There are, of course, plenty of different ways of marketing your business (despite certain “experts” telling you theirs is the only way).
The good news is that you can choose which to use.
The bad news is that choosing isn't easy.
But over the years (and a lot of missteps) I've found three simple and somewhat counterintuitive rules that can help you pick the best methods for you.
Rule #1 – do marketing you enjoy (or at least don't hate).
Marketing only works if you do it, and do it consistently.
If you hate making cold calls, making videos or doing presentations then no matter how effective those methods may be, you won't do them consistently enough to get results.
Rule #2 – do marketing that's quick and easy (for you)
This goes against the whole hustle-culture idea that you have to work 18-hour days and devote your life to your business to get meaningful results. I've not found that to be true.
And in particular, the reality is that most of us don't do marketing full-time. So the marketing we do has to be simple and intuitive.
I've found this with software for example. If I'm a regular user it can be pretty complicated but I'll learn the shortcuts and the best ways to use it.
But if I only use it once a week it has to be simple and intuitive, otherwise I'll just get stuck and give up.
It's the same with marketing. I used to use Google Ads and then Facebook Ads a lot. I don't now. So when I log in it's just a confusing mess for me. There's no way I can figure out how to do anything meaningful in the limited time I have available.
On the other hand, posting on Linkedin or writing an email is pretty quick and easy. I can do it without having to re-learn it each time. So I can focus my limited time on the message and the marketing, not on the mechanics of doing it.
Rule #3 – do marketing that whispers rather than shouts
We all know the reality that the vast majority of our customers aren't ready to buy when we first start interacting with them.
Marketing that shouts – aggressive, pushy tactics like cold calls or cold emails or ads and social posts that are straight pitches – may get you a small number of buyers. But it pushes away the much larger number of potential customers who are your long-term future.
And frankly, shouty marketing isn't something that most of us enjoy doing or find easy (see rules 1 & 2).
Marketing that whispers is marketing that adds value, is interesting, and has a gentle sales message.
It's marketing your potential customers will keep paying attention to. It's marketing that will build credibility and trust over time. It's marketing that will be there when they're ready to buy.
A podcast or youtube show does this. Email marketing does this the best.
The marketing you select using these 3 rules probably isn't going to be the latest silver bullet. Or anything cool. But it will work – for you. And that's the important part.