Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition
My clients don't want to write books. They say, “I don’t have time to write.”
Don't worry, your readers don't have time to read!
This book is a random access, jump in anywhere type of book. It's like a website between the covers of a hard copy book because people don't have time.
You can literally flip the book open anywhere. One of those 77 things, or two or three of them are exactly what you need in the moment to help you grow your business.
There are 13 sections in the book. You can take it sequentially if you want to. All the left brain people will probably start on page one and end on page 225 and they'll have a great experience, but most people, they're working on lead generation, they're working on sales, they're working on branding, they're working on referrals, they're working on any of these things. You simply flip open the table of contents, go boom, it's on page 49. Bingo. It's on page 83. Wow. It's on page 119 - and they're off and running with exactly what they need; just enough just in time.
I've heard from some very seasoned entrepreneurs and executives who have said, “Oh my gosh, you have written the handbook for financial services marketing.” - Even though it's not a financial services marketing book.
“You have written the handbook for selling IT services.” - The book is not about IT services.
So because they are very, very specific kinds of strategies, people can pick it up, whether they're a beginning marketer or entrepreneur, an intermediate executive marketing team, etc, or even very, very advanced. There's going to be something in there for everyone.
I'd say 90 percent of the strategies in the book, the cost to implement them is zero. So it's things where you can leverage your smarts, leverage your talent, or leverage your creativity and not necessarily spend a whole bunch of money on ads or spray and pray marketing, or try and batch and blast the universe. Because those strategies also tend not to work these days. So we really focus in on specificity.
One of the mantras throughout the book is offer value. Invite engagement. Thought leadership marketing.
You need to offer value. You need to prove your value to your prospects, to your future customers and clients before any money changes hands. That means that we have to focus not on pitching and peddling. We have to focus on helping and serving and there's such a huge distinction there that I would say the age of mass marketing is over. Everything needs to be laser focused, personalized, intentional relationship building and obviously big companies want to work with big companies.
How do you do that kind of relationship building and personalization at scale and to humanize our products and services?
There are ways to do that and I talk about them in the book. They can't market the same way to everybody because there's no such thing as a generic solution to a specific problem and all of our clients and all of our audiences always have specific problems.
A lot of my work is with smaller entrepreneurial companies. They will do things like blast their entire network on LinkedIn - doesn't work. They will go out and buy 10,000 postcards and they will blast out to some mailing lists that they bought, as opposed to organic outreach.
One on one phone calls, texts, emails, handwritten notes. I'm going to go old school right here. Hand written notes to people that you want to intentionally befriend so that they become your next client.
The shortcut is - there is no shortcut. It takes work, it takes time. It takes effort. It takes specificity and intentionality to really reach the buyers that you want to.
Think the overarching message
I talk about this in some detail in one part of the book. There's only two things that we need to communicate these days to get our prospect's attention:
1. I know what you're going through - Whatever that pain problem, heartache, hassle, challenge is, I know what you're going through
2. I can fix it.
So you need that specificity, that empathy, that relationship, that trusted advisor marketing status (which is another word for thought leadership marketing) ‘Trusted advisor’ is someone who holds their clients' interests above their own. We need to focus on helping and serving and not take the easy way.
A lot of times we leave the same voicemail or we send the same email to our prospects. I call that human spam. You’re sending it personally, but all you're doing is copy, paste, send, copy, paste, send, copy, paste, send, leave 12 voicemails. They're all identical. You're not customizing a thing. You're not personalizing, you’re not doing your homework.
These days there's all kinds of studies that show us that people are entering the buying cycle - and let's say there's 10 steps. They're entering the buying cycle at step six or seven. They've already done research on your website, they've already looked you up on social media, they've already seen your testimonials. They may even have called the people that you have on your testimonial blurb. So we're living in this 3D glass house right now. You can't fake it. You can't pretend that you’re awesome because you'll be found out in a heartbeat.
What are we doing in our marketing?
We’re adding value so that when folks enter that process at step seven, they're ready to buy. They're more optimistic than they are skeptical.
When I started my entrepreneurial business back in 2002, I made every mistake possible. In fact, I made the good ones twice because they were so much fun. Stumbled, fumbled, literally hit every brick wall. Every dead end. Did not know how to market my way out of a paper bag.
I went out as an entrepreneurial speaker, consultant, trainer, working with big Fortune 500 companies. Luckily I started to get a little bit of traction because even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut. Then other speakers and experts came to me and asked “David, what's your secret? How did you get big clients like Microsoft and IBM and Merrill Lynch and Bank of America?” My initial gut response was, “I don't know. I don't know.” I thought I got lucky, but that wasn't really true.
So I started looking at what I was doing, threw out the things that didn't work, double down on the things that did work. And then other people asked to pick my brain. I was asked to have breakfast, lunch and coffee meetings. I started teaching all of these things to other people for free just because they were good people. They were struggling. The same struggles that I had. One of the things of course that we often say is write the book that you want to read. I was giving the advice that I myself had to learn.
One of the best ways to learn something is to teach others. And that's what I started doing back in 2004/2005 when my business did start to turn over and did start to elevate and escalate.
And then around 2008 I had a pivotal experience. I was working with an insurance brokerage firm and there were 20 people in the room. It was a training gig, full fee, like $10,000. I was really happy about that. I walked into the room and they're all sitting there like “Go ahead, big guy, go ahead and teach me something.”
At the same time, I was having two or three different breakfasts and lunches with my entrepreneur friends, just letting loose on all these ideas, strategies, tactics, tools and scripts. I realized, wait a second, I'm having more fun with my entrepreneurial friends having breakfast, lunch and coffee than I am with this full fee client with the room full of people looking through me. That was literally the day that I turned down my corporate work, I just dialled that back.
Then I started to formalize and systematize my marketing for thought leading experts. For the past 10 years that’s been my focus.
I still do a lot of speaking, but then I also do a lot of mentoring and coaching for other thought leading experts. Both executives and entrepreneurs who are marketing their smarts and getting their ideas out into the marketplace.
The way to approach your marketing is understand where you're strong and understand where you're weak and then really figure out where do you need to tune the machine.
Look at the entire marketing and sales cycle from initial contact to sign the contract. Where are you stuck? Do you have a hard time getting initial attention from prospects?
No problem getting initial attention? That's great. Have a first meeting or a first phone call.
Then they go dark, right? So now your problem is disappearing. Prospect syndrome, where did they go? We had a great meeting. I had a great phone call. Gone.
Maybe it's negotiating. You always get beat up on price. They always think you’re a commodity. They see you as interchangeable with every other company that does what you do. You have a distinction or differentiation problem.
Maybe you just can't close the deal. You have a problem at the very end of that process where everything is going great and you lose out to a competitor, or everything is going great and they say “We don't have the budget for that” or everything is going great, and they're like “Ah, you know, let's revisit this next year”.
So you're stuck at the beginning, middle or the end. Where are you stuck? And that's where to focus out of those 13 sections in the book. Beginning, middle or end.
This book is about sales driven marketing. There's even a section in here called The Branding is BS. A lot of marketing books talk about branding or marketing for the sake of marketing. This is 77 specific strategies, tablets, tools, scripts, ideas, principles and practices that ring the cash register. So it is not marketing for the sake of marketing. It's marketing that drives sales, and we've left everything else out.