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DAD METHOD: 3 Simple Steps to Get Different & Get Noticed with Mike Michalowicz

If you want powerful, effective marketing, you need to stand out. If you don’t, you’re going to lose opportunities. It’s that simple. 

Building my first two businesses taught me that the only way to get in front of the people who need you is to master marketing, and that has nothing to do with mastering an actual marketing plan. Your marketing plan is just fiction if you can’t get prospects’ attention in the first place. 

Our fear of standing out is the number one reason why we struggle to get noticed. People lose the game of marketing because they play by the rules—rules that don’t even exist. 

If you’re looking to nail your marketing strategies, you must be different. Human minds are designed to ignore what’s common and filter out the static. It’s not a new phenomenon. 

It dates back to the evolution of man. It’s hardwired into our minds. The hunter mind was efficiently designed to filter out all of the common noise in order to notice the thing that stood out that could serve them. While we have certainly evolved since then, we still operate this way.

When your audience sees your marketing, they’re going through these mental calculations within seconds: 

  • Block out the common noise. 
  • Does this serve me now? 
  • Should I take action? 
For your marketing to be successful, your prospects need to be guided fast

According to Time Magazine, the average website holds visitors’ attention for a mere fifteen seconds. Instagram reports people spend less than ten seconds on a post. And what about more tactile marketing? I’ll bet you riffle through your junk mail at warp speed. 

If you market just like everyone else, you’re going to blend into that white noise. I should know, I’ve been there. 

When my marketing wasn’t delivering the results I wanted, I started to research more of the psychology of marketing and eventually developed The DAD MethodIt’s a fast, 3 step process to get noticed and move your prospects to take action immediately. And I’m going to walk you through exactly how to to that. 

1. Differentiate - Get different to get noticed

This first step in the framework is to identify a marketing approach that stands out in a sea of sameness. You need it to be clear and somewhat disruptive to get attention. What will make your prospect’s minds stop and look? How can you engage them during those milliseconds of marketing? 

One place to begin is whatever idea you have, elevate it. If you are sending something, be it swag or a digital download, call it something clever that stands out and represents you at the same time. For instance, if you were sending a hat, you could call it a thinking cap. Little moves like this make you stand out from the rest. 

Getting different starts at the micro-level. You don’t have to come up with a huge, time-consuming marketing plan right off the bat. Make small changes to logos, copy, ads, and videos. Use those as a beta test to see what’s converting for you. 

2. Attract- In a way that attracts your ideal prospects

Next, ensure that your approach will appeal to the people you want to serve, not turn them off. How will you establish your marketing as an opportunity they will consider, instead of a threat they will avoid? Make how you are attracting works for who your community is. Remember, you only have a millisecond.

3. Direct - Illustrate a clear message of what action you want your prospects to take

Finally, your strategy must compel your ideal prospects to take a specific action you desire. Now that you have the prospect’s attention and they are engaged, you need to tell them what the heck to do. Marketing guru Jeff Walker says that marketing is every step you take to get the customer to the buying decision, and the sale is the final action on their decision to buy. So your clear, singular directive should get them to the next step.

Does the prospect see the reward of doing what you ask as greater than the risk of taking that action? And will their compliance with your directive help you achieve your marketing goals? Forgetting to include a specific call to action is one of the most common marketing mistakes I’ve seen (and done). 

Along with being specific, the Direct step must be reasonable. Maybe my marketing win is to sell you a house, but, once I have your attention, I wouldn’t immediately ask you to plop down a million bucks on the spot. It’s way too much, way too soon, and unreasonable. An excessive ask will cause prospects to walk (or run) away. 

Conversely, inadequate asks will slow down (or stop) any progress toward the outcome you want. Once I catch your attention with uniqueness and maintain it with relevance, the Direct step must be specific so you know what to do, and reasonable, so you feel safe doing it and you move efficiently toward your goal. 

Recapping DAD

To sum up the DAD: Get different to get noticed in a way that attracts your ideal prospects and directs them to act. That’s it. That’s the framework. It’s simple, yet powerful. When you follow it, you will land new prospects. Every. Single. Time. 

Better isn’t better, different is better. So get different.



Mike Michalowicz had founded and sold two multi-million dollar companies. He is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal and business makeover specialist on MSNBC. Mike is a popular main stage keynote speaker on innovative entrepreneurial topics; and is the author of Get Different, Fix This Next, Clockwork, Profit First, Surge, The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. 

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