Being a parent is great, but it’s also a ton of work. To be successful, you have to put your selfishness aside and do what’s best for your child. Or, when it comes to marketing, you have to do what’s best for your customer or your brand. 

I haven’t been a parent long, but I have seen a few parallels between having success in parenting and having success in marketing. If you’re a parent and a marketer (or small business owner who does marketing), I hope you can relate to these.

1. “Poo-poo” happens when you least expect it 

I don’t want to get too graphic here, but you get the point. Stuff comes up at random times. But rather than run away (from a diaper or an urgent work task), you must deal with the situation when it happens. If not, it’ll only stink worse.

2. Be on alert 

This is a big one. You can’t just let your child climb on every piece of furniture in your home. If you do, he or she could get seriously hurt. Similarly, your customers could go with an unmet need if you don’t pay attention to them.   

3. Show them you care

Customers, just like kids, want you to care about them. They want to know that their needs are important to you, and that you’ll do whatever you can to make sure those needs are met. Just showing up isn’t enough—you have to be intentional whether at work or with your child.

4. Remember that it’s not about you

You know what’s not fun? Getting bitten by your baby. It’s also not fun to have last-minute tasks come in right before you’re about to leave work for the day.

Sacrifice is essential for both good parenting and good business. As with parenting, you have to keep your selfish inclinations in check when doing your work. It’s about the customer, not you.

5. Be consistent

Just like in parenting, marketers and small business owners have to be consistent in their efforts.

Often this means not leaving your company’s Facebook or LinkedIn page stagnant for months at a time. It also means not having a blog that you haven’t posted to since 2019.

If you want people to care about your brand, you have to put out content consistently enough that they will miss you if you didn’t show up for a long period of time. 

6. Communicate in a way your child (or audience) can understand

If I try to explain to my kid why he shouldn’t try to open the oven when it’s on, he’ll probably open the oven — especially if I fail to say, “No!” He understands, “no,” but he won’t understand, “Please do not open the oven as it will cause great pain should you choose to place your hands inside.”

Similarly, if you have vague call-to-actions (CTAs) as part of your marketing content, people won’t know what actions to take. “Call today!” isn’t a CTA that promises if the audience does X, then Y will happen. 

So how do you communicate your CTAs in a way that your audience will understand? By being specific. By telling them exactly what you want them to do.

For example…

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