Why marketers must channel their inner Donald. No, not that one…

May 25, 2021

Celia Rizothanasi, The Queen Bee of LinkedIn, knows a thing or two about marketing, to say the least. So, when she says marketers and content creators should channel their inner Donald, we should all immediately sit up and take note. We are not talking about that Donald – despite his social media presence going down in history. We are, of course, referring to Donald Miller. A quick recap: he’s a renowned American marketing expert who’s written a number of books – such as Building a Story Brand, Marketing Made Simple and Business Made Simple. TPW caught up with Celia recently to find out her top three Donald Miller marketing must-haves.

Miller marketing must-have No.1: Making the customer your hero

Donald Miller: “Our natural inclination is to make our own brand the hero. The customer is the hero of our brand’s story, not us.”

Celia: Donald Miller’s Story Brand 7-part framework highlights the importance of an entire story – and the character transformation throughout. It may not sound hugely exciting, but it is, in fact, game-changing. The journey from the challenge our hero is facing, to finding the solution – and only then painting a picture of the future. Sometimes I feel as marketers we don’t have this entire journey in mind. And as Donald Miller points out, the customer must be the hero – not the brand itself. It’s a common mistake. The final step is something a lot of brands are not doing: how the world will look different if customers follow our solutions – or conversely, how it would look if they don’t? I would challenge anyone who tells me that they can remember the McKinsey 7s Model. But, for anyone who wants to simplify their marketing, or re-focus on what’s important, give Donald’s Story Brand approach a go – it’s so easy to remember and then implement.

Miller marketing must-have No.2: Clarifying the message

Donald Miller: “People don’t buy the best products and services. They buy the ones they can understand the fastest.”

Celia: Donald Miller talks a lot about how to clarify the message and he echoes this sentiment in all that he does too: his books, his online presence online, his social media. You are bombarded by the need for clarity in his own messaging. I think one of the challenges we face in business is the ‘shiny object syndrome’ – wanting to do more and getting pulled into different directions, like trying new platforms. However, we should consider: do we have Donald Miller’s five foundational steps in place when creating a marketing plan? His frameworks are incredibly memorable, and help you cut through all the noise – and make you focus on what really matters. It’s all about how you create that big title for your website (the key thing that attracts), how you attract new prospects with a lead magnet, how you nurture them with messaging and only then, that final call to action.

Miller marketing must-have No.3: You confuse, you lose!

Donald Miller: Human beings are drawn to clarity. They are repelled by confusion.”

Celia: This leads me seamlessly on to this point. Similar, yes – but a continuation of a valuable theme. It’s such a simple message: you confuse, you lose. But you remember it. And that’s the point. We have so much information whirring round in our heads. So,whether we are preparing a talk for our own business or working on behalf of a client, it’s having that check point where you say to yourself: ‘Ok, just a moment. Let me view this from the other side. Is this clear? Or have I completely, unnecessarily confused everybody?’ If so, you probably lost them some time ago. Simplicity is always best in marketing. And if you want more on how to fix confusing marketing, I would recommend digesting Donald’s books, web content or podcast. For me, he is a source of inspiration. I always want him by my side, virtually – for little bit of inspiration, clarity and focus.

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About Celia Rizothanasi: Celia is the Queen Bee of LinkedIn – a marketing communications strategist and LinkedIn expert. As a Chartered Marketer since 2009, Celia helps small businesses cut through the noise and focus on the marketing activities that get results. She is known for positioning services with clarity, developing compelling calls to action and helping attract and convert more prospects on LinkedIn with integrity and grace.

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