Message. Market. Methods.
Branding and marketing for small businesses 
January 2018
The Biggest Thank You Ever

Yes, it's true! Marketing Troubadour is celebrating its 10th anniversary. First and foremost,  I want to thank each and every one of you who have supported me in any way. From the early days as Dubois Information, through the name change to Marketing Troubadour, to today, I truly marvel at the wonderful people I have met and how much you all mean to me.

I often say that marketing is storytelling, and I love this business of helping entrepreneurs and business leaders tell their stories. I have collected quite a few stories in the past ten years myself. 

Like the one where I quit my job of 11 years to start my own business one month before the stock market crash of 2008 (yeah, I didn't see that one coming). Or the one where I hired employees and found out I can't give up control (like a lot of entrepreneurs). Or when I landed my first big deal. Or when I split my days between looking for clients and looking for a real job-job. I won't bore you with all the details now, just suffice it to say our stories are what make us real, relevant, and relatable.

The story I will relate was when I sat in my future sales coach's office discussing whether I would sign up for a program that was way out of my budget but also changed my business. She said in passing, "after all, your clients aren't your friends." While I didn't respond at the time, I thought to myself that I must be really doing something wrong, because some of my clients were indeed my friends. I really must need some coaching, I thought! Well, long story short, the sales coaching was awesome and made a huge difference in my business and life, but I realized that some of the best friends I have came from first being clients. That is something I don't need to apologize for and has made the ride worthwhile.

2018 is an interesting and exciting time for Marketing Troubadour. I am implementing some changes that will allow me to help more businesses and non-profits. 

Stay tuned for news and announcements about new stuff, fun stuff, and, most of all, real stuff. 'Cause that's what we're all about here at the Troubadour.

Need help? That's what we're here for: contact us .

© 2018 Marketing Troubadour
10 Year Anniversary Happenings

Some of the things we are working on this year:
  • New website this Spring
  • New online course launching this Summer
  • Lots and lots of free content throughout the year
  • Free marketing makeovers and reviews
  • Fun giveaways
  • Whatever else we can think of to celebrate with you and thank you!
Ideas or Implementation: What's YOUR Superpower?

Are you more analytical or creative?  Right brain or left brain dominant? Great at brainstorming ideas or do you implement like a boss? We all have things we enjoy doing more than others, and things we are naturally more talented at than others. When it comes to marketing, which is more desirable?

There is no right answer - it's a trick question. You need both. Sometimes people get the notion that marketing is where all the creative people live, and if you can't hold your own, you better not be playing in their sandbox. I'm here to tell you that is both silly and untrue. Yes, creativity is an important component in coming up with ideas, but someone has to get that magic out there. And track it. And figure out if it works.

Want to know how to do both?

Often it is helpful to write down a list of every marketing and branding task you can think of. A partial list might include:
  • creating a customer list
  • designing a new logo
  • setting a marketing budget
  • creating a tagline
  • creating an editorial calendar
  • doing a customer survey
  • writing website content
  • finding the right email technology
  • doing competitive research
  • posting on Facebook
  • connecting on LinkedIn
  • doing a photography shoot
  • designing a direct mail campaign
  • and so on, and so on, and so on...
Now let's dive deeper - you will begin to notice some items on your list fall under either the Creative/Idea category or the Analytical/Implementation category. The more granular you are, the easier it is to see. Pulling together your customer list or choosing software applications are implementation activities. Creating a tagline is largely a creative and visionary activity. You will also notice that the bigger, multi-step items include both creativity AND analysis. Posting on social media requires coming up with the creative content and images AND scheduling the actual post on the best platform at the right time and day. Designing a direct mail campaign requires developing goals and objectives for the campaign, developing a theme, creating effective calls to action, writing, designing all the pieces, AND obtaining your list, getting it all printed, scheduled, mailed, and tracked. You may want to break down the bigger items into several items to help identify which category they belong to.

When you look at your marketing this way, you gain clarity on where you have gaps and where you need help. You can then plan to switch on and off your own left brain or right brain powers as needed, assign different tasks to different people on your team, or call in outside help. In marketing, as in life, it always comes down to doing what you do best and asking for help with the rest. After all, when we use our superpowers for good, everyone wins. Pretending we possess superpowers we don't have can get real ugly, real fast. 

Need help prioritizing your marketing activities or filling in the gaps? Contact us - we can help you gain perspective, make a plan, and get it done!

*Special Note (if you're still reading by this point!) Creativity (and the lack of it), left brain/right brain dominance, and what successful entrepreneurs should have are ongoing and sometimes charged issues, especially around marketing expertise. Stay tuned for more exploration on creativity stereotypes and the interplay between creativity and analysis and what it means for your marketing success.

© 2018 Marketing Troubadour

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