Marketing - What You Need To Be Successful

Jerrin Finney is the owner and author of blogs on The 1099 Life. Remember to always do your research and gather all the information necessary to make the best decision for yourself possible. Also follow me on social media! Click the social media icons to learn more!


DISCLAIMER! No part of this website or any blogs written here is career advice and it should not be taken as such. These blogs are written from the experience of me, Jerrin Finney, and only express my opinions and thoughts - which could and more than likely will in some cases - change. I'm learning and evolving as time passes and so will my thoughts and opinions. So nothing here is set in stone, nor is it professional and/or legal career advice of any kind. Take what you read with a grain of salt and do your own research to find the best solutions for your career/business goals. I don't claim to be correct in everything I do, either. Some things may be wrong and if you want to have a discussion or call me out on something, reach out to me on social media. Please make sound and reasonable financial decisions and please have discussions with qualified professionals if it makes sense to do so. With that out of the way, enjoy reading! Glad to have you here!

Your Audience: If They Don't Buy, You Don't Have A Business!

If you don't have an audience, you don't have a business. You have, at best, a hobby. I would only consider it a hobby if you like doing it. For example, if you love creating videos and you don't care who watches, then video creation is simply a hobby for you. And that's fine! The problem comes in when you try to call a hobby a business. They're not the same thing - though you could turn your hobby into a business. But once you cross that line of creating things for an audience versus just for yourself, then your hobby is starting to be a business. When you start making money from your audience, then you're on your way to building a business. So, if you want a business you have to want an audience who has the ability and willingness to pay for the product, service or content you're offering.

Building an Audience Is Intentional!

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The Exception To Intentional Audience Building.

Listen, you have no chance at building an audience if you don't intentionally and actively attempt to build an audience. I know there's a lot of talk about making easy money or passive money on the side. And if you want to go for the easy money, then go right ahead. Throw something together that you think people will buy. Put it up for sale in whatever venue or marketplace makes sense. And then sit back and see what happens. I can already tell you what will happen. Not much of anything.

Look at all the big companies out there. Do they advertise? Do they have a massive marketing department and an advertising budget? I'll answer those questions for you. Yes. That's the answer to both questions. So why do you think you're an exception to the rule? It's a genuine question you have to ask yourself. If you think you don't have to market or advertise to anyone in order to find success, then what makes you the exception to the rule? Are you highly attractive? Do you have charisma oozing from your pores? What is it about you that makes it so you don't have to pay for advertising?

Yes, people have a standard for beauty. They also have a standard for charisma and who and what they find interesting. And sure, you may be the top .10% of most beautiful people in the world. And yes, you can build a following alone on that rare fact. You have a highly desirable trait that most of society wants to see, but can't because it's rare. So yes, you have a chance to monetize an audience based on your looks alone if you become so fortunate to be in that specific position. But most of us aren't in that position.

Even if you were in that position, you would need to make yourself visible to an audience. You probably wouldn't have to spend as much money to get in front of an audience if you were in that position if we're being honest. A lot of word of mouth from others would help you out a lot. And you're a very rare sight to see - which would make you newsworthy. So you'd get a lot of free coverage because you're something rare that's in high demand.

So what rare skills or innate traits do you have that are so rare that it's buzzworthy? Do you have people following you around and asking you questions left and right just by merely existing? If yes, then you may be the exception to the rule. But most likely, you aren't the exception. Most likely, you don't have something so special that people think it's newsworthy.

And no, you don't have to be special. You can lean into what you have in common with others in order to build a relationship with them. If people can relate to you and you can understand and resolve people's pain points effectively, then you can build an audience you can sell to. And you have to be very intentional with your marketing efforts.

Building an Audience With Intention!

As I said before, unless you have something so rare that makes you newsworthy, then you won't get free promotion for whatever it is you have to offer. Again, sorry to be the one to suggest that you may not be as special as you think. When I discovered I wasn't special and I didn't need to be in order to sell to people, I got excited. I used to think I had to be extroverted and charismatic in order to sell to people. But I can sell more than what I need to people without being the most charismatic or extroverted person in the world. I do, in some capacity, have to reach out to people. I can't stay holed up in my room all day long reading, studying, and doing whatever else I like to do (even though that's what I want to do) day in and day out. I have to reach out to an audience with intention and discover their pain points. I also have to make sure I have the skills needed to resolve those pain points.

If I don't have the skills - that's okay! I just have to find the people who do have the skills and pay them to use their skills for my benefit. It's called hiring someone in more simple terms. So I don't even need to have talent. But I do need to have money - which would require me to use other skills that I have in exchange for money that I can then exchange for other people's skills that I can utilize to build products, services or content on my behalf that I don't have the skills to build. Long sentence, I know. I intended for it to be. Yes, the process can be as tedious as that long sentence was to read through. The short version of that sentence is - I have to go to work to make money to have money to pay other people to work for me.

After we have created a solution for our chosen audience's pain points, we market to them. Marketing doesn't and shouldn't be scammy. Why would you run a scam on people when you don't have to? You've gone through the hard work of building your skills to resolve that audience's pain points. Or you've put in a lot of work and effort to save up money so you can hire someone to do it for you.

Now that you've put in the intentional work and effort to save/get the capital needed and the skills needed, you have to build brand awareness. People can't buy from you if they can't see you. They won't see you if you don't catch their attention. Remember, you're not the center of the universe. People won't pay attention to you unless they have a reason to. And after doing your research and testing and putting together a solution to those people's pain points, you're ready to market to them to get your brand noticed. You want to target people who'll buy from you or who'll enjoy what you're offering.

How To Be More Intentional?

How does one become more intentional? Well, being intentional means doing something on purpose. If you do something on purpose, then you've actively planned and taken action on that plan to do the thing you intended to do. So being intentional means you are being very active in your efforts. Intentionally marketing to someone means doing your research on your audience's pain points, actively seeking to understand their feelings and their purchasing power, and doing what you can to deliver a solution your chosen audience is willing and able to pay for.

Being intentional does not mean you're simply waiting for an algorithm to resolve your problems. First of all, Google doesn't simply rely on algorithms to sort through their content. They have strict Quality Search guidelines that raters (real humans) can go through to determine the quality of a website. Those raters are usually contracted through other companies like Telus or OneForma.  So if Google doesn't have an almighty algorithm that sifts through content without humans, what makes you think you can build your audience based on just an algorithm? So stop blaming the YouTube algorithm for your inability to reach an audience if you haven't tried to intentionally learn the skills necessary to build an audience!

So you have to be more intentional in your efforts as well. You have to reach out to an audience and get their attention, showing them why you're the best solution for the pain points they have. Whether a person wants status (we all want to feel special) or needs help (we are always getting in trouble in some aspect of our lives), you have to know exactly how to position yourself as the person with the solution for their problems. So please, don't just sit back and try to appeal to an algorithm that the big company who created it (Google) doesn't even solely rely on.

Being intentional means you are on forums with people who have a pain point you can resolve. You're genuinely reading through and actively putting yourself in their shoes to understand as much as possible what they are experiencing. The better you get at understanding what people want, the higher the odds are that you'll build a solution people are willing to purchase from you. Ideally, you'd like to get people to say, "Hey! This person's in my head! They created exactly what I needed and wanted! I'm throwing my money their way!"

So now you understand the importance of an audience and intentionally building your business around that audience's needs. Congratulations! You're in a league most people who want to start a business aren't! But now that you know you need an audience and to market to them with intention, what else do you need to know?

Can The Spam!

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Alright, so let's talk about spam. When we think about marketing, we think about shady tactics like the spam email we get. Spam is unwanted or unsolicited emails you receive from people in an attempt to either scam you, or from inexperienced sellers who want you to buy from them. You don't belong in everyone's email inbox. In fact, there are people you want to stay away from entirely. To make sure you maximize your chances of reaching the right inboxes and minimizing your odds of showing up in the wrong ones, you have to be intentional with your efforts.

Spamming someone isn't just annoying - it can ruin your business for good. People put a very heavy weight on negative experiences. If they really hate what you've done, they'll tell others and report you to the FTC even. You don't want to add more unnecessary burdens on yourself. So please, don't spam anyone. Besides, a real business owner wouldn't spam. They'd only provide value to their audience because value is what's good for the bottom line.

How To Not Send Spam to Anyone

When you know your audience, you won't send them spam. So the best way to know you're not sending unwanted emails to someone is to know more about your audience. When you reach out to people, you should have a solution to their pressing issue. Not only should you have a solution, but it should be so great that people are willing to pay for it.

Also, be realistic with people. Don't overhype them on some bull manure. In fact, you shouldn't have to oversell anything to your audience. Whatever product you've created should've been researched, tested, and created with input and data received directly from people who closely fit your ideal target audience. So if you're trying to overhype something just to sell and make money for yourself, you should probably stop doing that. In a lot of cases, people can tell exactly what you're trying to do and they won't fall for it. It's best to be genuine and put in the work required to learn what pain points your audience has and how you can resolve those pain points.

Know your audience, align your skillsets to create a solution to your audience's pain points (or raise up the capital to pay people who do have those skills), and make sure you are able to provide to your audience at a price they're willing to pay.

Competitors Are Important, But Your Audience Is More Important.

I see a lot of people teaching about staying ahead of the competition. Or they'll teach you to pick a niche market with low competition. And this is all good advice. You do want to pick an underserved audience. You do want to understand keywords. But more important than any of that is building a relationship with your audience. If you can genuinely reach out to your audience and connect with them, you won't have to worry about what keywords will get you to rank on page one of Google's Search Engine.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies take a long time, a lot of skills, and are -  on a fundamental level - about ways you can provide the best user experience for your audience. Sometimes, people on the internet providing advice teach you something that sounds good, but that also keeps you behind. For example, they'll show you how to chase keywords that your competition may be using. Any time that you attempt to copy the competition, you instantly put yourself behind them. Chances are high that you don't have the skills necessary to satisfy your competition's target audience, even though you want your competition's target audience to be yours as well. And chances are high you won't win that audience over because why would they choose a newcomer like you who's just being a cheap imitation?

A more effective strategy would be finding the places where your competitors are underserving your audience. Read all the critical critiques and reviews your competitors receive. Where are they failing their audience? How can you be better? When you find the weak points in your competition, then you can serve their audience and win a percentage of them over. But simply searching keywords? Copying content similar to what went viral for the competition? It may work for a while. But in a lot of cases, people will figure out that you're just being a copy of someone else who did it better than you. Even if you can do it better, how much better can you do it? If what your competition is doing is enough to get the attention of the audience, how much effort would you have to spend just to squeeze minimal improvement from it?

There comes a point where your efforts and optimization of things won't work as effectively anymore. It could even give negative returns for your massive efforts. Do you want to waste time chasing virtually nothing? Probably not. You want to spend your energy on what makes you profitable. The best way to be profitable is to interact with an audience and resolve their pain points in ways they're willing to pay for.

And I'm not saying ditch SEO optimization or not to worry about keyword research. What I am saying is that you should focus on your target audience and how you can effectively serve their pain points with solutions they are willing to pay for. At the end of the day, everything you do is about finding an audience, discovering something they wish they'd have so bad that they're willing to pay for it, and then creating that solution they wished for and offering it at a price they're willing to pay for and that you profit from.

Yes, all of that is put in as simple of a form to give you a foundational understanding of it. And yes, it's much tougher than what it sounds like. How do you find your audience? How do you win people's trust, especially since so many people have negative feelings about business and people trying to sell stuff? What about your own limiting beliefs? How do you get over feeling slimy and dirty when you're trying to sell to people? How do you associate yourself as a business person when you hate many of the super rich and powerful entrepreneurs out there? Would you want to associate with anything in capitalism when you see it as an evil force? There are so many limiting beliefs you may have that you have to resolve. And there are so many skills you have to learn. That's not easy at all to juggle all of those moving parts.

But your competitors are the least of your concerns. Your main concern should be serving an underserved audience. Besides, a lot of other companies are too focused on playing the Keeping Up With The Joneses game with their competition while not listening to their audience. Don't get caught up in anything that takes your eyes off of your audience. Your audience is where your money comes from. Money is the lifeblood of business. Therefore, your audience is the heart of your business.

If you have heartburn or chest pains, you don't put an x-ray to your competitors' chest to figure out how their heart beats and what's going on with the blood flow to their hearts, do you? Then why in the world would you do that with your business? Why would you worry about what your competitors are doing when your business doesn't even have a heart yet? So keywords and SEO mean nothing to you at first. Building those first-paying customers means everything. You have to get a heart and you have to make sure it beats. Then you have to strengthen the heartbeat so the blood will flow through your business. Remember, your business's heart is your audience. I don't think you're stupid, okay? I repeat that because you need to understand just how important it is to have a heart so blood can be delivered to all areas of your business.

Marketing Helps The Heart Beat.

If you don't have a good marketing strategy, then you can't get a good heartbeat for your business. How are you going to make money online when you can't even pump blood through your business? Unfortunately, many people out there who teach about business want to skip over the fundamental things you should know as a business owner. To have a successful business, you have to build a bridge to invite your chosen audience. What you've created for your audience to purchase should be something that satisfies their pain points and it should be something they're willing to pay a price that's reasonable for them and for you to make a profit from.

Marketing helps you funnel your audience through until those that are left become loyal customers. Sure, you can't serve everyone - not even everyone in your well-researched field. Everything doesn't work in an easy, straight line. People have reservations about things for numerous reasons. Just make sure you've provided every reasonable resource you could in order to educate, inform, and keep people coming back for more. An effective marketing campaign will help your audience as they go down their customer journey with your company. It'll serve as an educator, guide, and ambassador for your brand and what you are offering. No scams, tricks, or tactics are needed!

So how does marketing help pump money into your business's veins? It does so by serving as a guide through the customer's journey. From the customer's first interaction with you and your business to their latest purchase, you want to make sure you can understand each stage your customer goes through and how to best serve them in each of their stages. What a brand new person interacting with your brand for the first time needs is a little different in some ways than what a long-time loyal fan of yours would need. But it would be foolish to abandon your long-time loyal customers and solely focus on bringing in new customers. Don't take the loyal customers for granted. That sets you up for a weakness that your competitors can and will capitalize on. And your customers aren't so loyal that they are willing to put up with you neglecting them. They'll take their money and go elsewhere. Not only that, but they'll tell others about their negative experience with you. One thing humans are really great at doing is noticing and spreading the negative experiences they've had. So don't set yourself up for failure by not having an understanding of the customer journey and where your customers are as they take that journey.

Your Business Has To Care About People!

You have to care about your audience. There is no way you can have a business without taking care of your audience. They should be your first priority. They should be the reason your product, services or content exist. Who cares if your website is perfectly optimized? Is it optimized enough for your audience to have a satisfactory experience? Is it enough for them to get what they expect to get? Maybe a simple Google Sites website is good enough to satisfy your customer's needs. As long as they can access the solution you've provided for them and they can pay for it, then they may not care so much about how sexy your website looks or how sleek that navigation menu looks. They just care if it functions and if they can get access to the solution to their problems. Of course you have to protect your audience's data and make sure your website's speed are up to par. I'm not saying you can have a website that barely functions and find success.

You have to know your audience and what they expect from your website. But you also have to understand what's important when building your website. How stable your website is, how your website loads, and other things are important things to take care of. As far as keyword strategies and all of these other things are concerned? They're not nearly as important as finding and maintaining your first customers. And to do that, you have to have intentional and active marketing. You have to know what your audience needs and you have to know you have the solution to their problem. You can't just put in a couple of keywords here, copy another competitor's content but change it enough not to be exactly what they created, and hope people will come to you. It's always more effective to reach out to an audience, introduce yourself, and show them you have the skills, knowledge, and solutions to their problems. Business is about your connection to your audience's pain points and providing solutions to those pain points. Marketing educates an audience about you and your product and also serves your audience as they reach different points on their customer journey from the brand awareness stage to the loyalty stage and everything in between.

At the foundation of everything you do, your target audience's pain points and the solutions you can provide should be there. Every optimization you make, and every keyword you create should be for your target audience. That's how you get people to pay for what you're offering.

Jerrin Finney is the owner and author of blogs on The 1099 Life. Remember to always do your research and gather all the information necessary to make the best decision for yourself possible. Also follow me on social media! Click the social media icons to learn more!