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In marketing, don't sell your company as something it isn't.Marketers are like every other group, trying to use buzzwords to make themselves sound important and knowledgeable. Using words that other people don't understand must mean that you know what you're talking about, right? As Daddy used to say, "hogwash!"

Most of marketing is common sense. At its core it's about communicating what you have to offer in a way that makes other people want it and reinforces your value – whether that's in a product, a service, or your own personal expertise.

Everybody is a marketer, though, not just business marketers! A couple of real world examples of how everyday people market:

Anyone who's ever been on a date knows they should dress nicely, be charming and interesting, and be on their best behavior. That's marketing.

A child trying to convince his parent that he needs this toy or that game is marketing heavily. One thing kids learn how to create very early on is "urgency." Sometimes it's through persuasive talk, but if all else fails they can always pull out the crying card (a tactic not recommended in business).

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figuring out what you're good at and enjoy will lead to successHave you ever taken the time to stop and think about what you're really good at? And what your employees' real strengths are? But let's not stop there. How about what you like?

It may sound like an extravagance, but these considerations are musts if you want to successfully develop your target market and service or product niche. Most businesses don't take the time to think about them, though.

It's hard enough to fit in everything you have to do just to get through the day, much less try to fit in something extra (believe me, I know this first hand). If you force yourself to take the time to explore the questions, though, you can see remarkable changes in your success. Knowing your strengths and interests will help you develop a niche that's both profitable and fulfilling.

Consider the following benefits of developing a marketing focus:

  • You'll naturally become more expert in your field and more likely to become known as authoritative figure. You'll be the go-to choice.
  • You'll get more and better referrals. Birds of a feather flock together, and they ask each other for advice.
  • You'll be less likely to be distracted by the newest, shiniest thing around. Focus gives you purpose.
  • The more specific your focus, the less competition you'll face. Providing specific solutions to specific customers using specific methods allows you to become more and more unique. And harder to mimic in the process!
  • You won't gain the reputation as a jack of all trades, spreading yourself too thin by trying to be everything to everybody.

Remember, of course, your focus has to have enough potential customers to be sustainable. Selling bikinis in the Arctic isn't going to cut it.

I'm not saying things will always be easy and you'll never have to do anything you don't like, mind you. Many novice business owners think they can start a business doing something they love and life will be happily ever after as they skip through their work weeks. Au contraire, mon frère. Running a business is hard work even if you're in a business you love, but marketing focus will definitely help.

Sometimes we're too close to our own businesses to narrow down our focus - the old "can't see the forest for the trees" syndrome. If you find yourself in that position, drop us an email and we'll help you get to know yourself.


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co-marketing is similar to wolves hunting in packsSmall businesses can learn a lot from wolves.

They hunt together as a pack and the pack members are closely related by blood, affection and mutual aid - not just some random wolves that run across each other.

When businesses work together in coordinated marketing efforts, this is called co-marketing. It's a great way for companies to stretch their marketing dollars while expanding their reach. The efforts can be as formal as a co-branded campaign or product, or as informal as contributing to each other's blogs and social media to help build content.

Most businesses already have some type of tie with other businesses, whether in a B2B client/customer relationship, or through offering services or products that are complimentary.

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business marketing resolutions for 2014 new yearWith 2014 on the horizon, most business owners are thinking about New Year's resolutions. To help you along the way, I've come up with a list of 14 things (in no particular order) to think about in your 2014 marketing. This will kick off a series of blog posts where I explain the importance of each. See you in 2014!

  1. Consider co-marketing.
  2. Focus on what you do best.
  3. Follow industry blogs to keep up to date.
  4. Explore buyer personas.
  5. Update your FAQ's.
  6. Deliver a consistent message.
  7. Choose social channels that fit.
  8. Keep it simple.
  9. Use an email marketing system.
  10. Think about giving rather than getting.
  11. Start a blog, or actually use the one you have.
  12. Integrate your marketing efforts.
  13. Make sure you're mobile friendly.
  14. Examine your brand and position.


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