Is marketing a dark art?

I am not a professional marketer. Fact!

The services I provide, writing and content, certainly come under the umbrella of a marketing department, but when it comes to strategy or planning, that it definitely not in my bag of tricks.

Which is why, when I started my business I had to rename it after a few months because people heard the words ‘social media’ and assumed I did marketing …

But what is it about marketing that I find so out of reach, so unattainable and frankly so difficult?


According to the dictionary, marketing is: “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.”

I get that, I really do. You can’t sell something if people don’t know about it.

But why does every article and book you read make it sound like marketing is akin to practising the dark arts, where only a few chosen ones know what they’re doing?

Seeing as it is effectively just a case of working out what you want to say, can you make it a simple process, instead of seemingly going round the houses never getting any further?

So, I’m going to have a go, using common sense(!) and the good old fashioned Ws of journalism.

I have no idea where this will end up, but what’s the worst that can happen? I certainly can’t be any more confused that I am right now!

The first thing to start with is, what are you selling?

Are you marketing a service or a product?

Whatever you are selling, can be broken down into one of two things: a product or a service.

Now marketing a product, as all the books I have read state, is easy, because you have something physical that you can show people.

But marketing a service is much trickier. After all you don’t have anything physical to show, just your skills at what you do.

I’d love to find a book that teaches people how to market a service properly, so if you have any recommendations let me know in the comments. Most books I’ve read, seem to start off saying ‘this is how you market a service’ and then go off on a tangent where everything relates to something physical.

At the end of the day, I think I’ve discovered that when it comes to marketing a service the only tangible thing you can market is you.

You are your business, you do the work (generally, especially in start-up phase), so people are effectively buying you and what you can offer them.

WHAT do you do?

That’s easy … I WRITE STUFF!

That’s it. I write blog articles, editorials, web copy and social media posts. If it needs words, I’m your girl!

WHO is my perfect customer?

From researching demographics and psychographics to creating avatars there is so much information out there, it’s overwhelming!

But I guess, especially for a service-based business, it simply comes down to your personal preference and what industry you want to target. (Obviously if there’s a need that is.)

I just love writing and can, and have, written on many topics from health, fitness and lifestyle through to business and accountancy.

But if I have to ‘niche’ it down to just one industry, as a self-confessed petrol head my absolute ideal customer would be in the motorsport or automotive sector.

Unless a silver or red Formula 1 team is in the market for a freelancer, my ideal match (without sounding too much like a dating site) would be MOTORSPORT TEAMS or AUTOMOTIVE COMPANIES.

WHY should they use my company?

This fits nicely into the ‘what’s in it for them’ category.

Well, although I write stuff, I actually offer clients time and “head space” to focus on the things that really matter to their business.

Most business owners know they should write regular blogs, as it helps improve the search engine optimisation (SEO) and all that malarkey, but they simply don’t have the time. That’s where I come in. They can rest easy knowing that their blog is regularly updated, it makes sense, follows their brand voice, and carries a consistent message across social platforms.

Can I simplify this? You bet!

My client offering can be simplified to … I GIVE YOU TIME.

WHEN should they use my company?

Be it on a regular or ad-hoc basis, companies should give me a call when they needs ‘stuff writing’ but haven’t got the manpower available.

For example, a small business with a few employees who want to start a company blog. Their staff are flat out with their current workload, but the company can’t afford to employ another member of staff.

Or a small motorsport team, competing in various cups, need someone updating their news on the website and on social media during race weekends, but the team are busy getting the car ready and reviewing race strategy.

Even big brands occasionally just need an extra pair of hands during a busy period.

WHERE do I work?

In the 21st century, geographical location is not a determining factor.

With everything from project management through to video calling available, clients can be based anywhere in the world.

HOW do I say what I want to say?

So, I think I’ve managed to work out that what I want to say is: I write stuff, to give you time to work on your business

But how do I say it?

This is where you have to sell the good night’s sleep and not the mattress!

Think transformation not information, Claire, think!!

OK, here goes. 3 for you to choose from:

Kook transforms your ideas into words.

Lost for words? Relax! Kook’s got your content covered.

Content. It’s what we do.

What do you think? Which one is your favourite?

Do you have any marketing tips?

Let me know in the comments below.

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