The Process




So, tools, right? Things that contribute. In this case, things that contribute to a successful overall marketing effort. Not a one of them is a product in and of itself—they're simply the rock onto which we marketing seagulls drop our client clams to extract the delicious nugget of success.

Strategy. It's first here because it's the most important and the first step to any effective marketing effort. Everything—Web presence, printed materials, social media, everything—has to be coordinated to contribute to one coherent, cohesive message, clearly delivered.

Branding. The cornerstone of a solid marketing strategy is a solid brand—the shorthand your audience ail use to associate you with all of the awesome things you want them to think about you. If you don't tell people what you're about, they'll make it up on their own, and that rarely ends well.

Web design. An online presence is pretty much the price of doing business these days. Chances are, your audience has already visited your site and formed an opinion about you—it's face-to-face contact without the face. Not having a site is bad; having a bad one is worse. Have a good one. (I'll help.)

Social media. People don't like being talked at, but they love being talked to. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs—if you can create and maintain a community around your message, they'll do half the work for you. You just have to keep up your end of the conversation.

Content. Of course, there's no point in opening your mouth if you have nothing worthwhile to say. The real meat of your marketing comes in your content, whether it's Web or print copy, multimedia, or even personal contact (or especially personal contact). Content has been my hobby, passion, and profession since I was far younger than I am now, and I'm happy to help others find their voice in expressing their message. And I'm happy to do it for them myself where necessary. Some people just have weak voices; it's nothing to be ashamed of. I'm not good at volleyball. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.