A few weeks ago, I was in Ohio visiting my family.
My brother belongs to the swankest country club in the city (like with a PGA championship golf course and all, which I can tell you is very different from the putt putt courses I've frequented in my past).
He invited me out to lunch on a beautiful summer day...and then immediately ditched me even before our salads came out because he remembered that he had a meeting he couldn’t miss.
I was left alone on the patio of the country club, enjoying a glass of wine, watching golfers get stuck in the sand trap on the 12th hole, and eavesdropping on all the dudes who came to the patio for the proverbial "19th hole" and trying not to judge the way they one-upped each other...on everything.
Eventually, four cool guys sat at the table right behind me. They were super-pumped to have just played a PGA course, so they were a little boisterous and loud. Soon, it became evident that one of them was in the restaurant business.
And he was. He's partners with a well-known chef, Michael Symon, who I really like (I actually have his two Fix it with Food cookbooks) and who runs some popular restaurants in Cleveland and Detroit.
It was some choice eavesdropping. Because the chef is cool, restaurants are interesting...and I really like food.
After about 10 minutes, the restaurant guy leaned over to my table and apologized for talking so loudly. I told him no problem...it was a good eavesdrop.
After we talked about restaurant-shop for a bit, he asked what I do for a living. When I told him branding and marketing, he perked up.
He told me about a restaurant they were opening on Kelley's Island. They had hired a branding firm to help with their brand…but he wasn’t really crazy about the tagline they came up with. So he asked me what I would recommend for a tagline.
And I told him two things:
1. I don't work for free; and
2. Any professional brander and marketer worth their salt knows this: information always comes before inspiration
Let me say it again: in the marketing real world, information always comes before inspiration.
It would be wildly inappropriate for me to provide any sort of advice without having a deep understanding of their business goals, their market, their differentiators, their customers, the experience they deliver, or their competition.
So if you're feeling stumped for your messaging, or your next email, or social post, or sales video, or blog, or opt-in, ask yourself...
Am I clear on:
The transformation I deliver?
Do I have the information I need for good inspiration?
Or, am I just winging it?
And if you're feeling like you may just be winging it, stop what you're doing right now and put 20 minutes on your calendar, and commit to a little "me-search".
Give yourself the gift of knowing your goals, your market, your differentiators, your customers, the transformation you deliver, and your competitors and bringing that into your marketing. You'll love how clear your path becomes.
And remember, in this beautiful, crazy, ever-changing world of ours, there's someone right here in Denver, Colorado who's 100,000% rooting for you!