One of the benefits of being an intergalactically famous email newsletter guru (in addition to the groupies) is the freedom to take a day off whenever you like.
And so, yesterday, that’s exactly what my wife, Linda, and I did.
We put the bikes on the back of the car and headed off to the Norwottuck Rail Trail, which runs between the Massachusetts towns of Northampton and Amherst.
It was a beautiful day, and everything was going exactly as planned. Until (cue scary music) we arrived in Amherst for lunch and I realized that I had left the bike lock back in Northampton.
Not a disaster, certainly. But it meant that instead of strolling leisurely around town for the afternoon, we would have to walk with our bikes wherever we went, and always leave one of us with them to stand watch.
But then, as luck would have it, there was a sign from above.
Literally. Not five minutes after we arrived, I saw a sign for Laughing Dog Bicycles on the storefront above our heads.
At which point, I said to my (between you and me) kinda grumpy, this-is-not-what-I-was-expecting, bike-schlepping wife, “Let’s go buy a lock!”
And so in we walked, with the intention of buying or renting one.
But the friendly young man at Laughing Dog Bicycles wouldn’t have it. “You’re welcome to just leave them here for the afternoon,” he said. And so we did.
Keep in mind that at that point, I would have happily paid $20 (maybe more) for the use of a lock. Clearly, in making his generous offer, our young friend sacrificed some amount of short-term revenue.
But over the longer term (and if you’re not in it for the longer term, you’re reading the wrong newsletter), he made a small investment in the marketing of his business. An investment that has already begun to pay off, since here I am, telling you.
Everything is Marketing
Every once in a while, someone asks me, “How much time do you spend marketing your business?”
I’m always unsure how to respond.
Unlike an activity with discrete, easily trackable instances like, for example, the number of times last week I lost my glasses inside the house (23, if you must know), marketing for a small professional service firm or solo is baked into everything we do, say, and are.
You’re marketing when…
… you answer a quick email question from a stranger.
… you comment positively on someone’s LinkedIn post.
… you pass along a resume from someone you hardly know who just got laid off.
… you don’t charge a client extra for a project that strayed slightly out of scope.
… you buy the just-published book of a colleague.
… you tell two out-of-town strangers whom you will never see again that they can keep their money and leave their bikes for free.
Here’s the bottom line.
If you think “marketing” is something you do once a week on Tuesday afternoons, or when you publish a well thought out post on social media, you’re right.
But that’s only part of it.
You, personally, are your marketing.
And while it’s certainly helpful to show the world your experience, credentials, and capability, if you want people to remember you, talk about you, and tell their friends, it’s the little things you do – or don’t do – every day that move the needle.
- What’s the nicest, unexpected thing a business owner ever did for you?
- Have you ever schlepped a bike? Explain.
- What small, long-term-oriented “marketing” thing do you do regularly for your business?
Share your answers below…