When it comes to marketing today, building a successful business requires more than a clever advertising campaign, a fancy website or a perfected brand positioning statement – it requires the right mindset.
Do you run your business exclusively on your own terms, or is your business to serve your customers? Have you done the upfront work to earn your customers’ trust? Are you focused only on measurable output, or do you embrace the “human” work that needs to be done in your business?
Seth Godin, author of more than a dozen books over the last two decades, shares a few insights below on how the right marketing mindset can help make your small business a success:
1. Business Success Requires Equal Parts Art and Science
A business needs people who will execute on the promises it makes, but it also needs people who will put in the blue-sky, “this might not work” effort.
While people who do the work to execute are easier to find and their output is more measurable and reliable, the “artistic” work of a business is no less valuable. When these two pieces come together, you are better able to measure and improve the quality of the work your business does so you can make bigger promises and keep them.
2. Remarkable in Their Eyes, Not Yours
The idea of “being remarkable” is widely misunderstood. When it comes to your business, it’s not your idea of what’s remarkable that matters – it’s the market that gets to decide.
In order to be remarkable, you need to wake up every morning and ask “what can I do for this community?” or “what can I do for this customer?” before you worry about what you’ll be paid for.
3. Small Is the New Big in Business
During the 1970s, the goal was to be an industrialist – small businesses were told to act like big businesses in order to be successful.
Today, in the post-industrial era, that idea has been reversed. Every big business needs to act like a small business, and small businesses need to embrace the idea that the owner is only a click away from their customers.
4. Stop Collecting Ducks
Are you biased to “ship” in your business – to get your work out into the world? Or are you inhibited by the fear of creating and shipping something new that might not work out?
Many people spend their entire day “getting their ducks in a row.” However, all of those ducks won’t matter if you’re not actually ready to put them out in the world – you’ll just be collecting ducks.
5. If It Looks Like an Overnight Success, It’s Probably Not
When something appears to be an overnight success, such as a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, it probably wasn’t in reality.
You need to do the upfront work to build a community around your brand – what Seth refers to as a “tribe.” Successful Kickstarter campaigns are merely badges that demonstrate to the world whether you have figured out how to serve your tribe.
Want to hear more from Seth? He’ll be speaking at The Art of Marketing in Vancouver on March 19, 2014, and you can save $100 off of each pass you purchase through the previous link using promo code SBBC32.