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Short, visual daily posts on listening to the right voices in your head about marketing and business.
December 14, 2020 Daily Post
When you buy a physical item, it normally comes in a box.
You get to open the box.
If it’s well designed, it’ll be an experience in itself, leading you to understand and appreciate what you’ve bought. You’ll understand instantly and clearly what’s inside. It’s fun.
What about digital products and services?
You don’t get a box. But you could still make the “digital unboxing” fun.
If “digital unboxing” is done right, it too will be an experience in itself, leading you to understand what you’ve bought. You’ll understand instantly and clearly what’s inside. It’s fun. Engaging. Memorable. Something to tell your friends about.
Most digital goods I’ve experienced have a shoddy delivery model. You’re left waiting for emails or someone to get back to you. You get a receipt and that’s it. You may get a set of login details and are then left to go figure it out on your own. Theres no leadership, no guided discovery, no “digital unboxing”.
If you offer digital goods, think about the unboxing experience. It’s there whether you consider it or not, and your customers are taking notice.
December 13, 2020 Daily Post
When do you need to get fancy?
When you’re not clear enough. Fancy words hide the lack of clarity you’d have shared with us were you to have been clear. They’re a lousy substitute designed to throw us off the scent instead of win us over.
When you’re not good enough. When our offer isn’t compelling, we add whiz-bang to try to impress, instead. Features get added and ads become more sensational, instead of sharing a better offer that attracts us with honest-to-goodness value.
You’re welcome to respect your audience with polished prose and refined presentation. Nothing wrong with that.
But we all benefit when you don’t make ‘fancy’ a place to hide.
December 13, 2020 Daily Post
Seen Adobe Photoshop?
Let’s talk about relative simplicity:
We don’t think of “simple” when we think of Photoshop, we think of “complicated”. We compare it to cheaper products that can do many of the same things.
But what Photoshop does is bring previously-very-complicated image manipulation actions into press-this-and-its-done territory.
It makes almost-impossible activities accessible.
There are many products and services that inhabit this same space. They’re called complex because they have many buttons, when the number of buttons isn’t the point.
When striving for “simple” in our work, we’d all benefit from remembering that “simple” is relative to the consumer and their needs.
Make something that makes it simple for them by using their definition of simple.
December 12, 2020 Daily Post
Getting things done fast.
Everyone doing work that matters loves the idea of working at speed.
But why is that?
Speed kills. It kills good ideas because they didn’t germinate properly. It kills great work because the details that make things shine were all cut out to make room for the next thing.
What we need isn’t speed. What we need is tempo.
Tempo: the rate at which a piece of music should be played. A steady pace of movement. Something to keep us all in sync so things come together right.
Speed makes everyone rush, marginalising output. Tempo keeps everyone in sync, maximising output.
I prefer maximised output and producing work we can all be proud of, over marginalised output.
December 11, 2020 Daily Post
After five minutes of scrolling through Facebook:
“What if you could ethically hijack your competitors traffic?”
“Want to see how we generate 60+ high ticket coaching clients per month from our free Facebook group?”
“My new webinar gives away the keys to the kingdom for selling courses”
“How to jump from 2 new clients a month to 20 to 1,200 new clients a month, fast”
If you would like to attract desperate get-rich-quick-ers, please, continue. These ads are great at that.
But if you’d like to create lasting change in real people’s lives with valuable work without sacrificing your dignity in the process, please, don’t do what these guys are doing.
You, your work, and those you wish to serve all deserve better.
December 10, 2020 Daily Post
Ever ran (or seen) an online ad?
A loud and disruptive ad that sacrifices market bonds or your integrity, is a bad trade. If having people notice you but lack trust engage you, lighting yourself on fire in a city centre would be considered ‘good marketing’.
An ad that people notice for the right reasons – because it cared more to speak more intimately to the needs of those you serve, rather than because it was loud – is a better trade; one of time invested and care demonstrated, in exchange for the right kind of attention.
Better trades are available to us everywhere.
Firing someone for a mistake vs the traits people often show during “second chances”.
Making a product better in response to positive market demand, rather than merely more expensive, to excite (rather than alienate) your loyal fans.
In everything we touch in our pursuit of great work, we benefit from asking ourselves, “How can we make a better trade here?”
December 09, 2020 Daily Post
There is something.
And there’s an easy way to spot where it’s probably hiding.
If you have a sales background, your sales system may be elaborate and nuanced, requiring expert training and advanced skills to pull off consistently. And so frustration kicks in – why isn’t everyone creating the one-call cold-close you were expecting?
If you have a development background, your development toolkit may be elaborate and nuanced, requiring a battery of skills to negotiate or understand. And so frustration kicks in – why isn’t everyone able to just ssh into our bare-metal server setup and fix the systemd problem for our simple one-page website?
If you have a marketing background, your marketing systems may be advanced, comprising of many daisy-chains of advanced marketing tools and sequences that no mere mortal can fathom. And so frustration kicks in – why did nobody spot that email 47 in sequence 9 have its bucket test results consolidated across the automation?
Look to your skills. They’ll point to both your strengths as a practitioner and your weaknesses as a leader in your pursuit of creating meaningful work for those you wish to serve.
December 08, 2020 Daily Post
We chose to live in a world of monopolies:
When just one region of Amazon’s web services infrastructure goes down, everything from your online video streaming to your Roomba vacuum cleaner stops working.
When everyone chose Gmail for their email, we wonder where all the competitors in an otherwise free market went.
When developers focused their efforts on just two mobile operating systems, they wonder where all the other budding platforms went.
We chose this.
If we want different, we can choose that to.
But it does need to be a decision.
December 07, 2020 Daily Post
You wear a lot of hats in your business.
Perhaps you create product. Maybe you manage others, as well as yourself. Maybe you work on process or you’re involved in marketing efforts.
There are no shortage of hats to wear.
That product you work on? Keep your Narrator hat on: you’re creating something that represents a step in somebody else’s story. Remember that and inject an empathy for that fact into everything you do.
Those people you manage? Keep your Narrator hat on: you’re orchestrating a team that represents a step in somebody else’s story. Remember that in every project and meeting, to make every little piece you all produce a better fit for those you serve.
Those marketing efforts you’re involved in? Keep your Narrator hat on: you’re the interface between people you’d like to serve and the journey they’re already on. Wear the hat and you can facilitate that journey. Take it off and you’ll just be noise like everyone else.
Keep the Narrator hat on.
It suits you.
December 06, 2020 Daily Post
What was this week’s grade?
What about last week’s?
If we don’t know the answers, how can next week be better?
Our teams aren’t about making arbitrary “hairy, audacious” goals void of reality because self-help gurus tell us we should. But we’re not about sailing without a rudder, either.
Here’s what we’ve found works for us:
One metric. One week. One grade. Repeat.
One metric: Something you control. Not closes, but good conversations. Not fewer customer support tickets, but fewer bugs in the code.
One week: Because everyone knows what that looks like. Short enough to be like “taking a turn” in a game. Short enough to not permit meetings about what we might consider thinking about maybe doing.
One grade: Was it an A? Or a C-? Maybe a B+? Having a scoring system let’s you know how you’re doing. It’s a game now, one we get to play every week.
Repeat: Are we getting better? Are we staying the same? Is it going down? Is it working?
We don’t need our goals to be hairy to be useful to us. Nor do we need them to be scary, distant or based on forces outside of our control.
Grading the week is a fun game that does more for us than that, with less. Try it sometime.