“Mike Drop” is a monthly column by our Expert In Residence, Mike Michalowicz. Mike is the author of Profit First, Clockwork, Surge, The Pumpkin Plan, and his newest release Fix This Next. By his 35th birthday, Mike had founded and sold two companies – one to private equity and another to a Fortune 500, and today he is running his third multi-million dollar venture, Profit First Professionals. “Mike Drop” gives advice, tricks, ideas and inspiration to making your MSP more profitable while keeping your sanity and happiness as a small business owner.
Two blockbuster films opened on July 21st. Can you tell me what they are?
Unless you’ve been off the grid (ah, that sounds good) you’ve likely heard about the Barbie
and Oppenheimer movies which were released on the same day.
Same day? Yes, the same dang day. The most-anticipated movie duo releasing with
star-studded casts has become a massive phenomenon. Ever since the two were set to
release on the same day, people started hyping them up. There are even t-shirts being
created by outside sources like this:
Is this the marketing showdown of the decade? Most importantly, how can you apply their
marketing lessons to your business now?
When I launched Get Different, there were other well-known authors in the same circle as me
who were releasing books too. At first, you may think it would detract from attention to my
book, but low and behold, it did the opposite (and not because I ran all over the country
plopping my new baby up on bookshelves at registers and bombarding my email list with
promotions – ok, maybe a few emails went out). What drove sales for all of my books? Good
I’ve noticed that entrepreneurs and small business owners have some reluctance to invest in
marketing – usually because they aren’t sure if those efforts will bring the return they hope to
achieve. But I want to motivate you to take that leap. You don’t have to pour millions of dollars into your marketing strategy, but you do need a strategy that works, and that may cost a few bucks.
So – where to start? Remember, marketing is engagement, and in that initial engagement,
you need to show your audience who you are, what problem you can solve for them, and that
they can like and trust you. To do that, you must be authentic.
There’s a catch, though. No one likes to be sold to, and we’re exposed to over a thousand
marketing messages a day. So how are you going to make your offering stand out?
Amplifying your marketing messaging
Money: You may have to spend a little money here on a pro if you’re not social media savvy. If
you and I were at a mastermind group discussing marketing strategy the first thing I’d
suggest is to audit your social media platforms. How often, what, and to whom are you
posting? If it’s all sales, people will start to ignore you because they’ll assume your intentions
are only to make sales. If it’s silly, no one is going to trust you for a service, because when
people invest in something, it’s not a joke.
Any marketing materials you email, post, or advertise in any other way must be high
quality to garner trust, too, so budget for those resources too. Consider hiring a consultant to
lay down some groundwork to get you started.
This brings me to the sweet spot…
Engagement: I know. Even as an entrepreneur you’re inundated with emails every day to buy
something and everything. As you doom scroll on social media, your feed is interrupted with
even more marketing. So what do you do? Delete emails. Scroll past. Your prospective
customers are doing this too. You need to get attention in a split second and get people to
stop in their tracks.
To that end, I like to showcase all aspects of what I can offer, and the why behind it. So
in one post I may be presenting at a speaking event, or asking people to join a webinar or a
roundtable. In the next post, I may provide free resources, or share my expertise regarding a
question I am commonly asked about small business and cash flow. In another post, I may be
describing how my entrepreneurial lifestyle allows me to spend time working in my orchard
or with my loved ones. I keep it fresh and affable.
Similarly, I’ve noticed that the cast of Barbie has really embraced collective interaction,
which may be a great example for you to follow in your leadership too. Director and writer
Greta Gerwig has been with the cast on and off the red carpet, and her interaction with them
sends a message of cohesive groups and admiration and respect for each other. Consumers
see that, and it creates an affinity for Greta Gerwig, the actors, and hear down-to-earth
leadership in the production of Barbie.
The takeaway here is to take a holistic approach, and be yourself in your marketing.
Show a little behind the scenes and what goes into your small business. And consider what
your “est” is. Are you the funniest, the smartest, friendliest? Weave your authentic self into
your messaging to build trust and interest.
Branding: Are you recognizable? Barbie is. I’ve never seen so many people wear pink in my life. Now, let’s be honest, your business likely cannot compete with the Barbenheimer sensation. But – it sure dives home some poignant inspiration about branding. Pick some color schemes, fonts, headers, and subject lines that not only make people take notice, but make you recognizable right off the bat.
When marketing (or as I call it, presenting my baby), invest the time and energy into ensuring
your product is as good as possible, serves its intended purpose, and appeals to your target
market and helps you meet your revenue objectives faster.
Oh and one more thing – There is no rule against launching at the same time as others,
because attention to one may lead to attention for all. And more importantly, there is only
one you, and there’s room for everyone.
Wishing you health and wealth always.