If you and I had just met each other and I was given 10 seconds to give you just one piece of marketing advice that would unlock the secret to creating a wildly successful business, then this is what I'd say: "Don't be boring with your marketing. Whatever your competition is doing - never copy it. Do the opposite in your business".
The number one mistake any small business owner can make with their marketing is to be boring. You can't bore your customers into doing business with you, you can only interest them. Far too many of us check out what the competition is doing and then quickly rush to replicate it. This is what's known as marketing incest or as I call it "me-tooism". It's a strategy that virtually guarantees your marketing message will be ignored above the din because it's just the same as everyone else's.
If you want to get just ordinary results, then just be ordinary. But if you want extraordinary results, then you have to be extraordinary with your business.
When I send a direct mail campaign tied to a plunger to a dental office with the headline that reads "John, Are You Stuck With Your Marketing?" - which letter do you think gets read first - mine or the one in the plain white business envelope buried in the pile of mail? And which business are they going to remember?
If you can liberate your business from boring marketing & advertising and give yourself permission to be creative, even outrageous - you're well on the path to realizing extraordinary profits in your business. And you'll have a lot more fun on the way.