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How Do You Market Your Business? Follow Mark Twain's Advice

Updated on June 19, 2013

The Key to Successful Marketing

Sell yourself, not your content.

- Mark Twain

Mark Twain was an American author and the world's first celebrity.
Mark Twain was an American author and the world's first celebrity. | Source

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Mark twain grew up on the mighty Mississippi. His work was inspired by his surroundings. How might your location benefit you in business?

The World's First Celebrity

Mark Twain was the world's first celebrity - getting paid to endorse products. Although a successful writer, Twain ended up making a large amount of his wealth from selling rights to his name and his picture. Today there are many people that sell the use of their name for significant financial gain: Michael Jordan, Donald Trump, and Brittany Spears have all made a great fortune simply because of their name. However, Mark Twain was the first man in history to do this.

There are countless life lessons that can be learned from studying the life and writings of Mark Twain. For entrepreneurs, however, the secrets to successfully running and marketing a business can be seen very clearly in his quotes.

Here are several Mark Twain quotes that provide great advice for promoting one's business.

Mark Twain's Marketing Tips

For those of you striving to successfully launch and promote your own business, these quotes from Mark Twain will be priceless.

"Sell yourself, not your content."

Any marketer will tell you this. Why is it that the neighbor kid is able to sell you a role of wrapping paper in February for $7? Because he looks so cute, has a great personality, and you know his parents. You don't want the paper, but you like the kid, so you buy the paper.

Although you need a great product, it is your personal touch that separates you from the competition.

"All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure."

Promotion is exhausting work. Especially if you are not confident about the product you are attempting to sell. To successfully market your product you need to have 1) confidence in what you are selling and 2) enough ignorance to ignore the people that tell you it won't work. The more people who tell you that your business will fail, the more ignorance and confidence you need to make it a success. Of course, be smart at the same time.

"Action speaks louder than words, but not nearly as often."

The world is full of false promises and big-mouthed sloths. On a personal level, stop talking and start doing - that's the only way to success. People who succeed at any aspect of life have incredible dedication and the ability to act before others. Strive to act more than you talk.

Meanwhile, when interacting with others, make sure that your words don't outdo your service. A business that promises results better deliver on those promises. No one who fails to give what has been promised will remain in business for long.

"A man's character may be learned from the adjectives he habitually uses in conversation."

The words you speak and the words you think shape you into who you will become. Make sure that your words and thoughts are positive, uplifting, truthful, and optimistic - you will then be much more likely to succeed and enjoy life. Besides, no one wants to purchase from a shady salesperson who seems to hate life.

"A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read."

Constantly fill your mind with useful information. Read books on marketing and promotion. Subscribe to magazines and websites that discuss ideas and methods for promotion. By constantly growing in your education, you will have an arsenal of ideas at hand any time an opportunity arises.

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest."

Remember that your business is not everything. It may succeed or fail, but you will remain. How will you be remembered? What type of person will people say that you are? Business success is a great accomplishment that many people long for. However, personal success and a strong integrity is even more valuable.

"A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval."

Ultimately, you are the pilot of your life. Many people strive for success to please others. Sometimes we may be willing to do anything for a buck - with the intention of making the world a better place after we are rich. By forgetting about the pressures and responsibilities placed on us by others, and striving to do what will truly gain our personal approval, we are able to succeed beyond anything we could have imagined. Not to mention that we will be incredibly happy while doing it.

Putting the Quotes to Work

While reading quotes can be inspirational and inspiring, knowledge is worthless if it is not put into practice. Constantly read and learn more on how to succeed, but make sure you are continually acting. Sometimes you don't know where you need to go until you actually start going.

Whatever your next move is, start doing it. The three keys to marketing that I think are most valuable from the above mentioned quotes are:

  1. Don't wait - start acting.
  2. Continually learn more and implement it.
  3. Always have integrity.

Follow these three basic steps as you continue striving to promote your business and I am sure that you will have a rewarding experience. Let me know your opinions and advice in the comments section below.


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    • Blessed Success profile image

      Sandy J Duncan 4 years ago from Kansas City, Kansas

      Great hubs here. Love your well written and useful tips on succeeding in business as well as life!

    • profile image

      marico 5 years ago

      I am loving your quotes

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Such a great hub and very inspiring. I always loved Mark Twain's quotes...a very wise man. Thanks for the reminder about what really matters in business.

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Thanks krsharp! I always appreciate your comments as they are thoughtful and motivating.

    • krsharp05 profile image

      Kristi Sharp 5 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      Great job Robert. If you don't lead some sort of self-help group or speak to influence people in a positive way, you should. You did an excellent job of relating each quote to being a positive influence on your own life. -K

    • alipuckett profile image

      alipuckett 5 years ago

      Great business (and life!) advice.

    • neeleshkulkarni profile image

      neeleshkulkarni 5 years ago from new delhi

      each one a jewel.

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Thanks alwritetea! Twain is a role-model I have enjoyed for some time. He is a motivating and inspirational individual. And thanks for the compliment, I have had a lot of fun writing - it's great making some money as well. Wish you the best as you continue your writing!

    • alwritetea profile image

      Lisa Sumner 5 years ago from Vancouver

      AWESOME tips! How smart to use Mark Twain as your example setter, I just love all those quotes! And thumbs up for using 'big mouthed sloths' in this Hub.

      You are definitely an inspiration to the rest of us, completing so many hubs in addition to the Apprenticeship Program!

      Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting!

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Thanks all for the comments. I am glad you gained something from the wisdom of Twain!

    • writeyourwrongs profile image

      John Crowley 5 years ago from Sheffield

      Top Quality. Liked, voted... etc etc

    • profile image

      WhydThatHappen 5 years ago

      Great work! I didn't know Mark Twain had such timeless quotes about the average person

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 5 years ago from Pune, India

      Great quotes, they are useful for success in business. Thanks for sharing.

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      @SouthernHoney: Hahaha. I love that quote too. It's epic and I think you should write an article with clothing advice from famous writers.

      @prairieprincess: He did have a lot of knowledge that is still useful today. It's amazing how wisdom never goes out of fashion.

      @Trinity: That's a great addition. Never Give Up is probably the most important thing to remember with business.

    • Trinity M profile image

      Trinity M 5 years ago

      Great advice as always Rob. Very interesting hub and well written. I have only one other thing to add to your brilliant list of quotes… Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 5 years ago from Canada

      I love how you used these quotes in the context of today. He had a lot of wisdom about dealing with people and becoming famous. Brilliant!

    • SouthernHoney profile image

      SouthernHoney 5 years ago from Woodinville, WA

      I love this! He's always been a favorite of mine. He was so funny too - I'm always quoting this one:

      "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."

      Voted up and awesome :)

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      I'm glad you enjoyed! I am a huge Twain fan as well. I suppose brilliant people are brilliant regardless of the era they are from. I guess it can give us inspiration - maybe we'll be encouraging people traveling through space one day! ;)

    • Modern Lady profile image

      Modern Lady 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I love Mark Twain quotes! And as usual, these are very insightful. Thank you for presenting them in thought-provoking way. Who knew Twain would be offering internet marketing advice!