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Short, visual daily posts on listening to the right voices in your head about marketing and business.
December 29, 2020 Daily Post
Seen the changes?
Loud fashion is out. Exuberant expression of style took a nose-dive through the pandemic – collectively, consumers deemed it inappropriate in the times.
Showing off is down. Open Instagram and it’s still there, but tempered with a certain collective sympathy for the global crisis we’re living through.
‘Shop local’ is changing. While Amazon turns over billions a quarter and mom-n-pop shops struggle with COVID, supporting local business has entered the collective consciousness (not everyone doesn’t anything about it, as seen by Amazon’s explosive growth this year, but it’s a consideration more than ever).
The year has affected businesses large and small. The resistance from the general public to make conscious, circumstantial lifestyle changes could make even the most hardened optimist blink twice.
But culture doesn’t always change consciously.
Take heart: positive change occurs even in tough times.
And as businesses and creators of meaningful value in the marketplace, there is huge opportunity for innovation as a result.
December 28, 2020 Daily Post
If only they were normal, perhaps we’d:
Try out that idea: the one that could be a real hit, that you have the resources or resourcefulness to genuinely test and iterate upon. Except the world is crazy so why try.
Write that book: the one you’ve had in you all year, the one you seem to dictate a chapter of every time someone gets you going. Except the world is crazy so why bother.
Serve that community: the one your body of work could really benefit, that already has a clear understanding of their need for your work. Except the world is crazy so why put that together right now.
There’s no such thing as normal, there’s just “now”.
What if you put aside the excuses about how the timings wrong, how the world’s too mental, how you don’t have the resources, and make it happen anyway?
December 27, 2020 Daily Post
Simpler is often better.
Amazon’s worldview is fairly simple: “Number of dollars made is more important than profit margin”. In 2014 they were dancing between break-even and negative. Now, their Q1 2020 net income was $3.6 billion (on $75.5 billion in revenue).
Apple’s worldview is fairly simple: “Make well-designed products is more important than being first to market”. It’s why you know what you’re getting into with an iPhone, whereas Galaxy phones may catch fire or folding mechanics are foiled by pocket lint.
What’s your worldview that makes things simpler in your body of work?
If there isn’t one, might it be time for one?
December 26, 2020 Daily Post
Ever had a great business or marketing idea?
Play the deck.
A constructed card deck (in most deck-building card games) will contain ideas of what could do well, if played.
It’s owner knows it to be good or not once they play-test the deck.
The flaws, criticisms and ideas for improvement all come to light by playing the deck.
In business and marketing, the same rules apply.
Good ideas aren’t really good ideas. They’re just ideas, that have yet to be play-tested.
Some choose to lock them behind labyrinth of NDAs, afraid of the supposed success hidden within, that anyone could steal and reap at any moment.
Others choose to play the deck.
Which do you do?
December 24, 2020 Daily Post
Seem to get less luck than others sometimes?
If there’s a 1% chance a great idea will take off each week, the chances are good we’ll see one happen each week when there are more than 100 ideas in the pile.
If there’s a 1% chance a new venture will get lucky by stumbling onto the right message with perfect timing each month, the chances are good we’ll see one happen in a pool of over 100 new ventures.
There’s a 1:6 chance you’ll roll six on a dice, and 100 people roll a dice together, roughly 16 are going to roll a six.
Whatever game you’re playing or project you’re pursuing, you may not be one of the lucky few.
Yet nobody has better odds than you do.
December 23, 2020 Daily Post
Do you have “that day” in the month?
The one you know you should have, that doesn’t “feel like work”, but would catapult you toward your goals faster.
The one where you think, rather than do – to review what’s working and what isn’t, and create critical course-corrections.
The one where that’s all you do that day.
The one you’d miss if you missed it, because the months would only start feeling the same as each other, with seemingly little progress from one to the next.
Or perhaps that’s how the months feel to you, sometimes?
Perhaps you should make some time to have “that day in the month”.
December 22, 2020 Daily Post
What illusions are you falling for?
North Koreans believe the illusion that South Korea is “the part of the nation overrun with American Imperialists”.
Many small businesses our teams talk to initially believe the illusion that they won’t be able to effectively compete against established competitors.
Many of those same businesses initially believe the illusion that advertising is supposed to be quick and easy, because gurus said so.
Get-rich-quick schemes and communist regimes alike contain illusions designed to throw unsuspecting victims off the scent of reality.
Watch out for illusions, things aren’t always as they appear. But if you keep your eyes fixed on your commitment to those you wish to serve, it scarcely matters.
December 21, 2020 Daily Post
I wouldn’t recommend trying to operate on yourself.
If you offer IT services, it’s probably really easy for you to provision IT solutions to clients. Yet your own IT setup is probably more complex, ill-defined and not quite finished. Why is that?
If you offer branding services, there’s likely a science to your work that makes every client engagement smooth and simple. Yet your own brand is probably a mess rebrands with several generations of logomarks scattered across your collateral. Why is that?
Operating on yourself is hard. You feel everything and those feelings change things.
But when we remember to make our work about our audience, rather than about ourselves – when we treat our internal work with the same method and discipline as we do client deliverables – things become easier.
Perhaps, finally, that unfinished business might get finished, and you can be proud to model the results you bring to the word yourself.
December 20, 2020 Daily Post
Do you like figuring things out?
Not everything needs to be figured out though:
There is process for getting traffic to your blog. Many processes, in fact. It doesn’t need figuring out because it’s already been figured out.
There is process for getting people excited and engaged on your website. We wrote a book on it. It’s already been figured out, so nobody needs to start from scratch.
There is process for most things. That means we can go deep selectively, into areas that set us apart, things that make us unique, our areas of genius.
By going deep selectively, we spend more time making what makes us unique, unique. And we spend more time doing what we want to be the same as elsewhere, the same as elsewhere.
I suspect you’d rather spend your time going deep on your areas of genius anyway – so why not do so in a way that makes everything else great as a result?
December 19, 2020 Daily Post
There are a lot of these.
They’re the web shop that hack a free theme on top of another free theme, drag-n-drop the rest and call it “development”.
They’re the design team that copy whatever’s popular on Dribbble, tossing the target audience aside and call it “design”.
They’re the lead gen vendor that cold-call from a phonebook, bill you per call and call it “a tough market”.
Digital cowboys are everywhere.
The bar is set low. Mediocrity is the most competitive space to operate from.
But there’s surprisingly little competition in the upper tiers of “doing the job right”.