Michael Nelson
November 26, 2013

Do Your Marketing Messages Get Lost in all The Noise?

purple_cowsIf owning a business is your second career, you’re in a different position than typical entrepreneurs. Let’s figure out how to maximize your advantages and minimize your challenges to build a growing and fulfilling business. You should be able to use your knowledge and experience to become successful rather quickly, if you plan correctly.

You are likely quite good at creating and delivering value for your customers as you have have been in your previous career. One of the first challenges you’ll face is making sure that your leads and prospects are able to understand the value you’ll provide them through your messaging and that your messaging evolves over time.

Start-ups (mostly new tech companies) tend to be quite good at this because they are frequently doing something new or in a different manner as part of getting funding and convincing people to join their firm.

Seth Godin, a gifted and poignant marketing thinker uses an analogy of a purple cow to address messaging. If you see a cow, it’s just a cow like any other and you don’t think much about it. Now, if you see a purple cow, that’s something different and you will want to investigate a bit and learn more.

valueBusiness can be roughly broken into four phases: start, grow, mature, and decline. Your marketing helps you move from phase to phase and if you don’t continually refresh your offerings and messaging, it will also help your business decline. Instead, you’d like to see your business move to a new cycle or have products going through different phases of the cycle as shown in the graph. Creating new purple cows will help you shift your business to the right and continue growing.

Of course, while a purple cow is interesting, you’re not likely to spend too much time considering it without knowing that it has further value for you. So the purple cow becomes a way of describing your new offering and the value it brings in order to bring leads and prospects to you so that the rest of your messaging can tell them the true value your offering holds for them. Don’t mistake flash for substance, but know they work hand in hand.

In comparison to a start-up, you are also experienced in business. You understand structure, order, responsibilities, etc. that govern organizations and let people work together toward common goals.

Small business owners wear many hatsWhen you are running your own business, that can become a challenge as you will be wearing many hats and performing many roles. Start-ups are OK with that, they expect to work themselves silly, have fun doing it, and then cash out. In your business, you may not want to work 80 hours a week for five years…

To have a life along side owning a business, you’ll need processes, systems and automation along with clear goals. Once you have your framework in place, your experience will enable you to quickly become efficient and focused on the actions that are delivering the results you want and to cast aside those that waste time and money.

So what is the key to ensuring your second career as a business owner brings all the successes and freedom that you envisioned?

You need to understand your messaging and the “purple cow” that will get attention focused onto your offerings to drive your marketing. You need clear ideas around your goals and actions you’ll take to reach your goals. You must also ensure that you are not only working in your business, but on it as well so that you are setting the course to your success instead of using hope as a strategy!

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Michael Nelson

Michael Nelson is a small business coach and circumstance marketing innovator who lives in DC with his lovely wife and three insane boys. Michael Nelson ”The Cogent Coach” Follow me on:  Twitter / Facebook /  LinkedIn / Google+