The only good marketing is the marketing you do. I was talking to a friend of mine who owns a consulting business the other day about how much she hates email marketing.
Now, I LOVE email marketing. It’s one of my favourite parts of the week, because it’s my chance to talk to the fans that love me most; the ones who have found their way onto my email list, and then don’t unsubscribe from it.
It still thrills me to think that tens of thousands of people get my emails every week. So, I had to ask why she hated it.
“It feels so salesy.”
“I hate having to make things relevant and try to sell something every week.”
“I feel a lot of pressure for it to be useful.”
“Doing it feels icky and exhausting.”
These are all things that I’ve heard before. I have worked with hundreds of business owners in my career and they all have problems with marketing.
That problem? They hate doing it.
They hate the idea that everything must be optimised, driven by efficiency, and focused on generating sales. So, either they don’t do it, or they fight through their hatred and it ends up feeling forced. Because it was forced.
Which is why I just…don’t do any of that.
I look at my numbers, yes, and I try to employ best practices when I can, but I know a secret that nobody else will tell you.
They only good marketing is the marketing you do.
Finding out how marketing works for you, and how you can love it, is way more important than doing it at peak efficiency every time. I don’t know anybody that thinks SEO is anything but a great way to destroy good writing. Sure, it might help drive more traffic to your site, but at what cost?
I’m not saying your shouldn’t try to add SEO to your articles. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t write your emails with an eye for sales. What I am saying is that if you hate every moment of marketing, it’s going to come through to your customers, and it’s going to come through in the effort you put forth in it.
So what can we do instead?
Optimise for happiness
Instead of optimising for sales, or split testing every headline to make sure it’s the best converting thing on planet Earth, instead focus on having fun with your marketing. Write an email about an entertaining trip you took back when we could take a trip, or a great meal you made from scratch. Talk about your dog. Talk about what lights you up. Ask questions. Find out about your audience and get to know them better.
Take that weekly email to do something you want to do and talk about something you enjoy. Then, you can look at which emails get the best engagement and mould to those, but now you’re talking about something that lights you up.
It might only be optimised at 80%, or less, but doing something you like at 80% efficiency is better than doing it 0% or dreading every moment of it. If you can be 100% happy at 60% efficiency that means your joy is going to carry through to the people you meet and will lead to more sales overall.
If we wanted to dread ever moment of our business, we could go get jobs, right?
Understand best practices, then throw them out.
I talk about doing your own thing, but I always think you should know what the best practices are from the best marketers out there, if for no other reason that you know what makes you queasy.
But more importantly, you can take those best practices and mould them into your own business in a way that makes sense to you. For instance, a long time ago I learned that you should send a LOT of emails when an offer closes, and when I tried it, I realised that it worked to convert a lot of extra business.
However, I don’t like sending 20 emails in 10 days, so I always take a long time afterwards to dote on my audience. After our last launch I hosted two free virtual conferences, all because I wanted to make sure they knew it wasn’t all about selling to them. This is how I’ve been able to incorporate those sell hard marketing strategies into something that worked for me.
Find the metrics that work for you
There is only one metric that drives my business. Yes, I look at open rates for my emails and cost per click for my ads, and all the other KPIs are considered, but long ago I learned the key metric for my business was the number of quality conversations I had in any given week.
The more quality conversations I could foster, the more my business grew, and that was a metric I could easily optimise. All it meant was reaching out to colleagues to plan cool promotions, chatting with fans about what they want to see next, finding new cool people to interview and bring into my network, and basically talk to cool people all week. I’m not saying that’s the metric that will work for you, but I have never heard some big marketing firm talk about quality conversations as a key metric, but it’s something that drives me forward, and makes my marketing work.
The biggest thing you can do when it comes to marketing is to understand that the only good marketing is the marketing you will happily do.