Elements of the Perfect Murder

Before going any further, let me make it clear that this article is not, in any way, condoning violence. (Sorry to disappoint you.) It won't talk about the neatest way to dispose of body parts, or help you figure out how to avoid jail time for opening up a can of whoop-a** on your neighbor.

However, after careful study, I've realized that what you need to promote your business effectively are the same things you need to commit the perfect murder. (Hypothetically, of course; remember, no humans were hurt in the creation of this article.)

Here's how...

1) You must have means. In this case, "means" refers to the tools you need to market your business. I'm not talking about business cards or the perfect suit. Those pieces are important, but even more basic are the things that allow you to really connect with people and be heard.

  • You need an elevator speech: a short, 20-second spiel that tells someone what you do. (If you don't have one, work with your agency to create one.)
  • Another key "means" is the ability to make small talk. Obviously not everyone is gifted with the natural talent to talk to a fencepost, but cultivate this one; it's worth it.
  • And perhaps the most important means of all: willingness. You need to be bold, brassy, and fearless (at least to a degree). Remember that that you're doing all of this work for a reason (also called "motive").

2) What's your motive? Simply put, you need a motive to promote your business. Why are you doing all this? For most folks, the biggest and most important motive is simple: money...cashola...greenbacks...moolah. Earning money to keep the doors open is a powerful incentive, and is perhaps the greatest motivator.

However, money isn't the only reason for promoting your business. Building a reputation in your industry and/or your geographic area is another strong motive. It's gratifying to be recognized as a credible and reliable authority for your products and services, and the boost to our self-image can be significant. That can spur even the most reluctant to reach beyond themselves and talk up their offerings.

Another motive is the ability to impact the future of your industry. As your reputation grows and your influence reaches beyond the confines of your office, people may start to seek you out for your thoughts, ideas and suggestions on ways to improve the state of the larger business world. They've come to understand that you're a thought leader in your world, which means your ideas and opinions have inherent value. With that kind of influence, you may have opportunities to extend your reach far beyond the lifecycle of your business.

3) There must be opportunity. When it comes to promoting your business, there are literally dozens of opportunities if you look for them. Have you ever heard the adage that if you focus on the problem, the problem gets bigger; if you focus on the solution, the solution gets bigger? In much the same way, once you decide to look for opportunities to promote your organization, you'll see them everywhere.

  • Talking to your son's Little League coach? Maybe he needs an accountant.
  • Chatting up a woman at the doctor's office? She may be interested in using your pet-sitting services.
  • Is there a woman in your church who's starting her own business? She could be the next client for your marketing consultancy.

The key is to look for opportunities...once you start looking, you'll see how abundant they are.

Means. Motive. Opportunity. The three keys to promoting your business.

Now, get out there and make a killing.