Marketing Is A Mindset

I define marketing as communication. It’s at the core of all our interactions with ourselves and others.

So when I came across the phrase – marketing is a mindset – I knew it struck the mark. Mindset affects how we communicate.

You've got to know the mindset of your market. How are various communities of people different?

You’ve got to know the mindset of your market. How are various communities of people different?

Marketing is full of opportunity to please, delight, and create. It’s also possible to muck it up, corrupt, and send it all down the toilet.

Think of a few things when you’re developing your marketing plan such as:

  1. When people see you coming do they think “Here’s comes help!” or “Here’s comes trouble”?
  2. Be the fountain, not the drain. Leaders are fountains.
  3. From A to B – when and how do we get there? (note the “we”)
  4. Improve one thing per week. Make it doable.

With a hat tip to the venerable and sharp Jim Sullivan, I wanted to share these ideas today.

Consider them in your marketing plans, strategy and tactics. Make sure you can answer them and relate them to your vision. Your vision is a brief statement, making visible what you want to do. That’s critically attached with marketing.

If you can see – if you can visualize – what you want to accomplish, you’re much more likely to achieve it. If you can’t see it, how can you make it happen? Do it right or grab the life vest.

Who Is Your Ideal Client?

That’s easy for me: The ones who energize me.

This revelation crystalized for me upon meeting with a new marketing coaching client about a month ago. And it’s a helpful revelation. Here’s why.

Working with sharp & fun people like Will energize in return.

Working with sharp & fun people like Will energize in return.

In consultant & coaching circles, it’s common for the coach or consultant to ask their customer: who’s your ideal client? The question is posed to get the customer thinking about the attributes of that person or handful of people who really satisfy.

What are they like? What characteristics do they emulate? What qualities do you admire about them? Why do you like being with them?

Leaving a client appointment, whether series, ongoing or one time meeting – parting feeling energized is now the gold standard for me. It lifts spirits which in turn lifts efficacy and enthusiasm to move.

Will Volpert, Indigo Creek Outfitters & Beer 30 Tours, is one of those people. And he feels the same way:

“I chose to work with Ginger on a project to take an existing tour that had gone stale and to revamp  it into an exciting, fun, and refreshing new business. Ginger’s insight, expertise, and ‘outside-the-box’ creativity resulted in a powerful brand image that we have fully embraced. She was excellent to work with and provided great value.”

Once in a while, as my own business and solely responsible for my success, I find meaningful value in knowing the best fits – the Ideal Clients – feel the same way.

Find those people in your clientele and work world who you are always eager to be with, can’t wait to see next time, and who get you juiced.

Who’s In Your Millionaire Mirror?

According to Gene Bedell, it should be you.

I recently read his book in an afternoon (yes, I’m a fast reader) and found some serious gems inside. I’ve learned that in reading books related to business, it’s best to find the pieces and bits that relate and resonate for the reader. It’s an especially prescient idea for me right now as I write my first book: what will the reader find of value in these pages?

Mr. Bedell’s 3 rules of why you do anything are the primary take away for me.

How to find your outstanding success zone:

  1. Do what you love to do.
  2. Do these things really, really well.
  3. Get paid well for your work.

I agree heartily with them all.

Be the millionaire in your mirror.

Be the millionaire in your mirror.

And these are enhanced with the thinking he shares which is to make sure that whatever you choose to do gets you moving towards these three goals. The work and activities must be meaningful towards and with these three things in mind. Everything.

  • If it’s not what you love to do, do what you love to do elsewhere – whether being employed by someone else or by switching your directions within your own company.
  • If you’re not doing what you love really, really well, change the situation so you can. Again, whether for someone else or within your own company. Direction is your choice.
  • And if you’re not being paid well for this work, make a change. Change clients, knock on new doors, and charge what you’re work and self and time are worth.

As the book goes on, he touches on some classic business principles as well:

  1. Treat whatever work you do like it’s your own business. It is in a sense, technical ownership or not. You own your position if you’re in it – act like it, run with it, make it outstanding.
  2. Be hungry for and pursue all the helpful knowledge you can find, get, take, and be given. This is part of being really, really good at what you do. Set your trajectory for expertise and excellence, settle for no less.
  3. “…taking ownership provides a personal North Star for your behavior that simplifies decision-making.” Exactly.

Finally, I’d highlight this question in the quest for progress:

“What is it I can do in my job that my boss and other higher levels of management would consider to be absolutely outstanding performance?”

You have to be extremely self-motivated and inspired to start and run your own successful companies. It’s hard work and these guiding principles can help everyone succeed.

I gain nothing tangible in sharing Mr. Bedell’s book with you. I want to simply provide another resource I have found to be very meaningful and helpful to me with you. Do with it what you will, as you likely do with all my posts, articles and writings.

To me, money is a tool. It allows us to live the life we want, give how and where and how much we want, and can make us self-sufficient. Aiming to be a millionaire following Gene’s advice, I think, is very doable.

As a marketing expert, speaker, coach and consultant, it is in the providing people with resources outside myself which keeps us all growing and moving. Let me know what you’re reading and finding of value too. My bedside table likes a good stack of books.

Language of Giraffes, AKA NVC

One topic on my list for professional and personal development is listening.

Listening is a vital skill for successful business, personally & professionally.

I’m in search of education for myself to improve that skill: Julian Treasure has been one resource for me. And to keep learning, I recently attended a public presentation on Non Violent Communication (NVC). It’d been something I’d heard about for a long time and never had any specific education about. So I went to the talk.

And was I ever glad I did!

Joanne Lescher is a long time pro in NVC and, for full disclosure, a friend. It was partially the reason I went to the talk – to support a friend – and partially to learn about it, since the concept certainly makes a huge amount of sense to me. I wanted to know specifics though.

While I stayed for one hour of a two hour talk, the hour I was present was packed full, so perhaps a good starting immersion into NVC. I know that, from that short amount of time listening to Joanne, hearing what she was telling us, and realizing the incredible value of NVC, I want to learn more and build on that hours worth.

Joanne Lescher

Joanne Lescher

The takeaway for me to use included two primary concepts:

  1. Listen to understand, not to reply.
  2. There are four main steps or stages in NVC: Observation, Feelings, Needs, and Requests.

Of course Joanne expounded on these core parts of NVC and I’d invite you to read more for yourself.

One question I asked during the talk was, “where does apology fit with NVC?”. Her answer: It doesn’t. It was incredibly refreshing to hear that – here’s why.

Like Joanne stated at the talk, apologies are usually empty and meaningless – simply something mostly said to placate or pacify, both the parties in conversation likely. More importantly, using the 4 stages listed above to communicate will cover all the ground you need, rendering apologies unnecessary and will make the conversation way more positively productive.

The language of giraffes is a connection they make in NVC because Giraffe’s have the largest heart of all land animals. The core of NVC is to listen with your heart, not your head.

I left Joanne’s talk invigorated and already thinking about how to practice this idea, improve my listening and communicating skills and keep learning more about NVC. Wow.

Improve your listening and you’ll improve your communications. Your business endeavors will benefit. So will personal relationships. We all come out ahead. Wiser, better, stronger.

Marketing Evolution

“One group’s needs determine a basic shape, and then another group comes along and asks to alter the contours.” – NYT Sunday Magazine

Keeping up with the changes in our world in real time is mind boggling at a minimum.

What should I pay attention to? What can I ignore? What might be The Next Big Thing for me? What’s best for my business? How on earth do I even keep breathing with so much change, happening so fast?

If you’ve ever asked yourself a few of the questions above or even similar ones, you’re in good company.

It’s a fools errand to think you can and should add everything that comes along. What it takes is a cool head and thoughtfulness, consideration and conversation to decide.

Evolve & move upwards, not backwards.

Evolve & move upwards, not backwards.

Marketing is like Retail items on the shelves: There’s only so much bandwidth (shelf space), time and energy – how do you choose what to use and what to forgo? Follow these steps in your consideration for your marketing strategy.

  1. Does the method fit my brand? Does it fit my mission, vision, audience, and goals? If you’re an of-the-moment-trending business, how does the latest whatever fit your plan? If it does, consider it – compare it with what you already have, and see if you have time and talent to implement. If it doesn’t jive, give it some time then circle back to reconsider.
  2. If it fits, how does it fit and what is there room for? If you bring it in or on-board it, what can be tossed out to make room for it? Or do you hire someone to manage the new tools or feature? Don’t make yourself a slave to the Should’s and Have To’s unless it fits you. If it doesn’t fit right now, resurrect it in the future and put it to the test again. Throw it out when it doesn’t fit.
  3. Who else is using it? Early adopters have some remarkable advantages and they are also the biggest risk takers. Risk is not chance. Risk = calculated so take time to think things through. Chance = blindly leaping over the cliff with no net plan. That’s never a good idea or a strategy. You can embrace risk with enthusiasm because you’ve though it through.

These are tips to get you started. Start with these thoughts and then use common sense & desire. Reach out to others you know who would have helpful insight and opinions who know you and what you’re doing. Said another way, ask people who have a meaningful opinions to give you – not your friends or family.

Clearly it takes serious thought, conversation, and research to figure out what’s best for you and your business. Do your diligence to make sure you’re giving yourself the best opportunity to build and improve your marketing.

Evolution can be supportive of your success. Help yourself out. Be open and smart about it.

Marketing Martini

The classic Gin Martini is parts gin (vodka for some), vermouth and some sort of flavorful accent like olives or lemon.

So what would a Marketing Martini recipe look like?

I’d propose a few ingredients.

  1. Education. Just like a martini would get nowhere without either gin or vodka, foundational understanding and knowledge is where it all starts. Know the difference between Marketing, Advertising, Sales, and PR. They are all definitely different and serve different purposes and functions.
  2. Open mind. Everything is possible ONLY with an open mind. Those with an open mind, creativity, tenacity and diplomacy and willingness to try will succeed. Closed minds have already shut the door – avoid those people.
  3. Creativity. It’s equally fundamental and a little can go a very long way when applied properly.

P1050448Making your marketing work starts with the comprehension of its essence and import to your business and endeavors to begin with. It’s never secondary or ancillary – and if you put it in that frame, you’re killing your success before you even start.

Shaken or stirred, gin or vodka or any other spirit + a dash of accent – the same recipe applies for marketing as it does for a delicious martini.

Get your recipe book out, start reading and researching, acquire the ingredients and get mixing. You may make one or two you’re not real keen on. So what. Shaking and making is still better than simply pouring out the same old crap (expectations) and getting the same old stuff.

Shake it up and make it happen.

p.s. maybe our friends at Boston Harbor can give you more ideas to stir up….