The day after Christmas, 2017, our quiet world turned upside-down because of Harley, our eight week old Tibetan Terrier puppy.
I thought I knew what I was in for.
After all, for the past 11 months, I’d researched everything about puppies…
… breed types, dog training, toilet training, where they should sleep, how many hours should they sleep, what to feed them, how often to feed them, how to socialise them, how to introduce a puppy to mature indoor cats…
And, that was just the beginning.
But what I didn’t realise is how much Harley would teach me!
In short, here are the top five marketing lessons he’s taught me:
Training Harley is a whole new adventure… for both of us.
For me it’s about staying patient, being consistent and tweaking my technique when it’s not working.
For Harley, it’s about learning something new… and being rewarded for it.
I’ve found when I use better treats, a more energetic voice, better toys or simply giving him “sniffing” time, then he learns faster.
And he wants to do more.
One thing’s for sure…
This is the same principle when marketing your business.
Don’t just assume you can do something once and it’ll produce results. Find out what’s working and what’s not… then improve it.
The key here… discover what’s valuable to your prospects, so they’ll engage with you.
Perhaps it’s giving your prospects a video training series, a consultation with you, a trial of your software, your book, a free report, a quiz… the list goes on.
Find out what they want, and make sure it’s valuable so that your prospects will engage with you.
One thing that’s clear is Harley adores his trainer. He’s known Celeste since he was eight weeks old and he’s besotted.
Each week we both go to puppy school, and he gets excited as soon as we turn into the long driveway.
What I’ve noticed is even if Harley is ultra-distracted and won’t listen to me, it’s different with Celeste. When she says “sit” – he eagerly does it! And fast!
I’ll bet that’s because he can sense that she’s an authority with dog training… plus if he does it well, he’ll get lots of praise and yummy treats from her.
It’s the same for us.
As business owners, you need to show that you’re an expert in what you do. You need to position yourself, so your prospects know you can help solve their problems.
As you might imagine… one natural place to showcase your expert status is your Website or LinkedIn profile.
Ask the question… does your website and LinkedIn profile show that you’re an expert in what you do? Do your prospects see you as the expert?
But that’s just part of the story…
Prospects, like puppies, will ignore you if they’re bored.
Remember, your prospects are busy and may not want to read your content. They may not want to read your website. They have many other things to do.
Harley’s the same.
After all, puppies have a whole new world to explore. Plus they have the added challenge of teething.
If you don’t focus their attention on something interesting, they’ll focus their attention somewhere else.
I’m sure you’ll agree that…
You need to give your prospects what they want to get and hold their attention.
So, find out what their problems are and help them solve it with valuable information.
Just don’t make it boring.
To add to that…
Of course in Harley’s case, he takes this to the extreme.
When he’s confused, he invents his own fun.
Right now he’s into “doing gardening.”
When I give him a command he doesn’t yet understand, he happily trots away, like a fluffy ballerina and gets down to business. He pulls out plants, digs up weeds and, his favourite, chews on the irrigation.
No doubt about it… it’s the same with prospects.
Remember the saying…
“The Confused Mind Never Buys”
You need to tell your prospects what to do. Very clearly. Otherwise, they’ll get confused, not understand and not take action.
Make your message clear and give them a single call to action.
Last but not least…
This should have been an easy one for me.
After all, I just needed to say Harley’s name to get his attention, right?
But there are times when I couldn’t help myself, and I started using nicknames.
Of course, he didn’t understand that I was calling him when I said “puppy”, “Bubba”, or “fluffy rug.”
Worse still, he stopped listening to “Harley,” which made leaving dog parks an adventure in itself.
So, how does this apply to marketing?
When you’re writing anything, have your ideal prospect in mind. Focus on them. Know what they want to read. What answers they’re looking for.
Start by creating an avatar, find out as much about them as you can. Give them a name and personal characteristics.
Better still… find a photo that matches your avatar and stick it on your computer.
Then, when you write an article, social media post, email sequence, report or even a book… look at your ideal avatar. Always keep them in mind.
They’ll feel like you’re talking directly to them.
So there you have it. The top 5 marketing lessons to grow your business… courtesy of Harley.