You can’t force me to be loyal – that’s something you have to earn. Yet you see companies use a variety of methods to lock us in or make it difficult to leave. These cheap, short-term tactics may guarantee today’s revenue, but they will never add up to tomorrow’s loyalty.
Counterintuitive Lessons from Mentors and Mistakes
A 16-part series about counterintuitive business lessons that I’ve learned from my mentors and the mistakes I’ve made. It turns out that the same nuances that work in running a good content strategy also work in running a business as well. Start from the bottom to begin the series.
Signing a contract is often a big commitment for a client, and I want them to feel like the investment is low-risk. Here’s my counterintuitive approach to writing a contract that is clear and simple, fair to both sides, and starts from a point of mutual trust.
Everyone advises to bill by the project (not by the hour) when you run a consulting business. In the 4 years that I’ve been doing it, I’ve found that the opposite is true. But it requires a few important principles to make sure that the exchange of value works – for both sides.
Conventional wisdom is to ask for the sale early and often. With today’s consumers, it turns out that the opposite is true. Exhibiting a little patience and providing a lot of upfront value gets you away from the icky parts of self-promotion – and it’s more effective too.
It may seem counterintuitive, but the NDA request is always a red flag to me. Mistrust is not a good starting point for any relationship – plus it betrays a lack of self-confidence in your ability to execute. Is this really the message you wish to convey? Let’s take a deeper look at Non-Disclosure Agreements: Pros and Cons.
If your plan is just to start “getting the word out there” by posting to Facebook or Twitter – stop now. The outcomes will never be worth the time you put into it. You need a complete content strategy in order to make social media worthwhile. Here’s a simple way to adjust your approach – and the three advantages to doing so.
One of my favorite quotes is, “If you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing.” This has never been more true than it is today. What worked yesterday is not guaranteed to work tomorrow. Learn, measure, and iterate so that you can continue to optimize your marketing efforts.
Marketing often feels “icky” to small business owners, solo entrepreneurs, authors, and other creatives. When you ARE your brand, you don’t want to be a self-promoter. Soft-touch marketing is the answer – not only does it feel better, but in light of today’s consumer behavior, it’s also more effective too.
Forging real connections with real customers take real effort. Every business owner knows this. So why do we behave differently when we get online? Why do we take social connections less seriously, and look for the SEO tricks and other quick fixes?
Marketing should not be a one-time spend to get a one-time result. If you think of it as an investment instead, today’s “spend” can continue to pay off years from now. Here’s how to focus on the two most important investments you can make in your business.
Consistency is one of the best ways to earn trust. So in your content strategy, a “toe in the water” approach isn’t going to cut it. You simply have to commit to being consistent. That means that you’re going to have to love the process – not just the results. Are you up for that?
If your business depends on having an audience, you have to stand back a little and let it evolve naturally. You have fight your own impatience, get comfortable with not having control, learn to relish the indirect benefits, and ultimately, play the long game.