How to market your business

Have you ever wondered how to market a business? As I was reading, Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller, he outlines exactly how to market your business effectively. He covers all the basic aspects of marketing, from designing your website to email campaigns.

This book links closely to Donald Miller’s other book, Building a Story Brand, which focuses on clarifying your business’s message through a story (you can read my post about it here). Using the story branding that you developed, this book guides you through the marketing basics to move your business forward.

Photo by Cristina Gottardi | Accessed on

Main impacts

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Focus on your customer
  3. Ask for what you want

Keep it simple

One of common threads throughout this book is to keep your marketing simple. Simple meaning direct and to the point, without any added frills. You want to keep all your communication clear and concise, so that you don’t confuse your customer. A confused customer is a disinterested one.

Part of why you want to keep it simple, is because you need to ensure repeated interactions with the customer. You need to be constantly interacting with your customer and having them be exposed to your company. Often times people need to see or interact with you 10 times or more before they buy anything. You need to build trust and a relationship with the customer and the best way to do that is through repeated actions.

In line with keeping it simple, you need to always be thinking of the value you provide to your customers. Every interaction you have with them should provide them with value, that’s how you make it worth their time. If you’re consistently providing value, either through useful information or sample products, then they will want to keep coming back for more. Samples are a great way to show what you have to offer and why they should want more. Samples basically give them a taste before they buy a full product or service from you. There’s a reason why so many companies give free samples, think of the food samples at grocery stores.

Finally, remember to focus on the people who are actually interested in your product. You don’t need to appeal to everyone, and it’s usually better if you don’t. The best way to keep it simple is to focus your efforts on those who want to hear from you, as they will be the most likely to buy one of your products/services. They’re also the ones who already enjoy the value you’re sharing in your free content. It’s a win-win relationship, they like what you’re offering and you want to offer them more.

Focus on your customer

Marketing is really just a way of communicating with your customer and getting your story brand across to them. Everything you do for marketing should focus on the customer.

Using the story brand concept, the customer is the “hero” of the story and you are the “guide.” As a “hero” they have a problem and as their “guide” you can show them how to fix their problem and improve their life. You can read about the story brand concept in my post here.

All your messaging should be focused on the customer. They don’t want to hear about you or how you built your business. They only want to know how you can help them. You need to make your story clear, showing the role they play and how your product or service can make their life better. Most critically, they need to understand why this is important to them and why they should pay attention to you.

While crafting your marketing content, make sure to frame the story around the customer. Ask questions like:

  • What problem do they have?
  • How can you help them?
  • What will their life look like if they do or do not engage with you?
  • How is life better with your product or worse without?

The more you focus on answering questions that they want to know, the more effective your marketing will be.

Ask for what you want

In line with keeping it simple, make sure you ask for what you want from your customer. You need to make your call to action clear and obvious. If you want them to sign up for a newsletter, ask them. If you want them to buy a product, ask them. If you want them to interact with your post by liking, sharing, or commenting, ask them.

Customers want to know what to do next, or how to get more information if they’re interested. If they like the content you’re producing, they’ll also want to know how to support you, so give them options. Not everyone will be able to buy your products/services, but there’s usually ways people can support your business without contributing financially (like sharing and liking your content).

Those that like your content and have some money to spend on your content, will also want to know how to do business with you. For those that are interested, make it obvious how to buy your products or services, just don’t be annoying. You don’t want them searching for how to buy your products/services or where to get more info. The more difficult it is to buy something, the less likely they will end up buying it. So if they’re interested, make it easy for them.

There’s a huge difference between having a clear “Buy now” button (easy to buy) versus endless pop-ups and pestering emails (annoying). The best way to think of your marketing approach is to consider, how would it make you feel? Do you like when companies do this, that or the other thing? If you wouldn’t like it, don’t do it.

Final thoughts

I thought this book tied in nicely with his other book, Building a Story Brand (see my post on it here). This book really built on the concept of the story brand by providing clear actions on how to use the branding through implementing basic marketing concepts.

There are lots of hands-on activities discussed throughout the book, from building your website, setting up a marketing campaign, and creating lead generators. All the activities had concrete advice on why these activities are essential and how to actually implement the strategies within the book. There are also clear steps on how to do each activity and what will make it effective and successful.

If you’re looking for a clear, simple approach to marketing, either because you’re new to marketing or looking to refresh your approach, I found this book quite useful and easily to understand.

I would start with his other book, Building a Story Brand, to focus on crafting your business’s story, which can be the foundation for your marketing efforts. Then using your newly crafted story, you can then develop your marketing approach with this book.