If You Don't Plant Seeds, There Will Be Nothing to Harvest

If you don’t plant seeds, there will be nothing to harvest. What does this mean?

I’ve been standing on my branding and content marketing soapbox lately. This is a result of careful reflection on the state of marketing and what works and what doesn’t. To me, branding and content marketing are a lot like planting seeds. Will it give you something to harvest tomorrow on next week? No, probably not. But over time it will, and it may be just the thing that carries you through the long winters. 

Paid ads, on the other hand, is a lot like picking what’s already grown. That may be enough to keep you going for a while, but you’re not the only picker out there… and picking gets expensive.

So what happens when your ROAS is in a steady decline and your CAC eats up all your margin? Branding is a way for you to attract customers organically without the reliance on ad spend. This is because you’ve established market salience through an omnichannel content marketing strategy. You have shown your expertise, authority, and trust through various forms of content from – video, podcast, blogs (not just your own, but as a guest), webinars, events, social media on multiple platforms.

With this approach, you can eventually scale back your paid media spend and reach critical mass. What is critical mass? In business, critical mass is a term used to describe a company that has reached a sufficient size, scale, or momentum to carry itself on its own without the reliance on paid media. Customers come to you because you have a trusted name. People aren’t finding Nike by searching, “comfortable running shoes for men.” No, they are going to Nike.com. Nike has built a brand that has meant something to a lot of people for decades. To some Converse, New Balance, Fila and Adidas has done that for them.

Planting Seeds: Investing in the Long Term

I’m all about planting seeds, or investing in the long term. This is beneficial in nearly every facet of your life. Let’s look at a few.

👉 Marketing – Creating content, attending events, building a community, brand a strong building, etc. all this will allow your company to earn attention and attract loyal consumers without a reliance on paid media. There’s a famous saying in marketing, “People don’t buy products, they join tribes.” Unless you have a tribe and your tribe is known through ongoing TOFU awareness campaigns, word of mouth, organic and paid media etc., then you’re going to have a really hard time enduring the long winters.

👉 Leadership – Leaders are those who lead, and the best leaders are those who people trust, seek out, and become influenced by. This is why coaching / mentoring is so important. You must give value, kindness, and demonstrate your expertise in order to build trust. You must continue to develop your expertise, otherwise, your knowledge will become irrelevant. You can also invest in growing and developing your network, building your personal brand, etc. Again, these are seeds you plant. It may not be valuable in the short term, but in the long term they will pay dividends.

👉 Personal life – Spending quality time with those you love, not sweating the small stuff, thinking big picture, working on personal development, etc. These are things that will pay off in the future. Think about earning the love from your family. One grand gesture a year is not going to make up for all the neglect and time away. No, you need to show up often, be committed, be kind and generous. Overtime, you will have built solid relationships.

👉 Finances – This should go without saying since the term investing is closely tied to finance. But investing in your financial future doesn’t just stop at monetary investments. You can also invest in your financial literary / education, planning for retirement, etc.

👉 Health – One epic day in the gym will not produce the results you want. No, it’s about taking small, consistent steps like regular exercise, eating healthy, getting regular checkups, avoiding the sun, etc. If you take all the right actions, over time, you will have the body you want.

So if planting seeds is so important in nearly every aspect of our lives, it should also be true in marketing. Taking small, consistent steps today will pay off in the future. That means investing in branding and content marketing.

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