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Do you like it when other people prove you’re wrong?
I think it’s probably safe to say that most people don’t like to be wrong. It’s a bit like natural aversion to the sound of fingernails on chalkboards.
Recently, I asked my fans to send me examples of marketing tactics they have tried for their businesses that have failed miserably.
I received a ton of very good responses and, as I read, I noticed that many of them converged on the same types of admissions.
Pay special attention, as there is a good chance that you can associate yourself with one of these bad strategies.
Related: How To Create A Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without Coding
Bad strategy n ° 1: “Spray and pray”.
The basic philosophy behind “spray and pray” is that the more the better. This is also called the “shotgun approach”: if you make 10 calls and none of them work, make 900 more. Seems legitimate, right?
These days, it’s the same approach that many people take to find a job – submit 100 resumes and see what’s left.
This is the approach a reader took when he surveyed his entire neighborhood looking for customers for his fitness business (personal training) – and the results were brutal. It offered 2,000 free sessions.
Wait … 2000 free sessions ?! OK, I hope 2000 free sessions were a typo in his email, because otherwise, yes.
Related: Ignore the tumult. The change in Instagram algorithm is a good thing.
Why the spray and prayer strategy is not working.
First of all, I don’t hit the stampede. It will take tons of grain and rejection for your business to stand out. It was difficult at first, and I also adopted this approach. So there is no shame in having.
That being said, here’s why spraying and praying rarely works:
1. If the target population is too large, it is much more difficult to determine who really needs your product or service and who does not suit you.
2. If you use this type of general approach, it is likely that you will call cold – which means that people do not know you or do not trust you yet. This creates another barrier. It is much easier for them to just close the door, hang up, or ignore the email.
What to do instead.
You need to find a way to target the exact type of person you want to talk to. If you find people who already want what you have to offer, there’s no point convincing them because they already want it!
Approaching people who are already aware of your product or service will save you time, money and frustration in the long run.
Related: 20 Ways Your Business Can Surpass Anyone Online
Bad strategy # 2: expect word of mouth to blow you up.
You have just started your business. It’s your baby. You have been enslaved for weeks (or months) by creating something you are really proud of, and you know people will love it!
You think that in the worst case your friends and family will support you and show some interest.
(I just did a quick search: the average Facebook user has 338 friends. Lots of people spread the word, right?)
So you start your project. You are enthusiastically waiting for the viral buzz to start spreading across the interwebs.
Then nothing happens. Was there. It hurts. When I launched Rich20Something in November 2012, I had such a hard time getting the site recognized.
I was doing epic interviews with really successful people, and all of my so-called friends were panicked crickets. My Facebook updates received no comments on a regular basis!
Now fast forward to 2020, and I can put together a completely ridiculous (albeit fun) meme with Leonardo DiCaprio and it happens:
What is the difference? How is it that an approach pushed hundreds of people to spread the word digitally when my young attempts fell flat?
Related: 5 Basics of Online Marketing Every LikendisLike Should Know
Why the word of mouth strategy doesn’t work.
Let me say, first of all, that I am a big fan of word of mouth marketing. In some cases, it may work.
But most of the time, this is not the case.
When we launch something into the world, it is completely normal and natural to expect people who love and care about us to support it. They support us, so logically it follows that they will support our work.
Unfortunately, this is very rarely the case.
The reality is that people are wrapped in their own world. Everyone has their own challenges and struggles. Everyone feels busy. Your friends love you and want you to be successful – but unless your ideas really resonate with theirs and are committed to your cause, it is unrealistic to expect your family and friends do whatever it takes to spread word.
What to do instead.
Instead of relying on mom (aka your family, friends and acquaintances) to open the floodgates of public awareness of your business, you must purposefully cultivate a community of people who are:
1. Agree with your ideas.
2. Talk about your ideas.
2. “Trained” to share these ideas through constant interaction.
The reason my second Facebook post got a lot more attention than the first one is that I spent a lot of time cultivating an audience whose members care about the specific message, and then I just shared something I knew they would like.
Bad Strategy # 3: Trust Facebook Ads and Paid Traffic.
Are you in the mood to waste a ton of money and get no results? If you are, you can skip this section to purchase Facebook ads. This was by far the biggest regret that readers reported to me when I asked which marketing strategies they had tried and which had failed.
I have at least 20 people in my inbox saying that Facebook ads flopped for them.
Obviously, this is a problem, so let’s talk about it.
Why Facebook ads don’t work.
To be clear, it’s not that Facebook ads don’t work all around. They can certainly work, and they work for many companies. The problem with FB ads is twofold:
1. Although the interface to configure them is relatively simple, it takes a long time to master the creation (aka the illustration), tweak all the parameters, find the right audience, and then determine the return on investment. Most companies that overwrite with FB ads have a team (or at least one person) whose only job is Facebook marketing.
I should know: we hired a team to do our advertising, because I have no idea what I’m doing in this department.
Unless you are a pro, it will be very difficult to get results. Facebook ads take a lot of work to manage.
2. The even more obvious drawback for start-up businesses is that you risk losing money by making mistakes on this platform. If you don’t know what you’re doing, or your product funnels aren’t set up correctly, you’ll be spending most of your money on getting very little reach.
Not a good way to start.
What to do instead.
If you are just starting out (or even well after the start-up phase), the guaranteed method for you and your business is to optimize social media and connect regularly with your tribe. Do everything you can for free to draw attention to your work. Don’t spend money or time on Facebook marketing until you absolutely need it.
If you are wondering when it will be, there is no need to ask. You will know once you have exhausted all other potential sources of lead.