The quote, “build it and they will come” has somehow made its way into a business person’s vernacular. The actual quote is, “build it and HE will come,” and it comes from the movie Field of Dreams based on the book Shoeless Joe. Anyway, where the quote came from is irrelevant as it’s here and it’s some sort of mantra for Mr./Mrs. business person.
Here’s the thing, NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS (except for maybe your friends and family). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Just because you have bricks, mortar and a sign out front, doesn’t mean people know you or care about you. You have to let people know you exist and why you exist.
Think of it this way, just because you walked through the doors of a bar, doesn’t mean you’ll be going home with someone. You have to work for it, you have to let people know you exist. You put on your ‘good’ clothes and do your hair. Maybe you dance a little bit to show ’em what you got. You reach out and let other’s know about you and you’ll most likely have to spend some money.
My dad ran into this whole “build it and they will come” BS when he first opened his shop. He was working out of our basement until he decided to get a brick and mortar place in a decent location. He was extremely talented at what he did, his prices were reasonable and he already had a core group of customers. He was ready to expand and bring in new customers. He thought getting a brick and mortar shop of his own on this busy stretch of street would automatically bring in new customers. It didn’t. He failed to market his shop to give it meaning other than another sign and collection of bricks in an already crowded marketplace. He eventually shut the shop down and returned to the basement. He now works for someone else while dabbling in his craft on evening’s and weekend’s at home.
Think about that for a second – my dad was one of the best, his prices were competitive and he had an existing customer base and yet the shop failed.
Just because you build it; doesn’t mean they will come.
My wife used this line time and time again when she spoke with clients at the ad agency she used to work at. The line shocked people. “Well, I have this great product and this great team and everyone SHOULD know about,” says Mr. Client.
My wife would respond, “How are you getting the word out about this great product, etc…?”
Mr. Client would usually clam up and give some half-ass statement about how he just got reviewed by some website no one has heard of or newspaper no one reads. Or my personal favourite, “I have a Facebook page and Twitter account.”
Congratulations Mr. Client! You’ve just started on the path of overwhelming debt and bankruptcy.
What are you doing with that Facebook page and Twitter account? Do you realize these are for-profit businesses and the only way to reach the amount of people you need to reach in order to run a successful business will cost you money? There are no more freebies when it comes to social media. The social media business model is broken.
Don’t believe me? Read this: http://valleywag.gawker.com/facebook-is-about-to-make-everyone-pay-1547309811
You need to have a marketing strategy
Brick, mortar and a great location no longer cut it (it doesn’t hurt to have these things, but you need to do more). A social media account that you update every other day doesn’t help either.
Why should I go to your business? Why should I spend my money there? Who the fuck are you and what will you help me with?
An apple is just an apple until you give it meaning. It’s a delicious and juicy fruit that will instantly refresh you. Not to mention it’s healthy for you. Until these associations are built in your mind; it’s just a red or green round thing. Your business is the same thing. It’s just bricks, mortar and a sign (or Facebook page). It doesn’t have meaning until you TELL me it has meaning. The only way to TELL me it has meaning is to spend money. When you have figured that out, you can start crafting your message. I’ll touch on that next week.
Until then, remember NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS. It’s a harsh reality, but you need to realize that before you can start making some serious cash.