Keep It Simple

With so many options available to you for marketing these days, it can be really easy to over do it and find yourself overwhelmed.  Don’t let that happen.  Keep it simple and use only the marketing tools that work for you and that you can maintain without drowning.

Think of all the marketing tools like social media, websites, emails and the like, as a sort of a la carte menu from your favorite restaurant.  You wouldn’t walk in and order one of everything because you’d make yourself sick trying to eat all of that food (not to mention the monetary cost!).  You would be more likely to walk in and order a couple of things, maybe make a combo, right?

So why treat your marketing any different?

Make a list of all the marketing tools available to you; include email marketing, blogging, podcasting, social media and every other thing you can imagine or have heard of.  Now, go back through that list and circle the ones that you actually wouldn’t mind using.  When you’ve done that, look at your shortened list and ask yourself this: Which of these will you actually use and maintain faithfully?

You don’t want to start a blog if you hate to write.

Nor do you want to join Twitter if it just doesn’t make sense to you.

Build a combo plate that suits your tastes, your habits and your abilities to maintain.  Don’t over do it and you’ll be amazed at how your marketing performs for you.

Here’s a little list of available marketing tools/items to get you started:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Goodreads
  • Google +
  • LinkedIn
  • Amazon (Reviews)
  • Pinterest
  • Website
  • Blogging
  • Podcasts
  • YouTube
  • Email List
  • Guest Blogging

3 thoughts on “Keep It Simple

  1. Patrick,

    Less is more and it seems to be more relevant than ever with the plethora social media options out there. And as sound as your advice is with regards to marketing, it’s focused on goods and services, which gets me wondering – How does your advice apply to those with a message, like a charity, foundation or NGO (non-governmental organization)?

    Time and again you have mentioned on your blog and podcasts (sadly I’ve never been to a con where you’ve spoken but I expect you mention it there as well) that social media is about creating a discussion. For businesses particular those creating goods (ie Authors creating books) or providing services that discussion allows for the betterment of their business and an engagement in the creation that provides a personal level of connection not seen before. So how does one even go about that when the idea is to draw attention to an issue? Is it even possible?

    I have some thoughts on the matter, but I’d love to hear from a professional.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work, I’m really enjoying your podcasts.

    • Greg,

      Social media is about engagement, not spamming people, so the principals are the same whether you are trying to sell a specific product or impart a message you want people to get behind. In the case of a charity, there’s a strong possibility that people are already talking about you (or the things you do, or the situation you are trying to help) online, so you want to engage those people and maybe help them focus their energies. Something as simple as a hashtag could create a rallying point and community around the charity, and broaden the sphere of people who are potential volunteers or even monetary supporters.

      The problem that I see with a lot of charities is that they focus on getting followers and likes, but don’t follow through with actually pushing forward their message and engaging those followers. For example: a charity that helps economically distressed families put food on the table, could hammer that message home with photos, updates, thank you messages from the families, and even by shining the spotlight on the volunteers themselves and giving them a thumbs up.

      I worked with a charity that took a simple point and click camera to every event, every house (they helped seniors with light yard work and minor home repairs), and took pictures. Those pictures went up on their blog along with a little story about what they did that day, which volunteers were there, and they also went into a Facebook photo album. Volunteers were tagged so those images showed up in their timeline where they re-shared them with their own friends.

      These are examples of things that can energize a base and that people love to share with their own friends and family, exponentially broadening the reach of the charity fairly quickly.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have more questions.

  2. Patrick,

    Thanks for the advice.

    It’s an interesting idea to not so much go about engaging and discussing the message and work of the charity but rather get people to talk about their own work with the charity. In a sense it’s like you’re outsourcing the work, the social aspect of it is the discussion as everyone friends, family and colleagues see new photos of participants it’s an opportunity for people to ask “Hey, what were you doing there?”

    As a follow-up question to that – Do you think this method is only applicable to highly connected societies or would it work for those that are less so? For that matter how would you go about connecting communities with varying levels of social media engagement?

    To give you some context, I work in Cambodia where internet penetration is only 4%. Crazy I know, but most people (95-98% though official figures say over 100% have sim cards, as it’s common to have a card from more than one provider) have mobile phones and is how people connect to the internet. Social media is still in its infancy and you can’t very well say that the country is using Web 2.0. However, a lot of the NGOs/Charities here attempt to use social media to connect with the West as well as the locals, but I’m not so sure their methods are the ideal for engaging either community.

    Also, what’s your experience with social media apps like Storify? (

    Thanks again and looking forward to the next podcasts.


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