Marketing Secrets I Should Have Known, That Later Made Me My First £Million
Way Back In The Mists Of Time, Before I Understood Marketing, I Made a Lot of Mistakes. This is What I’d Tell My Younger Self Now.
A long time ago I was a total marketing newbie and made a lot of very expensive marketing mistakes. It’s true to say I was useless at marketing and my business suffered because of it.
Since then I’ve learnt a lot about marketing, have had a few Amazon Best Sellers on Marketing, get regular calls from the media to appear on national radio shows (and the occasional satellite TV channel) and get asked to speak on podcasts and at national conferences (next week I’m speaking at a Westmiinster Forum event in front of industry leaders plus members of the Lords and Commons).
So here are few of the most important things I’d tell my younger self if only I could have.
1. Most Marketing Doesn’t Work
This might come as a shock to you, especially when I use the Marketing Magician trademark and ought to tell you how great marketing is. But its true, most marketing doesn’t work.
But let’s analyse that statement. I didn’t say marketing doesn’t work. It does. It’s incredibly good and is something you should be doing every single day of the year.
But nevertheless, the statement is still true. But the reason it doesn’t work is that it is done so badly by most people. Most marketing is carried out with little expertise, costs too much, is time-consuming and has a poor ROI.
BUT… if you master The Art Of Marketing you can adopt my RATES strategy you can succeed at marketing.
Remember. Marketing isn’t difficult. People make it difficult.
2. Advertising And Marketing Aren’t The Same
When I mention marketing a lot of people think I mean advertising. In their minds, there’s no difference. But advertising is just one marketing tactic and, though it can be very effective, it can be very costly. Of course, cost alone isn’t an issue if you can spend a £ and get £5 back within days. But few people manage that.
There was a time, in the 1990s when I had a budget of £5.5million a year to spend on advertising. So I have a bit of experience of advertising and have carried out extensive testing and measuring of what works and what doesn’t.
Of course in those days there was no online advertising. PPC was something most people would hear and learn about years later. But the basic principles that applied then, still apply today.
Simple. All marketing, and especially advertising, is aimed at people. And. despite the internet, people haven’t changed much in millennia.
My first Amazon Best Seller was about my Advertising Secrets. The principles still apply today.
Before we leave advertising did you know there are just Three Types of Advertising? If you want to know more about them just Google that phrase or something very similar.
3. SEO Is One Of The Most Powerful Marketing Tools At Your Disposal
There’s no point in having a website if no one finds it. And being found is down to being indexed by the search engines such as Google and then appearing in the SERPS (Search Engine Result Pages). And it’s no good appearing on page 73, behind all your competitors. You really need to be one Page One of Google.
The great thing about SEO is that it is like most marketing, done badly by most people. So its relatively easy to be amongst the best. And because few people do it well, even some of the professionals are rubbish at it, you can do it without spending any money (but it will take some of your time and time is money of course).
Let me put my neck on the line with this one. If you haven’t already Googled Three Types of Advertising try it.
There’s a high probability that you’ll find a page a bit like the one in this image. It’s one of over 2.3million results that Google could show you.
The results we see in Google are partly defined by our location, our previous searches and a host of other criteria. But with SEO it’s possible to cut through the myriad of other results and get on Page One at least some of the time.
And if you can do that you can attract thousands of website visitors every month.
The page illustrated above averages 5000 visitors a month based on searches. After that, all I have to do is convert them into buyers or subscribers! That’s another marketing skill we all need to learn, but without traffic, there can be no conversions.
4. There Are Hundreds of Free Marketing Channels
I love Free Marketing.
Why wouldn’t I? What’s the point of paying for something that can be free?
Of course, there’s no point in free marketing if it doesn’t work. What we need is Effective Free Marketing. And there are so many to choose from.
Take email as a great example. Basic email is free. And a low cost autoresponder costs very little. Get traffic to your website or social media, get them to subscribe to your list and bingo. You are well on the way to using free (or low cost) marketing.
Amd when it comes to email there’s something very simple you can do as soon as you finish reading this. Contact your previous clients or customers. There are several things you can say to them, but the fact you have made contact makes you stand out.
One of my favourites is to say I was just thinking of them and wondered how they were doing (a good question right now if you weave the Covid word into the discussion).
Or email them and ask for some advice on something they know more about than you.
For example, I could write to my old friend Ian Brodie and ask him for advice on an email system issue. He’s written a great book on the topic and knows a thing or two about it. What it will do is let Ian know I’m thinking about him and value his advice. It’s a great way to keep in touch.
Or you could drop an email to a previous client and ask how whatever you helped them with is progressing. Often when I do this they say “it’s fine … and while you are in contact could you help me with x,y, or z?”
And what about the prospect you didn’t get. An email to them asking how their project is going is timely if they are having problems with the supplier they chose and need some alternative help. I’ve often picked up a contract this way months after being pipped at the post.
So that’s SEO and email that’s “free”, what else is there?
5. PR (Public Relations)
PR is one of the best marketing tools I have ever used. As I said at the beginning, I get asked on to national and local radio quite frequently. I also get featured in national newspapers and use a few other PR tactics that get make me visible to a lot of prospects and my existing clients (don’t ever underestimate continuing to impress the people you already work with).
Some of the people I advise really take to PR.
An example became apparent only this morning. Brad Roe asked for PR help just a few months ago. He’s a great chef that wanted a media profile.
He’s now writing a couple of regular columns and is getting known for this as well as the excellence of his cuisine.
6. The Illusion of Completeness
So often we engage in marketing and get all the steps right. but in the wrong order. It’s a bit like Pooh Bear “It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.”.
For example, we put our Call To Action button in the wrong place on the page. This is such a big topic I wrote about it a few days ago.
Don’t Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Must Do Today
The biggest probelem I see with marketing is putting it off until tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes.
So take action right now. Choose one of the above (or another marketing tactic) and write down what you can do to start implementing it.
For example, you might decide that, like Brad, you want to write a column. So basically you need to decide on your topic and make a list of possible titles for the first 2-3 topics. Now write a brief descriptor on what each will cover – 100-200 words is enough. Then decide which magazines, websites or whatever you want to pitch your ideas to and contact the editor (or do whatever they say on their website).
Not everything you do will be successful, but with care, many things will be. And remember, not doing anything at all is definitely going to fail to get you more business.
And if you need help you know where to find me.