This thing called Marketing
I’ve been spending the last six months or so writing content for my startup, Blocks Edit, fine tuning the website to clearly communicate what the product does, how it does it, and who it’s for, along with regularly writing blog posts to further promote the ideas behind it. And during this period, I learned what marketing really means. Which is weird because, as a professional web designer, I’ve worked in marketing since I started making websites. In fact, a lot of websites are a subset of marketing as they work to serve what marketing is all about: to promote and sell products or services.
But because I’ve always worked with a marketing team and focused primarily on the interaction design and graphics of a website, the core principles behind marketing have always just been within my peripheral. For example, I understood the basic concepts of branding, but mainly from the aspect of visual communication, like a logo, colors, fonts, etc. It wasn’t until I started writing short stories and comics these last few years that I got closer to grasping one of the principles that makes up marketing: presenting ideas by simply using words and telling stories.
On marketing well
Practicing writing however wasn’t the only thing that made all the pieces fall into place for me. I always knew marketing was an important tool, so whenever I got the chance, I would read what I could about it to better understand how it worked. One of my favorite writers on marketing (among other things) who’s blog I’ve been reading for years now is Derek Sivers. He gets at the heart of what marketing means and offers lasting advice through his series, “The Mindset of Marketing Your Music,” which, despite its name, does not apply just to musicians. Here are some highlights:
- “Marketing” just means being considerate
- Art doesn’t end at the edge of the canvas
- Get personal
- What it means to be resourceful
- Get specific!
- A curious answer to the most common question
- Proudly exclude most people
- Well-rounded doesn’t cut
- Emphasize meaning over price
- The more they pay, the more they value it
- How to attend a conference
- Use the internet, not just companies
- Ignore advice that drains you
Marketing as a process
Part of me feels like I’ve been relearning things these past six months, but I realize that I’m seeing things with a new found perspective. I guess it’s true that sometimes we don’t actually learn things until we’re ready to. And things sometimes just happen intuitively in the process of doing it. I’ve been blogging for over ten years, but only started to feel like I was doing it well the last couple of years.
I updated the Blocks Edit website again the other day and will continue to update it as long as there is something new to say! And I’m having so much fun writing stuff that I’ve decided to work on an ebook on marketing your product or service on the web. I’m calling it Webspace and it mixes designing and building a website, writing and promoting online, effectively using tools and resources, and collaborating with others. Basically everything I’ve learned and worked on professionally these last fifteen plus years. Now that I finally get it.
If you’re interested in getting updates on my future marketing posts and my progress on my Webspace ebook, keep in touch and subscribe to my newsletter.