“You can’t sell a product or service no one knows about (Levinson and Lautenslager, p. 2).” This is what I am confronted with every day in every conversation. We have great penguins and books, but how do we get people to find out about them? Marketing starts with your mindset. It requires energy, enthusiasm and passion. Every action, especially for an individually owned business, is a part of marketing. How people see you will transfer to how they view your business. In their book “Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days,” the question that Levinson and Lautenslager say every member of the organization should ask themselves is “How am I building awareness with my prospects and clients through our marketing?”
I typically ask myself, “How do I best move forward?” Sometimes, it’s by creating something new – a book or an article. Sometimes, it’s by posting or reposting something to social media, and sometimes, I can’t answer that question at all because I am wondering how do I best stay afloat. It’s a balancing act – we have to cover our current moment and figure out how to move forward for the future. I don’t recall the two ever coming together.
Our marketing needs to be tied to our mission statement: Joy. Friendship. Travel. Penguins! That’s the closest we’ve got to a mission statement. It’s more of a slogan, I guess.
The first step in marketing, like creativity and any other activity, is believing that you can. Your actions will make a difference. Once you have this locked in, you can keep doing the activities you need to do in order to market. Those activities like laundry, dishes, and breathing, never stop.
One way to learn more about marketing is to simply observe what is already around us. Look at the emails that are spam: Which do you open and why? Which do you delete without opening? What works? Why do you open one and not the other? Adapt the successful ones to your business.
Always think about the customer. It’s not what you offer or what the features are; it’s what the benefit is for the person getting the product. Our penguins are soft, but that’s a feature. The benefit of a soft penguin is that you have someone who feels good to hold. Our penguins can comfort you and relieve stress (benefits) because there are no hard parts that can hurt you (features). Always discuss benefits. How do our penguins or books help improve your life?
This information has been adapted from “Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days” from 2005. You can get an updated version through this affiliate link for “Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days” from 2014.