Whether you are new to marketing or need to refresh yourself in the basics, the best advice I have to give is to be true to you and your product or service. We often times find ourselves comparing what we are or what we have to offer to something else. Are there more of what you have to offer out there? Most likely, but what is it that you bring to the table that those other companies/brands don't? You! Build on that. Brand yourself. Market yourself. Find your purple cow (click here).
I am not a salesperson, even if my business choices depict otherwise. I will discuss my business and a potential sale, but if you tell me you are not interested, then so be it. I will not waste anymore of your time (or mine) discussing something that is of no interest to you. But what I did do is plant a seed. Maybe in the future you will need or want my service, or possibly you and a friend are discussing something and the need for my service comes up. Why do I do things this way? Because I would want the same respect from any other person. Please don't shove your business, product or service down my throat. It will make me not want to use it. But now I know about your business and if needed, guess who I will contact. You! Why? Because you respected my wishes and no matter how small, we have built a relationship.
I think the most important thing to keep in mind goes back to the Golden Rule. Treat others the way you should be treated. Honesty. Fairness. Good Faith. When you run unethical marketing campaigns, you and your business will suffer. Word of mouth can be good or bad. We trust in the advice of friends and family. Build on the trust of others, build on the relationships you make (even if you don't realize you are making them), honor your word and own your mistakes.