I read a lot of marketing and business advice from different sources, and I see a lot of, “Always do this,” and, “Never do that,” in the words of the gurus. But should you “always” listen to the gurus? The answer becomes clear when you realize that much of the advice from one expert will directly contradict the advice from another.
Of course, there are a few things that will work for almost anyone, or that should generally be avoided. However, for everything a guru says is a waste of time and money and never works, there is someone, somewhere who is doing it successfully. Whether you are thinking about blogging, advertising, sending press releases, publishing a book, or other promotions, you will want to consider whether it is a good idea for you, not just what the gurus say.
So how to do you know which ideas will work for you and which will not? A bit of analysis and planning can help you decide. When you follow that with testing, you will know if you have a winner or a dud.
Start by considering if the action is a good fit with your market. Are your customers at home moms, techies, quilters, lawyers, grandparents, travelers, photographers, Porsche owners or some other group? Is your market primarily local, or spread across the country or around the world? Do they spend a lot of time online? Do they read books? Each characteristic of your market will help you to determine the best ways to reach them.
What is the risk? Taking an action has risk. You will have to invest some time and money, and you may not get the result you hoped for. What most people do not realize, though, is that NOT taking action also carries a risk. Will taking the action you are considering involve more risk that you can comfortably accept? What is the risk of not doing it?
Test, test, test. Before committing to a large expenditure, try a small one first and see what the response is. Use the feedback to fine tune the campaign before a major launch.
And if the risk is small, just go for it. Do not spend more time and money thinking and testing than it would take to just do it.
When things work for you, do them again. Continue to test and tweak to see if you can improve results.