Number Muncher Whoopie CushionThe slow learner in this story? That would be me.

Marketing is hard for me. It’s not intuitive and it’s certainly not logical. There are moments I wonder if it’s all just one big practical joke. The whoopie cushion of small business.

After blood, sweat, and some (in hindsight) hilariously bad marketing efforts, I have learned. Yes I CAN be taught.

Even better, once I’ve learned something bone deep, I can distill, translate and share the lesson with a big bonus – how the lesson learned will boost your bottom line.

Timeless Tips from a Marketing Snail

This post is part of the monthly Word Carnival series of posts. This month, our carnies are exploring the theme of Time Travel, specifically: from where you are now, what one piece of advice would you go back in time to give yourself on your first day in business? Check out more of the Word Carnival series at

Timeless Marketing Tip #1: Your Clients Hate What You Do

Think about it. Why would anyone pay their hard earned money to have someone else perform a task they love doing? Nobody I know.

Your customers love the results you provide, the product you deliver, the experience you create.

I love numbers, finance, and spreadsheets (shocker, I know). When I first started my business I assumed that my clients did too. Who wouldn’t want to rhapsody about the esoteric financial functions in Excel, or discuss five different ways to calculate the cost of capital?

Done laughing yet?

Never forget your target customers are NOT you. That’s why they need you.

Timeless Marketing Tip #2: Photoshop does NOT Make You a Graphic Designer

You’ve heard the expression that a picture is worth 1,000 words? Well here’s two pictures, and they’re worth about 1 million blushes of embarrassment from me.


Once you’ve finished laughing, close Photoshop and call a professional.

Timeless Marketing Tip #3: The Attention Span of a Gnat

Assume your audience will listen for 10 seconds (if you’re lucky).
Assume your audience needs to be told the same thing at least 5 different ways (without being snarky).
Assume your audience needs to see the same thing, the same image, the same message 7 times (studies show…).

Getting the picture?

Assume your target market has the attention span of a gnat. Even if they’ve clawed their way up to gerbil, if you aim for the gnat you’ll hit a home run.

Final Thoughts

IndieGoGoAvatarIf a logic based, number loving, spreadsheet enthusiast like me can learn marketing then so can you! Effective marketing grows your bottom line – you can’t make a profit if you don’t make any sales.

Looking for a place to invest that extra moolah? Why not get The Idea Incubator. A board game that helps you vet, refine and launch business ideas (including marketing ones!) in under 30 minutes.

I’d love to have you share one of your blush worthy marketing moments below. Or add your guess on what in the world I was trying to say or express with my original logo? Gold star for the idea that makes me laugh the loudest.