Marketing Essentialism: Focus on what makes the greatest impact
You can (and need to) do only two essential things to increase your sales:
- Make more people understand how great your offer would be for them
- Make it easier or more appealing for them to take steps toward buying
The 80/20 principle applies to marketing. There’s a small minority of things you need to do to get most of the potential results.
You should only think about the 80% once you’ve mastered the essential 20%. Otherwise, even if you do the 80% brilliantly, you’re unlikely to see meaningful results.
On the other hand, if you only get the essentials right, you don’t have to spend a lot of time on marketing. Instead, you can focus on your actual work.
One of the best examples of essentialism is your marketing message; what do you need people to understand, so they want to buy? A few things always make a greater difference than everything else combined.
That’s also a topic even experts often make mistakes with. Some of the most common messaging advice is misleading.
See 3 messaging mistakes marketing pros recommend (type your email below).
Real experts avoid complexity
You don’t need a complex system to get consistent results. You have a much better chance of making progress if you focus only on the essentials and forget everything else.
Complex strategies and fancy tools can improve your results, but only if you already have the essentials in place.
Marketing experts and experienced business owners know that. They want help with pinpointing what they should focus on out of all the things they know could work for them. They avoid tricks and hacks because they know there are more impactful things for them to do.
I’m often called “the marketers’ marketer” because more than half of my clients are other marketing experts. That’s not because I’d talk about the most advanced strategies. Rather, it’s because I do the opposite and only focus on the essentials.
Figuring out what exactly you need to say, so people see how great your offer would be for them is especially tricky to do alone. Even if you’re a messaging expert, it’s still difficult, as many of my clients would point out.
It’s also surprisingly difficult to choose what to focus on when you have dozens of ideas of what could work for you. Even people who can easily make good recommendations for their clients often struggle with their own marketing.
You should feel good about your marketing
Your marketing should not only fit your business, but also feel right for you.
Many people give up on marketing because it feels either too difficult or uncomfortable. For example, they might spend months building a sales funnel only to find out it doesn’t work. Or they might feel sleazy following the advice on how to do a sales webinar.
That doesn’t mean marketing has to feel difficult or uncomfortable for you.
Even people who openly dislike marketing often end up quite enjoying it as soon as they do it in a way that’s right for them.
Your marketing should be based on what’s natural for you and what you feel comfortable doing.
If you sell something genuinely useful, you don’t need to mislead or aggressively push people toward buying. You just need to figure out how to make people see how much they would get out of what you sell and make it easy for them to take steps toward buying.
Typical clients and results
If roughly 70% of my clients are other marketing experts, the rest vary significantly. They range from ecommerce to B-to-B consultancies, from traditional service companies to manufacturers, and from SaaS to personal coaches. Although most are companies in the 6-7-figure range, some are solopreneurs just getting started in business.
The median (= most common) result for a client starting with 6- or 7-figure revenue is to more than double their profit within the first year of working together. Clients who are in earlier stages of business, of course, typically see a much greater percentage increase in profit.
If you want to see my entire process for growing your business, you can watch this free masterclass (full hour of training).
A few common questions and answers
“Why do you have so many expert clients?”
In the beginning of my marketing career, I did copywriting. My first successful offer was to write competing sales pages for marketing experts who already had a sales page. They’d test my page against theirs and if (and when—I only ever lost once) mine generated more sales, I’d get paid.
I shifted my attention to marketing message development quite soon. It doesn’t matter how good you are at marketing, it’s damn hard to create a strong marketing message for yourself. So, many of the same clients got my help and kept referring me to their friends. That’s kept happening now for close to a decade.
“How did you get into marketing?”
I started two businesses and got bored with both as soon as I figured out how the marketing would work. When it happened the second time, my girlfriend (now wife) pointed out how all I talk about is marketing and that maybe I should do that for a living.
I hadn’t ever thought I’d do marketing. My parents’ idea of it is that it’s almost evil because “it’s about manipulating people into buying something they don’t need.” I guess it’s thanks to my upbringing that I only want to do marketing that’s friendly and (sometimes even detrimentally) truthful. You can certainly make some quick sales by exaggerating and manipulating, but I don’t think that’s a solid long-term strategy.
At the time, I had a dayjob I disliked, and my wife was sick and had trouble working full time. I wanted to make enough money for her to stay home, get better, and focus on her passion (writing novels). Marketing made that possible.
Any other questions?
Feel free to reach out and ask.
3 Messaging Mistakes Marketing Pros Recommend
In this 7min training for experts (and novices), you learn:
- Why people rarely care about the most valuable aspects of what you offer
- How to get people to see you as their best option, so they’re happy to pay your price
- Why you shouldn’t tell people about most of the benefits they can get