By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing
If you've been watching the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, you might be aghast, but you should be fascinated.
Trump came out swinging in his presidential announcement and then doubled down on everything he said in the first Republican debate. The next one is tomorrow (Sept 16). Tune in to CNN.
It seems, no matter what Trump does, he continues to climb in the polls. He’s the only candidate anyone is really talking about.
Ultimately I think Trump may be headed for a point of no return, but it’s also possible he could become the Republican nominee.
Whether or not you approve of his approach or his politics, you have to admit he's doing a few things right. So lets not worry for now about the things that drive you crazy and, instead, outline his 10 brilliant marketing approaches and how you might apply them to your business (minus the sleaze factor).
1. Supreme Confidence
Trump's confidence is over the top. It might be summed up as, "The rest of you are total losers, and I am your only choice, and by the way, I'm rich. Very rich. And smart too. Very smart."
Well, you can still display confidence without being an obnoxious loudmouth. But since you're not a billionaire, you need to have a confidence based on the results you've produced, the difference you've made and the skills you possess. You don't need to compare yourself to anyone else or put anyone down. But you need to give up any stories you have about being inadequate or not good enough. Trump would never do that.
2. Clear and Consistent Talking Points
When Trump speaks he sticks to the same talking points. You know, "immigrants are ra***ts and murderers, (even though Mexicans are great workers), women love me, Jeb Bush has low energy and all other politicians are stupid.”
You may not find these points particularly edifying, but at least he's consistent. And no matter what services you offer, you need to be clear and consistent as well. When someone asks you what you do, be ready to explain whom you work with, how you help them and how you're different. You can't be wishy-washy about your message or prospects will lose confidence in you. In fact, they'll ignore you. Notice that Trump is never ignored.
3. A Phrase That Pays
The motto of the Trump campaign is, "Making America Great Again." And that's not a bad key message. (The only trouble is that we still have no idea how he'll actually go about accomplishing that.)
Your "phrase that pays" needs to be as clear and beneficial. Such as, "We Get You Out of Debt and Build Your Cash Reserves." This can have a large appeal to many people. But you'd better have a workable, tested, step-by-step system that can deliver on the slogan. You just can't make it up as you go, as Trump seems to.
4. Taking on the Competition
Trump never bows to the competition or concedes a point. In fact he goes after anyone who disagrees or goes against him. He demolishes them. So far this seems to be working, so he keeps doing it. Some have learned just to get out of his way or pal up to him like the obsequious Senator Cruz.
You can take on the competition as well, but not with the viscousness of a rabid dog. No, you can clearly point out your differences, what you do better, where you specialize and excel. You can, and should, emphasize why your approach is better, faster or more effective. But you don't need to embarrass yourself when doing so. Leave Trump to that task.
5. Emphasizing your Strengths
Look, Trump does have a lot of strengths. Building a multi-billion dollar empire took hard work, lots of smarts and who knows what else. The strength he keeps coming backs to is his ability to make deals. After all, he wrote the book on it: "The Art of the Deal." However, I'm not sure he could write the book "Win-Win Negotiation."
Do you know your greatest strength? What is it you do very, very well, better than almost anyone you know? Usually it's a skill that you are so familiar with that you’ve ceased to recognize it as a skill. For instance, I discovered my greatest skill is teaching (not marketing) so I spend most of my time teaching my clients how to market effectively. What's your biggest strength?
6. Congruency of Message and Delivery
Trump is full of braggadocio and chutzpah. That's his style. It's more than confidence, it's just the way he is and all his messages reflect that way of being. Notice how many candidates say things that go over like a lead balloon? They have no congruency. But Trump can call prisoners of war "losers" and somehow get away with it. Mind-boggling, isn't it?
What is your style, and is your message congruent with that style? Don't try to come off as someone else. Instead, always be your real self. You know your convictions, and what strategies really work in your business. Well, find a way to stand for those things so that people really believe you and trust you. Another way of saying this is: Find your passion and then live it.
7. Never Apologize
Have you ever heard Trump apologize for anything? No, and you probably never will. He could say the American government is communist-based and would never retract his words. But in some ways this is an admirable trait. He's confident and confident that he's confident and, of course right, about everything.
Should you ever apologize? Well, since you're a human and not perfect, you'll make mistakes. And if they are obvious mistakes that cost something (especially to your clients) you'd better apologize, quickly. But that doesn't mean you should demean yourself like a lowly peasant: "Yes, M'Lord, I truly am the scum of the earth, it will never happen again, or I'll give you my first born child." No, you'd never say that, but sometimes it sounds like it. Man up, admit you made a mistake and move on.
8. Show That You're Wining
This is Trump's biggest hobby and prime campaign strategy. "I just want you to know I'm winning. I'm at the top of the polls, I'm ahead of all those other losers and, of course, I expect to win the presidency. What will I do when I'm president? Well, I'll get to that someday, but right now I'm winning. Praise me please."
You want to let your prospects know you're winning and successful (even if you don't feel quite as successful as you'd like to be). And you show you're winning by having a world-class website, well-written articles, glowing testimonials and specific client success stories. It's not boasting if it's true, but you don't need to make an ass of yourself as you reveal your success with class and understatement.
9. Never Be Too Specific
Trump's campaign is a mile wide and two inches deep. That is, his appeals are broad and easy-to-understand. He's the master of the sound-bite and the memorable (and sometimes shocking) phrase. But scratch any deeper and he has little to say (so far). Look, it may be too early to get into specifics. But later in the campaign he's dead if he keeps glossing everything over.
You shouldn't be too specific about everything either, at least with a first contact. Ever ask someone what they did and half an hour later they stop talking? Not because they've run out of things to say, but because they needed a bathroom break. Economy in words – on your website and in a verbal marketing – is your friend. But when people want to know more, present substance and depth or prospects will lose interest fast.
10. Multiply Word-of-Mouth
Trump is a paradox. The richest man ever to run for the presidency, he hasn't spent a dime yet on TV (or any other) advertising. By doing all of the things mentioned above he gets 10 times the press as all the other candidates combined. If he can keep up that momentum, he just may be unstoppable.
Your most powerful marketing vehicle is also word-of-mouth. It's what others say about you that packs a bigger wallop than anything you can say about yourself. But don't be passive about word-of-mouth, be proactive. That is, get out there and let people see you in action. Some ways that work include speaking in public, publishing an eZine and blog, community service and social media posts that add value. And ask your clients for testimonials. You've worked hard, so make sure you get recognized for that work.
I hope you understand that you can market much like Trump without being Trump. You can apply all the approaches he uses without being an arrogant, self-centered egomaniac. And that my friends, is a very good thing!
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