My parents raised 8 “fairly” well balanced productive children on a very simple philosophy. Dad used to say, “The only thing that matters is the E’s and the R’s.”
I will tell you what the E’s and the R’s represent at the end of this Article. In the mean time, see if you can guess what it might be as you read through the following principles.
If you have been with me any length of time, either by email, in my seminars or on telephone coaching calls, or in this column you know that I preach the simplicity of marketing and I believe this with all of my internal fiber.
The challenge with most business owners is they believe that effective marketing plans cost way too much money and yield too few results. Oh, to the contrary.
Let’s keep it simple in this column. Here are three very basic principles for staying ahead of the marketing game. Regardless of the specific strategy you employ, these principles must apply for you to have any measure of marketing effectiveness.
1. Chunk down your strategic plan. While you must have a long term vision for your marketing plan, you must break it down to bite size chunks. First, see your plan as an annual project, then chunk it down to how you will implement it on a monthly basis. Looking at a big project in twelve little nuggets will help you keep focused and on-task with your big marketing picture. Create and do at least one specific strategy every 30 days.
Here is a resource that you should get to fully understand what I mean. “Growing Your Business” by Mark Leblanc is a book that I have read and studied at least four times. I have notes in the margins of almost every page of my copy. The book is only 77 pages long and takes about forty five minutes to read and it is about $8. But I think this guy should sell it for $800. It is worth it.
2. Change your identity. No matter what business you think you are in, I will bet you a Starbucks Vente’ Caramel Macchiato that you aren’t really in that business. You are not a contractor, a supplier, a vendor, a CPA, a plumber or anything close. You are in the marketing business. That person that looks back at you in the morning in the mirror should say, “How is the world’s greatest marketer today?”
The moment you assume the identity that you are in the marketing and promotional business, your contracting business will explode through the roof. This requires a change of personal identity. Here is my 10-day challenge to you. For the next 10 days, every time someone ask you what you do, say…”I am in the marketing and promotion business.” Say it with total conviction and assertiveness. You will experience a change in your mentality that will transform your business.
(By the way, if you decide to accept my challenge and actually do it, you will be able to treat yourself to your own Vente’ Caramel Macchiato. Really!)
3. Consistency is the key. A regular strategic plan must be done on a regular basis. Your prospective clients must be continually exposed to your marketing efforts. They may not buy today or tomorrow, but when they are ready to buy, your name will pop into their brain immediately.
If you consistently sow the seeds of your advertising, you will reap rich rewards. It takes commitment and regularity. It also takes dedication and persistence.
Walt Disney said, “Get a good idea and stick to it. Dog it until it is right.”
And with Walt’s words, I will return to the E’s and the R’s. Dad still says the only thing that matters is not giving Excuses, just produce Results.