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Lesson I- What Most Get Wrong About Marketing (and how to fix it)
Hey there! It’s Michael again.
I hope you’re sitting down because I’m about to shatter some old, limiting beliefs you might have about marketing.
Before we get into the juicy stuff, such as How To Create Flawless Ads (Lesson IV), we need to first get some roadblocks out of the way.
By the way, don’t feel bad if you’re making these mistakes now. I’ve made all three of them.
In today’s lesson we’re gonna cover:
- Why They Won’t Come if You Build It
- Your #1 Advertising Mistake
- Why Businesses Fail
Alright, ready? Let’s go.
Why They Won’t Come if You Build It
When I was 12 or 13, I was addicted to this game called Minecraft. In case you don’t know what it is it’s a popular game among kids.
Everything is pixelated and the whole world is filled with large blocks. You can build beautiful structures, or play a survival mode in which you have to find resources & fight monsters at night.
You can play this with friends or play with strangers on a server.
One day my favorite server went down- forever. The owner was done playing Minecraft.
A little thought crept into my mind… “why don’t I make my own server?”
Suddenly little kid me saw the vision. I’d make a server with proper rules. It would be epic!
Soon I had purchased a computer server (using money earned from mowing lawns) and set up a game for me and my friends to play. I sat back, started playing, and waited.
No one joined.
And it remained so for many days, until I decided to take matters into my own hand…
It was on that day that I unknowingly discovered marketing. Within a few weeks I figured out a way to get my server viewed on Minecraft forums (via Search Engine Optimization) and only then did I finally have my own community to play with!
Oh but I was too young to understand much of this so soon it all fell apart and I moved on…
Key Idea ⅓: You MUST Be Proactive in Marketing
The internet is too big now to just publish a blog and expect millions of views. You might be lucky to get in early on a new social media or other platform (such as AI or Virtual Reality) but even that is hard.
The fact is just this: you must be proactive in promoting your business, you, your products, whatever it is.
Posting your business on Google or creating a website isn’t enough. You need ads, SEO, something to get recognized. Many local businesses rely on car or foot traffic nearby to be discovered.
The good news is that if your product or service is of high quality, then you can expect repeat customers & referrals. But still to reach new people you must market!
I don’t care how how great your product or service is. You MUST put in even the smallest effort to be heard.
Most business owners understand this at some point, so they create an ad account on Google or buy a commercial and make Marketing Mistake #2:
Your #1 Advertising Mistake
When I was 18, I setup my first online E-commerce store. I asked my mom & friends what they thought about my website, and everyone was so impressed.
“Wow, that looks so cool,” they all cheered me on.
Great, website complete. Now what?
Having learned as a kid on Minecraft that I couldn’t “wait for people to come” and that I must be proactive, I resolved to launch some ads. Google Ads seemed promising.
So I watched some YouTube videos about how to use Google Ads, and soon I learned how to use the tool completely. I clicked around and played with the buttons until I understood what each thing meant or did.
Ready, set, go! I added my products, wrote some ads, and launched ‘em.
The next day I went for a jog. I got a notification…
“Omg, I made my first sale online!” I was instantly addicted. Someone had purchased one of my knives (for some reason my first idea was to sell swords & knives online…).
When I got home I checked my Google Ad account. I had spent over $71. The sale gave me a profit of $15. Whoops.
Hyped by the cheering of my mother that I sold something online, I let the ads continue to run until I had spent $150… and made no more sales.
I turned off the ads, closed the website, and resolved to try again later. It would take me almost a whole year to understand my mistake.
Key Idea ⅔: Proper Testing
The big mistake here comes in two parts.
First, my website was absolutely terrible. I posted it on Reddit, and people let me know with some very colorful language just how awful it was. The fact I even made one sale was a surprise.
Upon reflection, yeah… My website looked pretty scammy..
Second, my ads were also terrible. I knew how to use Google Ads, but not how to strategically test marketing campaigns.
Think of my mistake as being a teenager who understands every component of a car, what it does, etc. but having never driven one before or studied traffic laws.
That kid knows in his mind how to drive the car, but when it comes to applying the gas or brake or lane-changing he’ll struggle. He also won’t know traffic laws and probably kill someone.
So what’s the key lesson here?
Your mom’s opinion, good or bad, means nothing. Same for your friend’s opinions.
Most people get feedback & support from their friends and family, which is totally okay- but when it comes to business, the market gets the final say.
I’ve had ideas succeed that most thought would fail and vice versa. What I’ve learned is that I need to stop asking for opinions on my ads or products and just test them.
Don’t worry, in Lesson IV you will learn how to create flawless ads and test them properly.
For now you need to remember that with everything you need to stop asking for opinions and start looking for cold, hard data. In Lesson IV you will learn how to properly test ads, even if you have a low marketing budget to start!
Now even if you understand key idea 1 and key idea 2, that doesn’t mean your marketing will suddenly work. You need to avoid common marketing mistake #3:
Why Businesses Fail
There are a number of reasons why businesses “fail,” but it all comes down to this: value is not being profitably provided to the customer.
Let’s break this down.
Value- if your product or service is profitable but not valuable, then you will not get anywhere.
Your marketing could be the best in the whole world, but people will just refund, chargeback, or complain to the government about your business if your product sucks.
More on this tomorrow in Lesson II.
Profitability- it goes without saying that if you can’t profit off of what you’re offering, then you don’t have a successful business. You’ve got yourself a glorified job in which you work your butt off to sell $5 at an operating cost of $5.
Here’s the hard thing about marketing- it ain’t always cheap.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could easily spend $3 to make $5? I bet you’d be putting all your credit cards on that ad because you’d be effectively printing off money from the internet or billboard or whatever ad.
However sometimes you spend $5 to make $5, or even $7 to make $5. That being said, those numbers are actually great.
Most business owners fail because they’re focused on short-term marketing. In digital marketing we call this “direct-response marketing,” in which we are trying to get a near-instant result.
This can sometimes be profitable, and when it is, hell yea! You’re printing money off the internet! You win!
But you know what? If you can spend $2 to make $5, then I bet your competition is willing to spend $3 to make $5. Suddenly you’ve gotta spend $4 to make $5, and the ad platform (such as Facebook) is gladly bringing up costs to the highest bidder.
So is marketing even possible? Yeah, here’s how.
Key Idea 3/3: Lifetime Value Ratings
The key to surviving in business is having a long-term plan and understanding what the lifetime value of a customer is.
One customer is not worth one purchase. That same customer, now trusting and believing in your business (you do have quality products/services, right?) can return and send referrals your way also.
Let’s say you own a restaurant and spend $5 to make $5. Great! Next week that same customer will be back maybe with their friend and you’ll finally get your profit, and that friend will bring in a group of friends the week after, etc.
We’re going to cover this more in Lesson III on how to “Crush Your Competition like Ants.”
- They won’t come if you build it- you need to be proactive in marketing, even if you have the most quality product or service in the world
- Opinions from friends/family don’t matter. Cold market data + testing properly is key
- You need to understand the lifetime value of a customer (more on this soon!)
You now can identify 3 big marketing mistakes that people make when it comes to building their legacy. In the upcoming lessons we will be diving deeper on these subjects so that you have clear strategies to victory.
Yeah, sorry. The bell hasn’t rung yet. Class ain’t out!
If you’re serious about this, you need to put skin in the game. Take out a pen & paper or open word or something you can write on.
You can also reply your answers to me for my personal review. If you have any questions, feel free to ask also so that I can clarify everything and improve the course for future students.
If you reply I will personally respond leaving a comment! Your growth is my priority!!
Please answer the following:
- In your own words, what are the 3 common marketing mistakes people make?
- When I made my own Minecraft server, why didn’t it populate instantly with users?
- What did I do to promote my Minecraft server?
- What is Key Idea #1 in your own words?
- What were the two main reasons my first e-com store failed?
- If you were my mentor, what would you tell me to do to prevent my E-com store disaster?
- What is Key Idea #2 in your own words?
- Why do businesses fail?
- Why is it good to spend $5 to make $5?
- What is Key Idea #3 in your own words?
- How will you apply this lesson into your own business or idea?
Excited? I sure am, this is just Lesson I of your weeklong course.
Coming up tomorrow I’m gonna share with you the secret to reading customer’s minds so that you can give them exactly what they need.
See you tomorrow!
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