Marketing, in 18 bullet points
For the past 3 years, I’ve been collecting marketing tips for personal reference.
Here are the ones I come back to the most:
When you’re starting, ignore most marketing advice. Just get customers and customer feedback, the rest is secondary.
The best marketing is a great product. Marketing multiplies the product, and you know what happens when you multiply by 0.
Other people's audiences in the short term, your own audience in the long term.
On the internet, everything is an exponential curve. The #1 ranking website on Google gets exponentially more clicks than #5. One blog post shared by an influential person brings more web traffic than all of your other posts combined. Your marketing should take advantage of exponents whenever possible.
Google wants to show relevant, useful and trustable content. So 80% of SEO is keywords (relevancy), user metrics (usefulness) and backlinks (trust).
Social when they don’t know they want it, search when they do.
Email is the only audience you own. Build a following on social but store a following on email.
Brand and positioning
Trustable brand is the long-term goal. Social proof is the shortcut to trust.
This post/tweet is the first someone has seen from you. Is that a first impression you’d like to create?
Brand is your attempt at escaping competition. Don’t strive to be the best but memorably different.
You’ve already created your next social media post. To post more without creating more, repurpose existing content.
Bring the value to the people, not the people to the value. If they’re on Twitter, give the value on that platform.
What content to produce: anything you can produce consistently for a long time that educates, inspires or entertains. Optimally, something only you can produce.
Find the interesting perspective, the hook. Before sweating the copywriting hacks, find something interesting to say. First, what to say, then, how to say it.
The best marketing is authentic. Aggressive CTAs, headline formulas and fake scarcity may work on some, but can be counterproductive on smart people who don’t like being sold to. When it’s you speaking authentically, it’s effective even without the hacks.
Tell them where to start. They don’t want to spend 3 hours researching and comparing. Give them the starter pack or “New here?” button.
If you have an audience, you can make money. And the funny thing about the internet: there is always an audience, for everything.
The best marketing advice is reverse-engineering how someone else did what you want to do. They’ve found what works so you don’t have to. It’s completely okay to copy up to a point, but know that you won’t get ahead of someone by using their playbook.
By the way, I've created a 90-minute workshop titled "Marketing, from First Principles". It teaches you how to think, not what to think. Feel free to check it out.