Is your copy going through a marketing midlife crisis?

Is your copy going through a marketing midlife?My goodness. It’s hard to believe that SuccessWorks (my SEO copywriting firm) has been in business for over 10 years now. Where DID the time go?

Yesterday, I had the weird, odd out-of-body experience one feels while looking at decade-old marketing materials (it’s like looking at old high school yearbooks –what was I thinking with that hairstyle?) Back in 1998, SEO copywriting was not the SEO uber-thang that it is today. Print was still king and content development for the online market was definitely a new skill set. I was a one-woman shop back then, finding my foothold in a new online world. Although SEO copywriting was quickly becoming my niche, I marketed myself as a Jane-of-all-writing trades. I’d pen brochure copy. I’d provide top-notch editorial service. I’d serve up sizzling sales letters. I’d do it all.

Not so much anymore.

SEO copywriting is my main niche, with a secondary focus in online writing. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the brochure-writing world. And I haven’t written a direct-mail sales letter in eons. My current site reflects most of my main services and has done a pretty good job for me. I like it. Prospects like it. That makes me smile.

Then again, am I completely happy with my current Website’s tone and feel? No. These last few months have meant a lot of marketing soul-searching and determining where to go next. After 10 years in business, I’ve seen the worst of the dotcom era (so far,) weathered the “what the hell is SEO” storm and enjoyed some fantastically fun clients. I’ve seen what works for me, what doesn’t come close and charted a course for future success.

In short, I’m coming out of a marketing midlfe crisis — and realizing that the marketing tone and feel that used to work for me (and for SuccessWorks) just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Sound familiar? Here’s how to determine if you’re facing your own midlife:

  • You find yourself thinking that your existing copy “isn’t quite right” anymore and “doesn’t quite capture what you’re offering” — yet, you don’t know what you’d change or how.
  • It feels like you’re in a marketing rut and all your copy has sounded exactly the same for years.
  • You’re completely out of fresh marketing ideas for your own company when you used to be a fountain of creative flow. Anything you do create may feel more reactive than proactive.

What did I do? No, I didn’t buy a red muscle car, call myself “Bronson” and engage in extreme kayaking, or date a college-age boytoy. But I did pull out of my marketing midlife crisis.

Outside of lots of percolation time, I talked to trusted friends and associates (all exceptional marketing brainacs) to figure out my next course of action. I chatted with customers. I hired outside marketing help to help me brainstorm. I became more accountable and more involved. I discovered what I want SuccessWorks to be rather than being stuck in what it was.

And go figure, the creative ideas started flowing again.

Your company can see the same results. Ask your customers what’s most important to them. Hire outside SEO content and marketing professionals for advice. Get out of the groupthink and start charting a new course. The energy and excitement you’ll feel is palpable — and breathing new life in an old marketing campaign can see some profitable benefits.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have the SuccessWorks site strategy to plan”¦