Repost. This post originally appeared on the VillageWorks site.

The 4 Ps of Marketing (product, price, place and promotion) have been the basis for all work I have done since graduating with my marketing degree many moons ago. Sure the details of each of these Ps has evolved over time especially with the widespread use of social media. The Internet and social media has made our world smaller and your competition could be on another continent rather than just down the street. This can make it more difficult to differentiate your product in the marketplace. For this reason, I want to introduce you to a concept that I have been using with clients for awhile – Passion, the 5th P of Marketing.

Almost every small business owner, especially those that make artisan and handcrafted products, started his or her business out of a passion for the product or service. They love producing this product or service and want to share that passion with the world. This passion is what makes a company different and therefore differentiates it from the competition. It provides you a story and marketing message to share. Suddenly your product, even if considered a commodity, takes on a life of its own.

In addition to sharing your passion, you want your audience to connect with your passion. If they have that connection, they will go out there and share it with their networks. It is this combination of producing something that creates a shared passion between you and your audience that creates marketing magic. You create loyal customers that will go out of their way to acquire your offerings and become brand ambassadors sharing your story with the world.

This does not require you to write a large marketing plan. Grab the closest piece of paper, even if it is a napkin, and sketch out why you started your business in the first place. If you have been in business for awhile try to remember why you started. I recently did this and the changes you see at VillageWorks are the result of reminding myself why I started this business and what I am passionate about – helping small businesses share their passion and products with the world. What is your passion?