In the early 20th century, an Italian economist and amateur gardener made a startling observation. In his studies at work, he noticed that 80% of Italy’s land was owned by 20% of the population. Then, harvesting peas from his garden on a relaxing Sunday afternoon, he noticed 80% of the pea harvest came from 20% of the pea pods. These observations became known as the 80/20 rule or — named after the economist who made them, Vilfredo Pareto — the Pareto Principle.
The principle has been applied to software development (fixing 20% of bugs eliminates 80% of crashes), health and safety (80% of injuries are caused by 20% of hazards) and business (80% of sales come from 20% of customers).
You can apply the same principle to marketing — 20% of marketing activities drive 80% of sales. Being effective means reducing your time or money investment while getting better results. You’ll see more output for less input and better results for less effort.
It’s those 20% of the most effective marketing activities you must turn into habits.
This week’s featured Social Caffeine ebook, 7 Effective Social Media Habits gives you an in-depth overview of the most effective habits for the social media marketer.
7 Effective Social Media Habits is free until February 1.
After February 1, the book goes up to the regular price of $2.99.
The seven social media habits are:
Customer-Centric: Know what your customers want and need, and give it to them.
Planners: Create a marketing strategy, and update it regularly based on feedback from metrics and engagement with your customers.
Storytellers: Tell stories about your business, products, and customer service.
Engagement: Your customers are your biggest marketing asset. Speak to them often and listen well.
Ravenous Reading: Read in your niche for an hour a day, and in a year you’ll be an expert. Read blogs and magazines to stay on top of niche trends.
Metrical-Minded: Track your social media and sales stats. Use them to tweak your marketing strategy.
Adaptable: Be open to change and opportunity.
And just in case you’d like to try before you “buy”, here’s an extract.
How to Create Super-Powerful Habits
“First we make our habits, then our habits make us.” – Charles C. Noble
Habits form the backbone of our daily lives. They’re the activities we do on a regular basis — hourly, daily, weekly, or after a particular trigger. Our habits define who we are and what we become. They create deep grooves in our personality and lifestyle.
Habits define who you are. But the ultimate power is in your hands because you can choose your habits. Consciously choosing effective habits puts you on the path to autopilot achievement.
Marketing, like all professions, has tricks of the trade and shortcuts that will make your marketing more effective. Turning these into habits puts your foot on the gas pedal of business success. Conventional habit development can feel like a slog. Getting up each morning to go for a run, only eating healthy food, or sitting to write each evening seems like hard work — especially when you’re forcing yourself to do so.
That’s why the habits in this book are different. Rather than focusing on activities you must accomplish every day, we’ve created habits that focus on the mindset and approach of effective marketers. They’re about making your current marketing activities more effective, rather than mandating that you start your marketing from scratch. With these habits, you won’t need to force yourself to do something or build your willpower muscle. They’re a process you can use to deliver results. And the rule behind them is simple: if something works, keep doing it. If something doesn’t work, stop.
These seven habits are what work for us.
That said, you must start doing some new things. These include researching customer needs, learning to tell stories, reading as widely as you can, and tracking your progress. As you track the results these deliver, you’ll see the change they’re making to your business. This should be motivation enough to continue.
However, if you still struggle to stay motivated, the following are some tips on creating habits:
- Create triggers for yourself. For example, leaving your desk for lunch could become a trigger to pick up the book you’re reading.
- Set aside time for your new habit. Start small — five minutes a day is plenty — and build up from there.
- Take small steps. Develop one habit at a time, rather than trying to change everything at once.
- Start with 30 days. Once you’ve been going for 30 days, your new habit will automate itself.
- Be gentle on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you forget one day.
- Get an accountability buddy to follow up on how you’re doing with your habits. Someone who’s also working on social media marketing would make the perfect partner.
Developing a positive habit often involves replacing a poor one. And bad habits can have powerful anchors, rooted deep in your life, which seem impossible to break.
To break the habit, hoist the anchor. For some people, going to the cinema is an anchor to gorge themselves on snacks. Research on people with a habit of eating popcorn at the cinema found the habit could be broken by putting them in a meeting room to watch a movie, or even by only letting them eat with their left hand.
Our habits define who we are and what we become. What do you want to become as a business person and marketer?
Do you remember why you got into marketing in the first place? Perhaps you wanted to change the world, or sell more products, or you’re just fascinated by people and marketing seemed like the ideal profession for learning more. Whatever your motivation, keep it in mind as you master the seven habits.
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