Magical Marketing Strategies for Creating an Endless Stream of New, Repeat, and Referral Business
Copyright © 1998 Michel Fortin, Ph.D.
THOU SHALL NOT COPY
If there's one problem in all advertising, in all marketing, in all promotional efforts, it is the sheer fact that there is too much competition out there. If one copies another company let alone another company's promotional efforts, it only serves as a reminder of one's competition. Therefore, you don't want to remind your prospects about your competition, do you? So don't copy them, or as Earl Nightingale once said, "Don't copy, create!" Be unique. Be original. Be so different that, if possible (and it is), your name or the name of your firm as well as the services you deliver become generic in the minds of prospects. You've never heard a doctor say, "Take two acetylsalicylic acid tablets and call me in the morning," have you? What about "facial tissue," "cotton swab," or "adhesive bandage"? No. It's Aspirin, Kleenex, Q-Tip, and Band-Aid. And that's not all. Xerox, FedEx, Velcro, Fast Track, Kwik Kopy, and Quick Lube all stick like glue in the minds of prospects. How is this possible? There are many reasons for this. The first and most likely reason is that many of these firms created not only a new product or service but also a whole new category to place them in (see Commandment #2). now, let's stick to the idea of "uniqueness." This concept might seem far-fetched for the type of product or service you offer, but in reality it really isn't. As expressed earlier as well as stringently taught in my seminars and consulting practice, top-of-mind awareness is the greatest key to marketing success in all facets and types of business. Top-of-mind awareness is a process by which an "anchor" in the subconscious of prospects has been created.
When deciding to find out about the type of service you provide, let alone when deciding to buy the type of service you offer, your name, the name of your firm, and/or the name of your product or service must come to your prospects' minds instantaneously. How is this done? Well, there are many ways to accomplish this, but let me share at least 2 of them with you. First and most important is names (or in other words packaging). Does your company or service name intrinsically reflect the type of service you offer and does so instantaneously? If not, you might want to reconsider renaming your company or service. For example, if I told you "Kwik Kopy," you will automatically think of a company offering quick copies! You might say, "Yeah, but that's only for big chains with big budgets!" Participants in my seminars have told me this many times over. My answer usually is, "But how do you think they became large chains anyway?"
Today, it astounds me to see companies with names that mean absolutely nothing, such as acronyms like "DFG Enterprises" or names that do not reflect the competitive advantage – let alone the nature – of the business. If you are a computer network consultant, are you called, "Mike Fortin, Consultant," or are you called "Practical Technologies, Ltd."? What's better: "John's Dry-cleaners"? Or "Spotless Cleaners, Inc."? You see, the name of your firm should intrinsically reflect what you do, what you have to offer, and how you are different from your competition, in just a few words. This generally requires a great deal of creative skill. In my copywriting and consulting work, when I am refining a firm's corporate identity some names will pop instantly into my mind while others take more time and effort. So, here's a helpful hint. Try writing down as many names as possible – at least 20 – and pass it around among friends, family, and acquaintances. Ask them what pulls them the most. Look for the "Aha's!" or the "Wow's!" These are the ones you want.
If not, either you will have one or two that stick out, or words from a combination of two or three of your names that can be used wonderfully together. Listen to what your "peanut gallery" has to say, but also read between the lines. Many people will tell you what they think "looks" best, but remember that your goal is not to look better but to get busier. Watch their facial expressions when they read your names. Ask them a few hours later what stuck in their minds and not just the ones they remembered as being the ones they liked best. But there are exceptions to this rule. Many of you are self-employed, unincorporated, and home-based, and therefore do not use names at all. In this case, a second technique is to add a tagline to your own name. A tagline is a small sentence, preferably 5 words or less, that complements your name and says it all in one single swoop. I'm sure you've heard of "Enjoy the Ride (Nissan)," "Fights Cavities (Crest)," "Kills Bugs Dead (Raid)," or "The Midas Touch (Midas)." You can do this with any name.
For instance, a self-employed computer technician, such as "John Smith, Consultant," added some flair to his name by using a tagline in all his marketing pieces (ads, letterhead, business cards, media and promo kits, etc), which read: "John Smith, Solutions Made Simple." An interior designer, Gloria Tessman, now markets herself as "Gloria Tessman Equals Glorious Interiors." A business etiquette consultant calls himself "Brian Whelan, Where Protocol Meets Profits." In either case, whether you have a unique name or not, try to add a tagline to your name, one that truly communicates all that you are.
Make sure to use your tagline in all your communications, promotional pieces, as well as standard stationary. Additionally, every single nook-and-cranny of your operations – even breathing! – should in itself become a fundamental marketing process. Remember to look at every aspect of your business, whether it's answering your phone, writing your invoices, mailing your brochures, and even handing out your business cards. It should all become part of a marketing approach in which it emphasizes your uniqueness through your special name or tagline.
For example, do you have an answering machine message that says, "Sorry, but I'm not here to take your call right now–"? Ugh! Don't do that. Make your machine work for you. Change it to something like "You've reached Terry Crawford, the Teacher's Teacher. I am currently teaching another successful How to Make Mega-Profits Teaching Corporations Part-Time, designed for high school and college teachers. If you wish to leave a message or would like to receive my free report 8 Ways to Make Classes Cook for Cash, please give me your name, address, with postal code, and telephone number in case I need to reconfirm your address, after the tone. Thank you for your interest in the Teacher's Teacher! (Beep)" In the above example, several other Commandments are followed. We will deal with these aspects in greater detail further on, but for now just realize that everything you do must become a part of creating top-of-mind awareness. You don't need huge advertising budgets to make this work. Once you've got this down, use it in all your communications. You have to live, sleep, eat, and breathe your new name or tagline. In Commandment #2, I will discuss this a little further, especially with what I call an Elevator Calling Card. For now, don't copy. Make yourself unique!
Go to Commandments:
#2 THOU SHALL APPOINT THYSELF
#3 THOU SHALL MAKE THE ORDINARY EXTRAORDINARY
#4 THOU SHALL FIND MORE WITH LESS
#5 THOU SHALL DIVIDE AND CONQUER
#6 THOU SHALL TAKE IT STEP-BY-STEP
#7 THOU SHALL SPEAK SOFTLY (BUT CARRY A BIG STICK)
#8 THOU SHALL BECOME A CELEBRITY
#9 THOU SHALL SEEK OUT AND SPREAD OUT
#10 THOU SHALL MAKE THY NET WORK