DIY Marketing For The Lost But Ambitious

If you want to spread your message, your product and/or your brand, you need some sweet-ass marketing.

The ability to sell your product…or even yourself.

In this post, I will share you my personal secrets to come up with great ideas and then spread them in a kick-ass way !

Why ?

Because I don’t want you to be a smelly water gun that spits tiny drops.

I want you to be a .44 Magnum that blows your reader’s /client’s head off !

In the inspirational sense of course :)

I use these genuine methods everyday, and let me tell you, they are so fun and effective they will get your TV unemployed.

Hell yeah ! Let’s rock this.

# turn your focus into a laser cannon

Remember the line from Alice in Wonderland:

“Which road do I take?” (Alice)

“Where do you want to go?” asked the cat.

“I don’t know,” Alice answered.

“Then, said the cat, it doesn’t matter.”

Don’t become the dopey Alice who gets lost in the magic kingdom. Know exactly where you want to go and what to aim for !

With your current “product” or creation, do you want more:

Sales, subscribers, readers, fans, media coverage ?

With every new thing I create, I always ask myself where I want to go with it.

# swipe it, baby

A kick-ass method from the traditional marketing realm. A swipe file is simply a folder where you store all the inspirational stuff you find on the net. Consider it your idea file, and whenever you need some fire of inspiration, you look through that folder and ignite your creativity.

Every other day, I use Webkut (a free print screen application) and hunt the net. If I find a great headline or a kick-ass post or cover, SNAP I take a picture of it and store the treasure in my invaluable swipe folder.

So far my swipe folder contains the following items:

  • a document of 150 catchy headlines
  • a picture collection of 10 remarkable individuals in the art and design area ( for personal branding inspiration !)
  • a 80+ picture collection of brilliant video game covers designs ( inspiration for my blog and e-product designs !)
  • a 50+ images Shepard Fairey art collection in jpeg form ( the guy who designed the Obama hope poster – his artwork is BRILLIANT and super-inspiring !)

Do you think I crank out these awesome blog posts because the goddess of inspiration is watching over my shoulders ?

I wish !

The truth: Before I start writing or designing something, I look through my swipe file and get heavily inspired by the awesome content I keep collecting.

I encourage you to create your own swipe file !


# find a cure for your own itch

Fact is, I hate McDonalds…and researching. Since this post is not about fast food ranting but about marketing, let’s talk about researching…it’s useless, just like McDonalds (jeez, I just can’t stop it !).

Here’s the deal: Don’t look for a loophole in the market – create something that you don’t see in the market and make it as kick-ass as possible.

When I started this as a pure marketing blog, I knew that the world didn’t need another marketing blog. But I checked out all the marketing sites out there, and they sucked big time…in a way. The content was valuable, but the design and writing felt like swallowing a sleeping pill while going through a tax report written in Chinese…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

All I wanted was a funny, inspirational, stylish and entertaining marketing blog, and the world didn’t give it to me. So I created my own.

Forget about the research – look for what YOU want to see it in the world, and when you can’t find it (likely !), create it yourself !

That can be a blog, a (digital) product, a service or whatever.

Scratch your own itch !

# don’t worry about your niche, worry about your belief

This took me several months to find out, but once I did the magic started happening.

Here’s the deal: Most people in the off-and online business worry about their niche – that one thing that should define your biz and brand.

I did the same not too long ago and it seriously limited my options in business.

But the I made a shift – Simon Sinek’s words still echo in my mind, and I now have the experience to validate his claim:

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it !

Instead of boring the shit out of your audience by talking about the same subject over and over and over and over and over and over again, express what your believe and you will automatically attract similar spirits and clients:

Bad Example:

I want to make money online.

Good example:

I believe in a lifestyle where you’re location independent and work anytime you want, whenever you want.

This is so cool it works for EVERYTHING ! Make your believe / inspiring outcome your tagline in your biz:

A week ago, I changed my tagline from “Spread your influence” to “The world needs you” – because I believe that the world needs a creative person who impacts it through valuable and inspirational work that matters.

Don’t talk about your niche, talk about what you stand for !

# Make edge-crafting your new religion

Seth Godin said you shouldn’t think outside the box, but think at the edges of the box. IMO, that’s so true.

So, instead of finding that genius-revolutionary idea that will turn you into an overnight millionaire (getting shot by an alien space ship is more likely ) think about a service, idea or product and find a way to STRETCH it.

Streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch it.

And that simply means you look for ways to your “extreme-ize” your product (even if the “product” is YOU !).

  • Make your writing style more extreme and personal.

( check this chick’s blog biggirlbranding to know what I mean !)

  • Design your product more outrageously than the competition.
  • Use your favorite color and excessively use it in your branding.

Xia Xue is doing this brilliantly, guess her favorite color :)

  • Offer a service with more passion and personality than anyone else.

Know Johnny ? Check his ninja coaching page to get a glimpse :)

Can you invent your own words ? Can you bring in your full geekiness and be proud of it ? Can you take your whole kick-ass personality and infuse it into your product ?

You can, and you MUST !

Just look for ONE important aspect in your “product” ( and remember, the product can be anything ) and push it.

Blow me away - thumbnail

# Don’t be yourself

I hate that phrase, even with the inspirational intent:

“Just be yourself”

Really ? What if I’m a miserable, pessimistic and smelly loser that doesn’t get anything done in life ?

Bang ! You are out before you can even spell out WTF !

Society has corrupted you in numerable ways, and it’s possible that you are not anywhere near your truest potential !

Instead of being your current self, and using that for your biz, strive to be the best person you could possible become.

This is how I do it:

1) I visualize a kick-ass version of myself – the Mars Dorian that dominates all the characteristics that I want to possess now  – being super-inspirational, funny, taking (major) risks, pushing my comfort zone etc.

I make this my absolute dream version – the epic Mars Dorian I want to be now !

2) I call give that imaginary version a name – let’s say Mars :)

3) Whenever I make an important decision in life and business,  I ask my alter ego: “What would Mars do ?”

You will automatically think like your desired self, and improve your life and business in ways you couldn’t imagine.

So, when I create something and it’s turning average – I ask myself:

What would Mars do ?

Answer (from the subconscious) : he would make it more edgy, inject his kick-ass personality and flavor it with more inspiration.

BANG ! Now I will think like my desired self.

Believe me, your creation process will be SOO much better than your “using” current self.

Don’t be yourself – become your BEST self !

# Go beyond the “product”

Delivering hot content and useful information is still the number one commodity in today’s age, but I challenge you to go further. No matter what you offer to the world, can you add an inspirational note to it ?

  • If you coach people, can you inspire them to go for it ?
  • Can you build an application that ignites community involvement ?
  • Create A business (e)book that inspires people to actually start their own biz ?)

I personally believe that a product which doesn’t inspire in one way or another is a useless product, but that’s my opinion. DO as you please :)

What to do now

Retweet and social media this post with your friends if you find it useful.

Question: What DIY marketing technique do you use to promote yourself OR your product ?? What will you use right NOW after retweeting this post ?

Let’s hear it in the comments !

  • Rob

    Absolutely love the idea about not being yourself, but becoming your best self! Fantastic advice,and something I’m planning to bring into my writing from now on! :)

  • EL

    Whaddup Mars!

    Dude your like the ShamWOW of the blogging world!

    Since I started that swipe file, headlines are constantly just flowing- thanks for the awesome suggestion and I would recommend to everyone reading this to consider your words!

    I'm going to shave my head now;-)!


    • Mars Dorian

      That's awe-some, Eric,

      I luv my Swipe file – it's so damn useful and it keeps growing !
      It's ridiculous that it took me so long to find this one out, but hey, better late than never.

      Don't get the shave-your-head thing though :)

      • EL

        I was going to shave my head so we could rock the close cut together. bad joke, I suck, Eric out;-)!

  • Justin guzman

    Timely info for me I was trying to figure out how to get more of my message out to the world. I dint know what my super alter ego would be yet but I've been trying to figure him out
    Thanks man


    • Mars Dorian

      Hey Justin,

      sounds a bit crazy but the alter ego method works !
      It's pretty much a shift of mind that helps you become more and awesome and creative, and it helped me drastically with my business !

  • Murlu

    Got a little swipe file that I've been running over the last 2 years – I need to dig back through it a bit and pull some awesome shit.

    Love the projection idea – putting words to what a lot of us were thinking – be that rockstar – not the boring old you; be better than who you are and kick-ass at it.

    On a side note: fuck the box.

    I don't wanna be on the edges, I don't even want the box – I want crazed out, wacky shit that's so fun to play with that there's no way it will ever become viable haha – that underground, that grime, raw shit. The once in a lifetime experiences – the unexpressible.

    • Mars Dorian

      Murray, always aiming for the extreme – I luv it !
      Becoming that better self is so much better than being your current – both marketing and personal-wise.

      Pretty big claim with your goals here – buddy – I'm curious to see what you will accomplish !

  • Gabriele Maidecchi

    Most people are against the principles you describe in this post 'cause they are afraid to fall out of the box by walking on the edge of it. They are worried to stretch too much, to break that idea instead of growing it to its (positive) extremes. You show awesome attitude at shaping something boring into something kick-ass, after all that's why I like reading this blog ;)

    • Mars Dorian

      Truth is, even I am scared when it comes to stretching yourself.
      Pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone can be hard work, but it's necessary if you want to keep moving to places where others only dream of being.

      I know we both don't belong to them, that's why we have to keep moving and keep leading by example, Gabriele !

  • Chase Night

    Hey Mars! Awesomely helpful post. Especially the part about belief being more important than niche. I just started a blog and already I see how easy it is to forget about some of your other beliefs in order to fit in with your 'niche.' I'm definitely thinking about singing up for your blog check up service soon!

    • Mars Dorian

      Hey Chase, ( and Chase Night for real ? What an awesome name !)

      Honestly – if you get your belief straight and you show it clearly, it's so much better than “just” having your niche !

      Because that's what sets you apart from the competition, and that's how start rolling with your brand !

      BTW – If you have any questions, just email me.

  • ralphcarlson

    Damn. I need to get out more often.

    • Mars Dorian

      haha, definitely ;)

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Mars,

    Visualizing is where it all begins, great add!

    Until you see yourself doing something nobody else will see it. Visualize the best version of yourself consistently…like, on the hour, if needed in the beginning. Eventually you attract all that's needed to make your mental picture come true.

    Another great point about the Why. Almost everybody looks for the What, the select few world changers identify the Why in the What. Find this driving force and the world becomes your oyster.

    After reading the post I am rededicating myself to my Why. Thanks for inspiring!

    Thanks for sharing and have a powerful day!


    • Mars Dorian

      Hi Ryan,

      yeah- the why keeps haunting me because it's so damn important to me. Just like imagining the perfect alter ego of yourself.
      I believe that your brain bridges the gap between how you are now and how you want to be – it's a problem-solving mechanism after all !

      The world truly is our oyster !

  • Joe – shakeoffthegrind

    Great post man! Very encouraging and inspiring. I love the idea of a swipe folder to reference for inspiration and creativity. I tend to do this files tend to get lost without a direct folder for this purpose. I really like your thoughts as well on focusing on “why” and maintaining a ideal image of how you want to project yourself. This really is helpful in the blogging sphere, as it can be easy to question the material and content provided. There seems to be a balance between knowing what others need/want and delivery this in an authentic and passionate manner. Thanks again!

    • Mars Dorian

      Hey Joe,

      the swipe file is the alpha and omega of my creativity.
      All the awesome stuff I find on the net gets copied and pasted into my treasure folder for future reference !
      I believe every content and/or product creator should have one – seriously !
      And about the “why” – once I figured that one out everything became quite easy. If you have a mission you know how to move forward and what to do next.

  • how2mingle

    Once again you've outdone yourself Mars,

    All the time I see people do “filler posts” and you've once again delivered another VERY helpful and entertaining post.

    Easy to skim, and everything :)

    Thank-you, your links were very, very helpful Mars

    • Mars Dorian

      Thanx man,

      Yeah – I don't want filler posts on my blog, although some themes and topics seem to repeat themselves (because I NEED to mention them again, and again and again ;)

      I'll see how far it will take me – thanx for the reading my friend !

  • Peter J

    Just set up my swipe file now, didn't even know what they were until you mentioned it. Thanks for this – i think this post will go in it :D

    • Mars Dorian

      DO it Peter,

      it's soo awesome, and it gives me so much inspiration to come up with grreat ideas and content. Start collecting a bit every other day and you will be amazed how much you will “treasure” you will have within a couple of weeks !

  • Jess Webb

    Hi Mars!

    Thanks for the Webkut mention – it looks like it's JUST what I've been looking for! Whoot! :)

    These are all great points, but in particular the one about not being yourself jumped out at me. Hell, I've preached that “be yourself” message a lot, but you take it to a whole new level. I love the idea of visualizing a kick ass version of yourself, giving it a name and then asking what they would do in a situation. And I just realized I've already done the first two steps, basically – I just need to start asking “What would Jessilicious do?” ;)

    • Mars Dorian

      Hey Jess,

      yeah – I do this all the time whenever I'm faced with an important decision – what would Mars do ?

      Believe me, practices this a few times and you will be amazed at the magic you are going to unleash !

  • MarcyCrandle

    Hey Mars! “Be yourself” is actually my favorite message, but I think we are actually on the same page with it, because I don't believe most of us are being ourselves. If we were, we would all be ass-kicking versions of ourselves you talk about. It takes a lot of courage to be who you are, right down to the core. If more people did it and followed their bliss, think of how amazing the world would be!

    • Mars Dorian

      Hey Marcy, for me, being yourself still means that old version that has been “corrupted” by your surroundings. For me it's all being your desired self – the version you achieve to be.
      But that may be a just different understanding of the same phrase – I see with your blog topic that you are aiming for the awesome yourself :)

  • Nina Yau

    Man, you're awesome. You tell it like it is (I hate the syrupy feel-good, mushy, I-don't-want-to-step-on-anyone's-toes type of writing), which is why your brand sticks! Kick ass. Love it!!!

    • Mars Dorian

      Thanx Nina,

      yeah, no mushy style on my blog. The universe knows we have too many of those watered down blogs. Only a strong message will give you strong results :)

      • Nina Yau

        :) And that's why you're Mars Dorian!

  • mcculloj

    I've always been influenced by a book written by Douglas Rushkoff, Get Back in the Box. The book mentions some of the issues businesses have been having as of late – they expand outside of their comfort zones just for the sake of competing (think of Microsoft building the Zune to compete with iPod, phone to compete with iPhone, etc). Sometimes, the problems don't have a solution outside of the box, but instead can be found through some deep thinking about what the business (or you) are currently doing and how it could be done better.

    The Swipe file is an excellent idea for people to use. My favourite tool is Evernote, which allows you to capture entire web pages if you want for offline access later. With apps for the web, iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, extensions for Firefox, Chrome, Safari… you can never be too far away from a quick snip or note for Evernote.

    • Mars Dorian

      hey mcculloj,

      interesting thought – I have never thought about competing for the sake of competing, maybe because I never worry about competition anyways !
      But it's true with any case – if you do things for the sake of doing them then you are on the wrong path to begin with.

      I'm so going to try out Evernote – man, that sounds like a brilliant idea.
      Can't wait – gotta go now :)

  • Joseph

    I always walk away from your blog pumped up and inspired. Thanks for the authenticity: our industry needs more of it.

    • Mars Dorian

      Hey Joseph, awesome, that's the kind of impact I want to make on people !

  • Mike Reeves-McMillan

    I like “Be your best self.”

    Especially because “who am I?” can be harder to figure out than “who would I like to be?”

    • Mars Dorian

      Yeah – that is the major reason why I chose that. You may not know a 100% who you are now, but you definitely know (at least in my case) who you like to be in the future. It's easier and more feasible.

  • Jonny Gibaud

    If i shoot all my readers in the head I can see just one or two incy wincy legal issues. Details obviously, nothing we can't work around but something you might want to be aware of Mars.

  • crimson

    Good ambitious objectives downloaded heh.

    I like the alter ego aim it reminds me of the movie mask.
    Perhaps a necessary medicine sometimes on my end as well

  • the minimalists

    We're enjoying going through (or, more accurately, devouring) your archive. Thanks for adding value.

    Totally agree with this line: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it!” In other words, people don't give a shit what you do, they give a shit if what you do has a fundamental purpose.

    Josh & Ryan

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