Are You Known by Your Words? Marketing is More Than Just Content or Images

Author : , Date : August 18, 2015



If you’re like me you’re always looking for an opportunity to meet new people and prospects and one of the best places to do that is online.

Where else can you prospectively meet a hundred people instantly or attract thousands a month to one place, like your website, to see what you have to offer?

A few weeks ago I was on an SEMrush Twitter Chat where I met Scott and connected with him. Over the course of a few days we emailed back and forth and then we talked on the phone about his online marketing challenges for his offline business.

I asked him if he was doing any of the following to which he replied; “No, because I don’t understand it.”

What did  he not understand?


  • Integrating his offline marketing with his website and social media?
  • Creating landing pages on his website for his current promotions?
  • Blogging for business and connecting with his customers and prospects more intimately online?


What he did share that was fascinating to me was how much money he has spent on his logo. In fact, it was nearly $7,000.

To state it succinctly; he didn’t understand how to message his business in a way that allowed him to attract and connect with a highly targeted audience that is ready and willing to buy from him both now and in the future.

While logos are important, they are not that important to most small businesses in my opinion. Logos at that price are for more mature businesses than Scott’s and who know and understand what business they are “really” in.

Last year I was coaching Merle Fisher, a freelance graphic designer located in Lancaster, PA (if you need one like Merle let me know and I’ll refer you), who is more than capable of creating the $50,000 logo. But he also understands that small businesses may only have $250, $500 or $1,000 – $2,500 to spend on one.

Again, I want to stress that logos are important but they are only important after you have learned how to communicate and message your business. Your message ought to inform the logo.

In fact, when you know your business intimately it makes Merle’s job that much easier to create a visually awesome logo!

In the end what you will be known for is what you have to say through your content. Content can be your website, blog, video, podcast, social media pages, blog comments or any other form of online communication.

Words are the foundation of your business and your message is made by those words that you must choose wisely if your online presence is to be a success or a bust.


Donald Trump is a Marketing Magnetic


I don’t have any intention here of getting political nor do I want a political conversation (please, no political commentary in the comments below). However, I do want to talk about Trump’s genius marketing which is the point here. Who gets more free publicity and marketing than Donald Trump?

hatFrom his “Make America Great Again” ball cap to the consistent message he is delivering over and over again he is connecting with those who have wanted to hear this message for a very long time but the audience isn’t hearing it from very many others of influence.

Here is what Trump is doing…

He sharing broad ideas or strategies (knowing they are controversial with a purpose) and if you want the details he is saying in recent interviews it’s being released on his website and you’ll get it in the debates.

If you pay attention he is carefully and brilliantly marketing to a very specific audience that has a very specific mindset, worldview and need. He is not talking to everyone, he is only talking to those who will be attracted to his message and will ultimately vote for him in “Republican” primaries.

Everything else is just noise that gets ignored and it’s working for him.

One of the main problems most of us have as small business owners have is that we are consistently inconsistent with our message and who we are messaging to specifically.  Then we wonder why our marketing and sales are falling flat and we are not earning sales.

Breaking through the clutter is all about messaging; not technology.


Yet too many small businesses are focusing on technology to be their savior without recognizing the reality that technology cannot do for you what you have not already done for yourself.


Among your audience do you have a message they resonate with and then will catapult your message on your behalf?

Do you have something to say that will catch the attention of your target market and give them a reason to connect, share and buy from you?

Your message is much more important than your logo!!!

In fact, your message is the ultimate driver of your business and marketing both online and offline.

Just look at my message and you will see it all over my website. I’ve become known as the guy who asks “What Business are You “Really” in?”

It was so funny to me that Ryan Biddulph at saw it with a few times of reading my blog. He stated such on social media, comments on my site and it references to me on his website.

I learned in web development through over a hundred clients in ten years that the internet is driven not by technology; but by a strong, consistent and unified message.


  • Why does someone make money online?
  • Why does a video go viral?
  • Why does someone get tons of comments?


It’s because their message aligns with those whom they are attracting.


How Do You Attract Your Buying Audience?


This is where learning your uniqueness comes into play. Do you know what makes you unique and will draw a crowd online (or offline for that matter)?

It’s your message!!!!

Yet, most of us don’t do it. In fact, we don’t even think about it. We just assume our audience already understands us and is ready to pull out their credit cards and just start buying.

But we live in an online universe where there are millions upon millions of websites and the internet is just getting going. Think about it, nearly half of all small businesses in the United States still do not have a website.

That means there is a lot of room for more competition.

If you think it’s hard now to reach your audience, just wait! You haven’t seen anything yet.

In fact, I recently heard Seth Godin say that he believes we are in the golden age of target marketing; meaning it’s going to get progressively harder and harder.



So let’s get to it.


How Do You Attract a Buying Audience Online?


Before I share that I want to stress that it is not advisable to do this on your own. You cannot see outside of the scope of your own limitations, worldview or lack of training or experience.

adrienne-smithSome of my clients have learned and understand this. Clients like mega blogger Adrienne Smith who came to me after she read my eBook. She was stuck in a blogging world where she was attracting an audience who loved what she said but she wasn’t messaging in a way that was inspiring people to buy from her.

While she easily gets over a hundred comments and has an amazing social validation her business wasn’t financially growing the way her blog was.

That’s why she reached out to me and went through my “Foundations of Internet Marketing” 1-on-1 training (which is extremely affordable may I add).

Here is the program in a nutshell…

Adrienne answered the following questions in detail and with help:


  1. What are you passionate about?
  2. What are the tangible values your customers experience and how did they feel about it?
  3. What “specific” problems does each tangible value solve?
  4. Who are you “specifically” solving each problem for?
  5. How are your products or services a solution to each problem


By grouping common issues together we could then take and create a statement that illuminates what business she is “really” in.

This changed:


  • The perception that Adrienne had of her business and blog
  • Who she was attracting
  • How she creates specific content for one person, with one problem or need, with one solution
  • The type of call-to-actions that will inspire people to do something with what she teaches them for free on her blog
  • Her bottom line results


Adrienne has shared with me how she has seen an improvement in her sales since our work together and in fact she has referred several people to me. I’m confident she will be leaving a comment below so you can see for yourself what she will have to say.


How Clear is Your Message?


Adrienne’s experience with me would have never happened if my message was not clear. The consistent drumming home that your strategies are not important if you don’t know your business is the center cog of unveiling the web for success.

The results for most businesses marketing online is that their sales are stagnate or non-existent.

The majority of businesses don’t understand that the internet is not a fast track road to success. That doesn’t mean that you can’t grow quickly through it but what it does mean is you will have to lay your foundation through your message before the right audience will show up.

field-of-dreamsThis is not the Field of Dreams… just because you build it does not mean they will come.

But, if you build your message right and then create the strategies that are dictated by your message you will put your business in a strong position for success!

Here is a quick idea of how this works:


Message leads to strategy → strategy to goals → specific and measureable goals lead to execution


Is Your Message Clear?


Are you like Scott? Have you spent a lot money in all the wrong places and you’re not getting the results you know you should be getting?

Are you attracting an audience who is able, willing and ready to buy from you?

Do you even know who that audience is or how they want to be communicated with?

Do you want to learn how to increase your sales online but you’re not sure where to start?


If that’s you then I want to offer you a free consultation today.

If you would like to get one hour free with me then click here and schedule a time of your convenience on my calendar.

I guarantee you that in our time together I will give you at least one thing that you can take and use immediately to help your business. There is no commitment or obligation.




I hope to hear from you ASAP!

Get on my calendar now before it fills up!!!!!


Don’t spend another dime on things that don’t change your message. If you spend money on a website, content generation, video, social media, search engine optimization or more you might be throwing it down the drain.

Schedule a free consultation with me today and let’s learn how you can make money instead of throwing it away on things that won’t work.


If you have a questions, thoughts or want to make a contribution to this article, please share below in the comments and let’s have a conversation about finding the right web designer for your business. 


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Don Purdum

Don Purdum

Don works with businesses to help them discover who their customers are and what business they are "really" in. He is an award-winning blogger and branding / marketing consultant.
Don Purdum
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24 thoughts on “Are You Known by Your Words? Marketing is More Than Just Content or Images

  1. Hi Don, this is my first time on your site as a commentor – thanks for the opportunity. I really like this post – very practical and thought provoking. In particular this point really stood out for me: “This is not the Field of Dreams… just because you build it does not mean they will come.” I was a bit like that when I started my blog years ago. Then I learnt a bit about keywords and SEO, and thought that was THE answer.

    But just as connecting and building relationships with real people works in the offline world, so it must be in the online world. Why do so many of us take so long to reach this conclusion? Beats me. (Maybe it’s because many of us bought the story that somehow the normal rules of doing business would somehow be suspended in the online world.)

    I also think your point about technology is spot on. John Naisbett (Megatrends) said something about quite relevant: “No matter how hi tech we become, the more hi touch we crave’ So it’s still about relationships!

    Finally, your point about messaging is a vital one. Thanks for sharing it


    1. Hi Kim,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and welcome to my blog. I’m so sorry I couldn’t comment sooner. We just moved and then had major internet problems and I just got back online. Sheesh… it was a process, lol…

      I think you’re absolutely right. I can remember social media marketers in 2012 come into network meetings and tell business owners all they have to do is get online and business will come. It was self serving and what they did was teach people it will be easy if you just give us some of your money.

      The sad part is that it’s still going on and that’s why so many have bought the story and then reshared the story without any proof.

      I love the quote, I hadn’t heard that one before so I’m so glad you shared it!

      Thank you again Kim for stopping by and I hope to see you again!

      Have a great end to your week!

      ~ Don Purdum

  2. Hi Don

    I came back here after a little back and much happy to see more awesomeness everywhere be it your contents, design, layout or readers engagement. You are going great and surely have long way to go because for those who believe in quality never stop anywhere.

    Very important point you mentioned in the beginning of this post. Many small entrepreneurs do have passion, courage and will to work hard under a proper plan but sometimes following their courageous way of taking steps they do financial mistakes and eventually suffer financial losses.

    It is an old saying that financial losses are the only one that directly hit everything else related to a business either it is confidence level of the top management, passion of the workers or smooth functioning of the business. Other types of losses could be offset with a smart strategy but finances have not alternate.

    One must calculate very brutally the rate of return on his every kind of investment be it a one penny or thousands of dollars. Guesses are not allowed while taking any financial decision but our many young entrepreneurs does not become so objective while doing so and maybe many of them make the decision in their favor by putting extra hard work but this is not smart work.

    Thanks a lot for sharing such a thought-provoking post that is a guiding beacon for those who want to grow their business on long term basis.

    Have a great day

    1. Hi Mi,

      It’s wonderful to see you my friend! It has been a long time hasn’t it? So much is going on for sure.

      I’m happy you caught the main point of my introduction. So many spend money in all the wrong places on things that won’t initially bring them customers.

      It doesn’t matter how impressive you look in the beginning if you don’t an income and are running in the red for a long period of time.

      I so appreciate you comment and thanks again for stopping by!!!! I hope to see you again soon.

      ~ Don

  3. Hey Don,

    Well it certainly doesn’t sound healthy to spend that much on a logo without clarity on what target audience you want to attract. Then you’ll just end up with a vague expensive logo. Might work for Alphabet, but not a small biz.

    I agree that Donald Trump is a massive marketing magnet. It’s fascinating to watch. I read a great article on James Altuchers site called “Is Donald Trump Pulling A Nigerian 419 Scam?” – it’s worth the read.

    “Anybody in the top 90% of rational people know that a misspelled email coming from a Nigerian prince is a scam.

    The Nigerians don’t want to deal with those 90%. Even if you sent a perfectly spelled letter with a much more realistic story, those 90% will figure it out. Then the scammer will have wasted his time. He doesn’t want to waste time.

    He needs to find the 10% that will respond to him really quickly. (Btw, I’m assuming “he” but can also be a “she”). And the 10% that will work.

    Does it work? Of course it does. 419-ers made $13 billion last year. And every year.

    This is what Donald Trump is doing. And I’m not kidding. I really think he is doing this.”

    You know what? I like that we are in the golden age of target marketing. Sure, I still haven’t hit bullseye but i am definitely starting to gain clarity on where i want to go. If people resonate with you and you have built a relationship with them, they will likely stick with you.

    Just look at Ryan, he deleted his old site but a lot of people simply switched over – and even gravitated towards him more when he got clear on his message.

    I have little doubt that we will cross paths in business at some point in time, but I have an appointment set with my dear friend Adrienne in September. I believe in not taking on too many things at once (or listening to 2 mentors at the same time for that matter).

    However, i’m totally with you that we can’t do it ourselves. We need an outside perspective with things like these. I’m sure Adrienne will help me gain insight. She’s intelligent indeed.

    I loved reading your article Don and i look forward to connect more.

    – Jasper

    1. Hi Jasper,

      Interesting quote… I’ll have to think about that one a bit.

      I think the point that Seth Godin was making is that the golden age is fleeting quickly and what’s behind it won’t be fun for those who are not prepared for it. In fact, I think it could happen anytime in the very, very near future.

      Ryan is an interesting story and a great friend! However, as interesting as his story is we have to remember he already had a very successful blog before starting He transferred what he learned and and then executed beautifully. But, it’s not fair to compare him to many bloggers or business bloggers because of his previous experiences.

      You can’t go wrong with Adrienne! She is an amazing blogger and to her credit she is still learning the messaging part herself. It was a joy for me to coach her!!!!

      Thanks again for reading and I hope you have an awesome weekend Jasper!

      ~ Don

  4. Valuable ideas Don, as always. I particularly like, Breaking through the clutter is all about messaging, not technology. And as I always hear you say, to line up that message with who you want to attract. This belief about it being technology might be why people get sucked in to so many of the bright shiny objects that come into someone’s radar screen.

    Isn’t it to your point that Donald Trump is on MANY people’s minds these days? He KNOWS his message, he is crystal clear about it and while he does use technology, we all know he’s mostly face to face because – that is who and where he wants to attract.

    Loved your sharing of all the questions we might want to ask ourselves. Thankfully you are there to help with this!

    1. Hi Patricia,

      I just thought of it like this; technology causes clutter and chaos when we are not in touch with our businesses.

      You’re so right, technology is just a shiny object and until we know what business we are “really” in as I shared in our phone conversation we just end up chasing technology and prospects to no avail instead of attracting, engaging and incentivizing.

      That was the whole point of talking about Trump; he has a VERY clear message and is an attraction magnet as a result. Combine his message with his celebrity and business acumen and he’s a massive hit.

      So glad you dropped by Patricia! Thanks for your contribution and perspective.

      ~ Don

  5. Hi Don,

    Not only I think it’s ridiculous to spend $7,000 when you still don’t even know how to blog yet, but yes, your message is a thousand times more important than your logo.

    You’re right on it, Don, unless your message is clear, people won’t buy from you and your own message is clear indeed. We have no doubt about what business you’re in.

    I know my talents, I know what I do and how I can help people, but I also know that I still have room for improvement as far as getting a clear message out there.

    Food for thoughts.

    Great information.

    1. Hi Sylviane,

      I hear what you’re saying… plus, very few businesses blog, especially businesses that are not “online” businesses. I recently came across a study that said only 20% of all blogs are business blogs.

      Just wanted to throw that out there.

      Thanks so much for your comment and I appreciate you immensley! I’m still unpacking and getting my act together and then family is coming into town on Saturday for five days. Not sure what next week will look like work wise… sigh.

      Have a great end to your work week Sylviane!!!!

      ~ Don

  6. Hi Don,

    Its always good to read your articles. This one really helpful.

    You are right. People need to know about what they are talking? Is there message clear? Most of bloggers, marketers don’t know as what kind of audience they need to attract?

    I agree with you that having a logo is good but not so much important. Other than that marketers need to show their buyers as why they should buy the product? Message should be clear.

    Have a great day.

    1. Hi Ravi,

      Long time no see; so happy you stopped by!!!!

      The mass marketing mindset is a serious challenge and obstacle for many marketers to overcome. They haven’t learned that online you can’t talk to everyone if you’re going to attract the right audience who is able, willing and ready to buy from you.

      Logo’s are for brand identities and brand identities are a mass marketing tool. Instead of using them in the old traditional sense they ought to be used in conjunction with a message.

      Again, it’s great to see you and thanks so much for stopping by Ravi!

      Have a great second half to your week!

      ~ Don

  7. Hi Don. I haven’t been here in a while, I guess. I love the new look of your blog.

    I love The Donald and have for a long time because he is so ‘out there’ and doesn’t pull any punches. It nice to see someone who doesn’t tiptoe around trying not to offend anyone. He understands that not everyone will like him or what he has to say and goes after the people who do.

    I have struggled with my message for a long time, and with the help of my coach am starting to feel confident about what I do and who needs what I do. Thanks so much for providing some great examples of people who have benefited from having some direction in their businesses.

    All the best,

    1. Hi Leslie,

      LOL… it really has been a while. I’m so glad you stopped by!

      “The Donald” really knows marketing; but he also really understands both business and the psychology of people.

      Give them what they can handle and work them into your position… it’s brilliant.

      I’m glad you’re starting to geel confident. Many of clients start seeing the lights go off in a few weeks. But, this really what I focus on exclusively; especially in the beginning.

      Too many coaches jump straight to strategies and get the cart ahead of the horse and then the strategies don’t deliver because the message is off. I share in my webinar that nearly 50% of people leave a website immediately because of a lack of a coherent message.

      Thanks again so much for stopping by and I do hope to see you again soon!

      ~ Don

  8. Hey Don, That was quite thought-provoking. I realize that if we don’t understand ourselves nor what we do then selling our values to others will become a problem.

    Internet marketing is a very practical process and until we realize and practice it core principles we will only end up posting texts and images without any benefits.

    Understanding a message and the target audience should be the primary goal of every business online.

    However, the clutter or noise online often distracts us from seeing what is most important.

    I like the “The consistent drumming home that your strategies are not important if you don’t know your business is the center cog of unveiling the web for success.”. I should be a mantra that we stick on the reminders of our online marketing effort!
    Thanks for sharing this. I found it in

    1. Hi Sunday,

      Thank you so, I like to be thought provoking, lol…!

      You are absolutely right, we must understand ourselves and our businesses before we can sell our values.

      Those pesky distractions… we have to break through don’t we? And the only way to do that is to be on a consistent message so that one day it resonates with the right people and then it hits home.

      I appreciate your consistent interaction with me Sunday! I just moved and we have family coming into town this week for five days. I’m behind big on Kingged. Please be patient with me and I’ll get caught up over the next ten days.

      Have a great second half of your week!

      ~ Don

  9. Hey Don,

    Yep, you knew I would be by to read what you had to share and of course support you my friend.

    Poor Scott, having spent all that money on that logo when of course we both know what he really needs. I hope though after having more chats with you he’ll be another terrific client because anyone who works with you will benefit greatly. I sure have.

    I love what I do and I love helping people but I also love to eat and need to pay the bills. That’s just part of life so although everyone loves my content and I have a lot of traffic and comments that didn’t necessarily mean I had that many clients as well. I knew for myself that I was not expanding my business and I definitely wasn’t attracting the kinds of people who wanted to purchase what I had to offer.

    With your help and me learning how to be much more clear with my own messaging my business is on the right tract. I’m getting people interested in what I offer every single week now and it’s amazing how fast this did turn around for me but I also have had a great following online already. Most people aren’t where I am right now but of course that can be resolved through what I teach and even better through what you teach!

    Thank you for sharing this with us Don and another great post of course. I’m off to share it now because I would hate for there to be too many more Scott’s out there. Not all of us can be like The Donald! (((wink wink)))

    Have a fabulous week Don and thanks again for your positive messages.


    1. Hi Adrienne,

      Of course I knew you would be by… but I’m so grateful for you and I am so glad I had the privelege and opportunity to serve you! You are an amazing learner.

      There are so many like Scott out there that are spending the investment dollars in the wrong places; at least in my opinion. I realize it can be subjective but I also think priorities are important and as I said in the article your business and message ought to determine a logo; not the other way around.

      Attracting the right audience is the key as you know. It’s the hardest part of marketing today especially when we now have to contend with all the static noise in order to be discovered by the audience.

      I am so impressed with how you took what you learned and executed. You’re definitely a model for me to share with my audience!

      I appreciate you and thanks so much for all you do to make a difference for business bloggers!

      I will try to have a great week,lol… I’m contending with internet issues in the new house until they fix it sometime on Friday.

      Chat soon!

      ~ Don

  10. Hi Don,

    You sure have branded yourself well by writing about clarity and teaching others of knowing what exactly the business you are really in. I’ve seen Adrienne take a turn with her business since she has worked with you and from the outside looking in…it has been spectacular!

    As for Donald…I watch him every chance I get from the business perspective. He gets more attention because he is so clear on his message. He knows his target market lol. Because he is an amazing businessman, we can all learn from him watching those debates and cameras on him wherever he goes. Donald sure knows how to grasp attention.

    I am glad you brought him up because we can all learn from him weather we like him or not. He is the poster boy of Clarity and appealing to his target audience.

    Thanks Don for another awesome post!


    1. Hi Donna,

      Thank you for such kind words! It took me a long time to figure out my own clarity and once I did a few years ago I’ve not looked back since. It’s been an amazing journey and it’s been so excited working with over 30 clients in the last 8 months.

      I have to tell you that Adrienne is a dream client. She’s is intelligent and most importantly she is a learner. She absorbs, retains, trains and then motivates herself to go beyond her limitations. I think I may have learned more from her than she did from me; lol…

      Trump is one of the smartest business people in the world. He’s not a new comer and he’s brilliant at getting attention. Like you said, we can all learn a lot from him from a business and marketing perspective.

      Thanks again Donna! I hope you have an awesome week ahead!!!!

      ~ Don

  11. Don, you REALLY have built your brand on that idea, of getting clear on the biz you are *really* in, because you are so darn consistent with that message, across your blog, social, guest posts, everywhere….love it!

    As for The Donald, he’s one of the great individual marketing success stories of our time. If you love him or hate him, you remember him. That’s genius, that’s smart marketing and that’s branding 101. He’s fun to watch, from a brand building perspective.

    Thanks again for the mention, as always, don!


    1. Hi Ryan,

      I have learned that consistency is the key to success. We’ve both seen a lot of people come and go over the 15 months and much of the reason was because expectations didn’t meet up with reality.

      They were expecting different results than they got without understanding why the were getting such low numbers and no sales; or even hi visitor traffic and little sales.

      I really appreciate you, your friendship and your kind words.

      The Donald… he really is a genius when it comes to marketing and getting his message out; and he’s not even paying for it he’s so good.

      You’re welcome on the mention Ryan and I hope all is well now that you’re home stateside!

      Have a great week Ryan!

      ~ Don

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