How do you sell “it”? A Marketing Manifesto
I've been very quiet lately.
Some very smart people asked me some very tough questions and I had to stop and take a minute. It was one of those shut down the plant (or at least run on minimal power) to get clear on the direction and/or make a course correction.
I've written on the seven-fingered glove before and the whole fallacy of if you build it they will come. I know you have to offer something of value and create content that answers questions but honestly, I was overwhelmed by it all. Content is coming from everywhere and it seems that every one is producing because content marketing is the new marketing darling. Some of it reads like the same old–same old and it filled my social media feeds and wearied me. I wondered who was actually reading all this content and why some content gets pushed to the top of the heap and other messages, good messages go unnoticed. I wondered if other people were on content overload like me. I wondered if they were tired of creating it and reading it.
That's why the questions asked of me stopped me in my tracks and made me reevaluate a few things.
Here's what I know. There are some very talented, gifted and skilled people out there and yes I'm one of them. (If you don't think you're great, no one else will either…that's another manifesto.)
However being gifted, talented and skilled doesn't pay the bills unless that gift, talent or skill can translate into something marketable. Trust me, there are a lot of talented and gifted people out there struggling financially.
These gifts and talents have to be the solution to some problem. They have to answer some great need.
This is what separates a hobbyist from a business owner. It is the great divide between the tax brackets.
If you want to sell it, it has to solve a problem. If it doesn't solve a problem, it will sit on the shelf and collect dust.
Innovation creates problems for which their product is the solution. Need an example? Did the general public know it was suffering and in need because their cell phone screens were too small and laptops too big for mobility purposes? We didn't know we needed tablets until they were presented to us as the solution for the phone screen that was too small and the laptop that was too big.
You can be a fabulous speaker but if you don't have a topic that you can sell (you're not addressing a problem in the marketplace), your dog or cat will be the only recipient of your phenomenal presentation skills.
These gifts and talents have to be massaged for the marketplace.
They have to solve problems.
Success then lies in the ability to take one's natural talent and ability, their skills and gifts and match/conform them to a pressing need in the marketplace.
That's how you sell it.
Your gift will make room for you if you're willing to make room for the gift.
You can still be you, bring your uniqueness to the table, and be your authentic self. Just make sure that all that uniqueness and authenticity is solving a need so you can meet yours.
See/anticipate the problem, and use your gift and talent to develop and introduce the solution.
It's not enough to build a platform solely on your gift, talent and skill. They won't come. Maybe a few but not the numbers you need to keep your business and family afloat.
Find the solution to a problem and sell the solution using your gift.
By Lisa Alexander
Lisa aka The Marketing Stylist™ is a public speaker, author, small business owner and marketing/design consultant. She resides in Houston, TX with her husband Elgin, their son and a rambunctious black Labrador named Kobe.