The Marketing “It” Factor Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 139

This week’s reflection point: What’s the key to a successful business? Some might say it’s a solid business strategy, a strong financial plan, or even a team of excellent people. Others will tell you it’s effective leadership or huge demand for the product or service. While each of these components is important, the truth is that marketing trumps them all.

That’s right: marketing. Far too many business owners ignore the significance of a powerful marketing strategy. Many claim that marketing isn’t relevant to their industries, or that it’s a waste of time and resources that could be devoted to more “tangible” business assets. This couldn’t be more wrong.

Marketing is absolutely critical for every business. Marketing is the “it” factor that separates mediocre businesses from truly spectacular ones.

I first learned the importance of marketing nearly 30 years ago, when I started my own business. At the time, I was working full-time at a consulting firm, and teaching a college course. One of my students—who would later become my accountant—gave me a piece of advice that changed my life:

“There are a lot of other smart people out there,” he said. “You’ve got to learn to market yourself.”

What my friend meant was that marketing was the key factor that could set me apart from other sharp-minded professionals. Unless I learned how to market myself better than the rest, I would never reach my full potential or build a hugely successful business.

This lesson stuck with me, and I hope it sticks with you. It makes no difference how good you are at what you do if nobody knows who you are.

So what should you do to market yourself? Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Leverage your website, packing it full of valuable information that appeals directly to your target buyers
  • Blog often, sharing your intellectual property on a regular basis to generate a loyal following of readers
  • Pursue great speaking opportunities to build your platform and get your message out to more people
  • Establish relationships with journalists, bloggers, and other members of the media to enhance your public exposure
  • Network whenever you can to forge valuable connections with other professionals
  • Become a prolific publisher of remarkable content to build up your intellectual property and give customers more value

The six strategies above are all crucial aspects of marketing. The best of the best leverage all of these strategies—and more. To begin, pick two or three marketing tactics that you think will be most successful for your business.

It’s time to infuse your business with the marketing “it” factor.

This week’s tip: Marketing is absolutely critical for every business. Marketing is the “it” factor that separates mediocre businesses from truly spectacular ones. Focus on a few marketing strategies to start growing and accelerating a stand-out business today.

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