How to Market Your Small Business | These Marketing Lies Could Cost You Thousands


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Hopefully by now you’ve watched the Yelp videos that we did. Click here to watch Part One. That is my thoughts about Yelp and as a business owner how not to go to the adverse effect. That was a lot of fun and we have more coming on that topic in the future as well.

Today I want to talk about something that really aggravates me and gets me mad because I feel like there’s a lot of false information that’s going around social media and on YouTube about marketing and selling and growing your business through social media. Every time I’m scrolling through my YouTube feed and it’s like “The Best Thing to do for Marketing as an Entrepreneur” I watch it and I cringe and it’s just not for me.

I want to give you my thoughts. Now not all of those videos are bad. The problem becomes, when you watch a lot of these videos, the idea that you’re supposed to sell your products by marketing is really flawed and that’s something that confuses a lot of people. So what do I mean by that? Well everything about sales that’s out there today is all about digital and social media and “click this and then they go here download this and then they buy this and then they do this and then you just watch the orders roll in in you’re killing it.” Yes, that is true for a lot of businesses, but the businesses I like to work with and the businesses that are really thriving and are the backbone of America, are not those types of businesses: your air conditioning guys, your salons, your plumbers, your yard care specialists, your financial advisors,etc. These are the real core businesses. These are institutions.

When you go into a city and you see big buildings, that’s not a person that’s in their mom’s basement  printing you t-shirts and selling ChapStick. Yes, those people who are doing that (printing t-shirts and selling ChapStick) and selling items on Amazon, their marketing has to drive to clicks to sales. Okay. But then that does not carry over to the real small business owners of America and that’s what really drives me crazy. These videos and these ideas are “this is how you sell. You sell by creating traffic to your website” That only works in a few business models and what has happened is because that’s all that gets talked about on social media is that I now run into business owners who think “well I have to sell this by doing this.” What are you talking about? That’s not how you sell your product.

So how does this work. Well marketing and selling are two very different things. The purpose of marketing is to:

  • get your name out bring a product awareness

  • show people that a product exists and that it’s available

  • that it can be bought

  • that it has a certain cost

  • that it does a certain thing

The ads and the marketing that talk about all those things do not actually sell it for you. It creates a reach. It creates interest. So if you send out postcards or you do online advertising for your lawn care company and you expect your phone to ring or people to go to websites and say “cut my yard,” you’re going to be very disappointed. Because I’m not going to just go online and buy your service. I have questions. I need to talk to somebody. I need to find out how it works.

This is where selling comes into play. You actually you have an interest in a product and it drives me into a place to then inquire or buy that product. That is what selling is. It’s taking these reaches, this interest, and channeling a person’s interest into buying your product. Somebody comes in and says “What is this?” I say  “This is a tumbler and this is going to keep your drink cool for 8 hours.” They say “I’m not interested” and they walk away. I blew the sale.

Somebody saying “what is this?” is the reach that you’re looking for from your marketing. You are not looking for this to just disappear into the mail and then go off somewhere. You actually have to generate interest in what it is that you’re doing.

Where people get it wrong is that there’s an interest, they’re terrible at selling, and then the interest goes away. So then they think “I have to work at more marketing. I have to do more marketing.” And so then you spend money on more marketing, more marketing, more marketing, and you’re trying to make your marketing make all the sales and bypass the sales department. Because your sales department is terrible.

What’s a good example of this? The auto industry. The Auto industry is the best example of this. Car manufacturers: everybody knows that they have to market, market, market, market, market. How many times do we see the Mercedes commercial at Christmas time with Santa driving the red Mercedes with the reindeer? Every year the same commercial keeps coming out. You don’t even have to play that commercial anymore. I already know the commercial, but what happens is:  they keep marketing, they keep marketing, they keep marketing. They put out YouTube content out there. They send out loaner cars. They’re doing everything they can to sell the car without me arriving at the dealership because the salesmen are so bad and the control and the communication are so bad at a dealership. The only way the auto manufacturer can control how many cars they sell is through excess advertising. If sales people who work at car dealerships can actually sell and actually take a person interested in a car and have them walk away in a couple of hours time with a car, car companies would actually have to spend half as much money on marketing because the reach would not have to be so great to have somebody jump through so many hoops to get a car. So the only way that a car manufacturer can be in control over the sales process is by dumping more and more and more and more and more money in advertising and PR to make up for the inequities of the people who actually run the car dealerships.

It’s a very interesting thing because these car manufacturers are manufacturers and at one point they realized that if they were going to sell it they had to market it, and now, really, they’re a production and marketing facility. And that’s the difference between normal car companies and say, Tesla. Tesla has its own sales and distribution routes that are different from other car manufacturers that are set up differently. You don’t see Tesla commercials. It’s very interesting. You don’t see, at Christmas time, Santa get into a red Tesla and driving through the snowy mountains. It’s always the same Mercedes. They have a very different system.Their sales system is very different. Now, admittedly, Tesla has relied very much on the newness and the sort of difference between itself and the competition, which has allowed it to sell much easier. I don’t think that’s going to hold on for very long. That’s a whole different topic for another day.

What I’m saying is that your business might not have to keep spending as much money on marketing if you could sell your product to the same degree that you can work at your product. So don’t think that marketing and selling are the same. They are actually two separate functions.

Marketing’s job is to generate interest and reach in your product and sales’ job is to then move that product into the hands of the consumer. Now like I’ve said, there are certain online companies, for example, if you sell soap on Amazon, then yes,  your ad has to be able to sell it for you because you’re not sitting there answering the person’s questions. You’re not sitting there walking them through the sale. But if you’re a small business owner, or even a large business owner, then you have to understand that your ability to sell is the only limiting factor as to how much money you make. It is not your marketing. Now, do you need market? Yes, you have to market.

This is the same thing with retail. We talked about Sears closing. Well,  Sears is only going to make so much money as they have trained staff on the floor to actually sell the products. The manufacturers and the people who actually make the clothes, make the beds, make the washing machines, have no control over how much Sears sells. Only Sears has that control. So they need to be focusing on sales and making money. Instead Sears is focusing on marketing, and cutting work hours, and trying to “economize” themselves into savings. That is going to fail. We will see Sears go through another bankruptcy. They just got bought out. If you saw my other video few weeks ago we talked about it. They are now saved, but again, given 6 months to a year, they’re going to fall right back into the same thing because they’re not changing their sales patterns.

So for your business you actually have to sit down and figure out “Do I need marketing or do I need to start learning how to sell?” Because everybody thinks marketing creates money in the bank account. I know so many companies that are marketing companies and the number one thing that they have to handle all the time is that somebody comes in, pays $10,000 and a month later says “How come I don’t have $100,000 in my bank account?” That’s not the job of marketing. Marketing’s job is not to make you money. Marketing’s job is to generate interest, make your phone’s ring, make people go to your website and ask questions. That’s marketing’s job. Sales’ job is to take that and turn it into money.

So you have to sit down and realize what type of products you sell what kind of services you have and check for yourself what type of products you what kind of services you have, and if you have a service where somebody’s going to have to call you or reach out to you to schedule a consultation for work or to buy something from you, then you have to understand that at that point in time, you have to learn how to sell the product because marketing will not do it for you.

The only reason that it works in certain cases is that we spend so much money on marketing and PR that it can’t help but sell. And that’s really the only reason that car dealerships are even alive or around is because it’s literally the only place that you can go to buy that product. So car manufacturers realize this and they spend billions and billions and billions of dollars to market and advertise their product to make up for the inadequacies of the car dealerships.

Those are my thoughts on that. I hope this really helps you. Please leave some comments below give me some other ideas of things that you would like me to talk about, or even give me your ideas about today’s post.

Now if you’re wondering “Do I have a product where I need to focus more on marketing or do I need to focus more on my selling?” and your kind of unsure of where to go next, Contact us and I will sit down and I’ll talk to you and answer all your questions and do an analysis of what I think would be right for you.