Mar 28, 2018–I’m often asked to help market events. The temptation as a consultant is to justify the label of “expert” by making what you do seem complicated. But I’ve learned the shortest path to results lies in simplifying the concepts and flattening the process. Random examples:

Want to get healthy and lose weight?
Eat less, exercise more.

Want to learn to play guitar?
Start playing guitar.

Want to be a writer?
Start writing.

Want to make a living?
Get a job.

Oh the audacity! But it works. It has always worked. It will always work.

With that, here are my Top Ten Tips for marketing your product, service, or organization:

  1. The best marketing is a quality product
    No one can sell what no one wants. Be sure your product is worthy in the first place.
  2. Create compelling content
    How do you do that? See #3.
  3. Tell your story
    Few are motivated by concepts or abstract ideas. They want to know about you; about what you are providing; and how your customers feel about your product.
  4. First emotions, then logic
    Hardest lesson I learned. You will never “convince” anyone to buy your product using logic. Every purchase is an emotional decision. The logic only comes into play after the process in order to justify the decision. So you still need to use both emotion and logic in marketing. Just use emotion first.
  5. Create density
    Make every word and image count. The sign of an amateur, whether in writing, drawing, or songwriting, is the waste of words and lines. Cut, clean up, use only what you need.
  6. Stop qualifying
    Similarly, stop using weak qualifiers such as some, very, almost, and so on. That style is OK for a dissertation or position paper, but not for convincing someone to buy what you are selling. If yours is the best, say it’s the best.
  7. Ask for action
    All marketing and advertising is wasted if you don’t ask for the action. This means making it simple and clear what action you are asking for, then removing all barriers to that action.
  8. Define what you are selling
    This may surprise you. But often businesses don’t know what we are selling.
    Southwest Airlines is not selling plane rides; they are selling family vacations.
    A window covering company is not selling awnings; it is selling shade.
    An attorney isn’t selling wills; he is selling peace of mind.
    An equipment company isn’t renting you an auger; it is selling holes.
    What are you really selling?
  9. Make the pitch as long as it needs to be, then stop.
    Forget word count, column inches, and being on every social media outlet. Say what you need to say, then stop saying it. Early in my career, a kind client told me, “Phil, you made the sale. You can stop selling now.”
  10. See #9