Keeping up with the ever-changing marketing landscape can be hard, but there are some fundamental rules that never go away.

In this episode of 5 Business Rules, you’ll learn five marketing principles you can always turn to. Spend 5 minutes watching the video or read on for the tips.

#1 Listen for the need

Before you start talking about what you can do for someone, take the time to listen. If the person you’re talking to doesn’t have a need you can fulfill, than spewing out information doesn’t actually help them. In fact, it feels pushy.

If you give someone a chance to talk, they’ll give you clues you can use to show them how your products or services can help.

Think of it like this, if you were to say, “My widget can save you time and money,” it may seem like you’re offering up great value. But it’s too general, and doesn’t address a specific to a need.

Compare that with a statement like, “You mentioned you were having trouble keeping up with all of the projects your team is working on. I totally understand how that can feels! In fact, I went through the same thing and that’s why I developed my widget. I’d be happy to show it to you sometime and see if it can help you organize things.”

Yes, it’s longer, but instead of talking at someone, you’re connecting through a shared experience. People are much more likely to buy from you if they understand how your product/service will make a difference to them.

#2 The KISS Principle

Keep it simple stupid. We’ve all heard that phrase, but sometimes we need a gentle reminder to follow it.

Many of us have a tendency to overcomplicate things, which can be a turnoff.

The first step is to kill the use of jargon, shorten your sentences and keep puns and metaphors to a minimum. While wordplay might make your marketing message fun, the truth is people are better able to remember simple, straightforward messages.

#3 Focus on them, not you

As a new business owner or consultant, it’s easy to let imposter syndrome creep in. When we feel a little unsure of ourselves, there’s a tendency to focus on our credentials in effort to prove credibility. Unfortunately, this has a tendency to backfire.

Here’s a cold, hard fact: other people don’t care about you, they care about themselves.

Your CV may be impressive, but a fancy degree doesn’t necessary help someone.

Your messaging should be focused on the things your customers care about – their challenges and pain points. Until they understand how you can make their life better, they don’t care about you as a person.

beautiful blonde woman painter smiling in her studio

#4 Branding = Consistency

From your logo, to your brand colors, to your tone of voice – everything in marketing must be consistent.

The goal is for someone to see your logo and instantly remember who you are and what you’re all about. That only comes from being consistent.

While we may never achieve iconic status like Nike’s swoosh, consistency does still make a difference for small businesses.

As an example, I was at a networking event and when I handed my card to a lady, she said, “I remember you, we’ve met before!”

She didn’t remember my face, but my business card triggered a memory for her. That wouldn’t happen if I used green one day and purple the next. You build a brand through consistency.

#5 Proof your work

This might sound obvious, but you should always double-check spelling, grammar and links before you hit send. This applies to emails, presentations, or social media or blog posts.

Imagine how you feel if you click on a social media post and end up with a bad link. It’s not only a bummer because you didn’t see the information you wanted, but it starts to make you question how competent the person or company is.

Don’t let all your good marketing efforts be ruined by bad editing.

Want some feedback on whether or not your marketing delivers? Take advantage of a free website audit and get some honest thoughts on where you shine, and where you don’t.