Episode 132: How Much Does That Proven Marketing Formula REALLY Cost?

A few weeks back I started working with a new client. I’m doing a full audit of all his marketing to see what’s working and what’s NOT working. 

To start this work off, I asked him to take the How To Fascinate quiz from Sally Hogshead. What came back were results DRAMATICALLY different than how he was marketing his business, so my next question was to ask him why. 

We had a meeting about his project and as we got into it, I pulled out his How To Fascinate results and asked him “Do these results feel real to you? Do they accurately describe you?”. 

We went through some of the key findings and the keywords to describe him and he validated that yes, these absolutely describe who he is and how he works with his clients. 

His next question to me was “Why do you ask?”. 

Well, he hired me to tell him the truth and find a marketing strategy that works better. So, I told him the reason I was so surprised is that his marketing strategy reflected NONE of his best attributes. NOT A SINGLE ONE. 

We talked a bit about this and the light bulb went off when I asked him “How does it feel to use your current marketing approach?”. 

My client said: “It’s really hard, I have to force myself to do it and it takes a lot of time. And I don’t feel like it’s working, which is why I hired you.”. 

Then I asked him WHY he was choosing to market in a way that felt hard, that he had to force himself to do and that takes a ton of time but doesn’t really work. 

My client’s answer broke my heart. He said, “Well <insert well known online business celebrity here> said this was the ONLY way to grow, so I bought his program and I’ve been trying for a year to do it.”.

 Just to set the stage, my client is smart, savvy and has run a kick-butt business for more than 15 years. He’s not a newbie, but like so many of us trying to run a business and attract new clients — he fell for the business-in-a-box marketing program that people sell. 

Business-in-a-Box Marketing

Do you know what a business-in-a-box marketing program is? 

It’s a program — usually an online course, but it could be a group program or a live event — where the goal is to teach you the exact steps to implement a specific marketing tactic. 

For example, let’s say a business celebrity is big into TikTok. They start talking up how amazing TikTok is for getting new clients and business. So this person rolls out a step-by-step course on how to use TikTok in your business. You buy it and try to implement it BUT it doesn’t work. 

Is it you? Is it the course? 

Maybe. It may be the wrong approach for you. Your audience might not be on TikTok. 

This is actually what happened with my client. He was trying to implement a strategy that was all wrong for him and his prospective clients. But the worst part of the business-in-a-box approach is that we start to think there’s only ONE WAY to build a business. And if that approach doesn’t work, many of us will think WE ARE THE PROBLEM. 

Have you ever had that happen? Where you’ve bought some sort of program because it sounded new, exciting, innovative and you felt like you needed it to grow…but as you implement it, the program doesn’t work at all? 

It’s not just you. I’ve spoken with HUNDREDS of people who’ve had this a-ha moment after buying a program they thought was going to be the magic key to unlocking profit in their business. 

It’s frustrating, because after spending so much time and money following the proven formulas, these smart, talented, amazing business owners often come to one heart-breaking conclusion: 

They think to themselves…”I’m a failure”.  

Look, if you’ve ever felt that way I’m here to tell you: 

  1. You’re NOT alone.
  2. It’s NOT your fault. 

It’s just that we’ve been conditioned to look at things BACKWARDS. 

Instead of looking for a business-in-a-box idea, we should instead be looking at ourselves, then who we want to attract, and then our offers. In that exact order where we’re not starting with an offer and going backwards.

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Biggest Show Takeaways

  • Step one: We need to know and accept ourselves. 
    • Things didn’t start working for me in my business until I embraced my strengths, weaknesses and work style. I had to know and accept myself in order to feel confident in evaluating marketing ideas. 
    • When I didn’t know and accept myself, it was easy to fall for the ‘just do this’ program pitch. Because I felt like hey, that person has it all figured out. I’ll just follow their program and it’ll work for me too. WRONG! It doesn’t work like that. 
    • You need to really get straight with yourself about how you work, how you communicate with people, what you’re good at and what you hate doing. Only then can you find the right marketing approach. 
  • Step two: Know your audience.
    • Seth Godin wisely said: “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”. This is more true now than ever before and I talk about doing audience reconnaissance with my clients and students all the time. 
    • If your audience is in the 40 to 60 year old category, TikTok is not going to do anything for attracting new clients, except maybe get a laugh out of my teenagers and their friends. 
    • Can TikTok work for businesses? Yep. It can work for the RIGHT TYPE of people and the RIGHT TYPE of clients with the RIGHT TYPE of offer. But if any of those are off, it won’t work. 
    • When I work with clients and students, one of the FIRST things we do is listen, learn and gather insights. You’ve got to know where your people hang out before you EVER think about buying a step-by-step marketing program or you may find yourself doing a whole lot of work for ZERO results. 
  • Step three: Test your offer!
    • I’ve made GIANT mistakes before when rolling out a big marketing push before ever testing my offer. And that’s why I tell people all the time: TEST, TEST, TEST before you run out to market your stuff and then honestly, test some more! 
    • You’ve probably heard me talk about little baby offers I call Mini Offers before. Here’s the deal — when you test out mini offers you’re going to know right away where your audience is hanging out AND how they best see and connect with you. That will make it so much easier to decide which types of marketing programs will work for you, and which ones won’t. 
    • Before you buy any type of product or service to grow your business make sure you are:
      • #1: Grounded in who YOU are and how YOU show up best.
      • #2: Know exactly where your people hang out.
      • #3: You’ve tested — or at least plan to test — your offer before investing big bucks into marketing it

Create Profit Without Worry – one system at a time. I’ll show you how to attract a steady flow of buyers without all the hustle with this free download →  5 Steps To Profit Without Worry.

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