For the March 2022 edition of the Indie Business Book Club, we read Get Different: Marketing That Can't Be Ignored! by Mike Michalowicz. The book drives home the point that “different sells.” This article provides a summary of what we learned.
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As a general matter, it does not matter how great your products or services are. No one really cares about your products until you influence them to care about your products. That principle should come as no surprise to anyone because life is the same way.
Until people know you care, they won't care. Why should they?
In business, the way you show people you care is by positioning your brand to resonate with them. The first step to doing that is to aim for a specific target market and stand out in their eyes from a crowded field of sameness. As the author points out, you must differentiate your brand from all the other brands that are similar to yours.
Highlights from Get Different
Here are a few highlights from the book.
Highlight No. 1: The DAD Marketing Framework
The author's 3-step marketing approach is simple:
- Differentiate: The world is a pot luck dinner. Every day, people with buying power are coming to a pot luck dinner. The table contains a million different varieties of everything. Some chicken is fried while some is baked. Some is smothered in a sweet sauce while other are seasoned with more spice. You get the idea.
Why should I choose your chicken? That's the question you have to answer when you differentiate your brand from everyone else's.
- Attract: Now that you know what your points of differentiation are, get out there and tell people about them. There is no way around this. You cannot just have great products. You have to tell people about them. This is what influence and stepping into leadership is all about.
- Direct: Tell people what to do. It may be obvious to you, but it's not obvious to everyone else. Even if it is, tell them anyway. Be specific and pointed about what you want people to do now that you have gotten their attention. The more specific you are, the more likely people are to follow your lead. The simpler the instructions, the better the response.
Highlight No. 2: Experiment
Whatever you do first will not be what you do long-term. Experiment with different media to get your message out there. You have several options, including direct mail, packaging differentiation, social media, email marketing, Facebook groups, and more!
Remember that this is not a “set it and forget it” activity.
You have to try different things, see what works, and then tweak it as you go to produce the results you want. The good news is that if you are intentional about this, you will begin to see patterns. The patterns will lead you to your next steps.
Experiment. Take small steps. Make small tweaks. See results.
Highlight No. 3: Have Fun
Business should be fun. In fact, I personally believe entrepreneurship is a form of self-care.
While you should be serious about your business, you should not be stiff and regimented. Build your business and your marketing around things you and your target audience like to see and do.
In other words, plan your business and your marketing strategies around the life you want to have. If TikTok is not fun for you, don't use TikTok or find someone to manage your brand TikTok account for you. If you don't like to write, don't blog. Buy ads instead. You get the picture.
There are a lot of ways to accomplish your business marketing goals. You are not stuck with any of them. You do have to pick at least one and get started with it. If you get started with something you enjoy, you are far more likely to stick with it. And if you stick with it, you are far more likely to be successful.
Who should read Get Different
Any entrepreneur who needs a fresh injection of marketing mojo should read this book. If you really want to make it work for you, listen to the audio book first and then dive in more deeply with the hard copy. Solidifying the big picture in your mind before trying to apply new things tactically will help you put things in perspective.
Listen to the book for high level principles, then read it (and take notes!) for the deep dive into what you will actually do with what you learn.
Buy Get Different
You can also try to find the book on Hoopla, a digital library that allows you to borrow movies, music, audiobooks, and TV shows to enjoy on your digital devices.
Of course, you can also purchase the book at your favorite local book store.
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