Tips and Tricks for Crafting a Killer Mission Statement
On the Magnificent Marketing Podcast, we team up with industry experts to dig deep into content marketing problems and discuss innovative ideas for solving them.
We know the content marketing world is constantly changing and evolving. That's why our goal is to stay as up-to-date as possible by providing useful information and tools. When it comes to fresh ideas for solving problems and generating high-quality results, Marcus Sheridan knows his stuff. On this episode of the show, Marcus sat down with us to talk about crafting killer mission statements. This is an area that most companies tend to fall short. As a result, they're missing out on buy-ins and potential clients. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to solve as long as you have the right mindset and Marcus has some great ideas for getting you started.
Surviving and Thriving Through the Recession
Marcus's story is one of a kind. How he got where he's at today is actually pretty remarkable. In 2001 Marcus was fresh out of college. He and a few buddies decided to launch a swimming pool installation company called River Pools and Spas. Then the recession hit and the housing market crashed.
Game over for River Pools and Spas, right? Wrong.
By utilizing innovative yet flexible strategies, Marcus's company not only survived but thrived through the recession and beyond. Now, River Pools and Spas is the most visited swimming pool website in the world.
Yes, the world.
Marcus owes a big portion of his success to embracing effective and versatile content marketing. So much so that in 2009 he decided to throw himself head first into the dynamic content marketing world by launching his website: The Sales Lion. Here, Marcus shares blogs and resources covering sales, marketing, and personal development. The Sales Lion has now become synonymous with inbound and content marketing strategies. Marcus's dedication and expertise don't go unnoticed by major publications. In fact, The New York Times has dubbed Marcus the "web marketing guru" due to his excellence and success.
Changing Your Mindset
When you think of content marketing, what comes to mind?
You probably think of who you plan to target and what kind of information you want to provide, right? Of course, you also probably think about how you can link this information back to your company to increase buy-ins. Marcus says this isn't enough when it comes to mission statements and even content marketing in general. No, he approaches content marketing a little differently than his colleagues.
Most people's approach to content marketing is somewhat scientific and mathematical: audience, content, click-throughs, ROI, etc. It's almost like a formula. This approach only gets you so far. According to Marcus, if you want results, you need to change your mindset. Instead, you should start thinking of yourself as a teacher.
Who are you teaching and what will you teach them? You still need to take this attitude a step further.
What's something teachers have that many other professionals don't? Passion.
Where does this passion come from? It's the reason you get up every morning and do what you do.
So, why do you do what you do? Which problems are you trying to solve and how are you enriching lives in the process?
Marcus says most companies spend a lot of time crunching the numbers and focusing on the "who" and "what" without giving the "why" aspect much thought. This is a huge mistake – possibly the biggest mistake companies can make. If you don't have passion and a clear reason for your work, your audience will notice and respond accordingly. This ultimately results in fewer clients and fewer buy-ins. By striving to be the best teacher in the world – no matter your industry – you can avoid this mistake.
Tips and Tricks for Crafting Your Mission Statement and Expressing Your "Why"
After nearly two decades in the content marketing world, Marcus has learned through trial and error what works and what doesn't. He's already made all the mistakes so you don't have to and he wants to share that information through these tips, tricks, and ideas for crafting your mission statement.
Think Like a Teacher – in All Respects
Whether you're a lawyer, accountant, entertainer, or content marketer, you already know that you're an expert in your industry. How will you communicate that to your audience? Start by thinking about what kind of problems your audience might have on a daily basis. If you're a lawyer, for example, these problems might include knowing civilian rights at traffic stops or how to begin the divorce process. Next, think about how you can provide your audience with answers to their problems.
Don't forget: You also need to teach your audience about your company. Teach them who you are and why you do what you do.
Integrate and Reorganize Your Company
Most companies keep their departments fairly separated. Marketing, sales, and management are all isolated going about their daily business and only intercommunicating when they need specific information from another department. This is a big mistake. All departments should have a hands-on role in both the sales and marketing process.
Think about it: Your sales department are the first employees to speak with clients so shouldn't they be versed in marketing techniques? Shouldn't your marketing team have a thorough understanding of sales so that they can properly market your brand to an audience? Content marketing should be a team effort because each part of your company deals with clients in a different way. Unite your team around a common goal. Get everyone communicating and brainstorming to reach viable solutions.
Never Stop Learning
Lots of companies already send their marketing teams to retreats and workshops. This is great, but Marcus says you also need to think outside the box. Send your sales department and employees in leadership positions to these expos as well. Did you know managers are more likely to consider new ideas when they come from an outside source as opposed to someone on their team? Marcus has two ideas for conducting your own group exercises.
For the first exercise, have everyone in your company write down seven reasons why a client may not buy from them. Your sales department should finish in no time. This makes sense because they're probably used to hearing negative feedback directly from clients. Marketing and leadership, on the other hand, typically have trouble coming up with answers. See why it's important to integrate your departments?
For the second exercise, you need to start putting yourself in the customer's shoes. Start by having your team brainstorm content ideas. The goal is to load your website and digital presence with information so that clients have the answers to questions before they even pick up the phone to call you.
Behold: The Power of Videos
According to Marcus, lots of companies are dabbling in video content but aren't giving it enough effort. He can't stress enough how important videos are for not only content marketing but also productivity. Marcus lives by something called the 80% rule. The content on your company's website should answer about 80% of questions any client may have before they reach out to contact you.
Through social media and other platforms, you can use videos to build a relationship with clients using minimal effort and resources. Let people really get to know you through videos. Ideally, each member of your sales team should create a personalized video to strike a relationship and answer potential questions any clients may have. Not only do videos help build a bond, but they also cut down sales appointment times by about 50%. Plus, with the right content, videos are extremely shareable.
Putting These Tools into Practical Use
Now that you have the proper tools to develop a killer mission statement and content marketing strategy, you need to figure out how to put them to practical use.
Marcus says that if you want to stay on top of your game, you always need to remember your "why." This mission should reverberate through every aspect and team member of your company. Reach out to your team for brainstorming exercises. Make sure you get everyone involved. Content marketing is very dynamic. If you want to execute a strategy that will yield results, you need different viewpoints and new ideas flowing at all times.
Always strive to be the best teacher you can be through your content. Utilize your website and digital presence to teach your audience about both your expertise and your company itself. By changing your mindset, tweaking your approach, and staying dynamic, you can craft an awesome mission statement that will – hopefully – result in more traffic and buy-ins than the other guys.