July 7, 2011 Neville Godwin

A letter to a younger me – lessons in marketing for a small business

The business market is changing everyday and the speed of change is mind-blowing. MySpace was the biggest thing, so was Friends Reunited, now in a matter of a few years most don’t know they existed.

Huge amounts were spent by companies on TV adverts. Now most people can choose not to watch them, making adverts almost redundant unless they become a cult hit on YouTube!

As we’ve all had to adapt to the changing landscape, I thought it would be interesting what you’d advise yourself to do if you had the benefit of hindsight.

So in a Marty McFly kind of way, I’m writing a letter to a younger version of myself, explaining the key lessons in marketing, to give me a leg up. This is what I’d say.

Dear Nev,

First of all relax… everything is going to be OK…. but

In a few years time a thing called the internet will appear on the horizon and a lot of rubbish will be written about how to use it to promote your business (You’ll be running a small virtual agency then).

Just remember these few things and everything will be OK.

  1. You will be told that you have to promote your business on all these different websites* and social media platforms•• just to stay on parity with all your competition. They are wrong! It’s better to do a few things well than a lot of things poorly!
  2. The people who will be telling you these things will appear after the internet has been in existence for approximately 3 seconds. They will call themselves “Social Media Gurus”. The one thing they’re not are “Gurus” (speech marks or not!) Stay well clear of the lot of them, your life will be a lot better for it and it’ll probably stop you biting you nails!
  3. K.I.S.S – Keep it simple stupid – don’t try and be too clever… a simple idea delivered well, will always out perform a more complex (and more importantly for a small business, more expensive) idea.
  4. Know your target audience. – Machine gun theory is for fools!
  5. Content is king! – It doesn’t matter how good your Google*** ranking is if when they get to your website or Blog**** it has nothing of interest. It’s will have all been a waste of time for all concerned…
  6. Meeting people is always preferable to internet communication – whatever happens in the future, meeting people face to face to do business will always bring you more success. People buy people!
  7. The cream will always rise to the top. Have faith in yourself.

Follow these rules and you’ll be fine…


The older you…

* for the sake of keeping this short lets just say that websites are a way of showing and communicating things to people worldwide at very little cost.

** again keeping it short social media is just another way of communicating on the internet.

*** They provide the best way of finding stuff on this internet thing. Whatever you do when Google goes public buy shares!
**** Another delivery mechanism of communication.. I won’t bore you with it now…


What would you write to a younger you to help you through the mire?

Let me know!

ngd Agency is a design and branding agency, we help businesses make more money by making them stand out from the crowd!


This is an entry into the JupiterJasper Marketing lesson blogging competition

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