The Art of Marketing Without Marketing:
How to Generate More Leads for Your Small
Business Without Having to Sell Yourself
by John Graden ITBD International

"Marketing without marketing is permission marketing. It's knowing who your client or referral source is and creating great content they want to consume. This positions (or "brands") you as the expert without paying for a single ad."

After providing some background information about who he is and why he is an expert worthy of trust, Graden quickly jumps into the business of improving his reader's ability to "market without marketing." Within the text, Graden covers a number of marketing principles in simplified format, making them easily accessible as well as keeping the chapters very short and conversational. No matter how busy the reader might be in daily life, it is not a problem to find the 5 or 10 minutes needed to read the next chapter. Keeping chapters short like this also contributes toward the creation of a very useful table of contents. Almost as long as the chapters themselves, a quick glance at the table of contents will ensure you land quickly and easily on your topic of interest at the moment.

A critical part of marketing, how and where you conduct your business, may not seem so obvious to everyone. Graden spends a good deal of time discussing important elements such as online and physical locations, basic business practices, and creating natural marketing zones within the spaces you control. While many of his suggestions are likely to be highly effective, using all of them at once may actually push customers away due to a sense of overkill. In using techniques such as providing previous customer accolades as reading material or displaying essentially self-advertising on a continuous loop on the waiting area television, it is important to keep the idea of entertainment at the forefront with promotion as an incidental benefit.

What makes this book so effective is the easy approachability of the text. Although Graden goes over a number of sophisticated marketing techniques, he does so in a way that removes their complexity. The underlying message through it all is that these are techniques that can be utilized by anyone interested in using them regardless of background, education, or experience. While his advice works as a stand-alone text, most topics discussed may require a bit more detailed information from external sources either before they are implemented or while being implemented. Practicing what he preaches, Graden takes care to end his book with a word of caution. While all of the tips included in the book can be used by anyone, he points out the significant time investment required to get them started and to maintain maximum effectiveness—time you should be spending actually performing your business. Rather than intending this book to be a how-to manual for doing all of this work on your own, Graden intends his text to be an informational piece showing readers what can be done and giving them enough information to confidently choose the best marketing professional to fulfill their objectives.

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