I have to admit something: I've not been into marketing much these past few months. Instead, I've been working on fictional writing. I thought I wanted to focus on non-fiction, but fiction is so much more fun! (for me, at least).
So, I've been a slacker lately when it comes to deepening my knowledge on the craft of marketing . . . or have I?
In the past few months I have devoured hours of lectures on novel and screen writing. It's still digesting and I feel a bit gluttonous to be honest. But then again, my inbox tells me my new book, Understanding Show, Don't Tell: And Really Getting It arrives on Saturday--so I'm still at the smorgasbord apparently.
For some reason, I never noticed that marketing can follow a three-act structure as well. Sure, I knew marketing was a manipulative journey--one that we willingly go on to be dazzled, but what I discovered about story makes it all different now.
Breaking down your marketing into three acts:
1. Connect. Make your audience feel that you understand who they are. What makes them laugh, what makes them cry. Remember, connection isn't a strategy; you actually need to care.
2. Build excitement from your inspirational, informational, and entertaining content so that your new friend creates an internal goal that aligns with an identity they either have, or would like to have. It's not all pain, baby.
3. Help them actualize that goal while enjoying the process. Do this so well that they now see that a larger dream/goal--beyond their expectations--has been met while engaging with you and/or your content.
Voila, a friend for life. Whether they buy your product/service or not, they still could be one of your raving fans! And you get to be their raving fan!
It's easy to overthink marketing, but the basics are important. If you tend to feel overwhelmed about starting a new marketing plan you can always turn toward a marketing strategy.
A marketing strategy, as opposed to a plan, will give you an effective foundation and model from which to work, if done well enough.
A marketing strategy says:
"I'm planning a trip to Paris next Fall! I have an approximate budget and a couple friends in mind I could invite. We're going make a site seeing agenda when we arrive."
A marketing plan says:
"I plan to take a trip to the Louvre this year on October 13th with my cousin (who has a shellfish allergy). Then, we plan to arrive at the Mont Saint-Michel the following day right as the tides rise. After which, we will hop on a train to Naples for a pre-coordinated family reunion (sans shellfish). Oh, and we need to come in under budget."
If you've never been abroad, which trip sounds more relaxing, simpler, and fun?
Back to your marketing strategy. When you are ready to add more details on HOW you plan to achieve X, a marketing plan might be a good idea. But detailed plans are not necessary, especially at the start of building your brand.
If you need help deciding what needs to be in your brand or marketing strategy, I'd love to help.
I write because I dream of a world where people are flowing in perfect harmony with their creative objectives. No one is blocked. And no one is comparing themselves to the expert over there who has put in their 10, 000+ hours.