In his innovative new book Launch, Michael Stelzner offers business owners and marketers some counterintuitive advice: forego traditional marketing messages in favor of valuable—and free—content. In fact, if you’re looking for marketing how-to’s, you’re going to have to wait until the final chapter of the book. Stelzner, the founder of SocialMediaExaminer.com—the number-one small business blog according to Technorati—calls this concept the “elevation principle,” and he argues it’s the best way to reach people who have grown deaf to the overabundance of marketing messages bombarding them on a daily basis. Stelzner offers step-by-step instructions based on his real-world experiences, as well as examples and analogies from daily life.
As a mom and a marketing professional, one analogy that resonated with me was when Stelzner compared marketing to busy customers to trying to brush a child’s hair: “There are two ways to get their hair brushed. Yelling, ‘Get your behind over here, right now!’ is one option. The other is to walk alongside them, brushing as they go on their merry way.” This brought back memories of working in direct mail years ago, dealing with low response rates as ads with hard sells were disposed of as “junk mail.” Stelzner reveals there is a better way. By offering real information that people actually want, you build trust and bring people to you—instead of ending up in the wastebasket.
Insights like these fill the book, making the message easy to apply to any business venture. Today I’m working with authors, and I encourage them to create blogs, share content, and contribute useful information in online communities, without pushing their books. Because, as Stelzner says, “by giving genuine gifts to your base and experts—without expecting anything in return—you’ll draw people to you in droves… and some will become loyal customers for life.”
–by Meredith Hale, Marketing Manager for Baldwin Book Publishing