Learning Hub | Mindful Marketing
The Real Value in Hiring Someone Else to Do Your Marketing
March 16, 2018 | Jon Teodoro
Over the last twelve months, I lost a good fifteen or so pounds. I invested three to four days in the gym each week, tracking every calorie and pound in MyFitnessPal for almost an entire year straight.
But even after a year—and being in the best shape of my entire life—I still wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to be even leaner. I wanted to put up higher numbers on my deadlifts and squats. And even though my strength level was technically considered “elite” by eRx.net’s standards, I wanted more.
Having worked with hundreds of business owners over the past year, I see this same pattern of behavior when it comes to handling their own branding and marketing. Even though their industry savviness is off the charts, they can’t seem to find satisfaction when it comes to creating their own website, logo, or messaging.
While one could attribute this to self-esteem issues, I have a more concrete explanation for it: Marketing is all about thinking from your target customers’ perspective, and you are the complete opposite of your target customer.
It’s Easy to Think That It’s All About You
If you own a heating and cooling company, and your own air conditioner breaks, you either fix it yourself or get one of your employees to do it. You don’t have to endure what everyone else goes through: searching online, reading through reviews, and calling for quotes.
I mean, why read the reviews, anyway? Your heating and cooling company is the best, right? That’s why you’ve been in business for so many years and were able to build the company from the ground up … isn’t it?
This biased perspective prevents business owners from not only putting themselves in their customers’ shoes but also objectively judging their business. No business owner that I know is going to willingly admit that their competition is better than they are.
That’s why there’s significant value in having an advisor or mentor to give you unbiased advice about your branding and marketing—someone to tell you the truth and not “sugarcoat” things. This will push you to start thinking less about yourself and more about your customer.
What You Really Need to Do Is Make It All about Them
One of the most common mistakes I see businesses do, when it comes to their own branding, is talking about themselves too much.
A common exercise I run with our clients, here at Verde Media, is the 10-5-3 challenge, which I adopted from my colleague Jason Willis.
The exercise goes something like this: I’ll ask them to explain what their business is about in ten words. Then, I’ll ask them to narrow it down to five. Finally, I’ll try to get them to explain their business in only three words.
People usually start off saying something like, “I’ve been in the commercial cleaning business for twenty years.” Most of them start the sentence off with the word “I” or “We.” I do this, or We do that. It’s a natural tendency for business owners, especially founders.
Fast-forwarding to the end, by the time we get down to the last part of the 10-5-3 challenge, “I’ve been in the commercial cleaning business for twenty years” eventually gets drilled down to, “Clean office, no effort required.”
It’s a little longer than three words, but notice how we flipped the script to talk about the customer—not the business. Nobody cares how long you’ve been in business. They only care about how dirty their office is and how they don’t want to clean it, so they need someone to do it for them.
A Neutral Third Party Is More Beneficial Than You Think
Getting someone that isn’t inside your company or close to the brand to work on your marketing is an undervalued asset. What’s even better than this is having a third-party company work directly with your customers to find out what they really think.
If you’re struggling with growing your business and feel that your own judgment is getting in the way, let’s set up a time to talk. Our team at Verde Media can help you craft your business’s digital presentation, messaging, and strategy with real feedback from your target customers.