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977: Long Term Decisions

Social distancing is an interesting opportunity for people doing meaningful work…on location.

Many conversations sprung up online asking what to do, such as this one where an individual has a partner who may have contracted COVID:

“We’re booked 9 days out with jobs, do I just cancel/reschedule all these if I’m positive? Not sure what to do in this situation.”

We can use opportunities like these to benefit short-term or long-term, but not both.

Which narrative do we tell?

Option 1: You revere your client and consider the responsibility of their care to be of utmost importance. You won’t put them at risk, even when it puts you at a disadvantage. People choose you because you’ve elevated yourself above your competitors in ways they haven’t yet been able to articulate (and if the opportunity were to arise, it is as yet unclear how they’d respond).

Option 2: You risk their health, but you get paid, today. They may or may contract the virus too, and they may or may not blame you for it.

We get to choose.

Our choices will be recognized and remembered by our clients.

The decisions you make today may not be COVID-serious. But our decisions matter: which route do you take, the one that benefits everyone long-term, or the one that benefits you short-term?

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976: Then The World Explodes

When we (really) move our work from Product-focused to Customer-focused, we go through massive “IDK” (“I don’t know”).

We don’t know what to do, for a moment. Because our product and marketing roadmaps were based entirely upon what we want to do, what we want to achieve.

We don’t know what to feel, for a moment. Because our affections had been with our work, our craft, our vision for ourselves… rather than our audience, their needs, and their vision for themselves.

Then the world explodes, in size. We realize how much nuance and detail exists in their word that we’d not appreciated before. Why they behave as they do, what their ambitions are, and why. The deeper we go, the more we experience.

This is true of every type of customer we pursue.

If you don’t believe it, you’ve not gone deep enough.

Did the world explode for you yet?

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975: The State vs The Interstate

“Go broad and serve everyone, they all need you!”

No, they don’t.

Not if you’re going to miss the vastness of their world, and how intricate each part of it is.

When we go for everyone, it’s like judging a state by its interstate.

For example, our creative team does a lot with legal businesses. What they need is different to what healthcare companies need, so the services, offers and goals all differ massively. Furthermore, not all legal businesses are the same. Small sole proprietorships in one sector have totally different needs, strengths and weaknesses than multi-focus, multi-location practices do.

The world of your target market is vast. You just need eyes to see.

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974: Test Tube Clients

Do you test things in your marketing?

Be careful:

Everything you say and test is your brand. Whether it succeeds or fails, some of us will remember you by what you said when you tried out that new thing.

Marketing testing isn’t for finding a better version of your future self, but to find a better way of connecting with your people.

It’s a conversation, one where you hand your best customers a cup of tea and ask, “So tell me something about yourself I don’t know.”

It’s not one where you hand your best customers a test tube and ask, “Drink this, I want to see what happens when you do.”

Which type of testing has YOUR business been doing lately?

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973: Meet The Narrator

Meet The Narrator.

The Narrator is one of the voices inside the heads of a very select few entrepreneurs, business leaders, and marketers.

He’s the voice that advocates for those you wish to serve, employing tactics and techniques designed to realign everything you do toward their world.

He dissuades us all from falling in love with ebooks and up-sells, instead advocating that those same affections be directed toward our people, so we can understand and serve them better.

Hearing this voice is rare. Following this voice is rarer.

The Narrator isn’t about the glory, but the transformation possible for those who listen, and for those who listen to those who listen.

We should all try to listen to The Narrator a little more often.

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972: Meet Mort

Meet Mort.

Mort’s one of the voices inside the minds of many digital marketers and self-proclaimed internet millionaires.

He’s the voice that advocates following all the “best practices” and dark patterns available in the digital marketing toolkit, never missing an opportunity to capture a lead or up-sell a funnel order.

He’s got an eBook about how you too can become rich, available for $47 during his limited time offers.

Following this voice doesn’t necessarily help people solve their problems; he’d argue that selling untested information that may or may not help the recipient is just a reality of business.

Mort’s all about Mort, and how Mort can get ahead.

Don’t be like Mort.