You need this skill to be good at marketing 🔎



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Cindy Guthrie
Cindy Guthrie
Welcome to the second edition of The Marketing Tree Newsletter.
When I explained why I named this The Marketing Tree in the first edition, I left out a big part of the story. I went on a two-day brainstorming session with my fiancé for names, and he’s the one who actually named it, not me. So, I’m giving credit where credit is due.
In this edition, I’ll take you on a deep dive into the following topics:
  • A marketing lesson from the best to ever do it 📚
  • How a unicorn company is using storytelling in their marketing 🦄
  • The #1 skill you need if you want to get good at marketing 🔎
A marketing lesson from the best to ever do it.
Last week, Apple held one of their infamous special events titled California Streaming.
I won’t get into the details of the announcement because that’s not what this newsletter is about. But what I will dive into is a marketing lesson you can learn from Apple.
Storytelling is always a marketing trend.
Marketing fads come and go.
Apple teaches us that storytelling never goes out of style.
They’ve been sharing them for over 20 years via their infamous Keynote presentations. And the stories are still as effective as when they first started telling them.
Apple is great at taking you through a journey. They make you imagine what your life would be like if you had this imaginary new technology.
They build up all this anticipation and BOOM 💥, they show you the gorgeous product.
But that’s not all.
They build on your anticipation by sharing even more ways that wonderful piece of technology will change your life as you admire its beauty.
At this point you’re just like:
Credit: Giphy
Credit: Giphy
Only then do they hit you with the price and tell you when it’ll be available for pre-order.
Wait, what just happened?
Apple didn’t sell you anything.
They told you a story that connected so well with you that you decided you must have this product.
You already tell stories all the time.
Every social media post, phone conversation, or presentation at work tells a story.
Being intentional and strategic in your storytelling will make you stand out from everyone else.
Imagine what would happen if you told stories as irresistible as Apple.
You’d be rich!
Everyone would want anything you’re selling.
Want your stories to be as delicious as Apple’s?
  • Stop talking about yourself.
  • Become obsessed with knowing your audience’s pain points, wants, and needs.
  • Just do the work. No one becomes an expert by dreaming. (Unless you’re a dream expert.)
How do you get good at telling stories?
  • Reading - fiction books, short stories, biographies, pretty much anything you read tells a story.
  • Watching TV - movies, scripted TV shows, documentaries, reality shows (sometimes) do a great job at telling stories.
  • Following companies that attract you with their marketing - such as Apple.
There are lots of other places you can draw inspiration from, from social media posts, to plays, to podcasts.
The next time a story captivates you, dissect it and use that framework for your own work.
We often talk ourselves out of mastering new skills because we don’t think we’re good enough. But you become an expert, not by consuming a bunch of content, but by doing the work.
While we’re on the topic of storytelling, some exciting news was recently released about a company whose storytelling I’m a fan of…
Meet the unicorn 🦄 Latinx company that put storytelling at the forefront of their marketing
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I want to highlight a Hispanic-founded company whose marketing I’m a huge fan of - Drift.
They recently received an investment that put them at unicorn status (over $1B in valuation.)
That’s major for any company. However, less than 1% of Latinx-founded companies (and an even smaller percentage of Hispanic-founded companies) are ever valued at $1B.
So it’s a major inspiration to a Hispanic person like myself to see this news from a company I already admire.
But this is a marketing newsletter, not a startup newsletter, so here’s why I brought up Drift.
They’re masters at storytelling.
If you want to learn more about how they’ve applied storytelling to their company culture, check out this blog post they wrote: How I Created a Culture of Storytelling at Drift (And Why It Matters)
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for.
Credit: CBC via Giphy
Credit: CBC via Giphy
The #1 skill you need if you want to get good at marketing is…
Drumroll, please.
That’s it.
That’s the skill.
*plays horror movie music*
Credit: Schitt’s Creek via Giphy
Credit: Schitt’s Creek via Giphy
“But Cindy, I’m not a writer!”
I know, I know. (Unless you’re one of like two people subscribed to this newsletter who actually are writers.)
Guess what? I’m not a writer either.
Sure I write these newsletters and all types of other things, but I do not now nor have I ever considered myself a writer. I’m just a regular person who’s had many years of practice putting words that sound decent together.
It doesn’t matter what you do or want to do for a living. Writing, especially in our digital age, is crucial to your professional success. And the more you master it, the more positive impacts it’ll have on your life.
If you want to master anything in marketing, you have to get good at writing.
You had to learn your ABCs before you could learn to write.
And you had to learn to read and write little words because you learned how to write big words.
You’re not going to become a writing or marketing expert overnight. (Won’t happen in a month either.) But you will get better every time you write.
You’ll need to be good at writing to
  • Tell engaging stories
  • Create ads that convert
  • Create great social media captions
  • Write blog posts that drive traffic
  • Create good video scripts
How do you get good at writing?
By reading good writing (blog posts, books, whatever.)
And by writing.
750words is a great place to start. It’s what I used years ago when I wanted to be a better writer.
Even if you don’t use that website, challenge yourself to write 750 words every day.
You don’t need to publish these practice writings publicly. This is to get the thoughts out of your head and get rid of the fear of writing.
Forget about grammar, forget about editing, just sit down and write until you hit 750. Go back and read your writings after a month and see how much you’ve improved.
And when you’re ready to put your writing out there for your network (or colleagues) to see, check out these tools that help me:
  • Grammarly - for… grammar. Although sometimes I ignore the suggestions and go with how I’d say it if I were having a convo with you.
  • Wordtune - Wordtune helps polish up my writing when I need help saying something in a better way. (BTW, that might be an affiliate link. It was in my dashboard, but I’m not sure if I get anything if you sign up using it.)
  • Hemingway is an excellent tool to use if you’re writing something super technical to a beginner audience.
Hemingway is free. The other two have free and paid versions which is what I use. However, their free products are fine if you’re just starting out.
And that’s a wrap for the second newsletter.
This one was a lot harder to write than the first. I think because I covered something that may not be beginner-level marketing (although it should be.)
If what I wrote about went way over your head or if you didn’t find it helpful, please let me know.
I want to make this newsletter something that you enjoy reading and helps you grow as a marketer no matter what your career is.
Until next Sunday,
Cindy Rodriguez
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Cindy Guthrie
Cindy Guthrie @thecindyguthrie

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