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This month’s blog is a really exciting one, because I’m going to tell you the actual, bona fide secret of good marketing!

Ok, so that sounds like one of those ‘too good to be true’ claims right? Well in a way it is, because nothing worth having comes without hard work. Even once you know the secret, you still have to make the effort to get that secret to work for you, but if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort then I guarantee that these 4 steps will take your business to the next level.

Step 1 – The Why

This is all about finding your true purpose. You see a lot of people start a business because they like the idea of it, because they’re good at it, or because they have certain goals they want to achieve, but very often their grasp on their ‘why’ is tentative. You can only make a business truly successful if you totally understand your reasons for doing it.

For example, I wanted to start a business helping people with their branding because I’m good at it, because I’ve been a designer for many years and because I wanted to make a good living. However, these things alone are not my true purpose.

You see, when you get right down to it, I wanted to help others with branding because I’m so passionate about mine. I’m good at what I do because I believe wholeheartedly in the power of good branding. I get genuinely excited at the thought of working on my own branding and at the thought of helping someone else with theirs.

I have had such wonderful experiences running my own company: I’ve made money, made friends, won awards and had incredible feedback, and I’m thrilled at the idea that I can help other people have those same experiences. I could have chosen to help other people’s businesses by being an accountant, and got that same thrill of knowing my clients were successful, but I’m an artist, and it’s that creative input that makes my heart sing. These reasons and many more make up my true purpose.

So you see, my true purpose is complicated, it’s all encompassing and it’s more than just a simple ‘I like branding’ sentence!

If you can get to the very heart of what makes you do what you do, then you’ll have an incredible and solid foundation on which to build your brand.

Step 2 – The What

This is where you start to tease open those abstract concepts of passion and drive, and create a solid, tangible business plan. If your goals are financial, what do those figures look like? If you can offer more than your competitors, what exactly is your offering? If you feel strongly about your company ethos, can you put that ethos into words? This part of the process is practical. It leaves you with set goals, with a list of tasks, with bullet points and checklists and concrete projects to action.

This is a step that involves a lot of hard work. Far more than I can fit into one blog. However, it’s one of the most satisfying parts of the journey and it’s essential.

Step 3 – The Who

So many people create a product or an offering and then just put it out into the world. “Hopefully someone will buy it” they think, without ever stopping to consider who that someone is. There’s an old saying in marketing: it’s better to be a specialist than a generalist. If you market your offering to everyone then you’ll almost certainly get lucky and make a few sales through sheer weight of numbers, but if you define your target audience and market to them specifically, then you’ll save time and money, get more sales in the long run, and get a better quality clientele.

If I marketed my brand strategy planner to everyone through Facebook, then it would be seen by big business owners, who have marketing departments to do this sort of thing for them. It would be seen by apathetical business owners, who don’t really care about their branding and have no desire to work on it. It would be seen by fly by night business owners, who just want to make a quick buck and move on.

None of these people would be interested in my products. So I’ve studied my ideal demographic: the people with the drive and passion and ambition to take my branding advice seriously and work hard to make their business better. I know who they are, where work and what they do and I market my products to them. A little hard work at the research stage makes my life much easier at the marketing stage.

Step 4 – The How

This step is the culmination of all your hard work. This is where you take all the research and the planning and you create a tangible and easy to action strategy. This is where you set up a document that you can show to other people and say “see: this is the secret”

“But how did you create it? How did you learn the secret?” they’ll say.

“Hard work” you’ll reply “but it’s all paid off!”

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If you want to really learn the secret to good branding, then click here to check out The Ultimate Branding Strategy Planner. There’s no such thing a quick fix, but there such a thing as a guaranteed fix!

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