By Brian Basilico
The news and social media are filled with items like fake news, alternative truths, lies, and some very hot and opinionated arguments about what is real and what is fake. I believe there are certain principles, especially when it comes to sales and marketing, that have stood the test of time.
Today I want to talk about five truths that you need to know about marketing your business. Last week I bought a domain name, marketingtruthwhisperer.com. Now I don’t want you to think that everybody else is telling lies or alternative facts, but there’s a lot of misguided information out there. As a matter of fact, I was talking with one client and after I got through the consultation with him, he just said to me flat out, “You know what? I’ve talked to five people, and everything that you’re saying is completely contradictory to what they said."
Okay, I get it. Other people have different ways of doing things. I have ways of doing things. Mine’s built on a system that I’ve done for myself, is tried and true for a lot of my customers, and they’ve gotten a lot of great results from it. What I want to do is kind of outline those five things that I think that you really need to understand when you start thinking about marketing your business.
The first one is marketing is an investment. A lot of people will tell you, “Hey, we can make you number one in Google. We’re going to bring you up in the rankings. We’re going to get you a ton of traffic,” and all this other stuff. That’s great. You know what? They probably can do that. But here’s the truth. The truth is none of that stuff matters. What matters is if you spend $1 you need to make three back. What I mean by that is you have to pay $1 for their service, you have to pay $1 for your time because in order to be successful in marketing you’re going to have to invest some blood, sweat, and tears into it. You just can’t have other people manage it and have it work. I mean larger businesses can, yes, ’cause they can afford to spend a lot of money to hire a huge team to do things. The team will report back all the analytics and they will prove that it’s making money.
But in small businesses and medium size businesses, that’s much harder. What you have to look at is the money that you’re spending on marketing — is it truly an investment and are you getting a return on that investment, and are you getting $3 for every $1 you spend? At minimum you should be getting $2 back for every dollar you spend. So before you hand somebody $3,000, $5,000, $10,000 to do marketing, you have to ask the question, “Is this going to make me $9,000, $15,000, $30,000 when it’s all said and done?” If the people can’t give you some sort of guarantee — if they can’t guarantee 100% but at least they can say, “I believe that this is going to make you a return on your investment,” then do it. If they can’t, then run the other way.
The second thing I want you to think about is your website. Your website is a cornerstone of your business. It’s the place where people are going to search you out. They’re going to look for testimonials. They’re going to research you. I’ve had so many businesses say, “I don’t need a website. I’m just going to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, whatever, and I’m going to promote myself on social media.” The problem is you don’t own that and you can’t control all of the messages on those platforms. What you can control is your own website. Now, if your website is older than three years it may be time to update it, the look and feel, the content. Make sure that you’re building a solid foundation inside of your business that you can drive people to, that becomes a home base for you to be able to market to.
Marketing System Investment
The third thing that I want you to think about is having a marketing system. Now what I mean by this is it has to have so many moving parts to it. You can have a website. But are you using Google Analytics? Are you getting people on email lists? Do you have a funnel? What is set up inside of your marketing system that allows you to make money and measure it? That’s key.
They can range anywhere from very simple to very complex. A very simple system is to get people to your website, and get them to a contact form or get them to pick up the phone. If you’re doing more complex systems, then maybe you get them to a webinar and then you create a form that gets people on your mailing list or maybe purchase a product or service or whatever it is. But the key thing is you really have to lay that system out and know what your expectations are, and more importantly, you have to know what your numbers are in each one of those pieces of that puzzle.
Putting together a marketing system takes time, it takes some thought, it takes some energy, and sometimes it takes some help. If you don’t know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish, then ask for help. Get somebody who understands these things to come and help you lay that system out, and more importantly, make sure that you’re measuring what’s happening in that system on a regular basis.
Team Building Investment
The fourth piece of this puzzle is that it takes a village. When I say it takes a village, generally speaking not one person is going to be able to handle everything. An example of this is I’m a pretty good web developer but I’m certainly not a good content developer. I’m not a writer. I’m not a graphic artist. And I’m also not an expert in every aspect of the things that happen on the web. What that means is lot of times I have to bring in experts to help me build things not only for myself but for my customers. You want to make sure that all of the pieces of the puzzle, all of the pieces of the system, are being dealt with by professionals. Does it cost more? Yeah. But is it going to give you that return on investment? Let’s go back to that point.
By getting a professional writer to come in and write good SEO copy that speaks to your audience, the chances of your success escalate rather than you trying to do it yourself. In an interview I did with David Garfinkel he said, “We as marketers have the hardest time writing our own sales copy because we’re too close to the forest to see the trees.” Sometimes it makes sense to get a third party to come in and help. That’s what you have to look at — do you have a team in place? And if you don’t, find those people, ask around, maybe hire somebody who has that team in place and can bring in the right pieces at the right time. You may not need them all at the beginning, but you certainly may need them throughout the process.
The fifth piece of this is a personal investment. I talked about this in a prior podcast, and that is you have to constantly invest in yourself to continue to learn things. Now if you are a business owner and you don’t want to learn these things, then invest in your staff, invest in the people who are going to be in charge of creating the marketing content for you. Make sure that they’re educated and they know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. Who is your perfect client? What is their problem? What are they trying to solve? And how can we communicate messages that get them engaged and get them to talk to us first?
Pick up that phone, fill out that form, join the email list. Whatever it is. You want to make sure that you’re investing in your infrastructure. That may mean investing in products and services and software, whatever it is, but make sure that you’re getting a return on that investment as well, that you’re getting some kind of bonus, making more money, seeing better results. Look at your marketing as an investment. Look at your website as an investment. Invest in creating the best marketing system you possibly can.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It takes a village of people to really make this happen. Then finally, invest in yourself, and if you don’t want to do it yourself, then invest in your team. Make sure your people are qualified and have the right tools and the right education to pull together a system that’s going to help you grow your business today.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this subject. Comment below and share your experiences and suggestions on how investing in your business changed your business and provided a return on investment!
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