Many entrepreneurs learn too late that starting a business isn’t even the challenging part. Anyone can get business permits, stock up on supplies, and hire employees. This doesn’t mean that they’re ready or even capable to handle the marketing side of a small business, which is arguably the more important thing.

Marketing, So Important, yet So Hard

Let’s face it, without the use of proper marketing techniques, that business is going nowhere. Headshots, websites, blogs – all of these help your business to spread awareness about itself, but only if they’re used right. Marketing is the most useful tool for the growth and prosperity of any business, but when it comes down to it, few people are able to properly execute a marketing strategy that’s beneficial to the growth of their business.

The reason? Well, it’s not that simple. You see, a sound marketing strategy is the most appropriate method to spread and distribute your business’ message in the most succinct of manners. As crucial as they can be for a business’ growth, customers are erratic beings that won’t hesitate to ditch your brand for your competitors’ if they don’t understand exactly what you bring to the table.

This is why Your Marketing is failing

Perhaps there’s only one reason why marketing fails; perhaps there’s more. What’s certain is that a lack of efficient communication with prospective and current customers acts as the biggest barrier to proper marketing. 

Why is the need to be brief and accurate so urgent when it comes to marketing? Because the human brain is essentially an overworked computer that tries as hard as possible to retain only what’s necessary for survival. We process over a million bits of information per day. How much of this do you think we retain? That’s right, only the one percent that’s necessary for our survival. 

If you’re familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, then you know that humans have five basic levels of necessity. At the bottom of the pyramid is our physiological wellbeing, which includes our ability to breath, eat, sleep, excrete, and have sex, among others. If we can’t satisfy our physiological needs, then we can’t move up the pyramid of needs to satisfy our need for safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization. 

The same is true of marketing. Information that’s presented sequentially to customers, such as when you use the story formula, is easier to digest because the brain is able to interpret it in levels or stages. Crowding the brain with too much information, on the other hand, pushes it to neglect all of it, even the useful bits. 

But the brain is a powerful organ, why wouldn’t it retain all this information? Because processing information consumes energy. Once the brain is bombarded with information that requires a lot of energy to process, an overriding function is initiated that stops this activity, because the body recognizes the need for energy to survive. 

The takeaway? The more information you bombard a customer with, the less they’ll be able to process.

Story-telling, Decluttering, and the Importance of Being Yourself

By now, you can probably tell why your customers start to lose interest. Too much information is too little since none of it is retained at all. What can you do about this?

1.    Story-telling

You can’t expect to capture anyone’s attention if you don’t make an effort to. If wordy, complex, run-on marketing strategies constitute the “noise” that drives the customer away, then the only antidote is story branding, a tried and tested marketing formula that captures attention and doesn’t force the brain to work hard just to understand the message.

Story branding makes your marketing more effective in the following ways:

•    It identifies the ambition within your customers. 
•    It highlights the challenges that keeps the customers from their ambition. This can be an inferior product or a lack of a crucial item.
•    It provides a clear plan of action to combat these challenges. The solution that everyone needs.

A clear, concise marketing message is worth more than the most expensive website in the world. 

2.    Decluttering

All that wordiness around your message isn’t necessary. If a customer doesn’t understand the point of your business in 5 seconds flat, you’re failing as a marketer. 

Get rid of all the clutter. Keep your information short and sweet, and easy to understand. If there’s the key to success in marketing, this is certainly it.

3.    Being Yourself

The importance of knowing who you are cannot be overstated. If one picture is worth a thousand words, then your headshot should be worth every single word in your marketing strategy. 

Contrary to what some might think, headshots allow you to introduce yourself to your customers and show them what value you bring into their lives. A great headshot is probably the most effective marketing tool you can use because it relays a lot of information that can be understood with minimal effort. 

Whether you’re a businessman or an actor or actress, no one cares about headshots if they do not capture and relay information about who you are in a concise manner. If you are in a big city like New York, Chicago, or LA you can find yourself a great headshot photographer that can accommodate your business.  There are great headshots Los Angeles photographers that you can find by doing a simple Google search.

As We Wrap Up:

Think about these things when laying out your marketing strategy:

•    Marketing should address what the customer wants, how you can help them overcome the challenges that stop them from getting it, and why your brand can make their life better.
•    Your brand’s message is your story. Simplicity is by far the most useful attribute in a marketing pitch because a customer that doesn’t understand what you’re offering will go elsewhere. 
•    Your headshots should convey who you are and what you do in the briefest yet most accurate of manners. Don’t strive to be anyone else but yourself.