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The Challenge of Staying Visible

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It’s not easy staying the course. We want to send out the press releases and listen to the media tell us about their fantastic advertising packages because we know it’s going to open up a whole new audience.

After a while, the shine begins to fade from our work, and we may find ourselves lulled to sleep by success or frustrated by unmet expectations. With the latter we run the risk of giving up or shifting focus, and with the former we begin to rely on the steady flow of business that’s right in front of our face. And it’s this phenomenon that makes it difficult to stay relevant in the minds of our audience.

There’s a perfectly good explanation for this of course. After all, we’re busy reaping the rewards from our hard work. We no longer have time to nurture those aspects of our business that captured the attention of a small but significant few, and we don’t have the same desire to be a significant part of the conversation or to continually offer unexpected value.

These experiences will happen to each of us in some way, shape, or form. And when they do, remember some of the more important aspects of marketing our business.

  • There are no “overnight sensations”. The shortcut to success is an illusion that will make you do things you wish you hadn’t. Keep working on building long-term growth and pay attention to what your market is telling you. Sure there are tipping points that will launch you into success, but don’t bite on the quick fixes.
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  • Keep focused on your niche. Seth Godin says it best in his book The Dip when he states, “The mass maket is dying. There is no longer one best song or best kind of coffee. Now there are a million micromarkets, but each micromarket still has a best…And being the best in that world is the place to be…So while it’s more important than ever to be the best in the world, it’s also easier – if you pick the right thing and do it all the way.”
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  • Keep reminding yourself that “Markets Are Conversations”. The work you do participating in the important conversations and stepping out of the siloed world that is your day-to-day work is critical to earning attention and trust. These two elements, attention and trust, are perhaps the most critical and fundamental to long-term success.
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  • Instead of looking at spending money to earn loyalty, focus on ways to educate people about your area of expertise and continue to find ways to offer people some of your information for free.
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  • If you’re looking at advertising options make an effort to focus on niche media vs. mass media. Because of the continual rise of micro-markets, you’ll be better served if you use targeted media outlets.
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  • What is your audience saying they need, and how do they see you? Make the effort to hear from your “customers”. Your marketing efforts will be significantly more influential and persuasive if you’re directly meeting the needs of your audience versus asking them to shift their needs to fit into what you offer. Feedback from your audience can shift your business focus into a whole new world of growth.
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  • Marketing is everywhere. You are marketing and building a Brand whether you try to or not. We, as potential clients, form our impressions from the experiences you create at all levels. Pay attention to the details.
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  • Branding is the gut feeling you have about an organization or person. It’s the promise you make to your customers, and it grows out of the consistency of your actions over time. If your mission and values are crystal clear and you act on those values time and time again then people will begin to make an emotional connection to you and/or your organization. A good Brand is a powerful way to become a leader in your market.

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Discussion

  1. Joel Nielson  December 31, 2012

    David,

    Your fourth bullet – I agree. Content is not only the new currency online, but so much more than that. It’s a positioning tool, a trust earning tool, a social proof tool.

    Second to last bullet – I read in a few places “EVERYTHING SPEAKS”, and being mindful of that in our practices is critical so I appreciate you bring this up. What is speaking and what is being said?

    Sometimes it great! Sometimes it’s really hurtful to our business!

    Cheers,

    Joel Nielson
    joelnielson.com

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