The Secret To Successful Marketing

By C. J. Hayden and excerpted from Guerrilla Marketing On The Front Lines

Is there a hidden secret to successful marketing?

It seems many entrepreneurs are on a never-ending quest for that one magic formula that will take all the effort out of marketing and attract an endless stream of customers forever. Searching for this secret key, they read dozens of books and articles, take countless seminars, and hire an army of consultants and coaches. And in the process, they uncover an amazing variety of seemingly brilliant marketing ideas.

One month, it appears that the answer to their prayers is attending networking events. They fill their calendar with dozens of different meetings, each of which they attend only once. They press their business cards into as many hands as possible, but no one ever calls them. So that can’t be the solution.

The following month, they decide that meeting people in person is overrated, and the real future of marketing is on the web. They launch a beautifully-designed professional-looking website, filled with glowing descriptions of their products and services. But no one visits it. Maybe it’s the web that’s overrated.

They decide that perhaps both these approaches were off track. What they should have done all along was use direct mail. They write a four-page sales letter, buy some names from a list broker, send out a 100-piece mailing, and wait for the phone to ring. The response rate is zero. And so it goes.


The Silver Bullet

Searching for the marketing “silver bullet,” too many entrepreneurs never recognize that the most powerful marketing weapon in existence is already in their arsenal. There really is a secret to successful marketing and it’s right under their noses. The magic formula for marketing a small business is choosing a set of simple, effective things to do, and doing them consistently.

Here’s the approach that has worked so well for my clients, in four easy steps:

1. Choose just three or four marketing strategies to use at any one time. Try to make them active, personal, and credibility-boosting, instead of passive, impersonal, or aimed only at visibility.


2. Identify where your marketing may have gotten stuck, and what missing ingredients might make it start flowing again. Choose no more than three ingredients to work on creating over the next month.


3. Make a list of ten marketing activities, employing your chosen strategies, that you can do repeatedly for the next 28 days. Be sure they fit the type of business you are in and your own personality.


4. List your three ingredients and ten activities on one page. Every day, look at your list and decide which items need your attention that day. Check off your progress as you go.

Guerrilla Marketers don’t need silver bullets.  All we really need is a simple, consistent action plan.


C.J. Hayden, MCC is a San Francisco business coach, and the author of Get Clients Now! A 28-Day Marketing Program for Professionals, Consultants, and Coaches. C.J. works with clients one-on-one, and leads workshops and teleclasses internationally. Her favorite clients are people with business ideas that just might change the world. Find out more about C.J. at


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