What Robin Williams’ Best Lines Can Teach You About Marketing

August 25, 2014

The news of Robin Williams passing hit hard for millions around the world.

But what does Robin Williams have to do with you? Or, more importantly here, what do Robin Williams’ one-liners have to do with the way you run your business or the ways you handle your internet marketing?

Whether or not you were a fan of his work–the man certainly left an impression. And with so many years in the public eye, his words filled with humor, imparted with wisdom, and even those so flamboyantly shared with a certain childlike nonsense, will be remembered. From the whimsical, to the unconventional, to the inspirational–many of the man’s most famous lines double as life-lessons, and believe it or not, as advice that can be applied to your marketing as well.

“You’re only given one little spark of madness… You mustn’t lose it.”

Indulge your inner madness–then build momentum from there. Some of the most viral content, the most effective strategies, and the most profitable channels aren’t always the most obvious choices. Most importantly, if you have a great idea–run with it.

“I stand up on my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things a different way.”

Warning: Please don’t try this at home… unless you’re sure your desk is incredibly sturdy.

This piece of advice is more metaphorical than literal, although, technically it doesn’t really have to be. Either way, the message for your marketing is fairly simple: in order to truly achieve something, you need to constantly be look at things from a new perspective.

One of the most catastrophic things a marketer can say is “But we’ve always done it this way…” Break away from that. Get inspiration from what your competitors are doing right, or wrong. Read inspiring, informative articles–especially those outside of your industry. All of your innovation doesn’t have to be sparked by thinking about your products and services. Spicing up your regular routine can shake out new ideas to try. Indulging in a great novel can inspire some of the best marketing collateral. Real life experiences can provoke the most powerful advertising ideas. Always analyze, always re-evaluate.

Even successful strategies can stagnate–always be prepared to evolve.

Google has updated their algorithm 45 times. SEO has changed as a result. Search is more content-centric, providing quality to searchers is more important than quick-tricks designed to please search engines, technical fixes can make or break a site, and developing real online authority matters.

Creating a technically sound site, valuing quality over quantity, not just creating great content but knowing why, where and how to promote that content are crucial. Adwords has changed the way they categorize their PLAs, how you can utilize exact match keywords, and more. Creating onsite content isn’t enough anymore, you need offsite content and real brand building all over the web.

Don’t be forced to change your marketing tactics with the crowd–get a head-start by looking for new perspectives constantly

“Carpe diem. Seize the day boys. Because, believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold and die.”

Morbid, we know.

But also powerfully true: when it comes to day-to-day marketing, maybe keeping your inevitable mortality in mind may not be the most pertinent advice. But in the grand scheme of your career, your willingness to innovate, to take risks, and to go after the impossible, it’s something that shouldn’t be forgotten either.

“What’s right is what’s left when you do everything else wrong.”

As tempting as it can be to be conservative with your strategies and investments, you learn more quickly by trying and failing than you do by baby-stepping your way to success.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Make them, and make them quickly. Then learn from them and go from there. What business venture have you dreamed of that scares you most? Which strategy have you let linger in the brainstorming phase because it seems just too tough to tackle?

Even if it is just investing in new marketing channel, a bigger AdWords budget, a higher risk-reward ratio, a totally out-of-the box content topic or a non-traditional tacti you want to try. Ever been curious about Pinterest marketing? Native advertising? Speaking at seminars? Trying your hand at guerrilla marketing? Making a viral video?  Do it, and do it now.

If it doesn’t go according to plan, learn from your mistakes and try again or pull a 180 and try something else. You may surprise yourself with what works when a little failure isn’t your biggest fear.

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”

Indulge your creative side. Write–whether it’s your blog, a guest article, a script for a video, a moving advertisement, an actually enjoyable newsletter, or an awesome webinar presentation. Then share what you’ve created.

Incredible content marketing drives more than just traffic and generates more than just leads. Besides building your brand, content marketing has the power to inspire action in all kinds of ways. Getting your audience to engage with your brand, share your content, encourage even more of your ideas, and sure, purchase your products and services means you’re changing not just the way you acquire new business, but the way you engage your community and everyone in it.

It’s your move chief.


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