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Marketing Is The Price You Pay For Being Unremarkable

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“Marketing is the price you pay for being unremarkable”~ Robert Stephens, founder of the Geek Squad. That quote cuts like a knife because it’s a simple reminder that we can all be doing more to standout in our businesses.

The picture above is of Renee and I in New York after we got custom hats made by Satya Twena who raised $171,966 dollars (goal was $75,000) to save a NYC factory.

She gets this stuff. While we were there, she mentioned that Seth Godin (#1 marketing expert in the world), had heard about her campaign and called to support her. That’s cool! It all comes down to quickly making an impression.

In the world of online business, we are competing for people’s attention in the noisiest market out there, the world wide web. You have 8 seconds, or better said, 8 words to capture someone’s attention before they hit the back button.

Not only do your words need to be impactful, they have to be remarkable and explained in a way that can be shared – and I don’t mean via social media – I mean in person, via a conversation (word of mouth), or via email (dark social).  That’s how companies grow. They offer a simple solution to a target customer and present it in a way that’s unique and can be easily shared.

Below are some of my favourite ideas to help you get closer to that nirvana:

People buy from people

The world is shifting away from buying services & products from huge, soulless companies and moving instead, to buying from a real person, with a story that they can relate to. Business is personal. It’s why peer marketplaces like Etsy & Airbnb are exploding. We want more than the solution. In Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why” he argues that people don’t buy what you do, they buy “why” you do it. I couldn’t agree more. Every major company is trying to figure out how they tell their “origin” story. Not only for the company, but for the products. Just look at any Apple launch in the past 3 years. Video, story & their why.

Finding a creative way to share that “Why” will dramatically increase your potency to connect with new customers in person and online. We do this at Clarity using our about page. We cover our beliefs (that where you live shouldn’t impact your ability to get great advice), our goal (impact a billion people by 2020) and share links to everyone on our team, including their passions.

Do something unique for a specific type of customer

Lets say you’re a social media consultant. When people ask what you do, you can say that … or you can decide to focus on a niche (but big) market and on a specific solution.  Here’s an example: We help barbershops get more customers using Facebook. (8 words).

Not only is that memorable, it’s unique (barbershops?!?), it’s focused (Facebook) and my mind instantly starts thinking of friends/contacts that could use that service.

If you try to be everything to all people, you won’t stand out.

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Focus on being world class

My biggest pet peeve is when I hear people say, “We’re doing pretty good compared to other businesses in our city.” When did you start aiming so low? Why not be good compared to the rest of the businesses in your industry or across the world?!

I believe you should aim to be world class. Period. No excuses.

An example is the landscape company I use, McDel‘s. They decided that everyone in their company would wear bright coloured checkered golf pants as their uniform. They definitely stand out.  People always stop to ask why? They just smile and explain the story… they want people to feel that they take care of their lawn the same way professionals would take care of a golf course. Boom! Simple, impactful, creative.

To recap, stop paying the marketing tax and focus instead on sharing your “Why,” stop being everything to all people and aim to be awesome on a world stage.

If you have any examples of companies doing this, leave a comment below. I read & respond to each one. I’d love to hear from you.

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The SaaS Metrics Dashboard: Is Your Company Growing The Way It Should Be?