The 5 Circles of Marketing (because "types" just sounds boring…)

marketingAre you a billionaire philanthropist playboy? Awesome! Richard Branson and Bill Gates, you have more important things to do today so I’ll send you on your way.

For the rest of you – since you’re not billionaire philanthropist playboys (or playgirls!) yet, my best guess is that you could use some “oomph” in your business. Bring in some new leads, new customers, new attention. You know, make more money and share more of your unique gifts, abilities, and products with the world.

I’ll also venture a guess that you probably don’t want to spend the next 10 years trying everything under the sun to make that happen, nor do you want to work 90+ hours a week on all the different marketing methods you’re using to drive that growth.

Here is what you need to know.

There are only 5 different types of marketing. Every method under the sun can be fit within one of these 5 types, or circles. The key to reaching your target market wherever they may be is to choose one method from each of these circles to focus on at any given time.

You can evolve and change as your business and the market evolve and change, but you should really only be putting focused energy into one method from each group at once. More than that, and you’ll likely end up overworked from too much on your plate – and you’ll have the bonus of very little to show for it, since you couldn’t put too much effort into any one thing.

And FYI, once you’ve seen these 5 types, you’ll see something else – most wildly successful companies do this without even realizing it. If you want to be wildly successful, you might want to give it a try.

Thus, I present to you The 5 Circles of Marketing!

1. Collaborative Marketing

This is the type of marketing many online experts preach about, though it is likely not the only method they use. Once you master collaborative marketing, however, watch out! You’ll have the midas touch. Collaborative marketing is all about mutually beneficial relationships. Yes, you get something from the relationship – but that is not the focus! The focus is in the give and take.

If you receive the benefit of someone’s promotion, you provide them with an equal or greater benefit like commissions, future promotions and partnership opportunities, content, etc.

It is important to note that JV’s are not the only methods for collaborative marketing! Ad swaps, referral agreements, strategic partnerships and co-promotions for complimentary services are all examples of collaborative marketing. Anything that involves two businesses working together to promote each other is a collaborative promotion. Examples include…

  • Ad swaps
  • Referral agreements
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Affiliate promotions
  • Co-promotions or cost-shared advertising and promotion
  • And of course, joint ventures.

2. Earned Media Marketing

Earned media marketing is essentially content marketing and publicity rolled in together. The focus is on spreading your message or the message of your company as an expert authority figure.

The key to earned media marketing is distribution. Even bad content, if it is distributed anywhere, can get you incredible results. Of course if the content was great, the results would be even better – so I still encourage you to create epic content. But if you create something epic and no one ever sees it, you’re wasting your time.

Earned Media Marketing is related to Collaborative Marketing in that it involves a give-and-take relationship, but it is usually with a person or a content source rather than a commercial entity or business. Some examples of Earned Media Marketing are…

  • Publicity
  • Guest blogging
  • Interviews as an expert
  • Traditional media coverage
  • Press release coverage
  • Organic product reviews (unpaid, non-affiliate reviews)

3. Broadcast Marketing

Ahh, Broadcast Marketing. This is what you see from 99% of “big brands” – it’s the visible face of these mammoth corporations. Of course, they also include a piece from every other circle in their mix, but this is what you think of when you think of traditional marketing.

Broadcast Marketing is “push” marketing – you are, in essence, paying to shout from the rooftops and hoping someone will listen. Largely untargeted and subjected to ad blindness, this is not the most effective tool in your marketing arsenal but still one you should be using if you can. The key is to get as targeted as possible – the publications your audience reads, the sites your audience visits, and if you’re a local business, even billboards that your customers drive by.

Broadcast Marketing is something that you’ll want to dedicate some serious time to – at least 20% of your marketing efforts. You want to constantly review, tweak, and improve your Broadcast Marketing to achieve a higher ROI and drop inefficient investments. Some examples of Broadcast Marketing include…

  • Magazine and newspaper ads
  • Radio and television ads
  • Digital ads (banners, etc.)
  • Pay per click ads
  • Paid press release distribution
  • Paid blog posts/guest posts
  • Sponsored content
  • Online video ads
  • Billboards
  • Flyers
  • Mass direct mail
  • Solo ads
  • And pretty much anything else where you pay directly, in advance, with no promise of results, for the exposure

4. Event Marketing

Can I just say – I *love* event marketing! If you want to create a big splash in the market place and have people saying “I see you everywhere!”, events are where it’s at.

You want to have a focused strategy for how you will get involved with events. Will you host? Will you piggyback off the efforts of others? Will you just attend the events for networking? What specifically related to events will you be doing?

My two personal favourites are hosting digital events like webinars, telesummits, teleseminars, etc. and sponsorships. I love sponsorships! But not just any sponsorship, I want sponsorships that give me a physical presence and a way to interact with people in person and get them engaged. No gift bags or logos for me, I want a booth or a stage! But again – I never try to do both at the same time. One or the other.

Events are a great place to start if you’re looking to get clients *fast*, fill your programs or launch your products, and get in front of a large amount of potential clients at once. Some examples of Event Marketing include…

  • Sponsorships
  • Physical events you host
  • Digital events like telesummits, webinars, and teleseminars
  • Conferences
  • Tradeshows
  • Conventions
  • Festivals
  • Summits
  • Networking group meetings (hello, MeetUp.com!)

5. Social Marketing

Let’s start this section with a disclaimer. Social Marketing, in all its forms, is primarily one-to-one – so it is slow. It is also one of the biggest possible time-sucks when you are first starting out!

If you don’t have 10k followers or fans to interact with and get to buy your stuff, you’ll spend a lot of your time following people, randomly sharing messages and hoping to get attention from bigger groups, interacting one-on-one with people, and ending up randomly surfing the web (while wondering how you got to the LOLcats again when you’re supposed to be working.)

Now that we have the disclaimer out of the way, Social Marketing can be effective if you use it as a tool for building relationships one-on-one that will be hugely beneficial, in the beginning, or as a way of interacting with a large number of people at once as you get bigger. The key is to stay focused, and know where you “fit” in the social world. Spending all day on Facebook or Twitter isn’t where you belong at the beginning, and spending all day on forums isn’t where you belong if you have a 6 figure business.

Another disclaimer – never, ever count on something going “viral”. Yes, there are experts who will tell you there is a formula for viral content. Yes, there are people who will say you can manufacture it. Those same experts also offer paid services called “seeding” – advertising your so-called viral content for a pretty penny, usually about $1/view for the first 30,000 or so views before it has any element of virality to it.

Just create things that are worth sharing, and put them out there. If people agree it is worth sharing, they will. If it is worth sharing *enough*, the timing is just right, trends are hitting on all of the right things, everything is perfect, and the stars and the universe align to deliver a hoard of interested super-advocates to your doorstep, it might go viral.

Creating something worth sharing socially is step one. Some examples of Social Marketing include…

  • Social media (obviously)
  • Networking meetings
  • Referral networks
  • Social sharing plugins, networks, etc
  • Viral marketing
  • “Guerilla” street teams
  • Forum participation
  • Mastermind groups

So there you have it.

Those are the 5 circles of marketing. Do one thing from each of these 5 circles, and put your heart and soul into each and every one. You’re certain to see results from a consistent, focused effort in each of these areas – and you’ll have the happy benefit of not being overwhelmed and unfocused, frustrated and confused as you do it.

What do you think? Have I missed any methods for these 5 circles? Do you do this already in your business? Share!

Shine bright,

– Cheryl

Let your freak flag fly – a confession.

greenumbrella

Today I stand before you (digitally of course) to share with you a confession.

You know I am a business mentor, you know I have years of experience and that I love what I do. You know I have blogged about mindset and the law of attraction a bit, but as you may have noticed from the changes on the site…

I am an intuitive.

You could say psychic, six-sensory, energy worker, light worker, or any other number of other terms. The bottom line is, I see, hear, understand, and am given information that others do not have access to. I read tarot cards, I am developing my skills in palmistry, I am a Certified Master Law of Attraction Practitioner, I am a medium, and I work with chakras and other forms of energy.

To be honest, the very idea of sharing this left me quaking in my spaceboots. The common perception of “psychics” and “intuitives” ranges from gifted spiritual practitioner to downright fraud. Obviously I do not want to be perceived as a fraud, or have this damage my credibility in some way, but I had to come out.

I stand here, on this website, and advise you to be your true and full self. To fulfill a specific mission with your business. And so, I must do the same.

My gift is to see where you are blocked – your blind spots. The things you don’t realize are impacting your success. Things from your past, from your family, from your upbringing or your social life. I can show you what you’re aligned to right now – and how to shift that to what you really want. Then I add expert business strategy to that vision, leaving you both successful and fulfilled.

I’ve enjoyed the benefits of these gifts as a medium since I was a child. I have explored spiritual arts such as tarot, palmistry, chakras and energy work since a teen. And I stand here today in front of you, my readers, with a new and true title for myself:

The Intuitive Business Mentor.

I am here to walk you through the business systems I have designed through all of my years of experience.

I am here to show you a business model that creates value, launches fast, and creates success like a machine.

I am here showing you that it is okay for you to want to make money. (Yes, even you.)

And I am here as an intuitive guide – someone who can illuminate the darkness. Someone who can help you answer the questions, “What do I do first? What do I do next?” Someone who can give you access to your own intuition, your own guidance, your own spiritual self to create your business as it is meant to be. The only way it can be if it will ever be successful.

Let your freak flag fly.

When I first posted about this on Facebook in a private group, I was mortified. I sat in a dark room, shaking and waiting for the onslaught of crushing comments to begin. Instead, I had dozens of people respond not only with support – but with interest. People who wanted to hear more, to work with me, to gain access to what I had.

I was fearing their criticism, but when I truly put myself out there, I got nothing but love and encouragement.

Friends, I want you to do the same.

What part of yourself are you afraid of putting out in the open?

What part of your true self have you held back from incorporating into your business?

What part of yourself is in hiding, waiting to fly free?

Let it out. Share it. Do something with it. Let your freak flag fly. You never know how it might be embraced…

And if you’re interested in hearing what my intuition and guidance can do for your biz? Well you can find that over here.

Shine bright,

– Cheryl

End Overwhelm Once and For All…

I have a special request, all. This is going to be very blunt, but just stay with me.

Can we please stop making everything so f***ing complicated?

I mean everything. The marketing methods we use, the launch sequences we do for our products, the things we need in place before we give ourselves the permission to launch our business, the titles we give our products and programs, the schedules we give ourselves…

It’s all so… Complicated.

Why does a launch sequence have to be 10 events and thousands of subscribers before we consider it a success?

Why do we need everything to be perfect, absolutely perfect, before we’re willing to give ourselves permission to try?

Why does our website need to look like a million dollars before we’re willing to try to make our first buck?

Why the cute and clever headlines and product names with alliteration and puns and metaphors?

Why the flowery language? Why the buzzwords and meaningless nonsense in our messages?

Why 6 different social networks? Why 12 email lists?

Why?

It’s time to get simple again, my friends.

It’s time to put yourself out there, no matter how perfect or imperfect things are, or how “ready” you feel you are. Stop waiting for everything to be 100% – it never will. Just do it.

It’s time to ditch the cute and clever, the alliterations and puns and metaphors, and be blunt. It’s time to call your flagship product what it is. Nobody wants “Super Fantastic Problem Rescue SOS!” They want “Problem Solved.”

It’s time to stop spending months planning a huge launch before ever trying to sell a thing, and just get out there and start something. You can always call it a soft launch and do a “launch event” later.

It’s time to stop saying “heart-centered”, “soul-filled”, “passionate”, “empowering”, “vision statement” and all of that other flowery, meaningless, buzzword language. Everyone is heart-centered, everyone is soul-filled, everyone is passionate, every product should be empowering and every statement should have vision. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

It’s time to simplify your list segmentation. With technology these days, if it is important to send something *only* to a specific demographic, region, gender, household income, or even hair color – you can do it. If everyone on every list has expressed an interest in what you have to say, combine it all. You’ll win some, you’ll lose some, but you’ll make sharing what matters a much simpler endeavour.

It’s time to simplify your marketing. Stop doing everything that everyone says you should do. Hate Facebook? Drop it! Bored by Twitter? Let it go! Mystified by PR? Leave it to the pros. Do the things that feel good to you when spreading your message, and just drop the rest. And while you’re at it, pair it down to the five things that feel *really* good. There is no reason to bounce between 100 tasks.

It’s time to let go of complication. It’s time to simplify. It’s time to consider every visitor, every subscriber, every event attendee and every client a success. It’s time to celebrate more and analyze less, implement more, procrastinate less, embrace entrepreneurship as a way of life, forget perfectionism and embrace the evolution of your ideas.

It’s time to get back to basics, get out there, and just…

Start something.

Blockbuster's Failure: 7 Lessons from the End of an Era

7 things you can learn from Blockbuster's #epicfailure

In case you’ve missed the headlines, Blockbuster (which is, to my surprise, still in business) is officially closing down their last 300 stores, and shutting down their rent by mail service. Their stock is worth $0.01 on the NYSE the last time I checked (which is up from $0.00!), and the company itself has little chance of ever recovering.

They are simply a shell of a brand, offering some online streaming services that hardly anyone uses.

#surprise

In addition to the Twitterverse buzzing with comments such as “They still had 300 stores?” and “I’m kind of sad, I have good memories from when they were… You know, relevant.”, everyone and their dog is currently trying to analyze just what went wrong. How could a company almost 30 years old with billions in revenue just fade into obscurity? How could a company that practically invented its own industry just slowly dissolve?

Being the ever-optimistic strategist I am, I wanted to offer a different perspective: 7 things we can learn from the failure of Blockbuster.

1. Don’t get complacent.

Industries change. Customers change. Economies change. You could be a small player today and a giant tomorrow, or your enormous multi-national corporation could come crashing down in a matter of months. The more complacent you are, the less you’re striving to grow. The less you strive to grow, the slower you adapt to market changes, and the faster you die. 

2. Know what you’re actually selling. Err, renting.

A crucial mistake that Blockbuster made was assuming they were in the video rental business to begin with. They weren’t. They were in the entertainment business. You didn’t go to Blockbuster to rent a DVD (or a VHS tape if we go *way* back…) You went to bring home some entertainment. To bond with your family or friends over a great new flick, or sit alone in a darkened room and lose yourself in a romantic comedy (large vat of ice cream optional.) 

They were the highlight of slumber party planning, the delivery mechanism for something that would make you laugh, cry, smile, or jump in your seat. And, quite simply, they forgot that – if they ever even knew. So when other options existed to get the same kind of entertainment from people who understood what they were selling, consumers jumped ship faster than an Italian cruise ship captain. Remember what you’re actually selling, and always strive to improve the way it is delivered. 

3. Technology is your friend.

The 21st century has been market by amazing technological advances. Things like “personalized recommendations”, live chat helpdesks and related content are commonplace. If you own a bookstore and try to fight Amazon by opening more bookstores and lowering your prices, you’re going to LOSE. Technology allows them to win. Never be afraid to bring new technology into your business if it can help create the experience your customers crave. 

4. Know thy customer.

Did you know that my tiny little podunk town actually still has a couple of video stores? And they’re not going under, either. They’re flourishing because the big-box, corporate giants have moved out and left customers behind. Who are they? True movie buffs! The people who want indie films from Paris, or the latest Bollywood hit. 

They don’t care what Michael Bay just directed, they want to know what the film festival crowd is buzzing about. Bonus points to the video store downtown who, knowing that most of their clients have always been hipster-types, added in a cafe about 10 years ago. Now their bearded iCustomers can park their hybrids out front and sip a latte while deciding whether or not to rent “Dancing in Jaffa”, because you just can’t pirate or stream a movie nobody knows about. 

5. Know when to cut your losses and get *out*.

Blockbuster was not the first company in this space to get out of renting physical DVD’s. In fact, they were close to the last. They were also one of the last to get into online streaming, renting DVD’s by mail, and pretty much every other innovation ever to hit the industry. If they had closed all of their stores when, say, Rogers Video (big Canadian chain) did, and moved exclusively to streaming, they may have had a chance at succeeding.

At the very least, they would be cutting out an entire unprofitable arm of their business. But they stuck with what *had* worked. They didn’t know when to say enough was enough. It resulted in the Chapter 11 and subsequent multiple sales of the company.

6. Look to the past to anticipate the future.

If Blockbuster had taken a look back to record stores when cassettes, then CDs, then MP3s came out, they would have been able to anticipate the next steps for their industry as well. Digital media would reign supreme for the mass market, and physical media like DVD, VHS and Blu-Ray would own market share in a small, obscure corner of the world. 

Purists would claim that DVD is the only true medium, others would miss the warmth in sound of a VHS tape, and their stores would operate like a museum – with the exhibits for sale. The lesson is clear. Nothing is new – not market trends, not industries, not ideas. The past can be used to anticipate the future, so make sure it is always in your view. 

7. You’re never too big to fail.

Billions of dollars. An industry cornered with fast-food-style service. Get a mediocre movie for a mediocre price, and get back to your happy suburban life. It seemed like Blockbuster was so big, so powerful, that no matter what happened they would have to stay on top. Kind of like Enron, Kodak, Polaroid, Pan Am, Blackberry, Washington Mutual… You know where I’m going with this.You are never, ever too big to fail. Even GM, famously bailed out by the government, was one misstep away from complete destruction.

Even if your company is just you today, you’re not too big to fail. If you’re 300,000 employees worldwide and $100 quadrillion dollars in valuation tomorrow, you’re not too big to fail. Always be reaching for bigger, better, higher, and keep an exit strategy in your back pocket. You’ll never know when you need it.

What else have you learned from Blockbuster’s failure? Share in the comments! And if you haven’t grabbed your free copy of Start Something, your guide to starting a successful, scalable business (and avoiding these very pitfalls, I might add), just click here my awesome friend and access will be yours!