Issue #256

The Most Valuable Marketing Skill…

The Most Valuable Marketing Skill…

Once you dive into the world of marketing, there’s a helluva lot of skills and strategies that get talked about…

Copywriting, content creation, building sales funnels, lead magnets, webinars, videos, blogging…yada yada.

And as I’m sitting here in San Diego at a conference for online marketers, surely it will be these kinds of things mostly being talked about.

It is all too easy to read about all these things, go through courses on them, and get pretty focused on the mechanics. How many emails should you send? Is the price right? Does the lead magnet follow proper “best practices”? How does that webinar outline look again?

And I see a lot of students who get a little too focused on these mechanics while seemingly losing sight of why all that stuff is built in the first place.

All those things we build online to grow our online businesses… who is going to be looking at it?

A human being. A real person.

And just like you, that person has thoughts and opinions. They have their own well of experience that shapes how they see things. They have desires. They have feelings. They have things they like and things they hate.

If you go to your email list right now, you see a bunch of email addresses. Maybe you’ve got some names. But, behind every single entry there… is a human being.

And so, despite all these fancy tools and all these strategies that “gurus” teach and others try to emulate, there’s really one marketing skill that trumps them all…

EMPATHY.

The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

To be able to plant yourself into their head and see the world from their viewpoint.

Truthfully, not everybody can do this naturally. Some people are more naturally empathetic than others. Some are pretty busy thinking about themselves all the time.

Having empathy doesn’t mean you have to adopt the same feelings or views of another, but you need to understand them.

So, how can you develop this?

It starts with communication. You need to talk with people in your target market. Exchange lots of emails, get feedback, run surveys. But, even further, actually talk to them on the phone or Skype. Listen to what is confusing them, what they’re struggling with, what they need help with. Listen to how they phrase it, their voice tone. Find out their background of their experience with this.

These are things that are quite difficult to do with written word alone. It really does help to talk to them.

Then… visualize the situation as if you were them. Really paint that picture in your mind using your imagination, but based on what you know.

How will this help you as a marketer?

It helps in everything. You will create better content. You will write better emails. You will come up with product ideas and make offers that truly connect. Things become much easier when you truly understand and can FEEL the people you intend to serve.

That’s empathy.

Please don’t get stuck into a mindset of trying to convince “the masses” to like what you want to produce. Never get stuck in a mindset of numbers only. Stats and metrics are important indicators, but behind every email address and every pixel on your stat graphs was a real individual human being.

So, the #1 skill of any marketer is empathy.

 

– David

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