I’m already busy, so I don’t need to advertise

I’m hearing this statement quite a bit as the economy starts to heat up. Here’s the thing, YOU’RE WRONG!

Never stop marketing your product to as many people as possible for the least amount possible

Apple, McDonald’s, Samsung, Tim Hortons, Subway, Ford, GM, Toyota and the list goes on and on and on. They all advertise consitently, whether it’s a slow month or an extremely busy month. They understand the value of awareness. Although a consumer may not be in the position to purchase their product right now, when the consumer is ready to purchase the aforementioned companies want their brand to come to mind.

Also, if you are THAT busy, maybe you should consider expanding your business, whether it be opening another store in a different neighbourhood or expanding to another city. Maybe you can advertise the fact you need more sales people to sell your product / service. Or find better quality service people to handle the increased workload. Whatever it is, never stop. You always want to be top-of-mind.

There are thousands of messages clogging the consumer’s brain every day. What makes your message stand out? If you’re not in the consumer’s face or mind, you don’t exist. You’re merely burning money on rent, staff and other operational expenses.

The best

The best and most profitable businesses understand this very simple recipe for success. Advertising your message 52-weeks a year to the most amount of people for the least amount of money works. And it works really well. Even if your message is shit, it will work (for a short period of time, but it’s very difficult to sell a shitty product / service over a long period of time).

You may be saying, “I don’t have enough money to advertise 52-weeks a year!” QUIET! You do, you just haven’t allocated your resources properly. If your annual sales budget is $100,000 your marketing budget should be $2,000 – $10,000 (2 – 10% of your sales budget). However, I’m sure your sales budget is much higher than that. Then again, your marketing budget is probably significantly lower than 2 – 10% of your sales budget.

Psychology

When it comes down to it, it’s all about psychology. There’s no way you’re going to have the marketing budgets like McDonald’s, Apple, etc… That’s fine you don’t NEED to. All you need is some money and a different mental framework.

Like the example above, you can stretch $2,000 – $10,000 very far on almost any marketing medium whether it be digital or a more traditional medium like radio or print. You won’t be able to reach the amount of people McDonald’s will, but you’ll still be able to reach someone…anyone. 100 people is better than 0.

For example, a restaurant launched and they only advertised to a 40-unit apartment complex next to their restaurant. They printed off some letters they made in Word and put them in the apartment complexes mailboxes. And they did this repeatedly. Needless to say, they owned that apartment complex. I can dive deeper into this story if you’d like. Shoot me an email at effUmarketing@gmail.com and I’ll elaborate. Again, someone is better than no one. Figure out who you can afford to own and own the shit out of them.

No excuses, be relentless

You need to market you product. Whether you’re busy or not. Whether your marketing budget is in the millions of dollars or hundreds. There’s always a way to reach people. You’ll have to spend some money, but you’ll reap the rewards in the long run. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

As always, if you need some guidance, reach out to me on Twitter or effUmarketing@gmail.com.

The best have a coach, you should too

I was approached this past week by a colleague who posed an interesting question, “How are you so confident in dealing with people?” It’s something I’ve never really thought about. Dealing with people has come naturally to me, but there are active steps you can take to deal with people. I’ll get into those in a bit.

First – I was very thankful my colleague approached me to “pick my brain.” Sometimes we get into our own heads and resist the temptation to ask for help or guidance. You may think you’re weak by asking certain questions or maybe you’re too embarrassed. DON’T BE! 

Everyone has a coach

Think about someone you admire, whether it’s in the business world, your personal life or athletics. I enjoy sports, so I’m going to start there. ALL OF THE BEST PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES IN THE WORLD HAVE A COACH.

Think about that for a second. All the “greats” have had someone they could reach out to for guidance. Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. All are / were considered the BEST athletes in their respective line of work. Throughout Wayne’s career he was solidified by top-tier coach’s. Even his dad was someone he could go to for advice. Some, including Michael, say the reason he got to where he did in basketball was due to his coach’s in high school, college and eventually the NBA. Even Tiger Woods has a swing coach. No doubt, their talents alone could have taken them to superstardom, but there was always someone behind the scenes unlocking that talent.

If these guys have a coach, you should probably have one too.

A coach or mentor could be someone in your line of work or someone completely random. For example, I have two mentors who are in my line of work. My other mentor, lives in NYC and is deeply rooted in psychology. My suggestion is to find someone who’s in your line of work and try to find one or two outside your line of work. Heck, they could even be a friend or a friend of a friend. As long as it’s someone you respect and trust will give you the best advice even if it hurts your feelings.

Even the best seek advice

I ran into the “I can do everything better than you!” mindset when I stepped foot into college. Wow! Did I ever get a reality check. My peers were just as strong if not stronger and my instructors were out of this world. My mindset had to change and I had to start letting my guard down and asking for advice. I did and it’s been a life changing experience.

People WANT to help you if you ask them. The first step is to ask. It doesn’t matter if you’re considered the best in your field or if you think you’re the best…you can always learn. As my grade 7 Social Studies teacher would say, “The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” The only way to improve, is to challenge your thinking and get an outside perspective.

How can you do this?

APPROACH AND ASK. Find something you admire about a person. For example, I’ll take you back to the top of this post. My colleague admired my ability to deal with people. She mentioned that and asked, “Can I pick your brain…?” Those are 5 very strong words. Try using them and you’ll be amazed how quickly people’s walls come down. As I mentioned, people WANT to help you.

Seeking out and asking for advice has completely changed my life. Don’t be embarrassed to ask someone you admire for help. And if you STILL have the mentality of “I’m the best and everyone else is stupid!” try and remember this: You’re never as good as you think you are and you’re never as bad as you think you are.

If you want to take this one step further. Find those who you can mentor. Mentees are just as powerful as mentors.

How to deal with people?

There are plenty of questions that come in up in your day-to-day business from employees and peers. The best way to handle these is to actually care about the question. Stop what you’re doing and give them your full attention. If you don’t have time at the moment, say so and set up another time. It’s okay being direct with people. They will respect you for it if you do it in a non-confrontational way.

If you’re getting some difficult questions the best way I’ve found to handle these are to throw it back at the person asking. For example – you may get approached by an employee asking about their compensation. Again, care about what they’re saying and then throw it back at them. You could ask, “What are you doing that constitutes a raise?”

Or set up a timeline with said employee with quantifiable goals. Say, “We don’t have room for what you’re asking just yet, but let’s review in 3 – 6 months. If you achieve XYZ and the company gains market share and is able to grow profits X% then I’d be more than happy to compensate you for it. Can we work together on that basis?” This way it puts the ball in their court.

People are intelligent, 9/10 they already know the answers to the questions they are asking. They just need reassurance. On multiple occasions I’ve had part-time employees call me on the weekend asking a very simple question that they already know the answer to. When they ask, I throw it back at them, “What would you do in this situation?” I ask. 9/10 they already know the answer and solve the issue on their own. Have faith in your staff and peers. By putting the ball in their court, they respect you more, they feel a better connection with what they’re doing and they feel like they’re their own boss.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the above, feel free to leave a comment or email me at effumarketing@gmail.com.

– Jordan

Consistency is Key

“Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.”
Bruce Springsteen

Content is king, but consistency is the key to any business wanting to stay afloat for more than a couple years.

You can’t sell a shitty product and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to sell a good product  with all the noise and competition in the current market. Funny thing is, everyone believes their product is good. Of course you would, why the hell would you go to market if you thought you had an undesirable product or service?

Here’s why good products die:

  • Your market isn’t big enough to sustain your product or service (For example: you’re a personal stylist for retirees. You know how many retirees give a shit about their style? Not many. You know how many will pay YOU to be their stylist? 0.00)
  • A HUGE multi-million or billion dollar company already offers what you offer (there aren’t too many business instances where David beats Goliath)
  • You don’t market your product consistently

I’ll use the same adage I used before: Just because you build it; doesn’t mean they will come. You need to get your message out to the masses (or as many people as you can afford) over and over and over again. Whether it’s the neighbourhood your business is set up in or the entire city – you need to bang your drum and bang it loudly and consistently.

Why consistency?

This is going to sound a little weird, but most business owners market their product or service as if they were a drug user. As an owner – you’re looking to get high and sustain that high for as long as possible. Unfortunately, most business owners are junkies. In the beginning, you shoot up every now and then (I GOT A BIG SALE ON THIS WEEKEND! LOOK AT THIS GORILLA! THE BOSS IS AWAY SO YOU SAVE A TON OF MONEY!) and get a BIG high, then you hit bottom. So, you shoot up again and again and again and again until it’s more difficult to get high because your body aka customer is building a tolerance. If all you do is “one-time” and “prices will never be lower again” sales your customer will catch on and leave you broke or dead. Sorry junkie.

The intelligent business owner understands consistency. It’s not about quick shots in the arm; it’s about consistent traffic and cash flow. It’s kind of like working out. You have to go the gym 3 – 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. When you start out, you probably won’t see results for a few months. Then all of a sudden, you start seeing biceps and what appears to be abs. Then you realize it’s just as difficult if not MORE difficult to sustain that level of fitness and physique. When your business gets to the top; it’s just as difficult staying there as it is working your way up from the bottom.

Think of your marketing like you think about getting abs and biceps. Put in the work and put it in consistently. If you don’t, you’re wasting your time and money.

– Jordan