Don’t Wait for Marketing Inspiration — Learn Where to Find It Now
The thing about waiting for marketing inspiration is that it never comes. You’ve got to get out there and look for it. The good news is that marketing inspiration is absolutely everywhere. You’ve just got to learn how to identify it and capture it at the source.
I honed my inspiration-hunting skills in a previous career as a freelance journalist. As a freelancer, you are only as good as the last story you have sold. If you’re not pitching new ideas to commissioning editors and news desks every day, you’re going to find yourself struggling to pay your way very soon.
As a journalist, I also learned that the art of selling your stories is as important (if not more important) than the story you are pitching. By focusing on my sales skills as much as my writing skills, I was able to survive (even thrive) in a very cutthroat industry.
There are many transferable skills between journalism and marketing. I benefit from the following:
- Curiosity: Always ask a lot of questions.
- Persistence: Keep going, even when doors are slammed in your face.
- Timing: Try to stay ahead of the curve. Late news isn’t news.
- Add value: Even if it has been said before, you can keep things fresh by adding value.
- Good enough is good enough: You will never attain perfection; getting stuff out there is always better than sitting on an idea.
- Mistakes: Sometimes mistakes happen. Learn to move on quickly.
Look for Problems
The most lucrative source of marketing inspiration is your clients’ problems.
If you can help a client solve a problem, you’ll not only win that client’s trust and potentially his or her business, but you will also have a key to help you engage a much wider audience who also has that same problem.
The only way you can identify a client’s problem is to engage him or her in conversation, and that is why it is so important to create opportunities for engagement between your clients and the marketing team.
Remember: You don’t have to be an expert to be a great marketer. Act like a journalist, and just ask the right people the right questions.
4 Engagement Tips
- Social Media: If someone has a problem, you can bet that person will be sharing it via social media. Monitoring the social web can provide you with a valuable source of leads and help you identify key problems in the various industries you are targeting. Don’t forget to monitor your competitors’ social media activities. If you can solve your competitors’ clients’ problems, they may not be your competitors’ clients for much longer.
- Webinars: Webinars are a great platform for sharing ideas, demonstrating products and services, and asking questions. Remember, there will always be one or two attendees on each webinar who are more vocal than other participants. Encourage these people to speak, as it is highly likely your more shy participants will share their problems.
- Speaking Engagements: I rarely leave a speaking engagement without a handful of great ideas for future blog posts, webinars, presentations, etc. Putting yourself up in front of an audience is also a great way to build real relationships.
- Work Those Relationships: Pick up the phone and take the time to chat with clients and prospects without trying to sell to them. Social events (sporting events, drinks nights, meals, etc.) are an amazing source of marketing inspiration. You wouldn’t believe how much ROI a pizza and a couple of glasses of wine can deliver, if you ask the right questions.
How do you engage your prospects and clients to generate marketing inspiration? Share your comments and ideas below:
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.