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You’ve Gotta Get Your Name Out There…

Lunch this weekend with the inlaws. My wife and her mother visit the ladies room - so there I am with "dad." He asks, "How are things?"

"Great!" I say. "We've been interviewing some business owners who fall into a vertical niche we're exploring for a new marketing information product - and the results have been encouraging."

"'ve gotta get your name out there," he says.


What the heck does that mean? And why does everyone keep saying it? Why does everyone believe that cliche, worn out, piece of marketing-myth-junk?

I wasn't speaking to those people to "get my name out there." I was interviewing them to find out "what they wanted" so I could sell it to them. It's as simple as that - and my name didn't have anything to do with it.

You see, when we roll out our marketing information product in this vertical market, nobody will know our name. But lots of people will buy the product - because it will be exactly why they want. Overtime, our name recognition will grow - because we're scheduled to speak at association seminars and events, and because we will make a stir in the market.

But that name recognition will have cost us nothing. And it's a good thing, because I don't expect that name recognition to increase sales of the product. The only thing that will increase sales will be linking answers to questions these people are already asking, solving problems they are griping about, and giving them something they're asking for.

The marketing will be simple. There will be no branding-voodoo and image-building. We will figuratively hold up big signs that says "want you asked for - right here."

In order to get that message out there (not my name) we will speak, write articles in the journal, host webinars and teleseminars, conduct interviews, network, and run ads. But none of those will be about "getting our name out there."

I asked myself this weekend - why do I hate this concept of "getting your name out there" so much? Why do I get so bent out of shape when someone says it?

Because I genuinely care about the small business who is trying to make out there in the world - competing with the big "brands." I'm pulling for my fellow entrepreneurs. But so many of them belief in this goofy nonsense about "GYNOT" that they actually spend lots of time and money trying to accomplish it - and they come up empty handed.

In the words of William Cowper, they're "dropping buckets into empty wells, and growing old in drawing nothing up."

That's what upsets me the most. Don't let it happen to you.