My 3 Favourite Marketing Hacks

My 3 Favourite Marketing Hacks. In Blackboard Fridays Episode 97, Jacob talks about Marketing. Need this implemented into your business? Talk to the international business advisor who can do exactly that – Contact Jacob, Learn More, or Subscribe for Updates.

Chances are you’ve heard of Facebook, Google, and a recent technological innovation called ‘Television’. Maybe you also saw the recent pictures of my face on a giant Billboard. [LINK TO BILLBOARD BLOG POST] There are amazing marketing strategies to be created using any or all of those…But that’s not what interests me this week.

No, I want to share with you my 3 favourite marketing hacks, underutilised opportunities that I’ve been implementing for years (to great effect) and where I’m finally ready to let you in on the secrets.

Watch this week’s episode to learn more about how to turn:

  1. Your Profile Photo
  2. Your Business Card, and
  3. Your Automated Out-of-Office Email

into engaging marketing channels that push your brand promise further into the world.

Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?

“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.

Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.

At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.

You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.

That’s me.

Learn more here. Or Let’s chat.


Good day, Blackboarders. Bit of a content-heavy focus for this week because I wanted to give you something specific. This is something that every business owner will find a way to apply within their business, guaranteed. It’s my three favorite, underutilized, undervalued, unappreciated marketing hacks, and I’ve been applying these three for the better part of the last decade to great effect, and I recommend that you do the same. So what are they? And can we make sense of my diagrams?

The first one here is your profile picture. Google, PWC, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG, any of the big four. Go and have a look at their ‘About us’ page. Have a look at the photos. Apart from increasingly still being pale, male, and stale, you will almost certainly see an enormous page of nearly identical boring pictures of people.

There’s nothing there that inspires you to talk to any of them in particular. Your profile picture is the often the first chance a prospect, even a client has, to get a feel for who you are as an individual. So are you reflecting your unique personality in your profile picture, and in the profile picture of your team?

Now, 10 years ago, I changed my profile picture to a photo from my wedding day. Make pulling a little bit of a face, just looking as happy as you could expect I would on my wedding day. I actually had three different clients who came to me, with the specific things that they looked through my global company’s website, and I was the one who looked like the most interesting person to talk to. I got three clients, just because I had a more engaging and interesting business photo.

You can magnify this across your team. Go have a look at the BusinessDEPOT page, look at our ‘About us’ and all of the profile pictures, you’ll see a lot more personality. We’ve actually added some filters and coloring so that the businessDEPOT profile pictures look like businessDEPOT profile pictures. The fact that many of our alumni staff are still using that as their headshot on LinkedIn is a good indication of how distinctive that has made it.

Now, increasingly, and technology has made this easier, I’m seeing marketing agencies and it’s slowly bleeding into professional services, where their profile photos are GIFs, they’re moving images, they’re actually cool, and funky and a little bit different.

You’ll want to check out one that does that really interestingly, go and have a look at Just Digital People, and their “About us’ page. And tell me that that’s a business that doesn’t have more personality than KPMG. Is your profile picture communicating your brand promise? Does it come across as something special? Or pretty bland and it blends in with everybody else?

I’ll ask the same question in my second marketing hack, which is your business card. Great advice I got, again more than 10 years ago, from a marketing and brand strategist called Graham Bills in the UK. He said if your business card doesn’t elicit an immediate response, it hasn’t done its job.

How many business cards have you received where after making sure that the name is the name of the person you’re talking to, you stick it straight into a pocket and forget it. How many times have you given your business card to somebody and that’s exactly what they’ve done?

Well, let me tell you the experience that I’ve had over the years with a number of different business cards, different organizations that I’ve worked for and owned. I give my business card to people and they look at it. They turn it over, and they ask a follow-up question.

I used to have a baby on mine. I used to joke about the fact that it was a very old profile picture. But then I’d go into a conversation about how your business is your baby. They get more out of the conversation as a result of the business card. It wasn’t just giving them my contact details.

Now, I got a picture of a robot on my business. People look at that and I say, what’s the robot for? And again, I can joke, well that’s a future profile picture, but no, it’s about one of our  businessDEPOT core brand promises, which is ‘No robotic mumbo jumbo’ 

You can go on talk to a lot of advisors, a lot of coaches, a lot of accountants and lawyers, and they’ll rattle jargon off for you that you won’t be able to use. We’re committed to not doing that. So again, you look at my business card, and you walk away knowing more about me and my business.

The last very, very underutilized, and let me tell you the amount of comments I get from applying this strategy is extraordinary. This is your out-of-office message. You’ve probably gone away. You’ve probably at some point set up an automatic reply, set that out-of-office to say something like, “I’m away, I’ll be back in two weeks. “Call my PA.” That’s great, that sends functional information, that let’s people know that you’re not around. But it actually doesn’t let people know who you are.

There’s a marketing opportunity. You’re actually getting a chance to send an email into that person’s inbox, something they’re almost certainly going to read because they’ve just emailed you, and you’re wasting it with a pretty boring, bland corporate message. Why not add a little bit of personality?

If you’ve ever emailed me while I’ve been on holidays, you know, the extra little bit of effort that I go into to make sure that my out-of-office is exciting, is a little bit funny, is energizing. If I’m going on holidays, I’ll tell you something about the destination that I’m going to. If I’m going to a funeral, which I had to do this time last year, I’m gonna give you some information about how valuable my grandmother was to my life, and link that back into the career that I’ve built as a result.

You’re going to get that email from me, and again, just like the business card, just like the profile picture, you’re going to get a better understanding of my personality and the business that I own as a result.

These are my favorite marketing hacks, in part because they are underutilized. And because they are underutilized, they’re so incredibly powerful. You have a profile picture on your website. You have a business card. You do out-of-office messages when you are on holidays or away from work. Why not turn those into something more? Why not hack them into a great marketing opportunity that puts the best picture, pardon the pun, of your business adding to the world.

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