Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been chatting with one of the great marketing legends of the martial arts industry, Stephen Oliver, and he said something that really stuck with me…
He said “we’ve suffered a great Bozo-Explosion” – and I couldn’t agree more.
Now, all comments out of context can be guided a million different ways, so let’s put that comment in a contextual box.
It started when I posed a simple question: Had he noticed a change in directly marketing martial arts schools over the past say, dozen years?
You see, I spent over a decade marketing my kickboxing school – and I was darn good at it – but I noticed a huge change in the industry, and I wanted his “two cents” as the marketer’s marketer for the industry.
We went back and forth a few times, before getting into the fact that in this day and age, with a mobile media producing machine in everyone’s pocket, it takes absolutely ZERO credentials to claim to be an “expert” in an industry.
With a click of a button, I can set up a website, a Facebook page, or even start a “online” television show and start pouring on the “expert syrup”.
Overnight, any bozo can be a self-acclaimed expert.
All completely void credentials, social proof, or at the very least, experience.
And that’s where the comment “we’ve suffered a great Bozo-Expolosion” came from.
Anyone can claim to be an expert – so who’s the expert now? Where do you turn for solid advice? Who do you trust?
Let me give you the exact same advice I used to give my weight loss clients at my fitness studio…
“Does it make sense?”
It’s amazing how much stuff out there just doesn’t make sense.
Heck, even the “experts” know it doesn’t make sense, or it’s missing something, but if they keep pouring more words into your head eventually you’ll get so confused you start to think it must just be YOU that doesn’t understand, it must be YOU that isn’t doing it right, it must be YOU that’s getting things all mixed up.
But it’s rarely the case.
Marketing isn’t hard. It’s common sense.
You see, today, in 2017, you’re going to have the exact same marketing problem that people 20 years ago had.
Let me give you an example…
20 years ago, you’d get a sales call from someone trying to sell you a Yellow Pages ad.
The promise was always the same, instant credibility, instant discovery, people would see that little ad and beat a path to your door.
So you signed up, through an ad together and sat, waiting excitedly for your phone to start ringing, for your cash register to start “chinging”, and for business to take off!
And you waited…
Until finally, with a deep knot in your stomach, you realized it was a bunch of baloney.
I’ll explain in a second…
Let’s fast forward to today. It’s no longer Yellow Page salespeople calling on you, it’s web designers saying you need a website, or a new modern website, or a mobile friendly website, or an e-commerce store, or a Facebook page, or…. or… or…
So, thinking this is the way of the future, you agree.
You spend 5 thousand on a new website. It’s slick. It’s cool. It’s sharp. You’re proud.
You think to yourself “this is amazing, this is going to revolutionize my business, I’m heading to the TOP now!”
And you wait…and wait..and wait…
And again, just like with the Yellow Pages… you wait… until you realize, a website isn’t going to get you any more business.
Now, for any of you wanting to debate out there, yes I know, you might get a slight bump from being in the phone book. You might get a few hits on your website. You might… You might… You might…
But business is serious stuff, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t like hoping to get found. I don’t like the “might” game.
You see, waiting around hoping someone is going to find your website is the exact same problem as 20 years ago when you waited around hoping someone will find your yellow pages ad.
Waiting to be found is the absolute dumbest business strategy I’ve ever heard of. And yet the most commonly used.
I’m not saying a website is a bad idea.
In fact, you should have a website. And it should be an absolutely amazing marketing machine sculpted to attract the personality of your buyer (NOT YOU!) , using the language of your ideal client, pushing all their hot buttons and leaving them foaming at the mouth asking “where do I buy!?!?!”.
But the website isn’t the solution, it’s simply a step in the sales cycle.
Your problem isn’t the lack of a website, it’s obscurity.
That’s right. It’s the fact that people don’t know about you, don’t know how to find you, don’t know what you do, don’t know they have a need that you and you alone can fill.
And when I say “bozo explosion” I’m not talking about the business owner – and neither was he.
I’m talking about the mega-amplification of graphic designers who push new websites harder than they used to push yellow pages.
I’m talking about experts who push social media as the absolute solution to all your business solutions.
I’m talking about sales trainers pushing marketing courses that teach you all the secret sales strategies, tips and tricks.
I’m talking about anyone who tries to provide you with a solution to your business problem that doesn’t include a way to actually generate TRAFFIC.
If your business doesn’t have traffic, anything you do will fall short of it’s potential.
The mega online retailer Amazon would be absolutely worthless if they had no traffic.
Uber would be useless without traffic.
Walmart would be worthless if it had no traffic.
And YOU will be broke, or struggle, or live bellow your means, if you have no traffic.
Focus on traffic, and you’ll have all the money you need for that fancy website, snazzy e-commerce store, powerful window displays, killer billboard and high-converting Facebook page.
But it all starts with traffic.
Heck, as I write this I’m sitting in Starbucks (as usual) and it would go under if it weren’t for… traffic.
The coffee, the music, the fireplace, the staff, the atmosphere, the website, the social media presence, all of that comes second to traffic.
What are you doing today, right now, in your business to get traffic?
Take some time and write out a list of 50 different activities you can do today to generate traffic. If you get stumped, I’ll help you out.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you the mega list I used to use when growing my businesses.
To your success,