One of the fundamental rules of marketing, business—and, well, life—that we all seem to need to learn the hard way is that if you want to break the rules, you have to understand the rules.
I like to think of a bit of a rebel myself (a rebel for good—promise), which means that I tend to have a "Nope, not for me" reaction more than you'd think.
However, one of the most invaluable tools I draw on in my work is that I have studied the foundations of my field extensively. So, when I make a recommendation to a client that's outside of the norm, I can confidently say, "The rules say this, but because of XYZ, let's go a different direction. Now, this could result in such and such bad thing, but it will likely be an overall net positive."
I do this all the time in my own business—especially when we talk about search engine optimization. For example, I've targeted "low value" keywords for a strategic reason. I know that the rules of SEO say it's not worth my effort, but I also know enough about the fundamentals to make an informed decision about breaking the rules for SEO.
What gets you in trouble is when you don't have that knowledge—so your rule breaking causes you to skip steps, not account for static conditions that will always impact your work, or misunderstand your audience. Basically, without that fundamental clarity, you're not seeing the whole picture.
That's why the first three pieces of our marketing framework focus on these essential elements before we move onto the "fun stuff" like content and brand strategy. At that point, we can confidently say, "Let's break the rules."
By the way, speaking of rule breaking, we've scheduled our next free Community Conversation. In this session, we're going to talk about lead magnets (how to get clients into your pipeline) and the rules for deveoping them—and some ideas for unconventional approaches to them. Register right here.