Are you an Unsung Expert? Marketing Fundamentals 1 of 7

Every customer you've ever worked with loves what you do.

But, for some reason, that’s not coming across in your marketing copy.

You know you're different from other firms, but that difference doesn't seem to translate in writing, and no matter how many times you work on your message, nothing changes.

The only decent leads you ever get and convert come via referral.

Unable to pull in work from outside your network


Like I said in the Facebook post, I think we get lost in the weeds of marketing advice from people selling receipes when they should have taught us to cook.

I'm going to share more details on how to reverse that trend, and in doing so, build a message that pulls dream prospects in from far and wide.

But before we dig deeper, for content, I need to tell the story of another customer of mine.

He runs a User Experience (UX) consulting firm

A couple of years ago, their industry was hot, and being great at what they did, they had a stream of work coming via word of mouth.

But industries don't run hot forever, and when this one cooled, he was vulnerable.

The referrals dried up, and now he needed to proactively attract leads from outside his network - something he'd never done before.

So, after some research on marketing tactics, he went all in on one: create a local event to attract his target market.

More than 200 people attended the first, and many were perfect-fit clients.

He gave a 30-minute talk about UX, hosted a Q&A, and shared drinks at the network event...

And got zero enquiries

He got plenty top of funnel, but nothing converted

He ran the event again two months later with the same outcome.

"People keep asking me, 'so what is it that you do again?' I tell them, and I know they need what I sell, but I just don't think they get it."

His team were working to change that.

They ran through how-to advice from marketing 'experts' on YouTube and paid for the odd copywriting course, stitching together their messaging from a range of sources.

And seeing as the event wasn’t delivering results, they launched some new tactics, this time SEO and LinkedIn posts.

But again, after a couple of months, these channels weren’t yielding results either.

They still weren't getting any leads, and they'd been trying for more than six months at this point.

It reminded me of myself as an 'amateur chef'

Ever followed a recipe to cook an Indian?

It's Saturday morning, and I'm flicking through a cookbook, hunting for this evening's meal inspiration, when a picture of a Dal Makhani gets me instantly salivating. I check the recipe, write up the list of ingredients, and head to the supermarket.

After 5 minutes of scanning the spice aisle, I disappointingly accept that they don't have two that I need.

You check the supermarket for ingredients, but a couple of the herbs and spices are missings

Never mind. I'll just cook it without them.

I spend the afternoon preparing the meal, and at 7 pm, when my wife and I sit down together to eat, I'm underwhelmed. It's not horrible, but it is bland, and considering the time I'd spent on it, I'd hoped for more.

Maybe those two spices were more important than I thought. Without them, maybe this isn't really a Dal Makhani.

The problem wasn't the instructions. It was that I didn't really know how to cook - I'd just been blindly following recipes. If I knew how to cook, I'd understand flavours and would have known that those two spices were critical to the balance of the meal.

But this wasn't a 'learn how to cook' book.

It was a 'learn how to follow instructions' book

That's what was happening with my client.

All these tactics, templates, and recipes looked good, but without all the ingredients or knowledge of how to cook, they weren't delivering results.

They were taking 'proven' landing page copywriting advice, but out of context.

It's not that there wasn't any value in these playbooks - it's that these playbooks were made for a specific scenario. If you take some ingredients (e.g. the copy structure) but not all (e.g. the type of product they're selling), it doesn't work.

"If I had an hour to solve the problem, I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions" - Albert Einstein

He didn't understand why the leads weren't coming in, so he was blindly searching for a solution to a problem that he didn't understand.

If my client had understood why and how people decide to buy expensive invisible products, he'd be able to reverse engineer the reason people weren't enquiring.

And, with that knowledge, he'd create a message designed to work under his specific circumstances.

You've now got a network of people coming from outside

After a few meetings getting to understand their situation, that's what I did.

I mapped their business against a set of five frameworks, and three glaring problems in their marketing became apparent. The sort of 80/20 problems that, when solved, transform results:

  • They were vague about who they were selling to, which meant they created a vague message.
  • They used a label, UX, that their prospects didn't understand.
  • They promoted services unrelated to UX, which confused prospects. 'What exactly are these guys?'

Within one month, we made changes to address those problems, and in the following four weeks, they received three perfect-fit leads from people who didn't know them.

All came through those original channels that previously weren't delivering results.

I didn't give them some magic formula. I looked at their existing ingredients and, knowing how to cook, advised what to do with them.

Now you've got a thread running through every marketing asset

That's what these frameworks provide. A reference point that any business can use to create a compelling marketing message that sells.

They teach you how to cook

To be clear, I didn't invent them.

Some are hundreds of years old, discovered by Einstein, Grinnell, Ferrero, Todorov, Aristotle, and Maslow. Others are my observations built on existing principles.

During a 12-year career of selling thinking, I've retrospectively looked back on what worked for me, what didn't, and identified existing frameworks that explain these outcomes to make better decisions moving forward.

I've created a 5-part series, sharing these essential frameworks:

  1. Desirable Contrast
  2. Relativity
  3. Principle of Least Effort
  4. Narrative Instinct
  5. Subconscious Calculations

I'm not suggesting you'll master these simply by reading an article. What they offer is a starting point on the path to success.

Understand these frameworks, learn how to apply them to your business, and you'll have the building blocks required to create a marketing system that attracts dream clients.

Click the link to start reading the first in the series - Desirable Contrast

Want to become a thought leader?

Every 4 weeks, I publish deep dives into B2B thought leaders, breaking down the content strategy they used to go from unknown consultant to top tier personality.

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