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How To Find The Marketing Tactics That Will Create Results For YOU

Photoxpress_6189807How much time do you spend each week building your business or blog?

Are you seeing the results you want? The kind of results others brag about?

You can spend hours every week trying to get your business off the ground. But after months or years, the absence of results can be the most remarkable aspect of your business.

It’s not that you couldn’t get results or that something would be wrong with your business idea.

It’s that tactics that work wonders for some people are a total waste of time for others. And often, when you try something for the first (or fifteenth) time, you just haven’t learned how to make it work yet.

So, how do you know what your marketing focus should be?

At least you can’t rely on what the Internet marketing gurus are telling you to do. And you can’t keep doing things that don’t create results. Or you’ll never reach your goals.

But you can find the marketing tactics that will create results for you if you just look for the right clues.

Be Objective About What You’re Doing

You’re not seeing the results you’d like overall. And each of the marketing tactics you’re using seems to be performing worse than the others.

But you’ve heard that each of them can work extremely well. Plenty of people have said so. However, that doesn’t mean they’re going to work well for you.

You need to be objective to find the things that create the results you want. Even when you know it’s going to hurt.
It’s not fun to look at your traffic numbers and conversion rates only to find out it’s going to take years before you reach 1,000 email subscribers. And a few more years before you make any money.

No matter how harsh the reality, you need to know what it is, so you can course correct. Otherwise you’re going to spend months trying to build your business without gaining an audience or making any money.

It Shouldn’t Be Painful to Look at Results

When you look at the results you’re getting with your business, is it fun? Or painful?

It’s only painful if you don’t know what you need to do to change the results you’re getting.

To start, try to see which activities are creating at least some positive results. How did you get the first few visitors, subscribers, or sales?

Or do you know that someone who has built a very similar business has used a specific tactic successfully? There are no tactics that work for everyone-no matter what the gurus say. But if many people made something work in similar situations as yours, it’s definitely worth looking at.

So, if you only had to choose one marketing tactic, what would you bet all your money on?

To some extent, that’s what you have to do. But only for a while.

Find a Few Things That Work

Looking at the most successful people online – most of them anyway – they only use a couple of marketing tactics.
They just use them really well.

There are no tactics that would work automatically. And whenever someone calls a tactic “the easiest” or “sure-fire,” you should run to the other direction – at least away from the person saying those things.

When you try to figure out what could work well for you, look at what you enjoy doing and what you’re good at.
Enjoy writing? Have you tried guest posting, article marketing, or writing a book?

Good with video? Start creating more videos or learn how to make a video blog to help grow your business.
Limiting your options at this stage to just the ones you like and are good at might sound risky. What if you exclude the best strategy?

Usually, that won’t happen. And it’s not a huge problem even if it does.

You need to learn how to get results with at least one marketing tactic. And if you’re doing something you don’t enjoy, you probably won’t have the patience to learn the ins and outs of it.

So, pick something you’ll enjoy learning from the list of tactics that could work well.

When you start seeing results from that one tactic, start using (and learning) another one.

But before you know how to create results with at least one tactic, why would you spread your effort across different strategies. It’s going to take far more time to see any results from any of them.

Something that creates decent results – even if not the best possible results – is far better than many things that create no results.

But before you can get any results from any tactic, you need to know how to make your audience take action.

Understand What Makes Your Audience Take Action

Most marketing tactics can work. At least in some cases.

But none of them will work if you don’t know why people would even want to pay attention to you in the first place. Let’s say you attract thousands of visitors to your site.

Nothing will happen if you’re not saying the right things to them.

Why should they read? Why should they join your list? Why should they buy?

All the traffic in the world is worthless if people don’t join your list and ultimately buy from you.

So, don’t rush to spending all your time learning a marketing tactic. First, figure out what you need people to know and believe about you, so they’ll do what you hope.

In other words, you need a value proposition template.

It’s the collection of the best, believable reasons people have for paying attention to you, joining your list, and buying from you.

If you want to get clear about what your value proposition is, so you can make people do what you want, download this quick 5-step system that helps you find the core of your value proposition.

Note: For more ideas and information about marketing strategy look into Foursquare marketing, our post on a useful Linkedin marketing strategy, an interesting look at the Meetup.com marketing strategy, or our Old Spice case study

If you have a thought or question, leave a comment below!

About Peter Sandeen

Peter Sandeen dreams of sailing with his wife and dogs on the Finnish coast-unless he's helping someone build a clear marketing message and strategy that creates sales consistently. Download the quick 5-step exercise that shows what ideas are most likely to make people want to buy your products and services.

14 comments

  1. I always enjoy your posts, Peter. (I hear your distinctive voice in my head when I read your words!)

    Your point about focusing on what we’re most comfortable doing has obviously struck a chord here. It seems obvious on the surface of it, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s worked hard trying to use a tactic despite the fact that I just don’t like doing it (whatever it might be).

    I think this is esp’y true of Social Media marketing. Personally, I “get” Facebook and have had solid success using that platform. I’ve tried to understand Twitter, but it continues to baffle me. I see others mastering Twitter, building enormous Followings–and I still don’t “get it.” Meanwhile, I’m sure there are plenty of Tweeters who simply can’t stand Facebook. And so on. Took me awhile to finally realize that I can’t just make myself like something.

    Of course, without a sound grasp of my value proposition and good use of sound conversion techniques, the best marketing in the world might still fail. That’s why I keep reading your posts! 🙂

    1. Hey Jim,

      Thanks 😀

      Yeah, there’s this idea that you need to use every tactic. And it’s amplified by the people who sell their training programs as “magic bullets” or the “best marketing tactics for everyone.” I’d expect you to be able to get great results from Twitter. But if it takes an unreasonably great amount of time to do so, what’s the point if Facebook is already working well for you.

      That said, when you have one tactic “mastered” and you’re getting great results from it, it makes sense to move to the next one. Or if you have the resources, you can expand even more.

      But what I was really trying to say in this post is that people shouldn’t try everything, but rather learn one thing first. Otherwise they’ll waste a huge amount of time, which they don’t have (especially if they’re struggling to get a business set up).

      Let me know if you have any questions I can help with 🙂

      Cheers,
      Peter

  2. Good post there. While we talk of marketing method, i think it has to do with what you are comfortable with. For instance, I don’t like Video Marketing because it hardly play well when I try to play video clips sent to me by other marketers. I figure if that is what my prospects will encounter playing my own video then it better not to create sales videos. I just played Danny’s own just now to get to his video course but it played half and half and finally died on its own.
    Also just recently iI had a bad taste with Google Adword. Right now they are threatening to close my accounts if I can’t settle my Ad bills on a given date. And what did i get from that effort- a miserable 1 sale, out of over a thousand clicks my sales page got.
    Why did I fell into this mess? I followed the “Gurus” to do hard selling. Thank God i got Danny’s “Engagement from scratch”. So, right now I am seriously learning from Coppyblogger and Danny Ivy how to engage my audience through email subscription, offer value content, make them get to see me as an Authority first before pitching sales copies. Before I go, let me quickly say that social media are they worst business strategy methods I have ever seen contrary to all that i have read.

    1. Hey Charles,

      Thanks 🙂

      And yeah, you really shouldn’t spend time with tactics you feel uncomfortable with unless there’s a really good reason to do so.

      Sorry to hear of the AdWords stuff. Hope it clears up…

      The soft-sell approach tends to work better. At least in most cases. There was an interesting case study by (if I remember correctly) Perry Marshall that clearly showed how it works much better to build the perceived value and trust before asking for the sale.

      Cheers,
      Peter

  3. Great post! I’ve tried many marketing methods based on what I’ve read (and products I bought), but as Nida said, “gurus don’t provide a one size fits all marketing method.” What I’ve learned is that I need to listen to ME. After all, my business is my business. While I’m open to trying new marketing techniques, I need to listen to my ‘gut instinct’ and use marketing methods that will work for my business.

    1. Hey Amandah,

      Thanks 🙂

      Yeah, that’s really the way to go. Although, I’d add that you should look at what tactics you’re good at using. For example, maybe videos would be ideal for your business, but you just can’t make good videos; they won’t work then. And learning something you don’t enjoy isn’t fun, though it’s usually possible.

      I try to be clear when I talk about specific tactics that they don’t work for “everyone.” I usually start with “this works if you’re…” and describe in what kinds of situations the idea works at least most of the time.

      But yeah, keep listening to what feels right for you. You won’t go far off the mark with that habit 🙂

      Cheers,
      Peter

  4. Peter – I’m a huge fan of testing.

    ‘Tactics’ do not work well for everyone, and often when starting something nee (be it a business or a blog), trying lots of new things and observing what works is a sure-fire way of building success (or ditching the idea, if this is the case).

    Would you say finding the value proposition and the ‘right’ marketing methods is a little chicken and eff? We can guess all we want at what the customer wants, but without testing, how can we be sure?

    – Razwana

    1. Hey Razwana,

      Great point. To some extent yes, it’s a chicken and egg situation… But.

      I’ve found that there are always some things you know that you don’t need to test. For example, what you want to focus on. (Sure, you might change your mind later, but that’s a different discussion.) And that’s where you should start anyway. If you know enough about your market and your target customers, you can also get quite clear about what will work well as a value proposition.

      That said, I urge testing your value proposition. At least the importance of the ideas in it. But that’s—again—a different discussion and based on how I think of and use value propositions with clients.

      But yes, you can’t be sure of what your customers want unless you test it. No survey or gut feeling will ever beat a proper test. Unfortunately, few people know how to test it or care enough to do it…

      Cheers,
      Peter

  5. I like this down to earth approach. You’ve helped me to crystalize what
    I need to do – write. I guess guest posting is the solution for me. I’ve got most of visits to my site via comments on other’s sites.

    1. Hey Michal,

      Thanks 🙂

      And yep, if you learn to write effective guest posts, they can be very effective at driving traffic (and building your list)…

      Let me know if you have any questions I could help with.

      Cheers,
      Peter

  6. Great article! I’ve tried marketing methods that I’m not comfortable doing only to discover they didn’t work. It took me a while to understand that the gurus don’t provide a “one size fits all” marketing method. You have to find your own methods that work for you. Besides, I’m better at writing, so article marketing is the way I go now. 🙂

    1. Hey Nida,

      Yep, “one size fits all” usually just means “I’m trying to make everyone buy this product.”

      If writing is your thing, guest posts could also work extremely well (in case you didn’t mean that with “article marketing” 😉 ).

      Let me know if you have any questions I can help with.

      Cheers,
      Peter

  7. This hits right where I am struggling right now. It reiterates that common saying ‘KISS’ but in more subtle fashion. Instead of splitting my efforts on incorporating multiple marketing tactics, I need to take one at a time, master it and accurately measure the results. This clarifies a stumbling block for me. Thank you for this article.

    1. Hey Lynn,

      Glad to hear it helped. And yes, “KISS” is one of my favorite sayings, and it applies (usually) very well to marketing—especially when you’re just setting up your marketing strategy.

      Let me know if you have any questions I can help with 🙂

      Cheers,
      Peter

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