Useful Exercise for Your Promotional Marketing Materials

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Here is a helpful exercise on how to research and prepare promotional marketing materials to bring the right people to your business. When I do this exercise with my marketing students, we always have a lively conversation that not only sparks solutions but also leaves participants feeling enthused, inspired, even excited about showing up in the marketplace.

The themes we explore and the fun we have doing this exercise are so central to an authentic approach to small business marketing that I have decided to highlight them in this article.

First, let us stipulate that somewhere in the world there are prospective clients or customers who will fit you and your work “just right.”

(If this does not feel true for you yet, then you have work to do. Perhaps you need training, practice, or mentoring before you can attract “just right” customers. Or perhaps, like I did with my art business, you are trying to make an avocation into a vocation. For now, let us assume that you are in the right business with the right skills.)

Second, let us assume that “just right” clients are those who get great value from working with you just the way you are. These are clients who share enough of your standards and values that it is easy to develop mutual respect, appreciation, and benefit. With these two assumptions in mind, here are some unconventional yet highly productive questions to help focus the image, tone, and message that will attract clients who fit “just right.” Answer them quickly to tap into your creative subconscious. There will be plenty of time later for thinking about the answers and deciding when and how to use them in sharing your gifts with the world.

1. If your work were a color, what color would it be?

2. What shape would it be?

3. How big would it be?

4. What texture would it have?

5. If you pressed it with your finger, what would happen?

6. If your work were a popular song, what song would it be?

7. Who would be singing?

8. How loud?

9. If your work were an historic personage, who would it be?

10. If your work were going to a party, what would it wear?

11. If your work had a typical mood, what would it be?

12. If your work were a plant, what kind of plant would it be?

13. In what environment would it thrive?

14. If your work were an animal, would it be domestic or wild? How big?

15. If your work were a meal, what kind of meal would it be? (Fast food? Haute cuisine? Mac and cheese?)

What is the point of questions like these? Simply this: Answering them can reveal aspects of your personality that inform and augment the work you do. By surfacing these unique associations, you will be unearthing imagery and attitudes you can use to set the tone for your marketing so that it is easy for your “just right” clients to differentiate you from other people doing similar work.

Try this exercise – it could be the start of something beautiful.

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