Crossing the Great Marketing Divide

June 6, 2018

June is Entrepreneurs Do-It-Yourself Marketing Month.

I want to kill it.  You should, too.

Do you really want to figure out all your marketing by yourself?

Really??

Most small business marketing and sales approaches stink.

There.  I said it.

They stink because in your efforts to save money and “do it yourself,” you’ve latched on to some “guru” marketers, maybe downloaded a few of their free offers, perhaps bought a couple of programs, and maybe even went to an event (or six) to figure out what to do in your own business.

Your take-away looks something like this:

You must be on Facebook with a business page (or is it a personal page only?). Make an offer…a trip wire…that everyone wants (you have to figure out what everyone wants?).  You must run ads to bring people to your offer (do you know how to motivate people through a very short ad?  Did the guru tell you??).  Oh, not just one ad.  Several ads.  You never know what people will respond to.  Then you need a landing page (don’t send them to your website where they can get lost in all the great things to read and see).  And you’ll need to buy a software “system” for all your new leads to go into and deliver the free offer automatically (that you have to figure out and implement yourself).  And then you need a second offer that costs just a few dollars to get them to spend some money with you (what could the second offer be?).  You know, flex their “Yes” muscle and their credit card muscle.  And next, you need your “real” offer now that they’re all warmed up to you (how do you set that up all by yourself?).

Some other “guru” says you must do LinkedIn.  Create a business page (but do you need a business page?  I thought LinkedIn was about you?!).  Reach out to as many people as you can.  Get connected (what do I say to connect?). And here’s where your Linkedin efforts come to a screaming halt.  You’re connected.  Now what? Usually nothing.

Plus, the gurus all say you must have a website, in addition to a couple of landing pages (how do you do all of that yourself?).  Write articles and blogs to attract attention (are you a good writer?).  Join some Meet Up groups (where do I find them?).  Put your products on Pinterest or Etsy.

Now some of this or all of this might be right for you to attract your Ideal Customer and connect, but can you take what they hand you and effectively go do it all by yourself?

What has all this Do-It-Yourself (DIY) netted you?

Your results have stayed the same.

But you haven’t stayed the same.  You’ve changed.

You’re confused, overwhelmed and deflated.  You start wondering why it works for others, but not for you.  What did you do wrong? You begin to think your business will never be what you want it to be.

Yet, you keep plowing forward because that’s who you are.  Your business becomes hard, complex and certainly a lot less profitable than you’d like (and when was the last time you paid yourself?).

I ask again…do you really want to DIY your marketing?

Are you eager to celebrate Entrepreneurs Do-It-Yourself Marketing Month?

Or are you on-board with me to kill it?

Not yet?

Then get a load of this proof.  According to Dan S. Kennedy, the financial facts are these:

1% of businesses create tremendous income and wealth

4% do very well

15% earn a good living

60% stall, stagnate, struggle endlessly

20% fail

Therefore, you have an 80% poor-to-20% prosperous ratio.

Much of that 80% poor result tracks back to marketing you’re executing all by your little lonesome.

Now can we kill Entrepreneurs Do-It-Yourself Marketing Month?

Yet, what’s the alternative? 

Thankfully, there are alternatives.  A relatively short list of fundamentals will right your business, and save you from the deep, dark forest of “do-it-yourself marketing” all those gurus told you to do.

They are not the Pied Piper.  You are not the mouse.

First, please stop believing every alleged marketing guru has the answer.  Yes, they have likely perfected it for themselves. That doesn’t mean you’re liable to master the same technique all by yourself, without a marketing brain by your elbow to guide your actions, interpret results and suggest adjustments.

Next, go back to Ground Zero.  You’ve got to have a Plan…a written Plan.  A Plan mapping out where you want to go, the problem you solve and who you solve it for.  A Plan with just these basics is superior to no plan at all.

Then, zero in on your Ideal Customer.  Describe them, in detail.  Who are they demographically?  What do they aspire to have for themselves in your field of expertise (but not with you…they don’t know you exist, yet, in this exercise)?  What is the problem they have, and are actively in pursuit to solve?  Their desire must align with your solution.

Build your business from your Ideal Customer in to you.  Then your Customer becomes the centerpiece of everything you do.  You begin to think like your Customer.  You understand their motivation, their problem as they see it, and the language they use to describe it.  When you construct your business from your Customer’s point-of-view, you create products and services they want, rather than programs you think they want because you wanted them.

Most business owners build their business from their own point-of-view, and assume their perspective is also their Ideal Customer’s perspective.  They build their business centered on their view of the world, their belief of what the customer wants, because they wanted it.  They miss the mark, because they can’t see the mark.  You can only see yourself and your needs.

Can I challenge you in one more way that’s pretty radical?

Social marketing has distorted your understanding of marketing.  Somehow, in this new-ish Internet/social marketing world, it’s overtaken your efforts.  Gurus make it seem so easy; like it’s the only way to reach people in 2018.

You’ve been conditioned to believe social marketing is all of marketing.

It isn’t.

Social marketing isn’t the only way to reach your Ideal Customer.  It’s simply one way.

Nothing…and I mean NOTHING…will accelerate your results faster and more dramatically than when you begin to look at your marketing and sales programs in two distinct ways.

Two Ways to Prospects

Direct marketing and sales programs enable you meet, see or talk directly to your prospect.  They sit in front of you at an event, or hear you speaking directly to them on a phone call. The person can see you, hear you and form an impression of you within seconds.  You’re in charge of the rules of engagement.

Indirect marketing and sales programs require an intermediary between you and your prospect.  Facebook is an intermediary.  LinkedIn is an intermediary.  Your website is an intermediary.  The person cannot see you or hear you without some “one” or some “thing” in between, always laying down the rules of engagement.

Certainly, there are pluses and minuses to both avenues.

Direct marketing often requires no wise and knowledgeable team behind you.  It is inexpensive, often without any cost.  Yet, it requires you to “be out there” in front of a room of people, or picking up the 2,000 pound phone to call. It demands you know what to say.

Indirect marketing enables you to operate behind a profile, an ad, or an on-line offer.  You might never have to speak with someone or pick up that heavy phone.  Yet, it usually requires a knowledgeable team to draft the ad and create the landing page.  You’ll need software to capture the leads, send the offer and follow-up with emails.  All that costs money.

The best, mature small businesses have marketing and sales programs in both categories.  Brand new businesses find direct marketing and sales accelerates them the fastest, plus it matches their budget.

The tragedy today is too many small businesses have come to believe social marketing is the “only” marketing.  Now you see otherwise.

Would you have known all of this if you were doing Do-It-Yourself Marketing?

I’m not bragging or “showin’ out” to you.  I’m just betting something in this article strikes a new chord for you, reveals a new avenue, squashes something not serving you.

Having a marketing pro in your business, available to you on a regular and affordable basis will twist your business into an easier, simpler and more profitable direction.

Killing Entrepreneurs “Do-It-Yourself” Marketing Month strikes me as a public service.

No one…no one…should be developing and launching marketing and sales programs by themselves.  Experts are required.

We don’t have a “Do-It-Yourself” Dental Month.  There’s no “Do-It-Yourself” Pilots Month.  Someone would be arrested if they launched a “Do-It-Yourself” Surgery Month.

“Do-It-Yourself” Marketing Month is the same kind of crazy idea.

Instead, make the adjustments to your business we’ve discussed here. Reach out to a business, like Wide Awake Business or some other company, who has super affordable programs that put marketing and sales experts at your service, in your business, on a weekly basis.

Replace “Do-It-Yourself” Marketing with “Doing-It-With-Experts” Marketing.  Your results will swiftly change.

Go forth and do great things,

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams