The world is fascinated by visionaries – and for good reason. These are the people who run successful businesses, perpetuate innovation and challenge the status quo.
When it comes to your marketing strategy, these visionaries can guide you. For the 39% of marketers who don’t believe their marketing strategy is effective, according to Hubspot’s2017 State of Inbound report, their advice could be ground-breaking.
Let’s take a look at the advice of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time: Elon Musk. Head of several multi-million/multi-billion dollar companies, including Tesla, SolarCity and SpaceX, Musk has made a name for himself as an entrepreneur, engineer and inventor.
Today, Musk is worth billions, and many consider him a true genius. Here are five lessons on marketing and running your business that you can learn from Musk.
1. Think outside the box
Musk has never been afraid to be different. Every step of the way, he has challenged expectations, spurred innovation and taken on projects most businessmen would balk at.
During a time when people were unsure of the security of the Internet, Musk established PayPal, an online money transfer service. The company has since gone on to find wild success. Musk has continued to take on challenging ventures in his career; his latest is attempting to establish a colony on Mars.
In an interview with Wired Science, Musk said, “I like to be involved in things that change the world. The Internet did, and space will probably be more responsible for changing the world than anything else. If humanity can expand beyond the Earth, obviously that’s where the future is.”
While we don’t all have as grandiose ideas as Musk, you need to be able to step outside your comfort zone and think bigger with your marketing. Take a chance on a new idea. Be creative. You never know when a great risk could turn into a great reward.
2. Look to the future
Musk isn’t satisfied with the status quo. He pushes boundaries and finds ways to move his businesses into the future. And no matter what he does, he always has a plan. Just recently, Musk announced his goal to put men on Mars by 2022.
When you think about your own business, what are your goals? Where do you see your business moving in the future? Without a plan in place, you won’t be able to grow. According to CoSchedule, successful marketers are more than four times more likely to set goals.
Along with your team, establish goals for your marketing strategy and for your business overall. Revisit your goals yearly, quarterly and even monthly. Your goals will provide you with a roadmap for where to steer your team.
In his presentation at IAC 2016, Musk said, “Life needs to be more than just solving everyday problems. You need to wake up and be excited about the future.”
3. Bring the right people on board
In his interview with Wired Science, Musk stated, “Starting and growing a business is as much about the innovation, drive and determination of the people who do it as it is about the product they sell.
One person cannot run a successful business on their own. Every leader needs the right team to support them and help turn their vision into a reality. At each of his companies, Musk has established a team that he trusts and feels confident in. He has also made a point to hire people with the skills necessary for each of his projects to be successful.
When building your team, you need to make sure you hire the right people. Everyone needs to be aligned on your vision and be able to collaborate to produce quality work. Your team also needs a balance of the right types of employees. Whether that includes designers, writers, salespeople or engineers, make sure you don’t leave any gap unfilled.
4. Don’t be afraid to learn
In business and marketing, things are constantly changing. Every day, there are new tools, technology, best practices and more. To stay on top of them, you need to take the time to learn.
You also need to be okay with your own knowledge gap. Over the course of your career, there will be times when you don’t have all the answers. The same was true for Musk. While Musk has an impressive background in engineering and physics, taking on an endeavor like SpaceX was a stretch.
“It was a huge learning curve for me because I had never designed anything physical apart from building rockets as a kid or something,” he said in an interview with Business News Daily.
You can’t shy away from what you don’t know. Instead, be aware of it and take the necessary steps to either learn or bring someone on board who is already knowledgeable in that area.
5. Work hard
No matter what type of business you run, to be successful, you must put in the work. Successful businesses are not built overnight, and they are definitely not built with only half of your effort.
In his interview with Business News Daily, Musk said, “If you’re the CEO of a company, you have to work your bloody ass off. And if you’re the CEO of two companies you have to work two bloody asses off and you don’t have two asses.”
You need to learn to manage your time well and invest a good amount of hours to achieve your goals. Musk divides his time up among several companies and still manages to turn a profit and drive innovation. If you can follow his example, you can find success too.