it with teachers. Many guests have gone on to be informal mentors.
3 – It’s changed the nature of my business. I have to pinch myself to think that the podcast started just over a year ago. So much has changed in my business. Things are different on every level. I’ve achieved more in the last eighteen months than I did in the last ten years. I’m making more money now with a small virtual team than I ever did with a big team and a traditional agency. Not only that, I’m doing work I like – for people I like.
4 – At the risk of going a bit Ron Burgundy. Another benefit is that the first shoots of industry ‘authority’ slowly showing. Because I host the show I’m approached daily by people who want to be guests. Guests talk to each other and because I have a platform ( and I’m a nice guy ), people help me out. I’m understating this whole ‘nano-influencer’ thing because nobody likes a show-off but opportunities are starting to come which I’d never normally be in the path of.
5 – I’m much more confident in my own competence. When you spend time with the smartest people in and around your industry and you hold your own, it’s great for your confidence. When the best in the business tells you to try something, you try it. A lot of my old competitors must think I’ve lost my mind because while they’re all busy doing the same old thing, crazy Bob is walking off in a completely different direction. And I’m fine with that now.
So that all sounds great and now I’ve written it I can see why I don’t want to change the show at all. I might smarten up the intro and get some Hollywood actor to introduce me with dramatic music over the top, but other than that, I don’t want to change it.
But – it’s not enough. Because it’s a guest based show it’s not really helping drive my business they way a solo platform would. I don’t want to change it but it feels like it’s time to graduate and add something new.
In all the interviews I’ve done some themes have emerged. One of the most obvious has been that video builds your personal brand better than anything else. Coupled with this is the compounding effect of a Youtube channel.
I’m not writing a post about why video is good or why Youtube, in particular, is a very good bet. They just are. I’ve spoken to lot’s of people like Gavin Bell, Amy Landino, Chris Ducker, Philip VanDusen and Joe Burnich who’ve all said the same thing. It’s hard, uncomfortable and people will think you’re crazy. But they also say it’s been the single most powerful thing they’ve done for their business and after a time, drives most new opportunity.
Gavin Bell, in particular, spoke about video as allowing him to build relationships ‘at scale’ through video content. This is a tricky thing to get your head around but reflect on how you feel about anyone you regularly see on screen.
So why am I talking about this now? Well over the last year or so I’ve learned a lot about what works and what does’t. The way I deliver value to clients has also changed in that time and walking the walk has become very important me. I have to be seen to do the things I’m advising others to do. The things which I know work. And it often comes back to video.
I’ve seen first hand what kind of business you can create when you reach beyond your geographic catchment area through video marketing. How it can free you from doing the same as everyone else and allow you to focus on the value which you, uniquely bring to the world. I know now that’s the kind of business I want but the price of admission is an acceptance that you have to live on the edge of what’s comfortable.
So what stopped me?
If you’ve listened to my podcast or spent any time speaking to people in the online marketing world you’ll hear the word ‘niche’ a lot. The theory goes that the more specific you are about who you serve the more compelling you become for that person. There’s a whole lot more to it but in the industry there’s a huge drive towards niching. For a lot of people it’s the right thing and quite natural although for me it’s been a struggle.
Your niche is what ultimately informs your audience ‘Avatar’. This is detailed picture of your ideal audience member. Ideally you have just one Avatar and all your content is created with that one person in mind. I’ve found this impossible and it paralysed me for a long time.
I knew that to move forward I’d have to tackle this head on. It wasn’t easy but and I’ll not go into it here but I’ve done it now.
The bigger issue
There are some people who don’t give the idea of appearing in video on social media a second thought. I don’t get it but I know these people exist. I’m not one of them. Working with my clients I know that most people feel the same. I think I’m happier to speak in front of a room full of people than I am about being on video.
So let’s break down what’s going on in my head, and maybe yours too.
What are the mental barriers to video marketing?
This is a general umbrella term which describes inexperience and a fear of the unknown. It’s a primal response to any significant action where we can’t anticipate the consequences ( how badly hurt we’ll be when it goes wrong. ).
I ran a survey a while back where over 80% of respondents claimed to be introverts. Clearly that’s nonsense but we all use introversion as an excuse. While I’m a genuine introvert who fantasises about the kind of alone time you’ll only get on a solo mars mission. I now it’s not a real barrier to video marketing because you do it alone but I did use it as an excuse for a long time.
This is a bigger deal than you’d think. Any creative will tell you the same thing. By the time they’ve completed any work all they can see are it’s flaws. It’s a universal constant and is always present. You will always get better but you can’t wait for that day to show your work.
I’m probably not going to make any friends with this one but the truth is most of us aren’t as smart as we’d like and don’t look or sound like we wish we did. If you’re twenty one you probably wish you were older and had more authority. If you’re forty five you probably wish you were younger and had more hair. Vanity has no place in business. This is work.
OMG this is the real deal. It’s easy to be the expert in your own head where nobody is watching but as soon as you do it in public, especially where peers or competitors might see, you start worrying. Someone is going to call us out. I don’t think imposter syndrome can be fixed. I’ve come to look at it as an effect of being in the right place. If you’re stretching yourself, and you should be, then imposter syndrome will be there with you. I think it’s a survival mechanism which can be managed.
A word on discomfort.
A lot of our reactions in life are primal and hard wired. We like to think we’re rational and intelligent people but the majority of our actions and reactions are governed either by habit or instinct. Our unconscious self hates change and will work like a bitch to preserve what it think normal and safe should look like. If you do anything which triggers any kind of anxiety your brain goes into overdrive to tell you to run away.
For the last 5 million years it was super helpful. For your video marketing – not so much.
So I’ve got all that going on. I’m starting to sound a little neurotic but it’s the truth and I know if you want to overcome anything or improve at anything then you have to spend a little time really getting to know yourself and what might get in the way.
The truth is my video marketing is going to be awkward, some people will make fun, some might call me out, I will get things wrong and it might just be a bit crap for a while and that just has to be ok.
So what’s my plan?
Think about the campaign and not the battle
I’m not going to worry too much about the effect of any one video. A campaign is made up of many battles and you can’t win every single one.
Take regular exercise
Comfort zones are like muscles. The more time you spend stretching them the more elastic they become and the bigger they get. Todays crazy challenge will become tomorrows normal.
Focus on marginal gains
A little thing done frequently can have a big impact. Marginal gains compound over time and the effect is often greater than the sum of it’s causes.
Start really small
Don’t try and jump right in to the big leagues. That doesn’t mean it isn’t the goal, it just means you have to earn your stripes and learn the ropes.
Something Philip VanDusen told me about video marketing is never far from my thoughts and applies to so many areas of life, clearly not just content marketing.
‘If you want to be a pro tennis play then you can read books about tennis, speak to pro tennis players, watch them play and buy the gear pro tennis players use. But until you start playing tennis you’ll never be a good tennis player.’
So now we know what all the barriers are what are my tactics for dealing with them?
Well, like anything else, once you have a map things get a bit easier. Once you know all those trolls in your head aren’t real they get a bit easier to deal with. There’s still the reality of our human reactions to discomfort and basic biology. It’s still not easy.
Knowing your WHY.
If you’re going to break through all the mental and emotional issues I described then you’re going to need to know why you’re doing it. Your WHY needs to be compelling enough to power you through some discomfort.
The baby steps.
I have no intention of jumping into high production value Youtube videos. I will post videos on Youtube but building an audience there isn’t the priority right away. That will come with time. My priority is getting comfortable with video.
If you’ve never been on video simply seeing yourself on screen can be a startling experience. I work with clients through video chat every day and I can see for some of them it’s a disconcerting experience at first. It’s so easy to forget that just because something is normal for me, doesn’t make it normal for someone else. If you’ve never been on camera at all start by making FaceTime, Skype or Facebook messenger calls where you might have used the phone.
A step up from video calls where you chat in real time is video messaging. Here your brain is doing something different. You have to record a message and then send it to someone. This can be done using most messaging platforms. Where video chat is getting you used to being on camera and seeing yourself there, video messaging is getting you used to recording something which another person will watch back. You have to actually hit the record button and then give it to one other person to watch. Use this when you might otherwise send a text message.
Once you’ve become comfortable with being on camera and having others watch something you recorded, the next natural step is live social video. At first glance this might seem crazy but actually I found it makes a lot of sense. In live video on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter people don’t expect high production values or any editing at all. Raw is expected. Once you get your head around this, going LIVE is actually a really smart move from a training perspective because you’ll get used to larger numbers of people seeing you on video.
One time social video.
Much like live video, nobody expects Instagram or Facebook Story videos to be polished. They’re only around for twenty four hours and then they’re deleted. Stories are a great way to ease into being seen on recorded video by more people.
Whenever I read this in other people’s content I always have a reflux reaction but accountability is a powerful thing. It’s the antidote to the brains inate resistance. Ask me to do something scary and I might do it. ‘Dare’ me to do it with you and the chances of action shoot up. Accountability can work a bit like that. For me Chris Duckers Youpreneur community and more recently his incubator program has become my accountability group and I’ve become an accountability convert.
I’m making video my top priority for 2020 because I have a very strong WHY, I know who it’s for, what impact I want to have and I’m clear about what it can do for my business. In addition I’ve spent a lot of time and effort understanding why I find it so difficult and developing a plan to help me overcome those challenges.
Being confident on video is not normal, despite what you might think when you watch Youtube. I’ve spoken to many people who, if you watch them today, look polished and successful, but it wasn’t always that way for them. They had to work for it and I expect I’ll have to work for it as well.
My investment in podcasting is starting to pay off in ways I never expected. It was really difficult at the start but became natural and normal very quickly. I know video will be the same and I’m happy to go through the pain of getting used to it. Truthfully, I think I’m pretty much through the real pain now and I’m starting to enjoy it. Like podcasting, video marketing, and Youtube in particular is a long term investment.
People are wildly different on the inside. My challenges and goals are not yours but if this resonates with you then high five for reading this far. Reach out and tell me more.
You have a clear marketing goal defined and a marketing strategy ready to go. Well done! However, if you want to make sure you reach your goal, you need to make sure that your team is all on the same page. If your team members’ individual priorities don’t align with your overall priorities or there are differences in opinion on how things should be done, this can cause conflict and derail your big plan.
Here are some best practices for keeping everyone in your team on the same page.
Articulate Your Goals
Make sure that every team member fully understands your goals. Articulate why the goal you’ve chosen is the first priority, as well as the reasons for the way you’ve prioritized your tasks. Seek questions and comments and ask your team members for feedback. They may have valid suggestions on how to do things differently.
Help Team Members Manage Individual Priorities
Meet with your team members one-on-one and help them manage their own individual priorities. They may have trouble doing this by themselves and may need your guidance as a mentor. If a team member is having problems, they may not feel comfortable approaching you about it. But if you have regular coaching sessions, you can make sure they’re on track.
Transparency and Visibility
Make everything completely visible to everyone. In addition to clearly stating goals and priorities at the outset, you should also have reference materials for team members to refer to. Goals, priorities, and progress should be posted in high visibility areas. Create a collaborative environment based around this shared information.
Use Software Tools
Use a team management software program like Asana, GetFlow, or Trello to help organize the project. Your team can communicate through the tool, as well as charting each member’s individual progress and the progress of the team as a whole in a way that’s easily visible to all.
Make every effort to create an environment of open communication where everyone feels comfortable expressing their opinions and asking questions. Create this environment virtually through online communication tools, in meetings, and in one-on-one sessions with individual team members.
Offer Continual Training and Coaching
If a team member feels that a task is not suitable for them or has problems, it may just be a matter of training. Through regular check-ins with your team members, try to find these weak areas and offer whatever training they might need.
Keep Priorities Flexible
Although you need a definitive plan with priorities in place, don’t be afraid to make changes if necessary. The conditions surrounding your progress may make this necessary. For example, you may find that you have a deficit in certain resources which makes a particular task difficult to complete at present. You can then bring another task up in your list of priorities and save this for later for when it’s more feasible.
Keep Long-Term Goals in Mind
Along with the one goal you’re working towards now, keep your long-term goals on the horizon as well. Clearly state to the other members of your organization your five or ten-year plan as well as the goal at hand.
Have you ever had a boss, manager, or co-worker say this about you? It sounds like a great compliment but it could be a sign that you’ve got a problem. We consider multitasking a virtue in the business world, but we are dead wrong. Multitasking isn’t a virtue; focusing on one thing at a time is. Here are the reasons why multitasking might be killing your productivity.
Our Brains Aren’t Designed to Multitask
You may feel like you’re productive when you’re multitasking, but you’re actually putting a great deal of strain on your brain. The human brain isn’t designed to switch between multiple tasks at once. Although it may seem seamless, you’re actually shifting gears slightly every time you move to another task. This gives your brain more to do, and this is the reason why multitasking burns you out.
Paying Attention Is Productive
We mistakenly think that multitasking is more productive. You’re doing more stuff at once, so you’re getting more done, right? But the truth is that narrowing your focus and zeroing in on one task at a time makes that task go faster and more smoothly. It will take more time to do multiple tasks at once than it would to do them in order.
Multitasking Multiplies Errors
You may not have noticed, but when you multitask, you make small errors you wouldn’t usually make. Go back over your work and check. Chances are you’ll find tiny mistakes which are the result of not giving the work the full attention it deserves. Focus on one task at a time and you’ll see higher quality work without the mistakes.
When you start off with your multiple tasks, you might feel that you’re highly productive and getting things done. But it’s likely that after a while, a feeling of stress and burnout will descend upon you, and you’ll find your nerves frazzled, snapping at your team members, and feeling like your computer could use a sound drop-kick. Multitasking causes stress, and this is why productivity experts and psychologists warn against it.
Prioritizing to the Rescue
There’s never any need to multitask when you know how to prioritize. Let’s say that you have five things to do. Why not do them all at once? Because instead, you can take each task and assign a level of priority to it. Now, you have five items on a list that goes from most important to least important. The truth is, you always have some tasks that are more important than others. If you prioritize, you’ll get the most important things done quickly and right.
Rub Your Tummy and Pat Your Head
Now, rub your stomach while patting your head and, if you really want to see why multitasking doesn’t work, whistle the melody of the last song you heard on the radio. You’ll find these three simple things exceedingly hard to do and this is a clear demonstration of why multitasking isn’t a good way to work.
Goal setting is important for any business, but your goals are likely to change as you grow from a small to a mid-sized or large business. If you learn good goal-setting habits early on in the life of your business, this will help you adapt as your organization starts to scale up.
Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
It’s always useful to have a variety of both short-term and long-term goals. Right now, you’re probably thinking mostly in the short-term. You want your business to grow. You need to grow your list or social media following; you have specific sales goals you need to reach; you want to launch your new product.
But what happens once you reach this short-term goal? You may find yourself adrift wondering what to tackle next. This is why it’s important to look to the long-term as well.
Think about where your organization will be in five or ten years. What does success look like years down the road? What will be different then versus now?
Although you should focus on just one short-term goal at a time, keep a list of long-term goals as well to clarify the direction you want your business to go.
When prioritizing goals right now, don’t be afraid to think small. In fact, it’s a good idea to set small, relatively easily attainable goals for the present. Don’t try to take on too much at once.
Small goals are great because: They’re attainable. Huge, lofty goals are likely to only frustrate and discourage a small business.
The attainment of each goal is a learning process. You can learn from your small successes and failures.
Manageable goals that you can reach keep motivation and morale high. Tackling small goals builds momentum that you can then put to bigger and better things.
You have many goals, both short-term and long-term, but you need to focus on just one at a time. How do you do this? The best way is to assess the impact.
Which of your goals will have the greatest impact on your business in the near future? This should be the one that you focus on first.
A few other things to consider are:
Chronology. You may have one particular goal that logically comes ahead of other goals. For example, you want to build your email list before you start boosting sales through it.
Resources. You may have resources at your disposal now that make a specific goal viable; for example, a new software program for social media marketing may motivate you to work on your goal of boosting your social media presence.
Lack of resources. Likewise, a lack of resources may make one particular goal ideal rather than another. You may need tech help for a particular goal but currently, you don’t know anyone who can provide it. You can set this goal on the back burner for now while you work on other things.
Always set goals and employ marketing strategies with your larger, long-term goals in mind. This will help to keep your business on track as you tackle various projects.
There are probably a thousand marketing strategies you could employ at any given time. They come in all shapes and sizes. All you need to do is pick one and get started. But before you do, it’s important to have a strong foundation underlying your marketing. This is the basis on which your ultimate success rests.
Your core values are the principles that underlie everything your organization believes, says, or does. It’s important to define these core values since they have such a huge effect on the direction your business will take. Without clearly defined core values, you’re just wandering around rudderless.
For example, you might choose “innovation” as a core value. This means that everything your business does should be somehow innovative. If your customers know you for this, you’ll know to avoid products, strategies, or methods that are outdated or appear ordinary.
An important part of a business’s foundation is an understanding of its natural strengths. Natural strengths are the things you’re good at without really trying. These are the qualities of your organization’s “personality.”
Your natural strength might be your effortlessly friendly customer service. Knowing that you talk to your customers just like old, close friends, you might choose an email marketing campaign as a marketing strategy, since it’s an intimate and friendly way to market to your audience.
Your organisation’s foundation should rest on clear and well-defined long-term goals. Long-term goals should show the direction you’ll take in the next five, ten, or even twenty years.
Long-term goals align with the core values and fundamentals of your business. But they also tell you where to go once you’ve reached a short-term goal. For example, you might grow your social media following to 1,000 people, but what then do you do with them? Look to your long-term goals to guide your next efforts.
Getting Everyone on the Same Page
The foundation of your organization gets its members on the same page. It provides a map of where your company is going. It also defines the culture of your company and makes it clear, so that everyone within it knows where they stand.
Before you get started on any marketing push, start by defining a few key business fundamentals:
What are your core values? Core values can be expressed as single words like “diversity,” “results-oriented,” “service,” or “flexibility.”
Identify your natural strengths. Try to think of the compliments you get from customers. What do they praise you for that comes naturally to you?
Identify a unique value proposition. This is a statement that explains what benefit you bring those who use your product or service, and what separates you from competitors.
Create a list of long-term goals that reach beyond the next year or next few years. Imagine where you want your organization to be at specific points in the future such as five years, ten years, and so on.
Once you’ve done this, write it up in a way that’s easy for those in your organization to understand and communicate it clearly to them.
If you’re the type of person who likes to be busy, you probably take on too many goals at one time. When you have too many goals, it has a habit of weighing you down, and this makes it harder to see any one of those goals through to the end. How do you handle this tendency? The best way is to narrow down your goals to just one and give it all of your focus and motivation. See it through before you start on the next.
Prioritise Your Goals
A common objection is:
“But my business has multiple goals. I can’t just focus on one.”
Focusing on one goal doesn’t mean giving up the rest. What it means is focusing on one for the time being, and putting the others on the backburner for now. “For now” could be just this week or the next few months. The important thing is that you’re focusing.
You can decide which goal is the most important through prioritizing. Take a look at everything you’re working on now. Which of these will have the most positive impact on your business when it’s completed? This is the one you should focus on. You should also keep in mind your resources. You may have an important goal but lack the resources right now to carry it out.
Working Towards Your Goal is a Learning Experience
When you focus fully on one goal, you can learn valuable lessons from it. This is especially important if you’re a small business or solo entrepreneur with little experience marketing your business. As you work towards your goal employing marketing strategies, you’ll learn along the way which work and which don’t, and how to carry them out effectively. You can use this knowledge for future goals.
For example, you may decide to write guest blog posts in order to drive traffic to your site and spread awareness. Once you get started, you realize that you could write an email template for sending inquiries. The template explains who you are, why you’re an expert, and how your content could enrich the person’s blog. This saves a great deal of time and you can send out more inquiries, which leads to more blog posts.
This is the sort of thing you may not have learned if you were bogged down with several goals or strategies at once.
One Goal & One Marketing Strategy
If you want to really focus and get results, try focusing not only on one goal but on one marketing strategy as well. As the guest blogging example above illustrates, choosing just one strategy allows you to learn, streamline, and hone your skills. You can then add this strategy to your arsenal of techniques that you’ve used before
People in the business world still sing the praises of multitasking, but any time management expert will tell you that, more often than not, it kills productivity and leads to burnout. Instead, the key to success is to narrow down and focus, and then move on to the next.
Digital marketing is great. It’s transforming businesses and levelling the playing field, allowing small businesses to reach people all over the world who need what we have. It’s often inexpensive and a lot of the routine things which need to be done are in themselves not overly technical and pretty easy to learn ( compared to accounting. ).
What often comes as a surprise for a lot of business owners is that the things which make the difference between breakout online success and a failure is often not the technical or external but, possibly predictably, the inner and emotional. Procrastination in particular.
Procrastination is a big problem for marketing and professional marketers. The online world is distracting and littered with rabbit holes funny youtube videos and tutorials for things we didn’t know, we didn’t know. It’s so easy to fool ourselves into thinking we’re spending our time online productively but the truth is most people generally don’t.
Business success online is a little like physics. There are rules and I’ll share a couple of them here.
Number one of those rules is : Take meaningful action.
Now when I say take meaningful action I can hear 90% of people shouting back that they take action all the time. I’m talking about real productive action. Not fake action.
Action is hard but fake action is frighteningly and alluringly easy.
These things are marketing fake action :
Making to do lists.
Setting up project plans.
Buying equipment or information.
Reading books or posts.
Looking for inspiration.
Waiting for ideas.
Looking for the right platform.
Setting up systems.
Playing with sticky notes.
Posting rubbish you know nobody reads on social media.
Number two rule for online success : ‘Create more – consume less’.
This is the mantra which you can use to help break the spell of fake action. Say these words a few times and all your actions will quickly pop into focus. If you feel stuck then repeating these words a few times will allow you to quickly see which of your actions are helpful and which are Fake Action.
Identifying fake action will only take you so far. Actually taking real action has it’s own challenges and when you start to examine them its easy to see why we snap back to fake action so easily. The reason people put off promoting their business or building their personal brand is fear.
Real action isn’t quite as easy to quantify as fake action. I can’t give you a list of examples as easily as I can with fake action and there’s a good reason for that. Everyone builds relationships differently and that’s really all marketing is. Building relationships at scale.
I’d like you to think of someone you know through their marketing. They might be a competitor, a peer or a colleague. They might be anyone you admire. You might think of them as an influencer or an industry figure. What stands out about them? I don’t know who you have in mind but I can guess they all – without exception – have one thing in common. You know about them.
How do you think that happened? Do you think it was an accident, fate or that they really are such a stand out practitioner that the world reshaped itself with them at it’s centre? I don’t think so. What they’ve done is either accidentally or intentionally created and amplified a strong personal brand and you can do this too.
I often get a lot of push back about now. People love the idea of digital marketing and the promise of lots of new business but they really don’t like the idea of being personally visible in their own marketing. Remember what I said about building relationships at scale? How are you going to build relationships at scale if you don’t let people meet you – at scale.
A lot of people I speak to complain of lack of tech, knowledge, experience or insight. Deep down they know that’s not what holds them back. It’s their own fear that people won’t like them.
Fear of rejection. It’s a big problem.
I’m going to share a stat with you. I read it in Russel Brunson’s marketing book called DotCom Secrets so it must be true. I only mention that so you don’t think I made it up.
One third of people – actively do not like you. One third of people – don’t even notice you. One third of people – they really like you.
If you put yourself out there online in any format you’ll find that those proportions hold true. Your content needs to focus on YOUR third. Your people, audience or tribe. Focus on the people who get you.
When you create content of any kind, be that text, live or recorded video or photographs think of two key things.
1 – Is someone meeting me through this content?
2 – Am I writing for my tribe or being influenced by fear of rejection by those not my tribe?
Personal branding author and coach Chris Ducker puts it like this:
“Market like a magnet. Attract the best and repel the rest.”
I know a lot of this doesn’t seem very practical and that’s because the truth is that mindset is probably the biggest barrier to online success. Something I heard goes a way to summing it up.
‘Everything you could ever want is in a room labeled – ‘very scary’.
So I challenge you to think about what really scares you. For a lot of people the simple idea of being seen taking selfie sends them into judgmental fits. You probably hate the sound of your voice on video ( most people do ), you probably think you’re either too old or too young to be taken seriously. Make a list and then burn it because it’s not helping you and it’s not real.
At a marketing conference recently I heard the same question answered two ways.
Question : Whats the next big thing in digital marketing?
Answer one : Courage. Answer two : The thing you actually do.
If you allow the two thirds of people we know aren’t with you to hold you back then you’ll never reach the third of your audience that really want to hear from you. People buy from people. Your people want to buy from you so make sure they hear from you!
As a final word I’d say that the biggest challenge faced by most business owners is isolation and the only antidote to isolation is community. I’d love you to join my digital marketing support community and let me help you take this further.