In this week’s episode of SUCCESS Line, we get granular, diving deep into the fundamentals of branding, positioning and marketing.
My guest, Gerald, is a consultant and speaker who uses his background as a musician to help companies ramp up their productivity and accomplish more every day. He came on the show to discuss the website he just launched—one of the five he manages. He is eager to learn how to drive traffic to his website and the products and services he sells through it.
First, Gerald is diluting his own traffic by having five distinct websites—and diluted focus yields diluted results. We first focused on which website he should pour energy into, and then I walked him through the tangible tools he can use to market his brand online and achieve consistent and predictable growth.
If you’ve ever struggled to drive traffic to your website or brand, take out a notebook and read on for my top three takeaways.
1. Clear is greater than clever.
We compromise clarity when we try to be clever. We think a pithy title or line of copy will catch people’s attention, but it often just confuses them. Confused people never buy.
This is one of the most common marketing mistakes I see entrepreneurs make and one I’ve made countless times myself. Our instinct is to lead with what is clever or unique about our brand, but in doing so, we risk confusing our audience with a muddled message. Your marketing should make it crystal clear what your brand does and the problem you solve for your audience.
The next time you write copy for your brand or compose a marketing message, ask yourself, does it need to be explained? If it does, you need to go back to the drawing board and simplify.
2. Use the ‘I want’ test.
Once your messaging is clear, the second filter you should run your marketing through is the “I want” test.
The greatest titles complete the sentence, “I want ____.” Plug your title or catchphrase into that sentence and see if it is something a member of your audience might genuinely say. I want to “multiply time.” I want to “Think Like a Monk.” I want to “Dare to Lead.” If you find yourself nodding your head to these statements, it is because those titles are working.
Gerald had two titles he was workshopping: Workplace Jazz and Productivity Intelligence. If we put them through the “I want test,” the winner becomes immediately clear. “I want workplace jazz,” or “I want productivity intelligence.” Productivity Intelligence is concise, clear and enticing. We all want to be more productive.
What does your audience want, and how can you give it to them? Your answers to these questions should be immediately clear upon reading your marketing.
3. Paid traffic is predictable traffic.
Many treat the fact that they don’t use paid traffic like a badge of honor. But paid traffic is the only traffic you can control; paid traffic is predictable traffic. If you rely on organic traffic alone, you will forever be at the mercy of an ever-changing algorithm and the whims of a mercurial audience.
It is impossible to measure the success (or lack thereof) of your messaging in an empirical and objective way when you rely solely on organic traffic. If a post goes viral, there is no way to know exactly why it worked. Every post or marketing push becomes a gamble. And although paid traffic is still a gamble (all things in the entrepreneurial life are), it is far less risky. You know you will get traffic because you paid for it, and you will be able to quickly see what is working and what is not. For every dollar spent on traffic, you can (and should) track the clicks that result from it.
Don’t be afraid of paid traffic—there is no medal for living at the mercy of algorithms and audience preferences. Paid traffic gives you the chance to take control of your own destiny and predictably grow your brand.