By Tim Brown, Director of Strategy, Snap Agency – Minneapolis SEO
Because habits mean consistently doing something, almost mindlessly – they are powerful for getting results over time. Yes, they take time to establish at the beginning, but if you can wield them towards your goals and your ideal life you’ll see results that other people who rely on good old fashioned willpower won’t get.
In this spirit, I went in search of what some of my favorite minds in marketing touted as powerful habits, or principles that guided their day to day behavior so here they are – the 10 key habits of some of the best minds in marketing.
The habit of making promises and keeping them – Seth Godin
By doing this on a regular basis, even just of satisfying people’s attention with solid content and well-thought out information you leverage their trust of your information, your brand, and your company.
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The habit of waking up early and consuming a lot of information – Gary Vaynerchuk
The only guy off the cuff enough to describe how he goes to the bathroom every morning with his phone and checks his key media sources, Social media curation platform Nuzzel and his other social media accounts to make sure he’s up on the latest and greatest.
The habit of choosing only one behavioral change per month, writing down your plan, sharing publically and doing daily public updates – Tim Ferriss
Most people won’t be able to create 5 habits a month in themselves, even if their extremely successful people like Tim Ferris. His suggestion to take on one habit a month and create public accountability is a way of recognizing our constraints rather than trying to be super-human. This way we’re more likely to retain the few habits that we deem as very important.
The habit of taking walks to invigorate the body and mind – Ryan Holiday
We all know what it feels like to get really stagnant, go a little stir crazy, or let bad posture lead to low energy. Getting out and about with a daily walk is a way to get the blood flowing, the lungs moving and dust the cobwebs off our mind.
The habit of coming up with the words first before the visual – George Lois
In advertising sometimes it’s easy to try to come up with some kind of visual idea – relying on a gimic or something aesthetically pleasing to get a reaction out of an audience. But George Lois thinks a little differently: if there’s no real substantial meaningful set of words that the advertising can hinge on, than the idea is weak. Start with words, then move to visuals.
The habit of using habits to sell your product – Claude Hopkins
Claude Hopkins, author of marketing classic ‘Scientific Advertising,’ suggests that if you attach your product to an existing trigger that people are already doing on a daily basis you can anchor your product deeper in their minds.
The habit of following your gut – Jonah Berger
Whether it be the fact that you’re tired and burnt out, or that you’re current type of work isn’t fulfilling, following your gut and using that to help guide you is a very important habit to get into. It’s worth mentioning that George Lois also advocates for this strongly in his book ‘Damn Good Habits for People with Talent’ and says that a lot of untalented but well-meaning people will try to tell you you’re on the wrong track with a particular creative marketing campaign, but you have to examine the source of that information and follow your gut.
The habit of sharing things you found valuable your audience will like with social media by automation, delegation and manually – Guy Kawasaki
Guy Kawasaki is notoriously active on social media, and a lot of people respond well to that. Does that mean he’s sitting there actually tweeting every 20 minutes? No, he uses tools like Buffer and people that he works with to fill his timeline with useful information that’s on brand, and tweets when it’s convenient for him. With this routine he’s able to reach more people with less effort.
The habit of taking time out to rest and be grateful – Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell is one of the most influential sociologists of the last 20 years, and his ideas have had a marked effect on the way marketers think. He says taking time each week to be thankful helps him be better the rest of the week in his work.
The habit of breaking work into smaller chunks, working in timed increments and taking a rest after a push (The Pomodoro Technique) – Brian Dean
Taking your work in planned increments, followed by a planned break – writing down what you’re going to do in each chunk before, and then what you got done afterwards is called the Pomodoro technique and traditionally work chunks are 25 minutes followed by a 5 minute break. Perhaps your chunks are an hour and a half with 10 minute breaks, but the principles of the method are sound – cataloguing what you’re doing on paper to keep yourself on track and being intentional about your working increments. The idea is push yourself to focus deeply during the working chunks.
Tim Brown is a designer and marketer for Snap Agency – Minneapolis SEO, and creates websites that are built around business goals and that are built to attract traffic through SEO Marketing, increase influence with Social Media Marketing and increase conversions through Conversion Rate Optimization.