Teaching & Marketing – what’s so similar between the two?

If you’ve read my About page, you probably know that I’ve been a teacher for 10 years or so. Marketing came into my professional life a little more than a year ago, but with an oomph!

And to my surprise, I discovered some interesting similarities between the two.

If you want to be a good teacher, you have to …

  • be super empathetic:

Know and understand the needs, feelings, problems and views of your students.

  • assess the level of your students accurately:

Know exactly where the learning process would start. If you understand your students’ needs precisely, you can get them easier to where they want to be.

  • be a good story teller:

If you don’t want your lesson to be boring, that’s a must. Period.

  • be engaging:

Again, an obvious point.

  • love challenges:

Some students are a little quirkier than others. I’ve personally always loved those who think differently and outside the box. They tend to be the entrepreneurial type and are a true inspiration. Learn from them and be willing to adapt your message to their needs.

  • give value:

Don’t just waste their time. You have to be absolutely passionate about imparting knowledge and making the world a better place.

  • be understanding and willing to clarify multiple times:

That’s what we call Patience. With capital P.

  • think a little outside the box:

If you keep following a course book, page by page, word by word, chances are your lessons will be real boring and your students will eventually tune out.

  • listen to your audience:

Appreciate feedback – be it good or bad, and adore constructive criticism. That’s what keeps you getting better and better at what you do.

A good marketer is in many ways equal to a good teacher.

If you want to be good at marketing your business, you have to (again):

  • be empathetic:

Your customers don’t care about you, your products, or your services. They care about their wants and their needs.

  • assess their wants and needs accurately:

So you can help them satisfy those exact needs with your products or services.
Know what they like and dislike, what makes them buy and what makes them get the hell out of your shop/from your website.

  • be a good story teller:

In the age of content marketing, we have to deliver valuable information to potential buyers consistently, so they would reward us with their business in return. That valuable information has to be packaged nicely and serve a true need.

  • be engaging:

As Joe Pulizzi said in his book Epic Content Marketing, if you want to build a loyal following, you need to inform, help and entertain.

“Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment
doesn’t know the first thing about either.”
Marshall McLuhan

  • love challenges:

Traditional marketing is dead. In today’s world, we have to cut through the clutter in order to make an impact. That’s becoming more and more challenging. The marketing noise is disturbingly loud, be it online or offline. Only those who embrace change and are willing to overcome this challenge will be able to attract a loyal following.

  • give value:

If you think the purpose of a business is just to make money, chances are you’re not going to get hugely successful. You have to provide real value, real benefit and take an important role in your customers’ life.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Sir Winston Churchill

  • be understanding and willing to clarify multiple times:

If your message fails to get through to your customers, twist it and turn it until it becomes comprehendible. If you confuse people, you lose people. Make your message as simple and easy as possible.

  • think a little outside the box:

Be bold, be different, find your own / your brand’s voice and don’t be afraid to stand out. Catch the attention of both your potential and existing clients and give value to them.

  • listen to your audience:

Their feedback gives you insight into whether your marketing plan has worked out or if there’s anything you need to change. Embrace those negative feedbacks with patience and calmness. Think about this:

Positive feedback means praise. Praise of something that you do / have / are, something you possess and are proud of. That’s a good base.

Negative feedback means criticism. Raising your attention to something that you don’t do / don’t have / are not. Something that if you had, you would benefit from. That’s where IMPROVEMENT & DEVELOPMENT can come from.

So here we go, let’s finish this off with a nice tweetable:

“You don’t develop by receiving praise; you develop by getting through difficult times and from constructive criticism.”

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

What sort of challenges do you face as a small business marketer on a daily basis? Do you find it more and more difficult to cut through the clutter and stand out? How do you overcome that challenge?

Or, if you are a teacher: Do you find it more difficult to get through to your students? If so, why and what do you do to engage them?

Please share your ideas and stories in the comments below.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope to catch you in my next post.

With love,

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