Marketing Bootcamp

Don't Copy. Be Different. And Your Marketing Will Win.

Don't Copy. Be Different. And Your Marketing Will Win.
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Gary Vaynerchuk nailed it when he said, “Marketers ruin everything.”

Because it’s true. The moment they see people flocking to a new website, posting to the latest social platform or watching the hottest new TV show, they swarm in and fill it with ads for their stuff. To them, eyeballs equals dollar signs. And that is how it works. Until everyone starts doing it. Then, it’s an uphill battle to capture and keep your audience’s attention. In light of this, what’s the savvy business owner supposed to do?

Well, rather than scraping the bottom of the marketing barrel, you can use a different strategy altogether. You can zig while everyone else zags. And when you do this, you end up light years ahead your competition.

Related: How Beyoncé Turned Flash Tattoos Into Much More Than a Flash-in-the-Pan Success

Today, I want show you three easy way to zig with your marketing and crush your competitors.

1. Double down on this pricing technique.

If you’re on a lot of email lists, you might have noticed a big trend going on. It goes like this: A new product, course or book is released. After a couple days go by, you find out that this is “your last chance to buy before the price goes up.”

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a brilliant strategy. And if you use this technique, your sales will spike. But it won't be long before everyone starts this. After that, people won’t be as phased by these incredible offers.

So how can you zig in this scenario? Rather than threatening a price increase, you can go ahead and raise your prices. Then, you can extend a one-time credit to your subscriber's accounts.

That message would look like this:

"Hey NAME,

I wanted to do something special for you this month.

I'm crediting your account $XX for the next seven days. You can use this credit toward [XXXProduct].

There’s no catch. It’s just a gift to you, as a subscriber. If you decide not to use it though, it will expire in seven days."

This will get you massive results. It’s not just based on scarcity alone. You’re capitalizing on reciprocity, too. This how you get your message to stand out among a sea of discounters.

Related: 4 Disruptors That Made Superior Branding Their Competitive Edge

2. Forget free content.

If there’s one thing marketers can’t get enough of, it’s free content. They’ll tell you to plaster free stuff all over your blog, newsletters, Facebook, etc. It’s overwhelming. But it’s also based on the false assumption that -- if you want to compete -- you’ve got to make your stuff free. But free content doesn’t mean it’s valuable content. Value is what people really want, and what they’ll happily pay you for.

Take a look at this case study of Ben Thompson. He runs a site where he writes about technology strategy and analyzes daily tech news. He recently launched a premium daily email, which costs $10 per month. The result is that he got more 1,000 signups. That's over $100,000 per year with a newsletter.

It just goes to show you that you can break the mold  (did you think you could charge for a daily email?) and still be hugely successful.

3. Know all the rules so you can break them.

How many websites do you know that look and sound exactly the same? Sites that use the exact same headlines, the exact same templates and the exact same copy to sell their stuff. It’s so boring. But worse than being boring -- it causes your message to get lost. But if you tap into what makes you different, then you don’t have to worry about competing with 1,000 other sites using the same recycled templates and tactics.

So rather than hunting down the latest copy of 57-headline hacks and 27-point landing page checklists, you should look at those things and ask how you can be different. For example, if everyone else is using false scarcity to boost their sales, could you be honest with your customers about why you need to close this offer on Friday at midnight? Or if everyone else is focused creating ebooks about selling ebooks, could you tell people that you actually think there are better ways to earn an income?

Related: Starbucks Couldn't Buy Better PR Than the Red Cups Coverage. Here's What We Can Learn From It.