Why Your Marketing Sucks – One thing that will make it/you better immediately

Your Marketing Sucks Because You are Lazy and Passive!

Sorry for the blunt intro, but let’s be honest with each other. To make you feel better, I’m talking to myself here as well. If you don’t own your own business “Officially” I’m talking to you to. You market yourself everyday, so listen up. 

I consult 45 small business owners that are all very successful in their own right. Many in the seven figure revenues annually. You would think they would know how to market themselves in an efficient manor. Not even close. I guess that’s why I still have a job. Anyways. 

The biggest reason why they don’t market well is because they believe every marketing funnel should be a grand slam and work immediately. So often they think if they just turn it on, it should work on it’s own. Most of them are not millennials, but I think they got participation trophy syndrome growing up too. 

The shiny new ball is not all that shiny

My dog lefty doesn’t play fetch very well. It’s more like “throw and keep” rather than throw and bring back. In his 12 years of life he never really figured out that he needs to bring it back and give it to me in order for me to throw it again. So, I figured out a way to keep playing with him and that was by using two tennis balls. 

I would throw one and he’d bring it back sort of close and start chewing on it and not drop it like he usually did, but this time I would hold up another shiny new tennis ball in front of him and he would immediately drop the last one and be jumping for this new one. I would throw the new one and he would race after it, but while he is running for the new one, I would pick up the other. 

I could literally keep doing this for hours and he would always think that new tennis ball that I had in my hand was completely new and shiny. Even though he had slobbered all over it ten times already. 

This is probably the best illustration I can give to how I feel with my clients and their marketing tactics. Every time something new comes around, they drop what they are doing or put it to the side so they can try this new thing. It’s ridiculous! You run a business that needs new clients coming in, you get new clients through marketing, don’t stop what you are doing!

If you don’t own your own business, you still do this

How often do we pick something new up and dive all in to realize it’s not for you?

  • Did you try a new diet and you stopped after two weeks?
  • Did you try a new sport and you stopped after you got “too busy?”
  • How about that new gym that you joined in January?
  • Or what about all those books you weer going to read this year?

We get so excited about this new thing that we believe will make our life that much better and we jump all in. Which is what we are supposed to do right? Well…if it didn’t work the first eight times, maybe you should try a different tactic. 

We have the shiny new ball disease and we can’t get out of it. New Years Eve is like everyone’s binge night on shiny new balls!

The 10% Rule

We have what we call the 10% rule in our coaching and consulting. We use it with our clients to test new marketing strategies out, but this strategy can be used anywhere. It’s simple. You should always be testing new ways to get in front of new clients, but do not stop what you are currently doing. You test it using 10% of your budget and time. If it works over a sustainable period, then it can be implemented into your overall marketing and business building plan. 

So let me break this down. 

You see a new cool online marketing strategy that you want to jump into because some sales guy says it’s the new secret that no one knows about and it’s going to double your business in three months! Instead of dropping your current strategy (tennis ball) and going all in with the new one (shiny ball) you dip your toe in to see if it works for you first. 

If you spend 20 hours a week working on your marketing, then use two of those hours on this new strategy. If you spend $5,000 a month on marketing, remove $500 and test this new shiny ball out. DO NOT STOP WHAT WORKS!

At this rate, you are allocating enough funds and time to give it a fair shot, without disrupting your current business. 

10% of your lifestyle

What about those diets and books you were going to read? Same deal. 

For dieting: If you eat three meals a day, seven days a week, that’s 21 meals a week. 10% would be 2.1. So try your new “no dairy, no meat, no sugar, all organic, no fun” diet for two meals a week and see if you can sustain that for a few weeks before jumping all in. You might discover that you actually like it and you can move to five meals, or you might figure out, you love meat too much to even stop it for two meals. This way you don’t get used to giving up or failing.

For a new sport or a new exercise regimen: Start with your time. You have about 35 hours a week that you are not working or sleeping (not including weekends). 10% of 35 hours is 3.5 hours. Can you dedicate 3.5 hours a week to your new regimen? That’s about 45 minutes a day or 3 days a week with an hour each. Instead of jumping in with five days a week with an hour each, you pace yourself to see if it’s something you could really crank up. 

 

Test, scale and CRANK

The 10% rule is all about the testing phase. in regards to marketing, once you know that your new test actually works, now it’s time to scale it up. How much can you increase this new funnel? How much more time and funds can you allocate to this. 

In a perfect world, this new funnel is making your 3 to 1 on your invested money. If that is the case. . .how fast can you put those marketing dollars into this funnel????

Once you know the scalability, now it’s time to crank it up! 

Same goes for your lifestyle goals. If the new sport is something you could actually enjoy, then start to scale it up. How much can you do without being burnt out. What are your goals? What would you like to accomplish? Now that you know that you like it, it’s time to crank it up to reach your goals!

Synergy

You know the process now to test, scale and crank in your lifestyle and in your marketing. The issue now is tying it all in. 

In marketing, I see too many people jump at the new shiny ball and it does not tie into any of their other marketing funnels. Nothing is talking to each other. Their new seminar marketing is not posted on their website and their new radio show doesn’t talk about their seminars. There needs to be synergy in order for everything to work together. 

If you think about each marketing funnel as a car, and each one is moving forward at different speeds and momentum, you will have a massive problem if you are trying to drive all of these cars at once! STOP!

These cars need to be linked together. Some will go faster than others, and that’s great! They will pull the others that aren’t doing so well. If one is not going as fast as the others, that doesn’t mean the car is broken, it might mean that it’s spending it’s time supporting the fast car. 

Example: I work with many offices that have three to four different funnels going at a time. Some have great ROI while others don’t, but they all support each other. They do dinner seminars to drive prospects into the appointments, they are on the radio and they also do client bring a friend educational events. The dinner seminars are the biggest driver, but they wouldn’t be as successful if the radio wasn’t pushing people to the seminar and giving them credibility. You see the synergy now?

 

Synergy in your lifestyle

Your lifestyle needs to have synergy as well. You can’t be pushing 100% with a new sport and leave your family and spouse in the dust. They are your support car. You can only move as fast as your support car can support you. You can’t jump all in with a new sport or new diet regimen without the support the ones that you come home to. 

Example: I have to be intentional at home with my wife and kids in order to still keep up my triathlon exercise regimen. The amount of time, and the quality of time, needs to support my time away. My wife knows that my hobbies and training help me clear my mind, feel better and help me be a better husband and father all around, but if it over takes the quality time spent, then I lose the support. It’s all in vein at that point. I also can’t spend the time on my hobbies without the support of her, so the synergy is not a one way street. They need each other. 

This synergy crosses all points of your life from your diet, your work, your income, your family, and many others. There is always a tugging and pulling, but in order to move forward all the cars need to be moving forward!

 

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  • Good article Cory, I have done something similar like this for a long time now. I have never thought of it as a 10% rule though. I am usually like 1% on testing new marketing strategies, with little success. Your articles makes me think I should put a little more time, effort and dollars to testing the waters a little more. Thanks Cory.

  • Cory Swain

    Glad I could help! My clients usually go too far in the testing, don’t fall into that hole. They’ll test one thing and since it worked one time, they slow down or stop their other funnels…don’t do that. One thing I’ve learned in business is to never stop or pause your main source of clients, only add or enhance. Thanks for the response!