November 24, 2014

Top Experts Dish with their Best Kept Marketing Secrets

I asked some of the world’s top marketers, small business experts and bloggers one short and sweet question:

“Please share one of your best kept marketing secrets”

Without further ado, here are their marketing secrets:

customers

ATTRACTING AND KEEPING CUSTOMERS

- Seth Godin, SethGodin.com “Make promises and keep them. So obvious, it’s become a secret.”

- Jackie Huba, Church of the Customer “Attracting is the new selling. It is the least-visible, and least-examined principle behind most companies today that are growing quickly through word of mouth.”

- Jonathan Fields, Awake at the Wheel “Decide whether you want to feed your ego or your family. Sexy, expensive image-building campaigns might win your ad-firm a Clio, but, with rare exceptions they don’t put money in your bank or food on your table … at least at the level small businesses can afford. So, drive your branding efforts with free PR in the early days and spend your money on measurable direct-response marketing that delivers X dollars of revenue for every dollar spent on marketing.”

- Toby Bloomberg, Diva Marketing “Forget what your mama or your preacher taught you. The Golden Rule does NOT work for developing marketing strategy. Your customers do not want to be treated “as you would like to be treated.” In understanding your customers you might discover that their values, needs and expectations differ from yours. New Golden Rule For Marketers: Do Unto Your Customers As THEY Would Like To Be Treated.”

- Scott Shane, Author of “Illusions of Entrepreneurship” – “The data show that most entrepreneurs compete on price, but doing this leads companies to perform worse. New companies are better off competing on service, quality or some other dimension.”

- Tim Berry, Planning Startups Stories “One of the most expensive myths in marketing is that lower price produces higher volume. That might be true for coal or gasoline, but not for most businesses. Lower price means, well, ask yourself: do you always eat at the lowest price restaurant? Buy the lowest price clothes? Do you drive the lowest priced car? Pricing is your best statement of value.”

- Andy Birol, Author of “The 5 Catalysts to 7 Figure Growth” – “In striving to please their customers, too many marketers believe they must exceed expectations. Better yet, marketers should just ask and listen, for what they will learn and hear is often a different, more modest need, which when fulfilled, will profitably delight the customer.”

- Drew McClellan, Drew’s Marketing Minute “Do Less. One of the most tempting aspects of marketing is the veritable smorgasbord of different marketing tactics that you can toss into a marketing plan. It’s almost overwhelming.

Many marketing professionals make the very understandable mistake of believing that more is better. But they’re wrong.

You will be vastly more successful if you do less, but do them better. Pick 3-4 marketing tactics that you think are really going to be valued by your audience and drive the behavior/action you’re looking for. Then, figure out how you can do them in an extraordinary way.

100% consistency. 100% relevancy. Do less. But do them better.”

Communicating your message the right way

COMMUNICATING AND MESSAGING

- Scott Ginsberg, That Guy with the Name Tag “Don’t have a business card. Have a philosophy card. In order to do so, ask yourself the question, ‘If everybody did exactly what I said, what would the world look like?’ Come up with 5-10 answers, then print them on a nice, thick, laminated card. Include your contact info, picture, branding, etc. Give it to EVERYBODY. It will be the only card they will not throw away. This marketing tool has made me well over $50,000 in new business.”

- Brian Moran, Publisher, Small Business Edge “LESS IS MORE: In today’s cluttered world, your customers are being bombarded with thousands of messages every day. In order to rise above the noise level, you need to capture their attention immediately and then hold it while giving them your pitch. You must be able to deliver your message, if necessary, in 25 words or less. Include your main feature and the main benefit in the message. If you hook the potential customer, they will gladly ask you for more information.”

- Yvonne DiVita, WME Books “The best, very best marketing secret I have is: Show enthusiasm. I blog, I attend networking events offline, I speak, I personally answer 95% of the email I get … and in all of that I present a focused, happy, enthusiastic face to whomever I’m speaking to. I do not have to feign enthusiasm because I am truly excited about people. What they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and why they’re doing it. And I take more business cards than I give – the better to connect with a personal note later on. I’m fascinated and eager hear about new businesses or products.

This doesn’t bring me business, and it isn’t intended to. It’s intended to validate the listener’s idea – and sometimes offer atidbit of advice. Because of this, people remember me. And they send me referrals. Most of my business is achieved via referrals. I do not have to spend a lot of cash on marketing – because my best marketing tool is my own enthusiasm for the people I meet. It’s memorable – and it creates word of mouth better than anything else I do.”

- Siamak Taghaddos, GotVMail Communications “People don’t like to be sold. If they did, they would spend all their free time in car dealerships. Instead, people want to be informed, they want to be educated. You’ll find your best customers are those you educate about your product or service and who then decide to purchase it because it is a good fit for them.

Prospects who buy your product/service but are not educated about your offering will be disappointed. They will not be return customers. Worse, they will tell others how they got ‘sold’ by you. In the Internet age, this can quickly be very destructive to your business.”

- Michael Port, Author of “Book Yourself Solid” – “All sales start with a simple conversation. It may be a conversation between you and a potential client or customer, between one of your clients and a potential referral, or between one of your colleagues and a potential referral. An effective sales cycle is based on turning these simple conversations into relationships of trust with your potential clients over time. We know that people buy from those they like and trust. But as Sir Winston Churchill once said, ‘It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.’”

- John Battelle, Searchblog “The best kept secret in marketing is to invest your time in eliciting and responding to your customer’s feedback, even if it’s negative. It’s the secret to building a network of evangelists who keep on giving back to your business ….”

Online marketing

ONLINE MARKETING

- John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing - “Become a journalist – no, I’m not really suggesting that you join the staff of some publication, but the acceptance of new media tools like blogs and podcasts has turned the marketing tables – so take advantage of the allure of areporter and start a blog and podcast and request interviews with industry leaders, community leaders, authors and maybe even your biggest prospects. Instead of asking for a meeting to demonstrate your product, ask to feature your prospect in your next blog or podcast episode. You will automatically change your status in their eyes, increase your role as an expert and create great content for your marketing materials.”

- Yaro Starak, Entrepreneurs Journey “There’s something I do that very few other bloggers do – build an email list. My secret tip isn’t to build a list though — that’s pretty obvious to anyone who markets online. It’s how you use your list and your blog together that is my secret.

Here’s one simple example. I write product reviews to my blog now and then. I write a solid review, with my honest opinion and what I think is good and bad about the product after using it. I post the article to my blog and usually make afew affiliate sales as a result.

I then write a short email to my list designed to bring people to the review and add the email to my autoresponder sequence. From that point forward at some point everyone who joins my list eventually receives the email and visits the review. This ensures I have a steady stream of traffic to that review, even long after it is hidden in my blog archives AND I continue to make affiliate sales.

This is a formula for passive income from just writing one blog article and one email, though of course you want to do it again and again with new products to multiply your earnings. Good luck!”

- Matt McGee, Small Business SEM “SEO is just like traditional marketing. In the “real world,” you want to create a great product and get people talking about it. Online, you want to create great content and get people linking to it. Same theory, and often the same techniques. Develop relationships with journalists offline; do the same with bloggers online. Engage with customers offline; engage in social communities online. Give people something to talk about (and link to), join the conversation, and you’re on the road to SEO success.”

- Liz Strauss, Successful Blog “The best promotion is to promote other people. Promote your customers, their friends, and yours. Always be looking for what other folks do well and be the first to talk about it. Be the first to point people in their direction. There’s no better way to show that you’re a generous team player, a great judge of skill and character, and completely confident about the work that you do.”

- Maki, Editor, Dosh Dosh “Timeliness is my marketing secret. A lot of marketers talk about networking with influencers and successfully building trust with their audience in order to evoke widespread brand adoption. While the developing of trust indicators are important, I think some of the most successful online marketing is done as a response towards current affairs, events and news. The best marketing advice I have is to be timely, to react to socio-cultural feedback and then capitalize on it by co-opting the incident/subculture’s language or frame.

Newspapers are publicity manufacturers. Monitor them closely because what your customer or audience reads influences their opinions. Observe their feedback. Market your business by riffing off and building upon the natural flow of news. Timeliness is an opportunistic and powerful way to not only build relevance but demonstrate that your business is in tune with the concerns of the community.”

- Mack Collier, The Viral Garden “Success in blogging is dependent upon having a built-in direct benefit to others. For example, many companies want to approach blogging as a way to sell products to customers. But blogs don’t work well as a direct-selling channel. The key is to first provide a benefit to readers by creating content and community that offers them value. By giving readers a direct benefit, the company then benefits indirectly by seeing sales increase as a   result of their blogging efforts. But if the company instead tries to directly promote themselves, readers will see no value in this, and the blog will die.”

- Guy Kawasaki, Truemors “Do the opposite of what bloggers think you should do.”

Marketing through online social media

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

- Dharmesh Shah, Hubspot “The power of second-order Internet Marketing: Small businesses should consider the positive marketing impact of “second order” effects in Internet marketing. A second-order effect is when you do not promote yourself directly, but help promote others who have mentioned you, linked to you or referenced an idea or concept that you agree with. The simplest example is when a blogger mentions your business in an article they write (even if you are mentioned only incidentally). If you like the article, you should help promote the article in the social media sites (Digg, StumbleUpon, etc.). This is better than trying to promote yourself and can often create significant traffic, PR and marketing good-will.”

- Brent Leary, Host of Technology for Business $ake Radio “Promote your book, blog, podcast series or business by using LinkedIn Answers. No, I’m not talking about spamming LinkedIn. Here’s what you do: Ask for opinions on a particular topic and link back to your blog, etc. in LinkedIn Answers. Some people will also be intrigued enough to visit your blog, investigate your book, subscribe to your podcast — they will check out whatever your question is in connection with.

Beyond that, if you quote some of the answers you receive (on your blog or use them in a radio interview or in an article you write for publication) then you could get an additional viral effect. Because those who are quoted may pass around the link that refers to them, to their friends, colleagues and family.

I did this when I interviewed Don Tapscott about his book Wikinomics. On LinkedIn Answers, in advance of the show, I asked if anyone had a question they wanted me to ask Don. I got a number of comments and used one of the reader-suggested questions in my radio show, linking to it from the show page. That reader later sent me an email saying he had passed the show link to others and also wrote his own blog entry linking to the show. And show listeners got the benefit of hearing a question that they themselves might have wanted to ask a famous author.”

- Jennifer Laycock, Editor, Search Engine Guide“One of the least utilized social media sites for subtle marketing is Flickr.com.

I think people picture Flickr as just another place to store their images. In reality, Flickr is filled with vibrant communities of highly engaged users. There’s a discussion and photo sharing group for nearly any topic you can think of. Now it’s easy to write that off and say “there are discussion groups everywhere” but that would be a mistake. You see the discussion groups at Flickr are made up of people who not only talk about these topics, but care enough about them to take pictures and upload those pictures as well. That means the members of a Flickr group tend to be more fanatical about their topic than your average discussion board member.

There are several great ways to leverage Flickr.

1.) You can join a group and post in the discussion threads to establish yourself as an expert. This will lead people back to your profile where you can easily promote your web site, blog, etc.

2.) You can geotag your images. Flickr is owned by Yahoo!, so in my opinion, it’s only a matter of time until Flickr’s geotagged images get meshed with Yahoo Travel. Anyone who owns a tourist destination would be crazy not to be uploading geotagged photos of their hotels, grounds, nearby hiking trails or any other scenic spot.

3.) You can add descriptions, tags and even in-picture captions to your photos. You can also add links. This creates new links from a valued site and drives direct traffic to your site. The key here is to make sure you aren’t adding links to more than 10 or 15% of your photos. As with any social community, you HAVE to add more value than you pull.

4.) You can build relationships with other passionate bloggers in your niche. I’ve found Flickr can really fast track your attempts to network. When you’re talking to people via Flickr with an avatar and a photo it’s much easier to stand out.

The key here is that Flickr is only going to work for companies who have a visual component. Landscapers, gardeners, custom car detailers, chefs, salons, tourist spots ….”

And, of course, your humble author’s own tip:

- Anita Campbell, Small Business Trends “This is a tip for those of you who run blogs and online publications: Treat PR people with respect.

(1) PR people bring news your community will value and save you the time of finding it on your own. I’m not suggesting you regurgitate press releases word for word. Instead, use the release only as a starting point. Gather additional facts. Then write it YOUR way.

(2) PR reps will bring you scoops and exclusives. PR reps who come to trust you will send you news early, under “embargo.” They’ll also make company executives available for interviews.

(3) PR reps will circulate your article about their client on email distribution lists and on company intranets. Sometimes you’ll get linked back from the Press section of the client’s site. This can drive considerable traffic. (Never pander to get links. Write objectively and only about subjects of value to your audience — you’ll still get links AND preserve your self-respect.)

(4) Don’t lose your temper in public on your blog at some inexperienced PR rep who sent an awkward email pitch. Just hit ‘delete.’ There’s no upside to making public enemies of PR firms.”

Finally, I want to highlight one particular secret, from Ivana Taylor. Ivana was my “partner in crime” in this roundup. She used her contacts in the marketing field to reach out to many of those who contributed, and her help was invaluable (thank you, Ivana!). Here is Ivana Taylor’s closely guarded marketing secret:

- Ivana Taylor, Strategy Stew “Target those markets and customers that you love that love you back. In other words don’t work with jerks or people you don’t like. There are enough customers out there for everyone and the ones that love you value what you do and see so much value that working with you is literally priceless. The first step in doing this is knowing your strengths and special gifts that make you irresistible to your target audience. The next step is to love them enough to know what they want and then just give it to them lovingly and from the heart.”

share your marketing ideas

SHARE YOUR MARKETING TIPS

Are you are ready to share one of your own best-kept marketing secrets? (C’mon, we’re just asking for one – you don’t have to give up ALL your secrets.) We want to hear from you in the comments below. Tell us one of your marketing secrets that has worked well for you in business.

At the end of February we will take YOUR contributions from the comments and add them with the comments above. We will combine 100 of the best tips into a downloadable PDF document which you can use on your blog or website for a resource for your clients and readers; or print the document off for your marketing kit when you call on prospects. This is a great opportunity to increase your marketing visibility by being included in this document. So share your marketing tip!

163 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell - CEO


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of TweakYourBiz.com.

163 Reactions

  1. Hi Anita,

    Great article, I just stumbled it.

    A secret tip?

    If you are creating a short list that your users might enjoy, and maybe want to share with their own readers, create it for them using an HTML text area, with a credit link where you specifiy the anchor text or call to action.
    The same can be applied with great effect with pictures or photos, just look how effective it is for sites creating Myspace graphics or icanhascheezburger.com

  2. Building on Brian Moran’s tip… take “25 words or less” and instead turn it into a question. In SEO it would sound like, “If someone did a search on the internet for your product, would you like to come up?”

    Most often the answer is yes and then you have permission to use more than 25 words with a very receptive listener.

  3. This is a terrific post!

    A secret tip?
    Run analytics on your small business like you do your website…

    Welcome, is this the first time you’re visiting our business?
    Great, who can we thank for the referral?
    Are we the first office you visited or have you been anywhere else?

    Build a series of easy to ask conversational questions and pretty soon you’ll have a gold mine of information.

  4. Being yourself and acting naturally human online works well. Basically, it means being honest, generous, helpful and so on. Don’t expect to get something, unless you give away a lot without considerationg of getting anything at all.

  5. Its no secret that good marketing is all about staying in front of your prospects and customers and offering valuable content, but few seem to understand how to automate the process.

    Multi-step follow-up marketing sequences are almost impossible to keep track of once you have hundreds of prospects/customers unless you have an automated system doing it for you.

    The Secret: Leverage the power of technology to automate your marketing follow-up. Experience shows that sales will soar.

  6. The sale is incidental to the relationship.

  7. The “secret” is the obvious that 95% of small business miss:

    Understand that first and foremost… You are in the marketing business.

    Adopt a mindset of marketing innovation in every single facet of your business.

    ACT before it’s perfect.

  8. Great tips added in the comments in just a few hours! Keep adding them.

    And if you are sharing a tip, be sure to include some identifying information, such as your business name or website name/URL. That way I’ll know who to give credit to in the PDF document we create containing all the tips. It’s hard to credit you when you just leave a first name. :)

    Thanks!
    Anita

  9. I missed answering this on time due to an overeager spam folder, but here goes:

    “Take an educational approach to marketing, and people will actually pay attention. Plus, the more you can teach people about the subject area surrounding your product or service, the more of a market you open up in those prospective and existing customers.”

  10. As a priority always think customer-centric. Of course you should have identified your market niche and how your product or service provides better value to your prospects than the competitors. Make sure you look at what you’re offering from the customer point of view.

    That isn’t just the leading-edge customers who may see things the way you do. Try to consider those prospects you would like to sell to who are not like you. Be sensitive to what you’re hearing from the marketplace. Sometimes those who decide not to buy or are dissatisfied with some aspect of what you’re offering will give you the most helpful insights.

    Make sure your marketing strategy ensures you communicate well with all your prospects. Try to envision how the most difficult of your prospects is seeing you. Develop a simple and direct way of communicating with that difficult prospect (KISS). Look for any barriers that may block or weaken your communication and remove them. Do it all with such excitement and flair that the easier prospects want to tell their friends about it.

  11. Wow, this is a real keeper. All of these tips are worth millions – I am thrilled to be among such smart folks. And, that’s a tip, in and of itself: when you hang around with bright talent, some of it rubs off on you. Be respectful and aware of the ideas of others – some of whom may be your clients.

  12. Great info. I love the idea of the philosopy cards – and Maki’s input on timeliness is invaluable. That guy has an amazing grasp on how to influence the masses. I highly recommend reading his blog.

  13. Be true to yourself–in all you do, in everything you communicate to your audiences.

    There are a hundred ways to market today–some of them will fit your personality and your philosophy–for example, someone who makes friends easily may find connecting with bloggers their most valuable practice. Some approaches won’t feel right at all–if you consistently refuse to open direct mail that comes in your mailbox, you may be better off focusing on other channels. Think about how you like to get your information, how you make your decisions. Put your passion into the pathways that feel right–and then touch your audiences on a regular basis.

    Don’t worry about the competition (well, pay enough attention that you can borrow a good idea when you notice one). Discover the deepest truths you feel in your heart–about your business, your customers, and your employees–and then express these well and often in your chosen marketing vehicles.

  14. Anita,

    This be a great document with a wealth of interesting information. I tried to add it to Mixx.com, but it is already listed.

    http://www.mixx.com/stories/76959/top-experts-dish-with-their-best-kept-marketing-secrets

  15. Tell some real life stories of how you were able to help your clients/customers. I always include stories like that in my speaking engagements, and in my blogs. Thousands of marketing messages are seen and heard by people on a daily basis. Stand out from the crowd by being real, and by sharing real stories. If prospective prospect can relate to those stories, they will want to learn more.

  16. Great post Anita!

    My tip: Be bold, have passion, resist complacency, redefine the rules, deliver value.

    Sincerely,

    Eric

  17. Be nice. Smile. Love others and love yourself. Ramon Ray – smallbiztechnology.com

  18. Hi Anita,

    Quite a group of amazing folks you’ve gathered together here – and some compelling reading for sure.

    My tip for becoming successful in your business:

    Host an educational network – on YOUR turf. Teach people something they can use. Brand yourself the whole way. Lead your group with vibrant, positive energy. Tend to each person in the group as though they were a guest in your home.

  19. Yes, Dina. I agree — an amazing group of people.

    And I also include in that group ALL of you who are sharing tips in the comments — your tips are going to make a great free downloadable compilation.

    Anita

  20. fantastic post, anita. so many of these were such gems, and guy kawasaki’s made me laugh out loud. thanks.

  21. I have to agree with Noelle – I experienced a few laughs myself and really appreciate the honesty here. It was refreshing.

  22. If you don’t blog, start, and if you do blog, blog as if nobody else is reading it.

  23. Lots of awesome tips. This one is sure to promote a lot of creative thinking.

    I do agree with Ramon. I smile and a pleasant attitude can go a long way.

  24. Great,great post! The warmth of a smile goes a very long way.

  25. That was a great read!

    Personally I have a couple of tips that come to mind:

    1) In your business if you need something done right and you don’t have time to do it yourself or you simply are not the best at it… hire someone who is. Chances are that hiring a professional will provide a far superior product and it will leave you to work at what you are best at. If you are not so sure about the logic of this then first quantify what one hour of your time is worth and figure whatever time it will take to do the job yourself… then double that tim. Now how much would that ultimately cost? If I were a betting man I would say you would save a lot if you outsourced.

    2) In every industry their is an ‘in’ crowd that tends to stick together. Don’t try to rub elbows with the this crowd for the sake of their status. Instead just be yourself and find people you truly enjoy being with, who enjoy being with you and who you think you would genuinely enjoy spending time with any day. This applies to everything from online social circles to conferences. If you are genuinely yourself you will enjoy your job more, the positive energy you exude will empower those around you and you will end up in a far happier and likely more successful place.

    3) Create an environment of intention by creating a mission and vision statement for both your business and your life. I have known nothing more powerful than the clarity and balance that comes with an established purpose. If I feel like my goals are not in order, and I am just working day to day business and my personal life will often stagnate – nothing feeds unbalance as well as unconsciousness. Yet as soon as I regain my clarity and direct my life towards a goal positive change just seems to come out of the woodwork; I look forward to work, sales calls increase, awesome ideas spring forth, and seemingly long lost contacts appear out of nowhere with great news. I know this might sound a bit far-fetched but it works… in fact it has never failed me. I hope the same goes for you.

  26. “If you don’t blog, start, and if you do blog, blog as if nobody else is reading it. . .”

    I love that! Blog as if nobody is reading it. . .so true. Even though you may step on some toes without that politcally correct filter in mind all the time – you just might start something. Don’t let fear or ridicule hold you back.

    And you don’t have to blog about your industry. Blog about gardening or pets and share links to your products and services in mentions with visitors.

  27. A tip? Consider being somewhat controversial about a certain matter. Play devil’s advocate to an extent and get people talking, visiting.

  28. Have really great customer service and offer exclusive specials to repeat customers. If selling products make sure to put business info on EVERYTHING you sell.

  29. Don’t think of your business website as an online brochure. Without a salesperson to build a case around that brochure, people will treat it just like they would if you walked into their office, dropped a brochure on their desk, and walked out the door. Into the round file it goes!

    Rather, when you’re creating your business website, think of it as your 24/7 salesperson. In fact, one of the best ways to create copy for a business website is to put a recorder in the pocket of your best sales performers every time they make a sales call. After a weeks worth of great sales pitches have been accumulated, use them as a resource to create marketing copy for every page of your website!

  30. Write with the reader in mind. Toby Bloomberg addresses this with the revised Golden Rule of treat your customers as THEY would like to be treated.

    Put yourself in their shoes to understand their issues, challenges and what solutions they seek. Use their language, big words don’t create a connection. Customers want to know you “get them.”

    Rather than using typical marketing words like quality, affordable and variety – think in terms of solutions you provide, ways you make their lives easier, tools you provide to grow their business or make them more profitable.

  31. Make sure you have a written marketing plan that addresses the “4 M’s” of marketing:

    Target Market – who are you trying to attract?
    Message – what are you trying to teach them, get them to do, think, feel or be?
    Media – How will you reach your target market with your message?
    Measurement – How will you track your marketing results?

    By having these 4 components in place, you will be able to create a mini marketing plan for your business that will provide positive sales results!

    Chris Brown, Branding & Marketing blog

  32. Can’t get enough of this great info here…I love it!

    TIP:Show concern about what really matters to your customers…Customer Loyalty

  33. Great tips – and some recognized names too! I wanted to add more…

    Don’t be afraid to ask for a testimonial or Success Story from your customers. Let them know you feel that others would benefit from their experience, and that you would really appreciate it, then make it super easy by providing a Questionnaire.

    A Questionnaire helps structure a success story by allowing them to quickly answer basic questions such as “What does your company do differently?” “How did you first learn you had a need for our products/services?” or “Who in your office uses our products on a daily basis and how?”

    Finally, don’t forget to personally thank them and let them know how others were inspired from reading their story!

  34. Have to agree with the customer loyality. Always providing the customer with ways of contacting your business, and having the great customer service you should have is a very big plus. Love your post.

  35. I am with Liz Strauss on promoting other people. I actually wasn’t really thinking of this as a marketing tool when I first created my “Stephen Hopson Interview” series at Adversity University but I’m finding this is quickly becoming a great way to brand my name as a speaker and coach who specializes in helping people deal with and overcome adversity.

    Interviewing other people is a great way to promote others and their blogs. They in turn love the attention being lavished on them and want to promote you too. It’s pretty amazing. The interview series is still in its infancy but my goal is to create something like a “distinquished lecture series at a major university” type of thing where rising stars in the blogging world come in for an interview.

  36. Always send business cards or brochures when shipping orders.

  37. Hi everyone, thank you so much for these great tips — KEEP THEM COMING!

    Just remember, if you want your business to get credit for the tip, please leave your business name or website, etc.

    I appreciate your participation no matter what. But I’d also like to give you credit in the PDF document we create. :)

    Anita

  38. Surprise Your Customers:

    When was the last time you did something to surprise your customers? You know something that would really make them remember you and appreciate your thoughtfulness and attention.

    We all spend most of our energy trying to create attention and generate enthusiasm in our prospects and potential customers but ignore the current ones. Just ask the wireless phone companies, all of the good deals go to new customers. When is the last time your provider called you and offered a free phone, or a months free service? Probably never like me.

    The surprise doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, sometimes a phone call from the owner just to follow-up is enough. The issue is whatever you do has to be sincere, not just an administrative task done without true intent.

    Maybe we could call it ‘Random Act of Kindness’ or ‘Pay It Forward’ or something. Try it, I bet your customers will enjoy the experience.

  39. While important, the price we ask for a product or service is far less important than you might think. Our customers want value. They are paying for solutions. They expect results and they are not put out by paying a fair price to get what they need. We entrepreneurs are often guilty of prematurely lowering our prices, perhaps out of a sense of fear or perceived competition. We need to be in the practice of adding so much value that our customer does not even blink at our price. We must learn to present our expected price with confidence, without flinching.

  40. Hi Anita,
    Great idea! Marketing is one of the hardest activities to get right. One marketing secret from my book call 49 Marketing Secrets (THAT WORK_) to Grow Sales (shameless plug) is as follows:

    You do not know what will work until you test it. It is suggested that you test your ideas and concepts inexpensively. What has worked for me is to call a meeting of friends, associates, advisors, customers, etc and test the concepts with them before you do a full launch. Be prepared fro feedback (which is what you want). They will tell you if your approach is right, does the message resonate, is the process you create the right process, etc… Be sure to park your ego at the door!

    I have helped my customer solve and get clear on many marketing issues using this approach. It doesn’t cost much, you get great feedback, you build wonderful relationships, and you find out what works.

  41. This isn’t my idea but I saw somewhere that if you provide a product or service, offer the service free or provide free products to influencial bloggers and ask that they blog about the experience afterward.

    Just make sure they have a positive experience!

  42. My tip will increase effectiveness from referral sources. Print an attractive double-sided 3 X 5″ card. On one side put your picture and contact information along with a one sentence caption of what you do. On the reverse side list what kind of business or person would make a good referral. This needs to be succinct and clear, with 3 to 5 bullet points. Even better, have it laminated. It will not get lost, get mixed in with business cards, and will remind your referral source what to say about you.

  43. Best Marketing Tip- Don’t Give UP!!!! Marketing takes time to show results. Patience and Perseverance are key!

  44. OUTSTANDING LIST…kudos!!! Blue Ribbon all the way, well researched, well written – many thanks for sharing. Regards, Keith J, Author “365 Great Affirmations”

  45. One way to build a relationship with a client is to refer business to them. Lead them to someone who will buy their product/service. No better way to show you understand their business then by referring them to someone who can help them grow…you become more important to them and they appreciate your efforts.

    Also, no means not yet.

  46. I have 2 not so secret though rarely used techniques.

    1)start a social network for your blog/site/company. Easy to do at Ning.com or a forum would work too this is for your visitors/customers/clients. Now the rarely part, take time once a year or more often to work with and plan a party or event for these people to get together. You don’t need to attend though it would be beneficial if you did. What this does is adds to the community building aspect of your brand.

    2)I just started checking this idea out and thus haven’t as of yet really tested it. Create a superblog or metablog of various blogs and feeds in your niche. Let everyone who is a part of the metablog know about it. The site I am currently looking at for this is http://www.superblog.org/ though I may look at other sites and or tools too. This idea started out as me wanting to put together an Online news paper style site including several other music related blogs.

    If anyone would like to help me with the second one in regards to finding the right tools and or sites let me know here is my contact post http://blog.timelineonline.org/2006/10/ways-to-learn-more-about-me-and-to.html

  47. My top tips that keeps customers:

    1. Set expectations ahead of time
    2. Meet those expectations
    3. Communicate CONSTANTLY

    Never offer problems. Offer solutions! Many times we recognize problems and ask our customers to solve them. This approach only helps to solidify in your customer’s mind that don’t know what you are doing. When there is an issue, and nothing is perfect, make sure to offer at least one solution to the problem. This will indicate that you have considered the options before simply admitting failure.

    Like all relationships, the ones that are most valuable are the ones that offer a high level of honest and transparency. If you make a mistake, admit it. If you succeed at something explain to your customers why and then tell them how you will solve it, and then do it.

    On a simple marketing level, make sure your website is actually there for your customers. My company does just that: http://www.watchour.com

  48. Dear Reader:

    I did not correctly proof read my entry. I will do better this time.

    Like all relationships, the ones that are most valuable are the ones that offer a high level of honest and transparency. If you make a mistake, admit it. If you succeed at something explain to your customers why and then tell them how you will work to make it even better, and then do it.

  49. Allow your customers to catch you in the act of providing something spectacular. After all, the strongest conclusion is the one you draw yourself.

    When they ask how you do it, reach out to them and say, “Let me teach you.”

  50. Don’t be afraid to give stuff away, whether it be helpful articles, lists of resources, credit to your peers, or a little something extra to your clients. Be generous.

    Rachelle
    http://www.fivebyfivepr.com

  51. Today’s customers are much more sophisticated than before. They have a problem, and they expect you to be able to provide a service or solution that will solve the problem. On top of that, the solution has to meet their needs.

    So we’ve got to really understand what the customer needs and sell him the right solution for those needs. We have to learn to work as a partner with our customers. Sit down with your valued customers, clarify the problems at hand, and design your products and services to address the issue. By doing this, you’ll gain the trust of your customers. Go beyond the seller-to-buyer relationship. Today’s customers expect that.

    Hope this helps!

    Marcel
    http://www.getentrepreneurial.com

  52. Netvalar: We will create a Blue Chip Comunity online combined with activities at our physical meeting place, Blue Chip Café & Business Center. We had a kick-off event after we had opened the doors for the public.

    I am interested in participating in your superblog. Please send me more information.

    All the Best,

    Martin Lindeskog – American in Spirit.
    Gothenburg, Sweden.

  53. Secret? Maybe it’s just getting back to treating a customer like anyone else that you would talk to and not at. My personal “secret” is to educate people on the product or service, if they are truly interested they will take the time to listen.

  54. Amazing advice! Thanks for the opportunity to contribute. My tip:

    Give without expecting something back in return. Help people solve problems. Build value and trust. Find out what your customers really want and give it to them. I’ve found relationship and trust building to be one of the best marketing tools out there.

  55. Oops. My biz website didn’t show up.

    Judy Dunn
    marketingyoursmallbiz.com

  56. Be obsessed with Blogging!!

    Seriously though, most of the blogs that I read are just written to feed the writers own feelings of self importance (and I bet most are written in Starbucks while drinking last half moch latachino or whatever).

    Best tips in marketing – know your customers, tailor your product and service around their needs and tell them about it regularly ie talk to them. Don’t blog about how great you are – no-one cares.

  57. Create a business-size card and on one side print your blog URL, tag line, and logo if you have one. On the other side, print a headline that reads “How to say ‘hello’ in 7 languages.” Indicate how to pronounce “hello” in each of the languages. Carry a small stack with you at all times and leave them at restaurants, conferences, public places, etc.

  58. Awesome compilation Anita! Thanks for taking the time to do it.

    My contribution: Be yourself. Lying takes too much energy.

  59. Marketing Tip: Choose Your Customers.

    Let’s face it there are way more customers out there then there are you. Why not work with the ones that you’re happiest working with. What could be better!

    Focus your messages on describing who your typical clients are and less about what you do. They’ve got to know that “Yes! That’s me!”. Then they are yours (Woo-Hoo!). It also filters out the ones that don’t fit (Yea!).

  60. Hi Anita!

    We try to make an emotional connection with our readers. Marketing is about reaching a person’s heart. Remember your audience. Find your niche. Be authentic. Our marketing mantra is : inspire, innovate, impact.

  61. Wow. What an incredible set of ideas.

    Thanks Anita.

  62. Great tips!
    Here’s one:

    Focus on telling, not selling to the media when embarkng on your PR campaign. Think beyond yourself and your company to what’s happening on a larger scale, and how you fit into that. Remember – the media is your customer too.
    Service them with excellence to become a reliable, valuable resource and give them a reason to add you to their rolodex!

  63. A really great compendium of the best marketing advice in the blogosphere.
    Thanks for putting it together.

  64. Drew,

    ‘Relevancy’ is crucial. I agree (and ‘consistency’). Perhaps this should be part of people’s daily mantra whilst remembering what their work is all about.

  65. I’d like to add a quick one: whenever you’re writing about your business, product, service, yourself, don’t WE-WE! Remember that your actual and potential customers are all tuned in to their favourite radio station: WII FM . . What’s In It For Me! Whenever I review a small business’s Website it always begins, We . . .
    Chris
    Business lecturer / consultant in Prague, Czech Republic

  66. I especially like the tip given under Social Media Marketing for using LinkedIn Answers. I’m going to give it a try to see if people would be willing to contribute some of their personal stories about “cheating Valentines” for use in some of the articles and blogs posts I’ll be doing for my annual Valentine’s Day Infidelity Awareness Campaign.

  67. Marketing Secret:

    Learn not only how to best market your business but also learn what you are good at in marketing and what you should leave up to the experts to do for you. Many small business owners try to cut costs in marketing by doing it all. Trying to do things you are not good at is more deadly to your business than not doing them at all. Figure out what you can do yourself in and bring in the experts to do the rest. It will pay off in the long run.

  68. What a great list!

    My tip is to give away lots of free content and ideas to develop relationships and build trust. Give away your best tips freely.

    My view is that content marketing is one of the best ways to gain expert status in your niche. I work with professional women who are often blocked in writing the content that could build their business by their perfectionism or fear of being visible with their outspoken views. I suggest that when they start writing, they just write like no one else is reading except them. Then, just stay focused on how they can help their target audience achieve their most desired result. This takes the pressure off it being all about them and makes it all about the clients they are meant to serve and how they can help them. From that place, the writing and the content development just start to flow.

  69. When marketing with business cards use the back side to your advantage. Add value to your card, make it worth holding on to. Here are some ideas on how you can add value to your business cards using the back side:

    1) Offer a coupon or discount.
    2) Create a frequent user punch card.
    3) Offer a free gift if they return the card to you.
    4) Include a conversion table.
    5) Make your card a handy ruler.
    6) Display a URL to a special landing page for those who receive your cards. At the page offer discounts, gifts or other special information.

    Face it. If you don’t add value to your business cards, they are worth nothing more than the paper they are printed on. Give your clients what they want and your business cards will pay for themselves many times over.

  70. Since most businesses in the US are micro businesses, often solo or home based, use joint ventures and strategic alliances to reach larger numbers in your target market. There’s power in numbers. That’s why so many larger businesses form strategic alliances and partnerships.

    Find other business owners who have already invested time and money to build trust with your target market and who don’t offer products or services that directly compete with yours. Determine what you offer that would be of real value to them.

    Offer your partner a percentage of sales if they will promote your business to their clients and subscribers and make sure you make it easy for them to say yes by preparing all marketing materials and making order fulfillment easy.

    You can also create new products with partners, you can co-market and sell bundled packages where you combine one of your products with theirs if there is natural synergy. The possibilities are endless, and your ability to reach much larger numbers or prospective clients on a small marketing budget can make a big difference to your bottom line.

  71. Thanks for the wise words. I see I need to refocus my online marketing resources toward a more social network approach. I like the idea of driving traffic to others that already support my company’s products.

  72. Step 1. Ask your customers what they want.

    Step 2. Listen.

    Step 3. Listen again, and harder this time, to what they say.

    Step 4. Give ‘em what they ask for.

  73. Marketing is about demand creation.

  74. Hi Anita:
    Great list… short & simple, the way I like it!

    Here’s another secret tip for readers:

    Find an overlooked target market, and market to them using their kind of jargon and/or colloquialisms.

    Yep, it’s in my new book ;)
    ~ Vikram
    MarketingThumbrules.com

  75. Do you have a network?

    I don’t have a network, I have friends.

    The internet is the greatest thing EVER for introverted entrepreneurs like me. No more shaking hands, small talk and rubber chicken. In the online world, teaching other people what you know is a way to network (blog). Heck, just raising your hand and creating a little “Wow look at this cool site!” arrow is networking (stumbleupon).

    -Sally J.
    The Practical Archivist

    P.S. Hat tip to WakeUpLater for the opening exchange.
    http://www.wakeuplater.com/marketing/5-mindsets-to-reshape-your-networking.aspx

  76. Marketing takes time.

    Despite the fact that marketing is one of the most crucial factors in a company’s success, a company’s marketing plan or marketing initiatives are always the last things to do and the most rushed. Marketing requires a lot of creativity and that takes time; even for the most experienced of marketers. It takes time to understand what your customer and prospects really want. While that is a challenge, it is even more challenging to develop the right words and images to engage them.

    Robert Levin,
    Publisher, New York Enterprise Report

  77. Great post Anita,

    A great secret that everyone “knows” is to have a master mind group which can help you by acting as a sounding board, coach and electric cattle prod. And the group can consist of truly great people who are now dead! Think of what Winston Churchill might say when you’re faced with competition, “we will fight them in the markets, we will never surrender!”

    Jim

  78. Hello Anita:

    My marketing tip has to do with productivity:

    “Success is all about productivity. Therefore, when you’re working, you should always spend the majority of your time doing only those things that are the most productive.”

    Dale King

  79. How To Get Famous In Your Niche….

    Pick a presidential candidate to support then assume the title Of Blank’s campaign manager to the Blank community.

    So say you love snowboarding and you love Barack Obama for president.
    You take the title of Barack Obama’s campaign manager to the Snowboarding community.

    It will be your responsibility to come up with “10 Reasons Why People Who Snowboard Support Barack Obama” and give it away to people who snowboard. Do reports to find out what political campaigns snowboard manufacturers are giving money too.

    Do a survey of top snowboarders to see what candidates they support. Do a report of top issues that concern people who snowboard. Do a report of what political issues will directly affect the snowboard community.

    Garth
    Creator of the The Most Loved Word In America poll
    Happy Valentine!

  80. Anita,

    Great idea. Here’s my secret to add to your list:

    <b>Admit you are marketing.</b> Don’t run into the trap of believing that people won’t pay attention if you confess that you are trying to sell something. Being up front about what you are trying to do will set you apart, and ironically make your message far more believable in the process.

  81. Love this idea Anita,

    Marketing Tips:

    Understand your target market: who they are, what they want, what they value, how they think, etc., And always keep this in mind when make marketing decisions. Don’t focus on all the bells and whistles of your product or service but instead clearly articulate the value you bring to a customer’s life. It’s not selling – it’s making the right connection.

    Never forget to make the most of a first impression:
    Potential customers will develop an impression about you and your business in the first few seconds. Make the most of that by developing a top notch look for all your promotional material. Best money for a new business owner to spend is in the development of a professional logo. It’s makes all your sequential advertising easier and more effective. Ensure you and all your staff best represent your company….right down to the clean shoes, fingernails and car.

    You only get one chance to make a first impression, so don’t entrust that to a brother-in-law who does web-sites for a hobby, a friend that likes photography or a spouse who thinks they can save you money by creating your business logo.

    Remember all these marketing efforts represent you and play a part in the customer’s decision whether to buy or not.

    Kimberly

    http://www.bluebananamarketing.ca

  82. As time goes by, this remains a big mantra of mine: for any U$1 you spend communicating witn your audience, spend U$2 listening. Goes for time and resources as well.

  83. Put the buyer at the center of your offering – not your product or your company. Buyers do not care about you or your product, they care about themselves in the context of your product.

    Also, buyers do not want to hear from you anymore, they want to hear from their peers – so is your story one that has the buyer at the core of it, and is your story easily retold?

  84. Fabulous post Anita,

    Mi secret is simple:

  85. Create and use an email signature with name, website or blog, and tag line.

    Les Bain
    http://www.wizard-creek.com
    “Helping business pick the low hanging fruit from the Internet tree”.

  86. My tip: Focus on excellent customer experience and spend heavy on branding within that. Exceed peoples expectations so much when they come in contact with you that they become your sales people. Make your product or service sell itself.

    Starbucks has done an excellent job of this, spending next to nothing on overt marketing, but spending a fortune on packaging, operations, and store layouts.

    Kyle I Vucko
    CEO
    http://www.indochino.com

  87. Here’s my own best kept marketing secret — learn how to give the perfect elevator pitch.

    An elevator pitch is an overview of an idea for a product, service, or project that can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride (say, thirty seconds or 100-150 words). Knowing how to make the perfect elevator pitch is important because sometimes thirty seconds is all you get with your boss, client or investor.

    I use a simple three step template to make my own elevator pitches —

    – Step 1 — Describe your idea in one or two sentences. Give both facts as they are and your own opinions.

    – Step 2 — Specify what exactly you want to be done, by when and by whom.

    – Step 3 — Give three reasons why, including examples to illustrate the benefits.

    Now that you know how to make the perfect elevator pitch, why don’t you make one today?

    By the way, head your to my blog to read <a href=”http://www.gauravonomics.com/blog/top-experts-share-their-best-kept-marketing-secrets/”>the perfect elevator pitch for the Best Kept Marketing Secrets e-book</a>.

  88. My favorite post in quite some time. Thank you for all the great tips and insights.

    Top secret:

    Your brand should permeate your company, through and through. Customers are empowered to engage companies through more diverse channels and touch points than ever before. However, it’s still more common to put the typical marketing & communication tactics (advertising, website, etc.) against brand screen rigor while other company tools can feel like an afterthought (i.e. answering the phone/customer service, sales materials, store/office layout, even your email signature and business cards).

    Every single customer touch point is an opportunity to make a brand impression. One touch point may be the only impression you get, so while it makes sense to prioritize your marketing focus, don’t discount your brand elsewhere. Fully integrated marketing plans are key in creating a meaningful and memorable customer experience. And it doesn’t have to mean spending more – just thinking more.

    Mike Covert
    Partner – Ignite Studios
    Dallas, TX

  89. Be Remarkable, Consumers tired of the endless scheming of marketers , tuned out years ago.
    Be unforgettable, “The first business or product in the consumers mind wins”
    Be Reachable, We are in the business of “service” That is our promise to the consumer.
    Be unduplicatible, It’s really is worth the effort!

    We are all, ” Replacable” Bob Lewis http://www.abc123.com

  90. The best secret? I’ve got some:
    – Remember, You become more vulnerable when everyone else is talking about how good you are.
    – Competitor is not just that who sells similar products/services but all those whom your clients have interactivity because your customer services will be compared.
    – Attention to details.
    – Every time your client is contacted an opportunity to create value is given.
    – Make easy for client express themselves
    – Quality is more than limited possibility. quality is about unlimited possiblities
    – Always carry two business cards. One with your details and another one in blank, so if you meet someone with no cards, you can offer it to him/her fill up and give back to you.
    – Call everyone by their name.
    – Best ads come from attempts to solve problems
    – A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself (from Ogilvy!)

    Thats all
    Lucio Dias Ribeiro
    http://marketingeasy.net

  91. Create an ideal client and marketing to your target. See if you’re doing that now.

    Is Your Business Targeting Your Ideal Client?

    Small to mid-size business owners, branch office managers, and independent agents, rate your clients against your “ideal,” and see if it’s time to make a change OR if you’re “on the mark.”

    Rating System 1 = Disaster 3= Average 5 = Brilliantly Successful

    1. _______My business has a solution to a problem that my IC wants to fix now.
    2. _______My ideal client is the decision maker.
    3. _______There are at least 2 local organizations where 75% of the members are my IC.
    4. _______On the whole, my IC can easily afford my services and wants to pay my rates.
    5. _______My IC clearly sees me as unique and more qualified than others offering
    similar services.
    6. _______My clients refer people to me all the time; I don’t have to ask.
    7. _______When I market, network, or advertise, I always end up with solid leads.
    8. _______I do not have to educate my IC about the value of what I do.
    9. _______I know everything about my ideal client – from their attitude, to shopping patterns, to
    what they read, to what makes them tick.
    10. _______When I network or speak, 85% of the time is spent in front my IC or people who know
    them very well.
    11. _______I spend very little time explaining what I do to my IC, because they already “get it.”
    12. _______I love working with my ideal client who keeps their word close to 100% of the time.
    13. _______My ideal client has the financial means to invest in the solutions they need.
    14. _______There are others, that I can form alliances with that are selling to my ideal client.

    Scoring: Congratulations! You’ve now assessed how well you’re attracting your IC to your business. Since you must consider all the above in your successful business/unit, it’s not the total number that counts; it’s how well you do in each area!

    However, a number of 1s and 3s is a definite signal for improvement. If you’re ready to grow your business to the next level, or further define your Ideal Client—to truly change the state of your business in the next twelve months—it’s time to visit http://www.CorporateSecretsForSmallBusinessSuccess.com

    (c) 2008 Maria Marsala, Elevating Your Business

  92. As they say – keep your friends close and your enemies closer. In a marketing context, it is essential to know all about your key competitors as the information you get, will allow you to take advantage of their weaknesses and defend against their strengths.

    By analyzing your competitors it helps you to work out your key point of difference and what you do better. Sources of information to find out more about your competitors include their website, trade associations, internet search engines, your customers and don’t forget to buy their product to experience their customer service.

    Remember they would probably love to have some of your customers for their business and they are probably keeping a close watch on you,

    Susan
    M4B Marketing Software

  93. My best kept marketing secret is to ask three customer centric questions:

    1. Step into the role of your customers and ask yourself: Would you buy your product, honestly?
    The answers will help you better understand why people buy and why they don’t buy.

    2. Do you use your own product?
    It always amazes me how many companies find lots of excuses of not using their own products – probably the same reasons why their customers don’t.

    3. Are you selling a product, or are you selling the value (of the product)?
    People don’t buy products; they buy the VALUE of the product. Don’t market and sell features, sell the value of the features.

    http://www.startupramp.com

  94. Like Seth Godin’s tip, this marketing tip is so essential that it’s obvious. And yet, it’s not on any of the 150+ previously mentioned great tips above. My best marketing secret: don’t stop.

    Keep out there, keep at it, and don’t stop marketing. It takes time for efforts to come back to you. Be persistent.

    Great list everyone. I’m adding it to my small business advice blog, “Ditch the Dusty Widget.”

    Tara M. Bloom
    http://www.bloomcopywriter.com

  95. Inject your personality into everything you write. Be yourself and give your honest opinion.

    Rhonda Holland

  96. Establish yourself as the expert.

    1. Write a book
    2. Market it online
    3. Become known as the “person who wrote the book”
    4. Convert book buyers into clients

    My free online course will help.. http://BookMarketingStrategy.com

  97. Some great tips here! I would say:

    1. Ask (How do you know what your market or customers need if you don’t ask?)
    2. Listen (Duh, right? But how many of us actually, really, truely listen?)
    3. Act (Now that you’ve actually listed, DO SOMETHING about it, act!)
    4. Ask again (Now it’s time to measure your success and do it all again.)

    Follow me on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/davidunite

  98. Here’s another tip – Help your business avoid the feast and famine business cycle by developing continuous marketing methods that require little time, such as having an ad in your community newspaper that can be renewed with a single email.

  99. When working with clients on their marketing the things I focus on are a combination of many because not just one thing will make you the best marketer. There are a multitude of ways to market businesses and I work with the client to determine the areas of focus and then formulate the plan to get it launched within the desired budget.

  100. People who think less about markets and products and more about needs and solutions tend to have more and greater success!

    Follow me on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/gurubob

  101. These are awsome Ideas!! The bottom line seems to be always and only speak to your ideal client. Whether its teaching, selling, or asking the ideal client.
    I especially like the book idea. And just this last comment on solutions. People want help. They want to experience what they want… not be informed on how to get it, yet it takes what it takes. The greatest way to create a “indefinate” customer is to be the guy who causes them to achieve what they want.

  102. Great Information. Sometimes it feels like standing in a crowded stadium with everyone yelling. Finding your target client needs to be done on the way in perhaps, the way into the stadium. This is where the 25 words come in. Only talking to the ideal client is tough sometimes.

  103. Make sure your clients understand, “it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you!”

  104. Whatever you do, whatever your business is, you must create a marketing plan, track that plan and adjust course as needed. It doesn’t matter if your marketing is made up solely of freebies or high-end glossy print publications and commercials, plan, place and perfect your marketing mix.

  105. The most important thing is honesty. I was taught this at a very young age and I have been practicing it for years. Honesty really pay off in the long run and no matter how dishonest other businesses may be, remain honest to your customers and also to yourself and you will reap the rewards.

  106. To learn from the best – great article and its always good to hear from what the top people in the industry are doing

  107. Small Business Trend of Marketing : Is very usefull , informative and also expertise. The idea give for the business card format is very impressive , i loved it.
    ————————
    Ariana
    Social Bookmarking

  108. The best marketing secret of them all: get your own marketing secret, keep it a secret until you become successful, then spill it out over a series of best selling books and blogs.

  109. The secret to marketing success (for me) is to be myself, be honest and sincere.

    Its amazing how many marketeers will focus on ‘the now’ rather than the long term.

  110. What a great list of experts sharing their knowledge. This post is packed with great information. Thanks!

  111. Try many things and measure everything. You never know what will work best.

  112. Listen! To your customer. Ascertain what they really need.
    CARE! Care about them, their problems, their issues, their dog! We live in a very ‘cold’ world, caring about your customer (really caring) will set you apart automatically.
    Deliver! Setup yourself up towards integrity. People respect honesty…if you can’t deliver what the customer wants….say so. Upfront and then explain to the customer what you can do.
    Do NOT lie! Bait & Switch, exaggerate your services. How can you really care about your customer if you can lie about your products/services. Impossible. Yet I see this all the time. Don’t do it.

    Be yourself, listen to your customer’s needs, care about them then deliver what you said you would give them and make certain that what you deliver is what they were expecting to purchase. Sounds simple, but many do not do this.

  113. Don’t follow fads.
    Solve marketing problems using the best possible tools to solve those problems – not the ones that are getting all the buzz.

  114. Well done Anita,

    Tip:: Give potential customers a taste of your offerings, give people something for free and they will feel obligated to return the favor

  115. I know this is WAY late.

    But I just wanted to share my view.

    Brilliant piece! Thanks for compiling this. I find that learning what others do and think is one of the key factors that can contribute towards success. You learn faster and easier by taking note of what others do. They have probably been there and done that

  116. Great Ideas Anita,

    The closer you can get to being in “Complete Rapport” with your customer, the closer you can get to “seeing through seeing through the eyes” of your ideal clients the easier it becomes to create marketing messages and customer experience that will convert new customers, get those customers to buy more often as well as become your customers for life.

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