I have a confession to make…
Sometimes, heck more often than I’d like to admit, I DON’T practice what I preach… At RYS, we spend so much time, energy and focus making sure our clients get results that, well, we forget about our own stuff.
It reminds me of my very first company, a landscaping company. I’d be out all day cutting lawns and working clients gardens, and my own yard was always a mess. I was just too busy out taking care of clients to worry about myself.
Well, we’re in the same boat. We invest every ounce of our time and energy into YOU, the clients, that we forget about our own house.
But you know what, I’m okay with that.
When I’m getting emails and thank you letters from happy clients praising the jump in bottom line profits, the doubling of business month over month, the forward movement after being stuck in stagnation for what seemed like forever, or the rescue from near failure, near folding and closing, that’s all I think about. And that’s all I care about.
I couldn’t explain to you why, maybe I was born that way, maybe it’s the way I was raised or maybe it’s just luck, but I care about my clients more than myself, and I always want the absolute BEST for them.
And it’s always been like that. During my 13 years in the fitness industry, I always had a very strong connection with clients, especially when dealing with deep, emotionally challenging issues.
I always said what needed to be said, even if it hurt, because that’s what a true friend does. And I relay that same deep, unfiltered desire to do the right thing into my marketing.
Recently, I had to have a real heart to heart with a client, one where I had to tell them what they needed to hear, not what they wanted to hear, and despite it being tough to put into words, at the end of the day, they knew I cared.
After that meeting, I spent the night thinking about why I got into this business in the first place.
Was it because I loved marketing?
Was it because I’m passionate about building businesses?
Was it because I’m good at what I do?
Was it because I love helping people reach their goals and live life on their terms?
Truthfully, it’s all of the above. And more.
When I really think about why I got into the marketing consulting business, I realize it’s for the same reason I love helping people with their health challenges.
It’s because I see so much bad advice out there, so much faulty information, so many misguided routes being acted on, so many “experts” that peddle junk that can be so damaging, I can’t sit idly by.
Let me explain…
I believe, right down to my core, that marketing is everything. I could easily go into a long winded, never ending rant proving why marketing is everything, but I’ll save you the time.
Marketing is everything.
But here’s what many business owners (well, anyone really) get really wrong…
Everything is NOT marketing.
You see, building a website is not marketing. Making a business card is not marketing. Making a flyer is not marketing, in fact handing flyers out is not marketing. Making a cute promo video is not marketing. Putting up a poster is not marketing. Posting on social media is not marketing. Putting out content is not marketing. Training your staff or salespeople is not marketing. Public speaking is not marketing. Putting out videos on YouTube is not marketing. Branding isn’t marketing. Running a radio or television ad is not marketing. Putting up a billboard is not marketing. Storytelling is not marketing. Sending out a direct mail campaign is not marketing. Hosting events is not marketing. And the list goes on and on and on.
What are you talking about Al? Isn’t all of that marketing? I mean, that’s what EVERY hot shot marketing expert, guru and self-proclaimed pro, regardless of street cred, says they do on their website?!?!
You see, ANYONE can do any of the things listed above. Heck, most kids these days are insane on computers and can build you a website that looks like it should cost you 10K in about an hour. Any kid with illustrator can make you a flyer or logo or business card that’s top notch. Any yahoo can film a video, say they’re building your brand, run an event, etc.
Everything in that list above, anyone can do.
But only a marketer can turn all of those things into irresistible marketing pieces that deliver results.
Anyone can build you a website, and there’s ALWAYS someone willing to do it cheaper, but only a marketer can make that website pull.
Anyone can put a flyer together, but only a marketer can make that flyer pull like a champion race horse.
Anyone can write your ad copy, but only a marketer can create a piece of art that drives leads better than a well oiled machine.
Anyone can make your flyers match your website that matches your business card, but only a marketer can make sure you’re building a brand, not just a matching outfit.
Anyone can film you a promo video, but only a marketer can produce a video that not only pays for itself but brings produces ten times what it cost while virtually eliminating any risk.
You see, we’re in a day and age where, with the help of the internet, anyone can be anyone, and it’s easier than ever to really look like you know what you’re doing, but are you delivering results?
The funny thing is, most businesses are doing so little that any results seems like a good thing, like it’s working, but would you not be disgusted to learn that the same exact time, effort and financial expenditure could yield you 10, 50, even 100 times greater returned?
Let me repeat that one more time…
The same time you’re putting into something, the same effort and the same financial investment you are putting into your marketing could be providing for you 10, 50 and even 100 times greater, more lucrative, more sustainable return on investment.
Like my past in the fitness industry, I can’t sit idly by and watch you get swindled by slick salesmen without saying a word.
Don’t settle for less. Don’t believe the old “this type of marketing can’t be measured”. Don’t buy into the theoretical mumbo-jumbo. Check the results, measure the net net net, stay vested in the experience and don’t get taken for a ride.
One last quicksand trap…
Often because something “looks pretty” or “reads well” or “is fancy” or “techy, snazzy and modern” and “makes you feel proud” doesn’t mean it works. Marketing is about results.
I sincerely hope this has opened your eyes a bit to the industry, and has given you the inspiration to look into your business, your current efforts, where your marketing dollars are going, and encouraged you to measure the results.
To your success,
P.S.: You might be thinking “well, what’s the big deal? My business is doing alright.” and that may be true, heck you might even be doing GREAT, but let’s assume that you’re selling an ethical product or service, something that makes a true, positive difference in peoples lives. Something people should have, something that will fix a problem, fill a need, make life easier, better, etc. It’s your ethical duty to reach as many people as you possible can. As a business owner, as a leader, it’s your duty to serve your need to the greatest of your ability. Non-clients deserve to be clients, clients deserve the best, your suppliers and vendors deserve the greatest sales, your staff deserves to be well paid for their efforts, the staff of the vendors you buy from need your business, and even their vendors need your business, etc. The puck doesn’t stop with you, my friend. As a business owner, you are helping and affecting countless people live better lives. Your part in the community, in the world, goes deep – so give them the best you have to offer. You deserve it, and all those relying on you deserve it.