I always thought being in business was an adventure.
After all, I owned adventure travel businesses.
And I loved reading about the exploits of superstar entrepreneurs with names like Branson, Schultz, Kroc, Jobs, and Kelleher.
Naturally, I assumed that running my business and things like marketing should all be some kind of adrenalin adventure ride.
Over the last few years, while building BlogWorks, I have discovered that not only is boring often a good thing, boring can be beautiful.
The opposite of boring – like chasing the latest “hot” online scheme – can be downright exhausting and unprofitable.
If you are responsible for sales in your business, this lesson is even more critical:
You will make (a lot) more money, save a ton of time and avoid a bucket full of grief if you stop chasing random, untested, speculative marketing schemes and build simple, repetitive, and, yes boring, systems.
Before I get to what I mean by boring, let’s talk about scattered thinking and system thinking.
Every day someone is pitching you a new, effortless way to fill your funnel, have prospects lined down the street, and (of course) own a Porsche. It’s all great, and there’s often good value in every approach.
The problem is you already have 3 marketing schemes half-started, a mailing list collecting dust, and a half-baked book that needs to get in the oven. So chasing after yet one more marketing idea is scattered thinking.
It might feel good but rarely returns a profit.
Instead, you need to move to systems thinking.
“Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not.” ― Cal Newport, Deep Work
Every successful business is a collection of small systems. McDonald’s was the first large-scale example of systems in drive-through dining. Schultz took it to another level with upscale coffee at Starbucks.
Your business also needs systems.
Think of a system as a routine that adds value and repeats.
- When you repeat the same process to write, publish and promote your blog – that’s a system.
- When you create a simple campaign with a landing page and follow-up email sequence – you have a system.
- When you block out 20 minutes, 3 times a week to create B2B connections on LinkedIn – you have a system.
Systems can be seen as boring (after all, it’s way more fun to reinvent your marketing strategy every two weeks) – I think they’re beautiful.
Let’s look at marketing systems.
“What we did was so simple, and we kept it simple.” ― James C. Collins, Good to Great
A keynote speaker I know recently emailed past clients to announce his new keynote. By Friday of that week, he had a $5,000 booking.
I suggested to one of my coaching clients he invites past clients to short “discovery calls” to uncover pandemic-related workplace issues. He’d booked three calls within two days and is now in conversations with all three companies about future training opportunities.
At my company BlogWorks, I dropped almost all other marketing campaigns to focus on LinkedIn exclusively. Every morning I would be in dozens of conversations, moving qualified prospects to zoom calls. Within 6 months, I had more than doubled revenues while dropping my working hours by half.
I could go on with more examples of simple, low-cost ways to move prospects to action. But, here’s the point…
Most entrepreneurs (guilty!) rarely turn a successful campaign into a marketing system. Why?
Because that would be boring!
Instead, we somehow assume either the market isn’t big enough for me to repeat the same trick twice (after all, there are only 7B people in the world), or this was a fluke and had more to do with timing than intelligent planning.
Boring is beautiful
“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” — F. M. Alexander
- In marketing, I want you to embrace boring.
- Boring looks like a simple wall chart or Excel spreadsheet with your campaigns for the year blocked out.
- Boring is blocking time every morning to write (regardless of how motivated you feel) for 20 minutes for a blog or new book.
- Boring is sending a weekly email to your list announcing your latest blog post (having trouble publishing your blog? We can update and optimize old posts. It’s half the price and typically gets faster results over new content).
- Boring is hiring an assistant to publish 89.9% of your social media so you can focus more on improving your craft, following up with leads, and building an offline community.
- Boring is admitting you’re better off hiring an expert to set up that software you signed up for 3 months ago and still haven’t got it working.
And boring is saying “No” to the next “guru’s” pitch on YouTube who promises you riches without doing the work. When it comes to doing work that really matters, I’ve yet to find a shortcut.
Here’s the thing…
If you want adventure, take up rock climbing.
But, if you want a successful business, one that grows month over month and that maybe you can sell one day, embrace boring.
Here’s 3 more of my articles all about growing a successful business. Enjoy!