Trick question, do you know—off the top of your head—any P.T. Barnum quotes?
How about this one…
“There’s a sucker born every minute.”
Ever heard that one? A quick search online will confirm his name attached to that quote.
But many people are misinformed, and a deeper search past the surface lies of the web will show that he never actually said that. In fact, this can be confirmed in his autobiography The Life of P.T. Barnum.
The fact is that anyone can create a false quote online in seconds.
On the other hand, here’s a quote that Barnum did indeed say, and one that many should take VERY seriously…
I love that…
A little advertising is a dangerous thing.
It’s so true, yet so few actually understand it—or live by it.
Many businesses do their marketing at two primary points in time. 1 – when they open, and 2 – when they realize they’re out of cash.
Most companies do a decent job marketing when they first open their doors. They call all their friends, they post everywhere online, they bring posters to local shops that will display them, they send press releases, they hand out business cards like candy, and they’ll talk to anyone who has ears.
They hustle, they’re excited, they put in the work and “fire on all pistons.”
But then, for whatever reason, they slow down and often completely stop doing all the things that got them the business in the first place.
Then, typically when they realize they’re just about out of cash, clients or both, they run a one-off ad somewhere.
They might all of a sudden buy a yellow page ad.
Or sponsor a little league team.
Or buy a billboard.
Or run an online ad.
Or put an A-sign out front.
Or put posters on the hydro polls.
And those things are all good—except when it’s the only thing you do.
Marketing is like an old water pump, and you need to keep on pumping all year long if you want a consistent flow of water (i.e. prospects!).
Stop pumping, stop that flow of water, and you need to work like a beast just to get that darn water flowing again.
And one pump—one ad, one billboard, one poster, one press release—isn’t enough to get the water flowing again.
This new year, make it a goal to market consistently—but more importantly, effectively.
You may notice that I rarely will say “you must do THIS or else!!” because the truth is, I can’t tell you what marketing method will work best for you without knowing what business you’re in, what market you’re after, the specifics of your prospects, what everyone else is doing (so I can do the opposite), how your clients buy, what their behaviors are, and the list goes on.
In fact, I feel it’s unethical to say to a client “THIS IS THE WAY,” because the truth is, there are many ways, and many variables.
Remember, prescription before diagnosis is malpractice.
But here’s what I do know: you must do your homework, do the math, and be realistic.
For example, I had a client who spent 20K a year on radio, year after year. This was his regular marketing budget and he put it into radio.
After several years of diminishing returns, he came to me.
I went through his business with a fine-toothed comb and thought an online strategy might work better. He turned around and said, “Okay, let’s run a 100 dollar ad and see.”
I looked at him with a blank stare, and he could tell I was confused.
You see, people like to argue the merits of Facebook VS radio (simply as an example). And that’s okay.
But when comparing, it needs to be apples and apples.
What does that mean?
It means if you run 20K on radio, you need 20K on Facebook—otherwise your math is wrong. And don’t tell me “it’s all percentages” because any pro will tell you the percentages change based on volume. For example, in direct mail a test mailing is typically no less than 5K pieces, because the numbers just don’t work with less.
If you always do radio, then went to television and said, “I want to put 100 bucks here and see what the results are like,” they’d laugh you out of the room.
And the same applies to every other medium.
“But what about testing?” you might ask.
I’m all in on testing, but 100 bucks won’t cut it. If you want to test, put in a thousand as a starting point, and do it properly. And for heaven’s sake, get a real copywriter to write your sales message. Just because it’s Facebook (or anywhere) doesn’t mean you can just whip something up and expect it to work!
I love the way Gary Vaynerchuk puts it…
No amount of paid media is going to turn bad creative into good content.
Just because creating content in this day and age is so easy, doesn’t mean you should do it.
And let’s not even talk about hiring based on price…
It’s a new year, time to raise the bar and bring your business to the level you truly deserve.
I hope you’ve set your goals, created a plan of attack, and are executing it.
To your success,
CEO RYS Group
The Blais family enjoying the views at Lake Tahoe.
RYS Group Inc.
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