Not everything works all the time

When I worked in mainstream Public Relations, I was often struck, when writing a pitch, by my desire to cover all the standard PR bases for the client.

Mass media? Of course. Your customers and prospects need to see you.

Newsletter? Of course. You need to control your messages.

Events? Of course. You need to get in front of your customers and prospects.

And so on. Switch on all the channels and have them on all the time. It was a percentage game. Something was bound to work, wasn’t it?

But I began to have doubts.

These surfaced particularly when I spoke to small or micro businesses who just didn’t have the resources or the energy to play all the slots. Sounding like a marketing or PR textbook didn’t work with these guys.

So I figured, well what one, two or three things brings you most business? Usually, for small businesses, it was word of mouth. Well, I’d say, can’t you do more of that? No, they’d say. I want to grow the business so I need to be in X, Y, or Z newspaper/trade journal/magazine/on TV.

We would both get a little exasperated and eventually part company.

Bestselling author Jeff Goins (The Art of Work) discovered the secret after becoming a bestselling author and it made my heart leap for joy when I read about it. He admitted to wasting days trying to cover all the marketing bases and discovered that most of his sales came from only two sources.

He discovered the 80/20 principle the hard way.

Of course, run of the mill professionals (and I include my former self in this) will sell you all kinds of things you don’t need instead of working out how you can spend least for optimum results. Things might have changed a bit in our era of austerity, but I doubt it. I suspect it’s made things worse.

Read Jeff’s experience here:

And think about your own 80/20.