Why You Should Start Writing, Stop Hiding, and Quit Worrying About the Competition
This post has been building within me for months but finally boiled over the other day when Jens from Sly Marketing asked me the following question with regard to blogging and inbound marketing on my last article about content creation:
I have recently talked to a few guys at a print design company, a fairly successful company with about 30 employees. They asked me about marketing, and I told them about inbound marketing and blogging. They were skeptical, because they didn’t want to share anything with their competitors. What if they just copied everything they did?
Although to someone like you or I that actually sees the ‘big picture’ of content and inbound marketing, there is a surprising number of business owners in this world that are afraid they’ll be giving too much of themselves to their competitors if they embrace such a marketing paradigm. To these business owners, I offer you this suggestion:
Pull Your Head Out of Your Butt
Sorry for the strong imagery, but it’s the truth. The idea that other companies and businesses will copy you and get an advantage because of the fact that you teach, inform, and inspire is quite possibly the dumbest thing in the history of the world. In fact, here are 5 keys to remember if you’re hedging over the idea as to whether blogging and inbound marketing are right for your business:
5 Reasons You Should Stop Worrying About the Other Guy and Worry More About Yourself:
1. You’re Nothing Special (Part I): Ouch. That’s right. Your company is nothing special until you actually do something special. And what’s special in 2011? Special in 2011 is giving more than anyone else. Special is embracing video, blogging, and social media in an effort to be the most informative company you can be. Special is willing to put yourself out there in the realm of public voice and thought and participate in the conversation. Unless you’re doing this in 2011, you’re nothing special.
2. You’re Nothing Special (Part II): So here we are again, but this time we’re talking about the way your company does what it does. Let me give you an example: I was once talking to a manufacturing company about Web 2.0 principles. I told the owner the first thing I’d suggest is that he take video of every little thing his company does in the factory, how they do it, and what makes them so dang good. And do you know how he responded? If you guessed, “I don’t want my competitors to see how we do things”, then you were right. After wanting to splash a bucket of cold water on the guy’s head, I simply told him the following:
You’re not freaking Coca-Cola. You make stuff a lot like everyone else. So stop thinking your stuff is such a secret when it’s not.
So many businesses are so worried about hiding ‘important information’ from their competition that all they’re really doing is hiding their value and ‘story’ from the all-important consumer. It’s crazy. If companies and manufacturers would start realizing this and stop paying so much attention to what their competition supposedly knows, then maybe we’d hear a lot less complaining about how bad the economy is and more talk of profits in the marketplace.
3. You Can Lead a Horse to Water but You Can’t Make Him Drink: Because of the way we embraced blogging, video, and inbound marketing in the swimming pool industry a few years ago (read story here), my company and I became the ‘voice’ of the fiberglass pool industry. And once we did this, guess what I then started doing? If you guessed that I shared every business ‘secret’ I knew here on TSL, then you’re right. Many people thought I was crazy. “Why would Marcus show everyone how he’s had so much success?” is a question that has been posed quite a few times over the past year. And the answer to the question is simple—Most business owners are lazy marketers. They’re the horse that doesn’t drink. I can spell success out for them all day long but the majority (again Pareto’s Law always proves true) simply don’t do what it takes to be successful. Amazing….sad…yet very true.
4. There’s Room for Everyone On Top: This may come across as a bit Utopic but it’s true. Having an abundance mentality, I firmly believe there’s room on top for everyone. Thus, if I can help more companies to succeed, the laws of karma will in-turn bless me and my business as well. Why is it that way? I have no idea; I just know that it is. Sure, it takes guts to show the world the right way to run a business, build a product, or offer a service—but it’s this same mentality that blesses everyone while thrusting your company to the top of its field.
5. The Train is Already Leaving the Station: If businesses want to live in fear of great marketing, then they must understand this—The train called inbound marketing (blogging, video, etc) has left the building. Either get on or be left behind. Or, to put it in my most eloquent manner—It’s time to poo or get off the pot folks.
Success is not going to wait for coward business owners. Success will enter the lives of those persons that have a teacher’s mentality. So, to all you business owners out there right now that are looking down this path of marketing and debating its merits, look no further. The time is now. Get on the train, there’s still just enough time.
What do you think? Am I being too strong? Also, what are some other reasons businesses don’t embrace these new age marketing principles? As always, you’re comments are what make this blog a community, so please take a moment to share your thoughts, good or bad. 🙂
PS: You may have ‘liked’ TSL on Facebook, but why not be ‘real’ friends? Here’s my FB account, let’s make this real. 😉