Death By Marketing: 5 Reasons Why Your Marketing Is Broken (And How To Fix It)
Let me guess. You’ve spent thousands of dollars on marketing and your ROI (return on that investment) is far lower than you expected. You were told to keep funneling money into your..umm..funnel and that if you market it, the clients will come.
Welcome to the club. It’s not a lonely club, but it sure is a broke one. And it’s sent a lot of talented, heart-centered entrepreneurs crawling back to the job they left, their hopes of Freedom dashed for the moment.
If you’re earning less than $40k/month, marketing is NOT the answer. The only problem is when we expect it to be the answer and it lets us down.
Here are five reasons that your marketing approach isn’t working:
Your message is junk.
One of the biggest misconceptions from business schools and marketing companies is that marketing is the message. This is not only incorrect, but potentially dangerous to the health of any business.
Marketing is not the message. It is the amplifer of the message (directional amplifier, if you want to get precise). That means if your message is confusing, hazy, inauthentic, or just plain garbage, then you’re just making your garbage louder – and paying for it in dollars and opportunity.
It’s not enough to just put up a billboard or run some paid FB ads with the words “buy me now.” There has to be a compelling reason (message) for anyone to give a crap.
You have no control over your brand.
First things first. Everyone has a brand. It might be attractive or perhaps repelling, but we all have one. That leaves two options: We’re discovering and building our brand to ensure we attract the right prospects, or we’re letting our image float in the wind.
Remember that your brand is the gut feeling a prospect gets the moment you or your business walk into a room. It’s what you say, but mostly what you don’t say. And it’s the energy you transmit through your confidence and convition in what you do.
When we aren’t intentional about our brand, we leave our image (and that gut feeling) up to chance – an accident if you will. If that’s how we’re going to play it, we and our business will eventually become the casualty.
You are selling to everyone.
Everyone is not a person. Everyone will not buy your product or service.
I know what you’re thinking. “Josh, if I get too specific, then I will alienate everyone not in my niche.” That’s patently false. At least, according to human nature.
Trying to sell to everyone is like trying to fry an egg in the sun. Sure, the sun has far more energy and power than your pan, but it’s not focused on your egg. If you’re not focusing the energy in the right places (right people), then your marketing efforts will be nothing more than a flash in the pan.
Besides, with 8B people on the planet, you can’t possibly help everyone anyways. So why water down your brand and message in a vain attempt to gain favor?
If you are selling to everyone, don’t be surprised when you attract nobody.
You’re trying to sell them your product/service.
This may sound counterintuitive. Isn’t the whole point of marketing to sell people your product? Yes, eventually. Not on the first date though! Trying to sell people during the early marketing process (what I call the Business First Impression) is a great way to turn people off.
Depending upon the long-term cost of your offering, you may be asking your prospects to make a significant commitment, like marry you. You would never propose to another person on a first date, right? Then why do it in business?
Besides, people buy you first, your product or service second. Naturally, the reverse is true also. If they don’t buy you (like you), then they won’t touch your product no matter how great it may be or how much they need it.
Hiding behind your product or someone else’s brand is a great way to hide profits from your bank account.
You stopped trying to sell them your product/service
Okay, please don’t hit me. After flogging you for selling your product, it sounds like I’m telling you the opposite now. Not exactly.
After your business first impression – where you sell YOU – the next step is a second (or third, fourth, etc.) impression where, indeed, you do need to introduce, explain, and promote your solution to their problem.
However, people don’t always make buying decisions on our schedule. If we make it to second impression or beyond, it’s up to us to keep the conversation going.
There’s nothing worse than spending time, energy, and money to get a prospect to sit down, only to forget about them just before they are ready to buy.
Bonus: You’re not a marketer.
I often see two camps of people. One that thinks they’re better at marketing than they really are and one that thinks marketing is simple enough that anyone can do it.
The challenge is that marketing cuts like a knife. Like a real knife, if we are overconfident with it, we’re probably going to cut ourselves. The only question is how deep and if we bleed out or not.
What we don’t want to admit is that branding, marketing, and sales are specific skills that might be best outsourced to experts. That is, unless you’re the type to do your own root canal.
So, what can we do about it?
Discover your brand and message. Pour the foundation and build your brand before you invite everyone over. When you are clear on why you exist, you can then help others get that clarity. Remember, confused people don’t buy.
Sell the problem first, offer the solution later. Focus on finding and empathizing with where your ideal clients are in their lives and then, once they’ve bought into your mission, values, and stand (parts of your brand), offer them your solution.
Never quit offering value. Your purpose to help people first and foremost. Whether or not someone becomes your client, you must continue to offer value, advice, wisdom, and expertise to them. The more you give, the more the universe will give back. Just not on your schedule.
Have questions about HOW to create a brand?
Ready to get out of the grind of sales and into the flow of connection (and profit)?