How to Get Different with Mike Michalowicz

Brian Thompson welcomes Mike Michalowicz back on the podcast. Mike is the mastermind behind Profit First Professionals and the author of books for entrepreneurs and small business owners. In episode seven, Mike talked about his Profit First system and his experience growing several multi-million dollar companies.

Now Mike is back to talk about his latest book, Get Different: Marketing That Can’t Be Ignored! Mike shares the research and insights he learned when writing the book, and he offers his tips for creating an effective and radically different marketing system.

Episode Highlights

Small businesses have a responsibility to market.

Mike researched the concepts behind Get Different for a decade. In that time, he learned that while small business owners provide products and services that are better than the competition, many are afraid to market themselves.

“We have a responsibility to market,” Mike said. “If our prospects can’t find us, they’re going to find something that’s perhaps inferior. That’s their problem, but it’s our fault.”

Mike recommends that small business owners speak to their community with integrity and honesty because their voices need to be heard.

“We have to step up and become noticed,” he said.

Use the DAD framework for effective marketing.

Mike created a catchy acronym that gets down to the essence of effective marketing: DAD. The acronym stands for the following:

  • Differentiate — Reach your community by doing something unexpected
  • Attract — Create marketing that speaks to your audience
  • Direct — Give specific, safe, and reasonable instructions

“Simply ask, does DAD approve?” Mike said. “It has a little bit of a creep factor, but that helps make it memorable.”

Many small business owners already incorporate one or two of the DAD elements into their marketing but not all three. As a result, they think their marketing is a failure.

“All three have to be present,” Mike said. “It’s like a checklist.”

Launch many marketing experiments but few plans.

Marketing plans are important, but many small business owners prematurely go into launching a plan.

“We prematurely go into a plan, but we don’t know if it’s going to work,” Mike said. “So the plan is to throw everything against the wall and see what sticks. That is a horrible plan.”

Instead, a marketing plan should aim to amplify what already works. Mike recommended running many marketing experiments to figure out what works and what does not.

“We should be constantly experimenting, but we should be very selectively and carefully planning,” Mike said.

Target 100 prospective clients.

No one can serve everybody, Mike said. That means it’s important for small business owners to find their target audience. Mike recommended doing this by identifying the clients who love you the most and finding out where their connection points are.

Then, Mike suggested testing marketing with a sample size of at least 100 people in your target community. He chose that number after looking at the work of experts, including probability specialists.

“While that may not be a perfect indicator, that will be far more adequate than a random sample of one or two,” Mike said.

Resources + Links



About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast 

Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.

On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.