- Next trainer development cohort 10th - 14th June 2024

‘Do or Do Not – There Is No Try’ (the secret to successful marketing)

30th January, 2019

‘Do or Do Not – There Is No Try’ (the secret to successful marketing)

I knew as soon as I walked in that my fancy dress outfit choice had been a big mistake.




The theme of the party was ‘something beginning with H’ (the host’s name was Harry).


It turned out that very few people had actually dressed up, just bringing a prop to fit with the theme like a Hat or Handbag. And those that had made some effort looked stunning – young women dressed as hippies, long hair beautifully braided with ethereal, flowing dresses wafting around them.


I, on the other hand, was dressed as a ‘hooligan’.


Polyester football shirt. Doc Martens boots. Fake tattoos all over my arms, neck and face.


Terrifyingly accurate, but not my best look.


I spent the rest of the night mainlining radioactive green cocktails out of the bathtub (it was a student party after all), commiserating with the only other person in full fancy dress. (He’d dressed as Hannibal – not the A-team character, the general from ancient Carthage who rode elephants over the Pyrenees – and was lamenting the positioning of his elephant’s trunk….)


But now I look back, I don’t regret my outfit choice.


Because that’s me all over.


I give something my full energy or don’t bother. Especially when it comes to dancing. I’ve been known to clear dance floors in seconds with ‘ma moves’.


I live by wise Yoda’s advice, ‘Do or do not, there is no try.’


It’s also an effective mantra when it comes to marketing and personal branding.


Don’t bother spreading yourself thinly across tonnes of different areas. You’ll end up doing nothing well. It’s far better to do less but go full throttle.


This is especially true when it comes to social media. Here’s my advice:


  • instead of trying to keep up on every channel (and potentially doing them all badly), pick just one or two that you work really hard.
  • don’t just post, think about how you can also like, comment and engage
  • start conversations, lend your opinion and join debates – this will bring you a much higher return than just the odd post here and there on multiple platforms.


And it’s true across for your marketing strategies as well as your tactics.


Unless you have a big team and an even bigger budget, don’t try to tackle content marketing AND events AND online advertising AND referral marketing etc. all at the same time.


You’ve likely got limited time, budget and resource, so use them wisely.


Be selective and do less, but do it better.


So… which strategies and tactics will YOU go big on?


(I’m sure your decisions will be way more sensible than mine as a student. Let’s just say that green cocktail was as toxic as it looked….)

University of Cambridge


- Next trainer development cohort 10th - 14th June 2024

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