"Fire!" yells another man, balled up fist also pointed to the heavens.
"Wind!", "Water!" call two girls, joining in the call.
"Heart!" a younger man follows.
Each of these young people have rings, lightning beams of colour shooting out from the gem stones. In the air, a blue man with a green mullet appears out of the blinding flash:
"With your powers combined....I am.....Captain Planet!"
Yet... I found myself liking the greedy, ruthless villains more.
Even as an 8 year old, I thought there was something so try-hard about the show's New-Age "Save the environment, dude!" message behind every episode. For me, it was up there with grown-ups trying to make eating your veggies, going to school....or catching the bus safely, seem like the "cool" thing to do:
Ahh yes....so Captain Planet was the environmentally-friendly superhero, summoned when the 5 'Planeteers' each combined the individual powers of their rings as one force. Individually, the Planeteers had only limited power, but with all 5 of them pairing their unique element?
They produced a force who could literally move mountains!
While I can't guarantee that combining the following five elements to your marketing will save the planet (or summon up a buff guy with a green mullet), what I can tell you is that covering all of these bases with your marketing makes an almighty difference to your success in engaging new leads and attracting prospects who are ready to show you the money.
So here goes:
Treat your website like your online business card. In order for your target audience to stick around, it must be easy to navigate, contain the key information they're looking for, and include a call to action.
Do you want them to send you an e-mail, call you or your sales team, place an order or subscribe to your mailing list?
You've gotta lead them there!
A well-designed, up-to-date website with easy to understand, SEO-loving copy is a must for virtually any business owner or professional wanting any degree of reach or impact online.
Who To Call On: Web designer, Graphic Designer, Corporate Photographer, Copywriter
#2. Social Media
Social media (to quote copywriting coach Bernadette Schwerdt) is "word of mouth on steroids". You'd be truly surprised how many businesses- including those in your industry- have a virtually non-existent profile on social media.
Google is not the only way people find you online!
By having a dedicated business page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc (plus an individual professional profile on LinkedIn) you're establishing an ongoing dialogue with tomorrow's top customers. Regularly posting content across social media enables your key target audience to find you and learn more about your brand, what you specialise in and what you value.
The key here is in building up a relationship with your target audience- because in doing so, you'll stand head and shoulders above more of your competitors than you might realise- AND reap the benefits many times over, further down the track!
Who To Call On: Social Media Marketing Experts
Your online audience, regardless of the demographic or the industry you're in, love video.
The beauty is that with everything from film cameras to phones having the ability to record live footage, shooting and uploading video across your online platforms has never been easier!
Profiles of your business and employees, regular updates keeping your viewers "in the loop", 'How to' clips, answers to FAQ's, promotions, fun and entertaining content- there's a wealth of ideas out there just waiting to be shot, edited and uploaded. Having video on your website and social media pages ads a whole extra dimension to your online presence and how readily people engage with your content.
Who To Call On: Videographers- they have top of the range cameras, lighting, sound and editing equipment to give your videos that added professional touch. You can, however, do it yourself and still create content that is watchable and of great value to your audience. Millions of entrepreneurs can't be wrong!
In short? Blogging is the art of writing 'Stories That Sell'.
Like mastering your social media engagement, regular blogging is the other key facet in laying down the foundations of a solid, valuable, long- lasting relationship with leads in addition to your existing clients. Your aim isn't just to share useful information with your posts, but also to write about your business and yourself- your background, how your business got to be where it is, your values and your vision.
Not only is a regular blog something at least 80% of your industry competitors lack (there's a thought), but it also allows you to advertise your expertise and the value of the product or service you provide, with that one quality your target audience is crying out for: authenticity.
Who To Call On: Copywriter.
#5. Individual Selling
Whether through cold-calling, presenting, hosting workshops, networking or promoting yourself at industry-related events- it's not enough just to sit at your computer from a distance if you want to dig up every last diamond that comes in return for the toil of marketing.
Connecting with people and selling on a face-to-face, individual level, is what ads a whole new level of legitimacy to your brand and your marketing message. We live in an age of instant access to information and communication with people all around the world in real-time, thanks to the internet. Yet our inherent desire for connection, for real interaction with one another is the same as it always has been, since the dawning of time itself.
Who To Call On: You know who it takes to make this happen? Go and look in the mirror!
To truly be a master at marketing, it requires us to step forward and to give of ourselves. Because it's what we get in return that makes all the difference...