Sunday, July 28, 2013

1 Reason Why It’s Hard to Market for Yourself

(Courtesy of
This is a guest post I wrote for another blog, Michigan Marketer last December, but it is a message that I want to share with as many people as possible, because not only is it true, but it is REALLY important.

If you’re a business owner, do you agree that we SHOULD be marketing ourselves?
However, if you’re like MOST business owners, you probably don’t market yourself as often as you should–IF EVER!

Question: Why is it SO hard to make time to market ourselves?

I have ONE (1) answer. It’s because it’s a LOT easier to do the work in our business that DEFINITELY pays us. When we have a client that is paying us to do that work, it’s pretty easy to motivate ourselves to do THAT work.

However, any marketing work we do only MIGHT pay us. We never really know. We’re really busy handling work that DEFINITELY pays us, but it’s hard to make ourselves spend our precious time and energy on work that will not guarantee any return on investment. It might return NOTHING.

Marketing is something like a farm. Each seed we plant might not grow into anything. The weather might make poor growing conditions, and even the seed itself might not be very good. We don’t know which crops will do well.

However, the best farmers have a vision. They know that if they do ENOUGH of something and do it regularly, they WILL see a return on their investment, even if they don’t know exactly what will be the “best use” of their time in advance.

They know that they’re doing the work today, but they won’t have ANY chance of seeing money until sometime later in the season. At THAT time, things can harvest but not before then.

The best example here might be an apple orchard. When we plant the apple seed, we probably aren’t going to get ANYTHING from it for about 3-6 years, depending upon the tree. However, once ALL of those trees grow, then that farmer has an orchard that KEEP PRODUCING fruit to harvest, season after season, for about 25 to 35 years.

Now, THAT is what I call getting a good investment, but you don’t get that benefit any time near WHEN you did that work.

Marketing is much the same way. Some marketing methods (like posting classified ads, radio spots, newspaper ads, etc.) are like corn, gone after one season but pays closer to immediately. Other forms of marketing (like SEO, long term social media optimization, blogging, etc.) do not pay immediately but potentially provide rewards for a long time, long after we did that work originally.

So why is it so hard to take time and energy to market ourselves? We’re too focused on the short term goal, not the long term one. We’re chasing today’s dollar instead of planning for tomorrow’s asset.

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

McDonald's: Example Where Marketing Trumps Product Quality

Earlier this week, I was not hungry, but I kept passing McDonald's.  (Who doesn't?)

One of their new campaigns has been promoting the "New" Quarter Pounder (hamburger).  I keep passing billboards that show off pics of these "new" burgers, and I admit, they looked the same...but somehow looked different, too.

On this night, I decided to take the bait.  I drove into the McDonald's parking lot and ordered one of their "new" Quarter Pounders.  It has HORRIBLE!

Here is the REAL question to ask myself...WHY did I think it would be anything but horrible?

I mean...C'mon!  What adult really looks forward to eating a hamburger of any kind from any McDonald's restaurant?  (French fries are different...there are legions of people who might kill their own children to get some of those deep fried sugar coated crispy delights.)

Why was I surprised that their burger wasn't very good?  Better yet...why was I even tempted?

Of course, it was the marketing.  Their marketing INTRIGUED me.  I wanted to know how they went about changing a classic.  How much different would it taste?  Would this one actually be good...this time?

I realized the following formula works:

Magnificent Marketing + Mediocre Produce = McSuccess!

There really is plenty to learn from this, but I got one major reminder.  Marketing not only brings what you offer to the attention of people who might not have heard from you, anyway.  It also generates buzz and excitement from people who "think" they already know you.

Key Lesson: Market your products, service, and overall business with a good attitude, and it's amazing how many people will believe you...despite plenty of (potential) evidence otherwise.

Imagine how much more successful they would be if their product was as excellent as their marketing.

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