Dirty Quandary. The Intelligence Brief – Issue 64
It’s me, Forest. Same guy, same newsletter, but I’m trying on a different name for the newsletter. I love the name “Signals In The Noise” a lot. It’s a great name for this newsletter. I even have it tattooed on my left forearm. Unfortunately, having a newsletter called “Signals In The Noise” going out from a business called “Clarity Lab” has caused some brand confusion.
In an effort to clear up the confusion, I’m trying out “Clarity Lab Intelligence Brief” this week. We’ll see how it feels once I send this issue out. I’m not sure you’ll like this typewriter font, but it does make it feel like an intelligence briefing, no?
Okay…gotta run off to my tattoo parlor appointment. This rebranding is going to hurt.
“The technology that connects us also manipulates us. Never before have a handful of tech designers had such control over the way billions of us think, act, and live our lives.” This is from an incredibly powerful new documentary film called The Social Dilemma. If you haven’t watched it (it’s on Netflix), schedule it on your calendar for this weekend and get the whole family to join you. I’m serious. It’s one of the most powerful (and disturbing) documentaries I’ve ever seen. Our family watched it together last week and it led to some big changes in how, and when, we use social media. We took back our family dinners from the young, white tech dudes who designed the social media apps and algorithms to keep us from connecting with the people right in front of us. I’d make a joke about this, but I need to focus on finishing a political tweet.
A Word In Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush
Let’s be clear: the most important thing between you sitting in your home running your business and a prospect sitting in their home looking for a solution to their problem…is words. “Anything and everything you’ll do to be successful at marketing essentially requires you to use words in the form of a blog post, email newsletter, social media caption, and so on, to spark a desirable action from your audience.” That’s Mark Quadros, on the Coschedule blog, with essential copywriting skills that every marketer needs to have…even if you don’t think you’ll ever need to learn copywriting yourself. I’ve said this hundreds of times to clients: your business will succeed or fail based on what words you use, whether those words are on your homepage, about page, sales page, opt in boxes for free offers, emails, thank you pages, or in videos and podcast episodes. I’ll go even further: not using the right words is the leading cause of small online businesses failing. The other side of that coin, though, is this: if you take the time to write or speak the words that will resonate with your audience (and lead them to take an action that will help them and bring you revenue), your business will give you the freedom to live the lifestyle you want to live. Words, bruh.
Instant Marketing! Just Add Water!
Where is digital marketing headed? What trends are emerging now in this age of a long-term global pandemic? One hint lies in how fast news spreads around the world, thanks to social media (and the manipulative algorithms that keep us infinitely doom scrolling.) If you have the means to pull this off (and if you’re a news junkie like me), here’s a new marketing method to consider: real-time marketing, which is defined by Hannah Obrien at Martech Zone as “the act of a company responding quickly to a current event either through a statement, comment, or action with the purpose of gaining visibility, traffic, or sales.” How do you pull it off? O’brien has some examples in her post “Why Real-Time Marketing Has Become Essential In The Covid Era.” Everything is instant, and now our marketing will be as well. The next step is pre-cognitive marketing, where we’ll market to people before they realize they’re about to have a problem we can solve.
“Decide what matters to you. Decide what you really, actually want to accomplish this next year. And then prune your daily to-do list. Ask yourself: does this action help you get to where you deeply want to go? Or is it just another action in a litany of actions that we take every day, with no real end in sight, taking us nowhere?” That’s Ash Ambirge, of The Middle Finger Project, on the importance of digging down to find what really matters to us in life and business. This year, the zen koan-like question I’m sitting with around what matters to me in my business is “Where am I going?” I’ll let you know when I get there, but I’ll tell you what…there better be good wifi.
Here’s to you having a kick ass super extra productive week.
Keep going. You’re doing awesome work.