Q:What makes some service providers burn out, putting forth massive effort for scant returns, while others grow business quickly and predictably, with a consistent flow of well-qualified, high-value leads?
A: Disjointed and untargeted marketing.
If your marketing strategy isn’t intentional, targeted, and cohesive, you’re automatically more stressed, and working harder for less profit.
I’ll address how to fix that in a second.
Because when you don’t understand what parts of your strategy are truly broken, you throw valuable time and money at “fixing” the wrong thing — often, something you don’t realize is not actually broken — when something else really needed your attention!
Or, you go harder and harder at a singular “piece” (ex: leadgen through LinkedIn) to boost results, instead of fixing those that would still help you earn more, but actually work LESS.
But are you comfortable continuing on that way for the types of results you’ve been getting?
Alert: This guide assumes you already have a detailed, comprehensive understanding of your target client. (And that you’ve chosen one.)
If you’re still marketing to “everyone,” or don’t have a solid idea of who your ideal client is, it is CRUCIAL that you start here instead.
What’s Your Strategy?
Every business has a marketing strategy. Every. Single. One. If you don’t have a defined marketing plan, then your plan IS an uncharted mass of confusion.
Remember the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This couldn’t be any more true when it comes to being intentional about your efforts.
For consistent, high-quality results, ALL of your marketing efforts must function together as one.
Usually, you only read about individual marketing methods, like getting Google rankings, using social media, “having” a website, or “buying leads.”
But we’re about to discuss the big picture.
A Top Misconception Most Consultants, Coaches, and Advisors Believe About Marketing
Most consultants and advisors seem to believe that it’s all about the “________.”
Fill that blank in with “referrals” … with “leads” … with “social media” … with “Google” … or with any singular aspect under the marketing umbrella that doesn’t mean jack on its own.
The truth is that “marketing” is a MACHINE. (Or it should function as such.)
That machine has a minimum of four pieces.
That means that every campaign, every bit of effort, can be broken down into four inseparable segments. So when either of the four segments is out of whack, your leads will not predictably convert from “prospect” to client, no matter how amazing each piece is on its own.
When you embrace that point, you’ll be light years ahead of 95% of your industry.
What this all means is:
Your ads, your marketing, your website, and your offer (service/product) ARE NOT four separate entities.
They ARE actually inseparable pieces of one, well-functioning marketing strategy.
Your marketing is a “machine” that works like this:
The initial advertisement1
…is placed in some online venue2
…which drives traffic to your website3
…whose goal is to sell your primary offer4.
What’s more, all four parts must deliver what your prospect expects at each stage.
NOTE: You’ll know exactly what your prospects expect, prefer, and crave — and what turns them off — when you have a detailed, comprehensive understanding of your ideal client.
Again, if you don’t know that data like the back of your hand, build your Perfect Client Profiles FIRST. If you don’t, you’ll always end up floundering at some point, trying to figure out either what to do next, or how to boost your response.
2 Typical Tales of How Results Break Down When All Parts Aren’t in Place
Has your business ever suffered from either of these two scenarios?
A solid understanding of your market leads to your team creating a great ad, which you post in a relevant venue, that then sends well-targeted leads to your website. Great job.
But your website is unfocused, nonspecific, and completely irrelevant to those leads. So they lose trust in your business, and they contact you with skepticism, or they leave without contacting you at all. Overall lead-to-client conversion rate suffers.
NOTE: In this situation, an untrained marketer would almost certainly think it was the ad itself or the venue causing low response, not realizing it was the unprepared website. This is one big reason you consistently hear, “Internet marketing (SEO/social media/paid advertising/PR/etc.) doesn’t work!”
A poor understanding of your market leads to your team creating an irrelevant ad, which gets very low response. Shucks.
This results in the ad sending few visitors to your website, of course. And the ones that do visit aren’t the right ones... which results in low or no qualified leads contacting your business. Overall lead-to-client conversion suffers.
NOTE: In this situation, an untrained marketer would almost certainly think it was the ad venue or the type of marketing causing low response, not realizing it was still the unprepared website.
Are you starting to see the connection?
It’s crucial to have a qualified professional that knows how to read the signs and data to help identify where your breakdown truly lies.
4 Areas to Inspect to Diagnose a “Broken” Strategy
When suffering from an unpredictable or inadequate flow of targeted, high-value leads, you’ll often see issues in at least one of these common areas:
Poor ad clickthrough rate:
Hardly anyone clicks the ads or social media posts you place, never reaching your website in the first place.
High website bounce rate**:
If visitors do click your ads or social media posts to visit your site, they leave almost instantly.
No (or low) response from the website:
People do visit your site and stay around for a while… they’re just never taking any meaningful action (like joining your opt-in list, or contacting you) once they get there.
Low marketing ROI overall:
Your ads do send the right people to your site, those visitors stick around for a short while at least, and they do take a few actions here and there.
However, your return on investment is still too low to justify the cost of continued marketing.
First of all, if you’re not tracking your marketing efforts of course, you’ll have no idea what any of the above answers are. This presents its own problem. (How will you know what’s working vs. what’s wasting?)
But if you are tracking, like all goal-focused businesses should be… then you can see how having just one thing out of whack can break down your entire process.
And you realize the importance of knowing WHICH THING is broken before you can hope to fix it and get consistent, predictable results.
So, in order to improve your ROI, work on correcting the most significant problem first, to get your “marketing machine” back in operation. (Basically, start on the breakdown with the lowest conversion rate, and work your way up from there.)
**Side Note: It’s outside the scope of this article, but we can’t automatically assume that a high website bounce rate is bad. Instead, we must base that decision on what our total marketing data is telling us.
Increase Market Trust, Credibility, & Authority—and Maximize Your Efforts—by Doing THIS…
To get the most noticeable increase in results, by now your course should be clear:
Make sure EVERY ASPECT of your Web presence, from initial ads to the final website landing page, is connected in an obvious and relevant way.
When it is, your brand appears to “have it together,” and your credibility and authority instantly begin to improve in your market’s eyes. The effect is largely subconscious.
Conversely, every marketing strategy “disconnect” you allow opens a new potential exit point, and the prospects you worked so hard or paid so faithfully to acquire then fly the coop. (Or never make it to your “marketing funnel” at all.) Then, you become weary and jaded, sadly (and erroneously) telling your peers, “This online thing just doesn’t work!”
Don’t be that guy.
Lastly, be sure to monitor every point of your marketing machine to identify the most likely source of breakdowns, so you’re always able to attack poor response at its source. And remember to ensure that improvements you make to any of the specific “parts” don’t cause your overall lead-to-client conversion rate to lower. Keep a tight watch on those numbers!
You’ve seen how a disjointed, unfocused marketing strategy means sluggish, unpredictable growth. Check out Part 2 of this post, 5 Simple Steps to Guarantee More & Better Leads from the Same Effort, to learn how to repair your strategy and start attracting more and better clients online.