Marketing has shifted its focus to new media (social media, blogs, online forums etc.), the entire world is on the internet, there is no such thing as a 9-5 anymore for a lot of marketers, and sleep is the cousin of death. In order to be a successful marketer, you have to realize that the second you shift your focus, is the same second your competitors gain an edge on you. Can’t stop, won’t stop!
2. Develop a reading list
The amount of content you can learn from the internet is endless. In the days of “headline tweets,” newsletter sign-ups out the wazoo, and a blogoshpere bigger than the one we live in, it’s hard to find time to read it all. Every sticky headline isn’t worth your time, so how can you sift through all the madness to get to the goodness? Stick to trusted resources, use your network, and your sixth sense. Here is part of my current reading list that I recommend to everyone:
- Copyblogger – absolutely in love. These guys have put millions into research and execution on content marketing and delivery. They are full of articles from making sticky headlines and copy writing, to landing page strategy and email marketing.
- Chris Brogan – learn from the master. His emails are super personal, high quality, and he is the king of quick responses if you send him an email (yes, he replies to each one). He even warns you when he sends you an email containing any form of “selly sell” copy – how cool is that?
- QuickSprout – Neil Patel (founder of KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg) is an absolute genius, so of course his blog is out of this world. Some of the topics covered are marketing, blogging, social media, SEO, and more. Oh, and pay attention to the placement, appearance, and call to action on all his forms. As the founder of KISSmetrics, you know they’re optimized to the max!
3. Care about the customer
It’s honestly that simple. Just be genuine, authentic, and empathetic.As the great poet Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you do, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” But you know what? If you’ve made someone feel positive and important, but they ever manage to forget what you do, they will search high and low to track you down again. As Dennis Yu told me recently, “I’ve discovered that marketing is simply showing people you care about them and their needs. How remarkable is that?” Tweetable
4. Give a crap about design
While the best marketers out there may not necessarily know HTML5 or CSS3, they understand that having a clean, aesthetic design is not only important to brand/company image, but also conversion rates and user experience. Using more images rather than more text (sorry SEOs), streamlining the on-boarding/purchasing process, and NOT using Comic Sans can all lead to a better presence online. And remember, web design is always changing, and so are our tastes as consumers. Never stop A/B testing your opt-in forms and landing pages to be as effective as possible.
5. Nature vs nurture
If you’re a marketer, selling is often in your nature. But be careful – don’t push the sale, nurture it. What if I told you that intentionally not being sales-ish would drive you more business? When solving problems and publicly sharing your expertise become a core focus of your brand, people will come to you. Now, you’re spending no money at all on lead acquisition and your cost of acquired customer (CAC) is virtually nothing. Keep providing answers to questions your target market is asking, and they will keep coming.
Please don’t confuse this with me saying, “post a link to your blog in every group you are a part of.” Everyone wants to be a producer of content not a consumer. Be the consumer and watch what happens. You’ve probably heard about the huge opportunity with LinkedIn Groups, Google Communities and Quora. Without wasting money on some spammy “$97 to Learn Everything About Anything” course, I’ll let you in on a little secret for how to use these groups to your advantage… In my experience of joining, leaving and blasting blog posts through these groups, I learned one primary lesson – no one listens to random people who post links in groups! And they shouldn’t either.
Separate yourself by making it your mission to be the one who actually provides constructive feedback to those posts, and you will become a thought leader in that particular group/niche. Eventually, people will be looking for you to get the questions answered. Skim articles (time is money, right?) and voice your opinion.
At the end of the day, never forget to take care of yourself – the big cheese, numero uno. Did you know dehydration is a leading cause of depression? So, make sure to stay hydrated. Find something that keeps you happy. The marketing space is fun, fresh and always evolving – you should be too. Go outside and play; get some fresh air. Not only will your waistline appreciate a break from the computer chair, your mind will too. If you devote your thoughts 100% to marketing, you will go utterly insane. So take a break, get a cup of coffee or tea, and come back with a new perspective (I’m currently drinking some Passion Fruit & Papaya Black Tea, and it is amazing)!
What do you think – will these habits help you be a better marketer? Are there any that you currently do or want to start doing? Let me know in the comments below, or tweet at me!
David A. George is the Chief Content Creator at Heyo. He’s passionate about marketing, Android, being at the beach, and breathing underwater. He’d love to connect with you on Twitter or Google+. Or email Him at dgeorge(at)heyo.com
About the Author
You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.
You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.