Playground Marketing: What Comes Around, Goes Around

April 23, 2011  |   Posted by :   |   Copywriting,Young Copywriter Series   |   Comments Off on Playground Marketing: What Comes Around, Goes Around»

Moderator’s Note: Here’s the second in a series of Young Copywriter guest posts. This one is from our returning champion, Shelby Blanchard Stogner, who specializes in giving a voice to growth-minded companies. She can be reached via the contact form on her website at SBS Copywriting, or emailed directly at shelby@sbscopywriting.com

And now, here’s Shelby (again):

Starting a new chapter in your life is always a challenge, whether it’s moving from an agency position to a freelance business, trying to break into a new niche, or starting a whole new career. A lot of people try to jump the gun by relying on the Law of Averages – the idea that if you just do enough of something, eventually you’ll get results. It works, but it also has its drawbacks.

Imagine you’re at a carnival booth where you have to throw darts at a backdrop to pop a targeted balloon. The Law of Averages says that if you throw enough darts – even blindfolded! – you’ll eventually hit a balloon or two. And that’s absolutely true. But you’ll also have wasted a lot of time and money, annoyed the proprietor, and possibly slain a bystander. If you take off the blindfold, though, and aim carefully, you’ll be able to hit the same number of targets with a lot fewer darts.

As a young copywriter, it’s easy to feel like you have to do whatever it takes to get your business to succeed: hand out a business card to everyone you meet, spam a few thousand potential clients with emails announcing your awesomeness, talk about nothing but business – your business – 24/7. Some internet marketing gurus encourage this under the guise of the Law of Averages. But it’s important to remember that in business, as in life, you get back what you’ve sent out. And if all you’ve sent out is mild annoyance and unsolicited emails, it’s hard to expect riches to come rolling back in.

I’d be the last one to say that you should never put your trust in the Law of Averages. After all, throwing handfuls of business cards off the roofs of tall buildings would probably net you a client or two if you kept at it long enough. But before you try that, try putting some value out into the world: volunteer time with a local charity, join a networking group and give referrals to businesses you trust, write an article or give a speech offering useful information, and do great work for all your current clients. Even when these things don’t seem like they’re directly growing your business, they’re doing a world of good for your reputation.

And any kid on the playground can tell you the value of a good reputation.

 

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