In Chris Brogan’s newsletter this week, which I strongly encourage you to sign up for here, Chris talked about how earlier this year he started to presume everything he “knew” can’t be trusted before making a strategic or tactical decision for his business. For those that don’t know Chris, he’s the CEO of Owner Media Group, a sought after public speaker, and the New York Times bestselling author of eight books and counting. You can follow him on Twitter or read his blog.
As a result of questioning everything he knew, Chris had these three takeaways to share:
- Your newsletter and your ability to connect with people who have opted into the opportunity of learning from you is your TOP priority for online business development. Put the most value there. Give the most potential to earn the right to sell and serve there. Make everything else you do serve that purpose.
- All those various social networks and media creating tools are wonderful IF you point them towards something that serves your business.
- Don’t worry about all the “New” things showing up. Find the actual problems your business faces and test things that might improve that problem. And when you test, have a metric. Always. Know some kind of needle you intend to move.
When I saw this list, I reached out to Chris to see if I could share them as part of this week’s post since they hit so close to home and I think they are instrumental to anyone doing B2B marketing and likely most other types too. Here’s why…
While you may or may not have a newsletter, your ability to connect to your audience and help them solve problems is critical to the success of every business. I agree with Chris that this needs to be your TOP priority yet many still want to talk about their product and how great it is. That’s not what people care about. They want to know how you can help them. And BTW, if you don’t have a newsletter or are building a database you need to do that now! And, continue to nurture these prospects as they are the most likely to buy in the future.
I’ve talked about Chris’s second takeaway many times before but I’m still surprised by how many companies decide they need to be on Twitter or Facebook or whatever and if they aren’t, then they are doing something wrong. That’s not how it should work. You need to figure out which, if any, of these platforms can help your business and then how to use them successfully. The “if” is so often just assumed. And, it only gets worse when you start to add more and more of them as each takes a certain level of commitment and while the cost may be low in terms of money, it’s not in terms of time.
This is so true for two fundamental reasons. The first is the fascination everyone has with trying something new. That’s great but you can’t and shouldn’t do it just because it’s new for the reasons I outlined in Takeaway 2. Instead you need to identify the areas you need to improve in your business, figure out what you want to change and then measure different techniques to find the best way to improve things. It may or may not be the new thing. Try new and old tactics, test and measure.
But more important than Chris’ three takeaways or my take on them, what if you took a step back and rethought what you are doing and whether it’s the right strategy for your business and marketing efforts. What if you questioned everything you “knew” before starting a new initiative or developing a new campaign? What would you do differently?
It’s really got me thinking… Very few do this in my experience. Let me know if you try.