Do This Not That Marketing
I have been entrenched in local business marketing for more than 20 years, first as an employee and then as a business owner. Although I trained as a physical therapist, I learned very quickly that knowing how to do something is pointless if you don’t have someone to sell your services to. Maybe not”pointless,” but close. You know what I mean.
If you own or run a business, here’s one thing you already know: you must sell stuff to survive. And, assuming you already have stuff to sell, your next step is to find people to sell your stuff to. Easy to understand, hard to do. I have started several businesses over the last 15 years and here’s what I know: the degree of success of any business I have owned or been involved with is directly and proportionately related to the degree of marketing success that business experienced. I believe in local business marketing, and I believe that working with a small business marketing consultant can mean the difference between staying open or closing down, between just barely getting by and having more than enough. That’s why I created Do This Not That Marketing.
I used to believe, naïvely, that if I was better—better product, better service—that customers would automagically find me and buy my stuff. How could they not? I was the best, demonstrably better than my competition. I had done the market research and knew there were customers out there. Unfortunately, I hadn’t done the marketing research, and I was scratching my head to try to figure out why we didn’t have enough customers.
All of that changed when, out of desperation, I started searching the internet for marketing ideas, googling “how to promote your business” and “how to market your business.” What I found was a whole world of marketing tips, thousands of business marketing ideas that all seemed like they might be helpful. I implemented a few, and had some success. I implemented a few more and it was money down the drain. I had limited time and money (don’t we all) so it was important to pick the things that would give me the biggest bang for my buck. How could I tell what strategies and tactics were worthwhile and which were a waste of time?
Hiring an “Expert”
Ask an “expert,” right? So I hired a business consultant from a reputable firm and paid them a lot of money for a month’s worth of work. They came in, reviewed my business marketing efforts, and in the end, their advice was terrible and an utter waste of money. They said things like, “Engage with your prospects more” and “try to achieve top-of-mind status for your business in the minds of your prospects.” I might as well have taken marketing advice from a fortune cookie. They were good with platitudes, terrible with actionable advice.
Becoming an Expert
I knew I couldn’t give up, though, so I started reading books and studying people who were succeeding, not just writing books on how to succeed. I didn’t care if they were a brick and mortar business (like mine), an offline business with an online presence, or an online business altogether. The businesses that were growing were all doing some things right, and as I studied them I started to notice patterns. An online marketing agency was growing like crazy by assuming all the upfront risk to provide their customers with peace of mind. A dentist was developing a great reputation in the community and getting lots of new customers by asking his customers for honest Google reviews and rewarding them for their efforts regardless of the rating they gave. A woman with an internet business grew her audience, her impact, and her income by being transparent about her successes and her failures. People like people who are real.
What I’ve Learned and What I’ll Share
Here’s what I have learned: nothing works for everyone all the time. I wish it did. Growing a business would be so much easier. But here’s what else I’ve learned: when it comes to marketing for small business, there are strategies and tactics that work for many people, much of the time. Those are the strategies and tactics I will be sharing with you here. Everything from picking the right ideal customer, deciding how you want to be known in the world, branding, building your credibility, setting goals, creating a marketing plan, learning how to talk about what you do in a way that makes sense to your prospects and customers, getting the word out effectively, using social media (including the why/how/when) to grow your business.
Just as important, I’ll be sharing what not to do, where not to waste your time or money, who to avoid and whose advice to ignore. That may seem rude, but the truth is it is just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do. If you want to be truly successful, you need to know what to do and what not to do. That’s why I’m here. If that’s sounds like something you’d be interested in, please subscribe so you don’t miss any part of the conversation. Also, be sure to email me if you have questions, concerns, or want some help figuring out what to do next.