I’m sunburnt (my fault). I went to a kids’ party on Saturday and again on Sunday. In between being tortured trying to explain to people what I do:
“I buy, build and create online businesses. I also have people who pay me to make them more money online from their online marketing.”
Them, “is that like building websites and stuff?”
Me, “Kinda… I guess (sigh). Pass me another sausage sandwich, would ya.”
I went for a swim at Bondi and got badly burnt (betcha feel dead sorry me for, right..!)
I also met a few mums and dads at the parties who were trying to build their businesses. I normally avoid talking about marketing strategy at these events. Not only is it hard to talk when you’re trying to dodge small children, but I find it’s pointless trying to help people unless they pay for the advice.
So I tend to avoid it.
This weekend I was feeling kinda perky, so I dived into any and all business discussions with a gusto not seen since the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop opened near the Weight Watchers centre.
For most business owners (if they don’t get marketing), their idea of marketing is kinda crap. Adhoc things designed to get them some money in the door rather than build a business.
I DO get that you need money in the door, but there are a LOT of ways to do that without resorting to marketing crap.
So I’ve started a “If your idea of marketing is ________________ (insert one off idea) then you’re doing it wrong” post. Feel free to add your own at the bottom!
If your idea of marketing is;
1. Table at local craft fair. <—Does it matter if I don’t sell crafts? I mean, there are still people there, right? Maybe they can like my Facebook page.
2. Go door-to-door. <—SKREEEEEW that.
3. Put up flyers. <—What are you, a 14-year old member of The Babysitter’s Club?
4. Is the phone book still a thing?
5. Newspaper ads. The newspaper is definitely still a thing.
6. Call Nancy, the woman who used to be your neighbor 15 years ago who had a son who had a job in marketing in 1972.
7. Pens with my logo. <—Need logo.
8. Nobody wants a pen with my logo.
10. WHAT DO ALL THE PEOPLE WANT?
11. Hold a neighbourhood raffle. <—Maybe I can give away my old lawn mower as a prize?
12. Sponsor something.
13. Jump around on side of road with large sign.
14. Slip business cards under windshield wipers in every Target within 100 mile radius.
15. Start delivering pizzas, carefully place foot in the doorjamb, and then pitch every person who answers the door. <—Now I’ve got ‘em!
Oh, the fun of owning a business.
And here’s what I want to say to every single one of you who ARE ACTUALLY CONTEMPLATING PUTTING YOUR LOGO ON A BUNCH OF HOT BLUE BIC PENS:
Number one, really? Bic pens? And number two: stop doing things because you can’t think of anything else to do.
You will not get more business—particularly sustainable business—because once some numbwad found a flyer and called the number on it (He was stoned, by the way). You will not get more sustainable business by setting up a craft table one Saturday–EVEN IF the craft table is covered in jelly beans. You will not get more sustainable business by sponsoring some local event and thinking that having your little purple and yellow logo printed on the back of their glossy little take-home folder is actually going to DO ANYTHING.
Stop having a one night stand with your marketing efforts. Stop pooling all of your energy just to convince one or two randos here and there to choose you. And START putting your efforts toward a different goal:
To make yourself the obvious choice for everyone—now, and later.
Whatever you’re doing, there are people looking for someone like you. And whoever they are, they’re either choosing you in this very minute – or they’re choosing someone else. Every single minute, of every single day. And the ONLY hope you have? It isn’t to tweet more. Or to post on Facebook more. Or to do any of that happy horseshit.
It’s to make yourself the obvious choice—now, and later.
Put your efforts there.
Because once you become the obvious choice?
The phrase becomes an oxymoron.
Because now it isn’t a choice at all.
We’ll talk more about ways to actually accomplish that in future posts, but in the meantime, what are some of the not-so-effective marketing tactics you’ve tried in the past? Why did you do them? What were the results? Tell me in the comments! Let’s start a discussion and save a lot of folks a hefty future alcohol bill.