I wrote this article way back in 1998. It seems to have made a resurgence, especially with today's economy. So I said to myself, “Why not republish it?” So here it is. Enjoy!
If there is something about which I'm pretty adamant, it's the idea of attracting qualified prospects who are willing to do business with you. And this involves many different things.
Positioning is one of them. In fact, it has been one of my favorite marketing concepts for this very reason.
However, this fundamental magnetism is not only based on pure marketing practices or strategies. It also involves something at a much deeper level that is far more effective than any other marketing tool or process in existence.
This “thing” to which I am referring is, I believe, the most important marketing secret I can ever teach you — and it's far from being a secret at all. It is considered as one simply because it is often neglected or ignored by many marketers and businesspeople.
What is this “secret” that's so elusive?
Before I divulge it to you, I must first admit that it upsets me terribly to see when people tend to scoff their most valuable marketing assets. No, I'm not referring to salespeople or promotional activities. I'm not referring to prospects or clients, either.
I'm referring to love and passion.
The love they have for what they do, what they offer, and who they serve.
(Or the love they should have, anyway.)
Jack Trout and Al Ries, the fathers of positioning, once wrote: “Marketing is not a battle of products, but of perceptions.” Like it or not, marketing really is all about perception.
When I first started out in business, my mentor once told me something similar. He said, “Perceived truth is more powerful than truth itself.” Little did he know how this one statement affected me — and how it literally changed the way I look at business.
My business. My products. And particularly, my clients.
If people perceive doing business with you has an implicit added value, especially when compared to your competitors fiercely fighting for your market's attention, you will often end up with their confidence, their business, and their loyalty as a result.
Of course, there are numerous ways you can add value to your business. Beyond applying fundamental marketing practices, you can and should find new and unique ways to differentiate yourself, increase your exposure, and promote your business.
But to me, the best marketing doesn't rely on tactics.
To me, the most effective way to communicate added value is through the genuine, sincere, and passionate zest you have for what you do and the clients you serve.
People have a tendency to gravitate toward other people who love what they do — their enthusiasm, charisma, and authentic desire to serve others are instantly communicated through their actions and particularly their marketing efforts. No matter what they are.
Sadly, however, the marketplace is filled with so many people who jump into business for one sole purpose: Money. Granted, the economy might be to blame. But is it, really?
People work for a pension instead of a passion. Entrepreneurs are so profit-minded that they fail to enjoy the process. Marketers focus on how many sales they can achieve, but then wonder why they have to keep repeating the process to sustain their businesses.
I believe the real secret to success lies much deeper. In fact, the great mythologist, Joseph Campbell, said it best when he said that old cliché decades ago.
“Follow your bliss.”
But that saying is a lot older than you think. In fact, it was in 500 B.C. when Chinese sage Confucius said: “Do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life.”
Since then, author Marsha Sinetar wrote: “Do what you love and the money will follow.” In his book, “Life 101,” Peter McWilliams claimed: “Do what you love and the necessary resources will follow.” I've read all those books and I agree with all of them.
However, I believe this concept can also be applied to business. That's why I say…
“Do what you love and the business will follow.”
That's the greatest marketing secret of all time. It's to do what you love or to love what you do. And if you don't love what you do, then find it. Make that your bliss.
As Jim Rohn once said, “If you don't like where you are, then change it! You're not a tree.” (And “where you are” may not always be limited to a physical location, either.)
Doing what one loves is a fundamental marketing process.
For example, when you deal with two people competing for your business, and if one of them has the “fire burning in their belly” (a genuine passion for what that person does), then how much more willing will you be to do business with that person than the other?
How much more believable and credible will that person be compared to the other? And most important, how much more value will that person bring to the table than the other?
People who love what they do generate far more word-of-mouth advertising. In subtle ways, they communicate that they are experts, that they are interested more in your needs than in your money, and that they will go out of their way to please you.
They develop far more enriching, rewarding, and superior customer relationships — let alone fans, referral-sources, and advocates for you, your products, and your business.
Entrepreneurialism has increased in fervor these days, and that's good. But as a result, the hypercompetitive nature of the marketplace will in turn increase the demand for more uniqueness, more competitive value, and greater customer service.
However, if you do what you love or love what you do, your passion will communicate all of those things combined. It will come naturally and, I daresay, seemingly effortlessly.
Just as people choose to work in jobs they hate, many will choose a business or an endeavor that gives them absolutely no sense of purpose. They do it just for the money.
Workers will attempt to earn a living and do so with retirement in mind. Similarly, many entrepreneurs will start a business with the mere thought of financial independence.
In either case, they are anxiously awaiting those golden years when they will finally be able to start enjoying their lives. (The funny part is, the future is guaranteed to no one. So the key is to enjoy it now, not later. Because later may never come.)
But don't confuse “enjoyment” with “love.” Doing what you love doesn't always mean enjoying what you love. It does take work. Often, work you might not enjoy.
However, if your goal is to focus on creating a successful business, then do it at the service of others, not at the expense of others. Do what you love, and the business will follow. Love the people you serve, and the customers will follow. That's the key.
Needless to say, if you do what you love in a business you enjoy, you will not only make money as a natural byproduct but also enjoy much happiness, satisfaction, joy, inner peace, and of all things, security in the process. And that's what we really want, isn't it?
Ultimately, your love will emanate in all that you do. You will naturally attract more business by the sheer fact that your passion is also communicating that you are offering the best solution to their problems. That solution is… you!
Michel Fortin is a certified digital marketing expert and renowned copywriter who specializes in a unique combination of SEO, CRO, and UX to improve traffic, leads, and revenue for his clients. For the better part of 30 years, he's produced countless wins, generating in excess of $300 million in sales and results that have broken many industry records. He has worked with thousands of businesses ranging from individual entrepreneurs to enterprise-level multinational companies. He's the author of two top-selling books and often speaks at industry events. To connect with him, visit his LinkedIn profile where he is most active.