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The #1 lesson for excellent marketing results

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Just a few years ago, I was a frustrated small business owner, providing a top-notch service but still struggling to find new clients and grow my business. That’s when I discovered that marketing is the most important role any small business owner could possibly have, and I decided to become a serious student and practitioner of direct response marketing.

Since then, I’ve skyrocketed my own business and those of my clients, by constantly reading direct response marketing books and newsletters, taking courses and attending events to further my education and hone my skills. I constantly brainstorm with mentors, coaches and colleagues. And I make sure to get an extensive free education by getting onto a ton of sharp marketers’ mailing lists, and paying attention to smart marketing in all different media.

So it should come as no surprise to you that I’ve been bombarded over the past couple of weeks with Valentine’s Day-related promotions. Some of them were extremely creative and effective, and some were relatively boring and predictable.

But they all followed the advice of one of the greatest direct response copywriters of all time, Robert Collier, who, 75 years ago, first taught the #1 lesson for getting excellent marketing results: “You must enter the conversation already going on inside your customer’s mind.”

There have been several topics dominating Americans’ minds over the past couple of weeks, including Groundhog’s Day, the Super Bowl, the Republican primary race and Valentine’s Day.

Did you capitalize on these opportunities to connect with your audience by creating marketing messages and special offers involving one or more of these topics, such as “Our special will run 6 more weeks because the groundhog saw his shadow” or “Here’s a special offer because we love our customers”?

Even if you didn’t, here’s the good news: There’s always another hot topic on the horizon.

For example, next week is President’s Day. And people are still thinking and talking about the GOP battle, and will likely be for weeks – if not months – to come. Smart marketers are even still capitalizing on the emotion-filled Valentine’s Day holiday, calling February “the month of love.” You may even find a way to combine all three of these themes in a promotion!

Keep in mind that you don’t have to provide products or services related to any particular holiday or event in order to capitalize on the opportunities they provide. You’re limited only by your own creativity – which you can cultivate and improve by studying and brainstorming with other sharp marketers.

The calendar is one of the best friends an entrepreneur, business owner or sales professional can have. Consider its pages a never-ending stream of opportunities to connect with your target market, and constantly be on the lookout for ways to capitalize on all kinds of holidays and events.

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