When I was in high school, it seemed like every afternoon as I drove home, one of the two rock radio stations in town would play AC/DC‘s Highway To Hell. While never much of an AC/DC fan, the juxtaposition of the song coming on the radio as I made my way home from a day in Catholic-high-school-hell-teenage-jail was an endless source of amusement to me in my adolescent years (Note, being male and still in possession of a juvenile sense of humor, I’m still kinda childishly amused by the thought of it).
This all came back to me the other day as, while traveling that same stretch of road, Highway to Hell came on the radio (Sirius/XM instead of FM now). Immediately I flashed back to those carefree afternoons and the rush I felt driving along with the school day behind me and the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do. But what struck me even more as the song came through my car speakers (which are a significant improvement over what I had in that first car, a sporty, 1973 Ford Maverick aka The Green Girl Repeller) was the simplicity of the song. It starts off with a simple guitar riff, then the drums kick in, and Bon Scott’s howling lead vocals fill out the verse before the rest of the band kicks in for the chorus. And if you need to advertise your business, you need to take that same simple approach.
Yeah, that’s right. If you need to advertise your business, or you want to expand your marketing, you should follow the same principle as Highway to Hell. Start slow and build up. It’s that simple.
As a business owner, it’s very easy to go all in with the first advertising package that comes through the door. Sure, that radio or TV rep offers what sounds like a nice, affordable package to plaster your name everywhere, and that direct mail guy will promise to put your name in every mailbox in town. And don’t forget the newspaper rep who wants to put your name in the paper, on the web, and on TV while offering lots of social media integration. Jump on all that and it’s pretty easy to call your marketing good for the next year with a couple swipes of the pen, right? Don’t do it!
Instead, start slow and find your own rhythm. Follow Highway to Hell (actually, pretty much any AC/DC song does the same thing, but…) and start with your marketing riff, whether it’s establishing a Facebook or Twitter presence or simply putting up a website. Then, add the drums and start blogging (Not sure what to blog about? Follow the same principle, start slow, write what you know, and build on it.). Find your comfort zone and develop a marketing budget that works for you. Once you’ve got the rhythm going, start singing, whether it’s TV, radio, direct mail, or digital. Then, bring all the elements together to form the chorus of your marketing message which, in this case, is that unique selling proposition that makes your business stand out.
While it doesn’t have to be a symphony, or even a classic rock staple, the best way to promote your business is to start slow, build up and make sure everything works together to consistently market your brand. Do that, and your business will be on the highway to…wealth!