Ever heard someone say that? I think it’s a crock.
You shouldn’t be concerned with FINDING an edge. You should be concerned with KEEPING an edge.
Here’s a list of six essentials for maintaining your marketing edge in a meager economy:
1.Produce something people have a yearning for.Something that fulfills The Ultimate Dream Statement™: “I wish there was an (x), so I wouldn’t have to (y)!” So, it’s dream focused. Optimistic. Solution oriented. It’s what customers want in an ideal world. The answer to their problems. The Tylenol for their headache. The relief they so desperately need. The (X). And as a result of purchasing (X), people are saving time. Or money. Or energy. Or paper. Or manpower. Or opportunity cost. Whatever. The key is, by eliminating (Y), the customer moves away from pain and towards pleasure. What are you the answer to?
2.Teach people how to buy you. Here’s how: Show them a video of the purchasing process. Or explain what areas you’re willing to (and NOT to) negotiate. Perhaps you could offer multiple options for payment. Or give step-by-step instructions for how to hire you. The secret is to build predictability into the buying process so there are as few surprises as possible. What are you educating customers on?
3.Unlock new demand. All it takes is ONE customer from a completely unexpected market or industry to say, “Wow! Every other (x) out there needs one of these too!” At which point you say, “Yes. Yes they do.” So, you start to niche, position and target your marketing efforts in their direction. Just make sure they see THEIR name on it. That way you become an essential part of that industry’s library.To whom are you a rockstar?
4.What if you had to pay to dispose of anything your customers threw away? I bet you’d think twice about giving everyone you meet a copy of your valueless, outdated, four-color brochure. It bet you’d reconsider giving away those annoying blinking key chains, hideous mouse pads or god-awful logo t-shirts at your tradeshow booth. Think of all the money, trees and oil you’d save. What are you wasting?
5.You are entitled to ignore customers. I’m not saying you should. Especially when the economy is I the toilet. Still, entrepreneurship is about knowing who you’re NOT. Because the customer isn’t the only one who has a choice. So, consider ignoring potential new business based on the following questions:
a.Will this lead to long-term business potential? b.Will this allow you to command higher fees than before? c.Will this allow you to learn new skills? d.Will this enable you to leverage more than in the past? e.Will this expose you an important future opportunity? f.Will this lead to future work with the same organization? g.Will this lead you into a whole new industry? h.Is this an opportunity, or an opportunity to be used?
Remember: You don’t have to reply to every email or phone call that comes in. Learn to be discerning. Are you The Selector or The Selected?
6.You won’t learn everything you need to learn in time. Ignorance is highly underrated. Don’t be stopped by not knowing how. Figure out the bare minimum you need to know to do something awesome right now. Then, confidently plunge into the vortex of uncertainty. And trust that as you grow, secure small successes and make major mistakes, you’ll fill the knowledge gaps as needed. How dumb are you willing to be?
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What will you do to maintain your marketing edge?
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Scott Ginsberg, aka "The Nametag Guy," is the author of eight books, an award-winning blogger and the creator of NametagTV.com. He's the only person in the world who wears a nametag 24-7 and teaches businesspeople worldwide about approachability. For more info about his books, speaking engagements, and more, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.