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5 Steps to Simple Marketing (2024): Cut Through the Chaos


A business man in a suit falling backwards into a chaotic mess of business equipment


Walking in a quiet forest, thick with trees, the underbrush tangling your feet, can be restful. Peaceful…except when it’s a picture of your marketing nightmares.


It’s confusing - each tree like a different marketing strategy, each branch a new tool or platform demanding your attention. 


How do you ever find the right path through? 


a woman standing in a dark forest with a foggy background

Just between us - that's the reality for too many small business owners today – lost in the marketing forest, unsure which direction leads to growing the business they love.


It's exhausting, isn't it? The good news is that there’s a way out, and you can find it.


Have you ever seen one of those YouTube videos that teach you how to be a minimalist? They remove all the clutter, leaving you with space to breathe.


Let’s do that. 


Let’s clear a path together through the strategy forest with the power of minimalist marketing. Simple Marketing.



Step 1: Think of Your Message as Your Compass



a man holding a compass over a wooden bridge heading into a forest

Strip back the layers and focus on the core of what you offer—how does your service transform the life of your ideal customer? 


Focus there. Let it become your compass. Your customers are lost, too, just like you, trying to find a solution to a problem.


You’re holding the lantern, the light cutting through their fog. You’re their Guide.


“Over here! Walk this way.  I know your pain. I can help.”

Be concise, be clear. You don’t need to be everything to everyone; it's about being everything to the right ones. 

Use your business message as your compass in the chaotic marketing wilderness.



Action Tip: Write down your business's mission. Now, cut it in half. Keep it simple, direct, and impactful. If you're not sure how to find this, you'll find a very simple strategy at Passion for Business.




Step 2: Pick Your Path



A road sign with 2 signs pointing in different directions. One says "Easy Way", the other says "Hard Way"

You can't travel every path in the forest simultaneously. 


So, why scatter your marketing efforts across every platform? Identify where your ideal person spends their time—is it Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok?


Focus there. It’s going to be tempting to be on everything. The experts used to tell us that. But don’t listen. Remember the being-lost-in-the-forest feeling?


Two well-trodden paths are better than a dozen overgrown trails. (Depending on your business, LinkedIn and YouTube are considered to be high up on the list these days.)



Action Tip: Choose two platforms where your audience is most active. Concentrate all your efforts there for the next month.




Step 3: Pack Light - Quality Over Quantity 


A bearded man talking into a podcast mike while a phone camera records him


Each piece of content is like a piece of gear in your backpack on this journey. Heavy, unnecessary content slows you down, and you want to go faster.


Craft fewer but mightier weapons – content that strikes a chord, resonates, and endures. 

Make every word, image, and post count. Then, you can do less and have it be worth more.


You can still have fun with this. Show your followers that you’re a real person with a real life, but you don’t have to overdo it.



Action Tip: Before you create new content, ask, "Does this serve my core message? Will this move my audience?" Hootsuite has a free guide suggesting how often to post on social media in 2024. Pick your platform. Then find a system that fits you.




Step 4: Clear the Path - Simplify Their Experience 



A set of wooden blocks arranged like stairs with the words Step by Step on them. A green leafy plant is in the top left.

A cluttered path confuses travellers. 


Your customers' journey (the Hero in your business story) should be a clear, marked trail leading straight to you.


Nothing frustrates me more than hiring a coach who doesn’t listen to me and where I want to go, then leads me in the wrong direction.


You don’t want to lead your people on a wild goose chase. Instead, you should create signposts and map markers that guide them step by step to solving their problems.


Every extra step, every complication, is a reason for them to go looking for another Guide. 

Streamline the process. Make buying from you as simple as drawing a breath.



Action Tip: Map out your Customer Hero’s journey from discovery to purchase. Eliminate any unnecessary steps. Listen to StoryBrand's podcast, "How To Tell People What You Do in 3 Easy Steps" for a great demonstration of how to map out keeping your business description simple.




Step 5: Follow the Stars - Measure What Matters 


A sign that says "Follow Me" written in fluorescent paint with the small words written in marker to the right and at the bottom: Where to? Who?


In the vast night sky of data, focus on the North Star metrics that will help keep you on track. 


Engagement, not likes. Instead, look at the comments or clicks to other parts of what you offer. Is what you’re doing resonating?


Conversion. For the next month, focus on just one or two platforms with all your heart. You will want to check to see if all your effort is bringing you business. If, after some time, your efforts aren’t getting many results, you will want to change your approach.


Satisfaction. Are you hearing your people when they speak? They will tell you if they appreciate what you’re doing. and if it’s ringing true for them.  


Caution: Don't get lost in the numbers. Keep your eyes on the stars illuminating your business goals, steering by them and them alone.



Action Tip: Identify three key metrics that matter most to your business’s success and track them for the next quarter.




The Light at the End 


A road through a forest with the bright sun shining at the end of it


Adopting minimalist marketing isn’t just about doing less; it’s about achieving more – more clarity, more focus, more growth. 


Your business brings a unique value. Shed the excess, embrace simplicity, and watch your it thrive in the clarity of open space.


You’ll be able to breathe again. Simplicity will light your creativity on fire. A simple focus can inspire all sorts of incredible ideas.


Best of all, your customers will be completely clear about who you are and what you can do for them - precisely what you want. 


Now you can go back and enjoy the forest for its relaxing qualities - you are no longer lost.



Your Next Step



Feeling stuck is just the first step toward finding your path. As your Guide, I’m offering a free business assessment to help shine a light on what's causing your chaos. 


Cut through the complexity, and let’s simplify everything including this pesky thing called "marketing".


Click www.bernicemcdonald.com to book a consult so you can tell me all about your business. We'll find a way to clear the clutter so you'll make more money, make a difference and fall in love with what you do all over again.


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