May the fourth be with you! It's National Star Wars Day; and if you read my previous blog about storytelling, you might've gotten a hint that I have the tiniest bit of nerd within me. Therefore, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that I'm writing a blog about Star Wars on May 4th.
With that being said, I rewatched the scene where Yoda, one of the most renowned Jedi Masters, trains Luke Skywalker in the bogs of Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back. While watching the scene, some of the things Yoda said while training Luke caught my attention as a marketer. So, here are nine lessons, taken straight from Yoda's mouth, that you should think about as you're contemplating your marketing strategies.
"Feel it. Concentrate."
In order to teach Luke how to use the Force to get his crashed X-Wing out of the bog, Yoda begins by having Luke try to move some stones. As Luke is holding a one-armed handstand with Yoda sitting on his upright feet, a stone begins to levitate. But, Luke loses his concentration for a split second and everything comes crashing down.
Everything starts with goals. Your marketing strategy is shaped by your business goals. Goals will give you a direction, and that direction will help you focus and concentrate on how and where you should be marketing. Without goals, you'll be concentrating on everything; and when you're concentrating on everything, you aren't fully focusing on the platforms that are most beneficial to your business.
"So certain, are you? Always with you, what cannot be done."
After falling, Luke loses faith in their ability to get his X-Wing out of the bog.
If your previous marketing strategies didn't yield the results that you had hoped for, don't give up and don't focus on what you think can't be done. Instead, find a way to get it done. Don't be so quick to formulate certainties about specific platforms. With time and practice, you can utilize what otherwise would've been ignored because of a certainty.
"Always in motion is the future."
You have to be constantly seeking education to stay relevant as time progresses. Especially in digital marketing, trends, platforms, and techniques are frequently changing. What might separate you from your competition is your ability to adapt to the present day and plan for the future.
"You must unlearn what you have learned"
Buyer behaviors have changed, and therefore, marketing has changed. Deny it all you want, but the world is moving away from traditional, outbound marketing - cold calling, direct mail, print, radio, TV and trade show advertising – and toward inbound marketing techniques. Learn more about what outbound marketing's counterpart, inbound marketing, is here. If you have questions beyond what you find on that page, don't hesitate to contact us or schedule a free inbound marketing goals assessment.
"No! Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try."
This takes a mindset shift. Are you going to approach your marketing by timidly trying to do things, or are you going to approach your marketing by actually doing things. "Doing" implies that something has been done, or is in the process of being done. "Trying" implies that you think whatever you're trying to do isn't actually possible. If you're trying to do something, more often than not, take Yoda's advice and "do not." Continually being in a state of trying will yield uninspiring results. Contrarily, if you actually do something, even if it fails, at least you know what not to do next time. Doing provides something valuable. Trying provides ambiguities. So, do.
"Size matters not"
Do not underestimate yourself. We're in an age that anyone can market to, and reach, anyone. Though you may feel small compared to similar agencies or businesses, you can outwork them, target your ideal customers better, and develop a stronger marketing strategy. The opportunities that digital marketing provide open the market for anyone to compete. But to compete, you need to follow Yoda's advice and do.
"Luminous beings are we"
Because your business is comprised of humans working together to accomplish a goal, you have a story to tell that can draw people in. Realize that you have a unique story and don't hesitate to share it. More than anything else, stories connect with people on an intimate level.
"If you choose the quick and easy path, as Vader did, you will become an agent of evil."
Though you probably won't exactly become an agent of evil, choosing the quick and easy path can be detrimental to the long-term success of your business. Take the time to strategically plan for the present and future. Without a plan in place, you're going to be more likely to fall back on quick and easy "fixes." Though these methods may seem like they're performing well for you, they're short-sighted and don't lend themselves to the continued growth of your business.
Luke: "I don't believe it." Yoda: "That is why you fail."
Simply put, if you lack belief in the ability of your business, you're prone to fail.
Yoda eventually shows Luke the truth of his words by using the Force to lift the X-Wing out of the bog.
Yoda is a Jedi Master for good reason. He knows what he's talking about. As you're marketing your business, remember these nine lessons that came straight out of the Jedi Master's mouth. May the Fourth be with you today and every day!