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Press Pause on Marketing and Ask the Right Questions

Marketing in a Pandemic and Getting the Same Boring Results

In all seriousness, is your conversion rate really something to ‘wow’ over? Is your strategy to couple your blog, social media, and ebooks with a “YouTube strategy” working? Or are you still just doing an occasional email blast?

This is my flaw as a marketer. No matter what the project is, I want it to be amazing. Truly amazing. And not in a way that it never ships, rather that it launches on time and gives people something to talk about.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been helping business owners on Indie Hackers and in my community navigate the tides of change (thanks COVID). It’s been hell for some business owners, but beauty can be found in the chaos.

In particular, I noticed some businesses’ conversion rates really haven’t changed that much. Good news, right? Wrong. Sure the results are practically the same, but the numbers are sitting around 1-2% conversion (top-of-funnel translating to customer).

1-2% makes me sick.

This is why I’m writing about the message to press pause on your marketing operations and really take a long, hard look at it.

Listen up, small business owners.


Strategy of One

I was out for a run practicing my breathing, pace, and distance (thanks for the tips, Scott Thomas). I was listening to a podcast about crowdsourcing and different marketing strategies related to startup marketing.

It kills me not to know the name of the episode, but it was part of Crowdfunding: Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Ecommerce with CrowdCrux.

Anyway, there was a concept called “Strategy of One”. The idea was simple: ONE solution, ONE audience, ONE channel.

If you had to go all-in on only Instagram, how amazing would it be? If you were going to go all-in on YouTube, would your production quality NOT be amazing? This was the argument behind Strategy of One.

Considering the legitimacy of such a strategy, I thought to some recent conversations I had with entrepreneurs from Europe and Australia — it appears to have held up.

In an interview with Griffin Macauley on the success of his $900,000 Kickstarter Campaign, he mentioned how his whole business began as an Instagram account. It was after he mastered the format and delivery of this one channel, that people began to rally and support his work.

Fast-forward and poof. Griffin Macauley raises over $900,000 CDN on Kickstarter. Amazing.

But the bottom line was, Strategy of One had merit.

I decided to try it.


Where Do People Hang Out?

Is my website a place people come to hang out? Absolutely not. What about Facebook? Meh. Instagram? Yeah, but not really for this stuff. How about YouTube? Hmm, now that’s interesting.

I began by exploring YouTube and pressing pause on my blog. I needed to set sail for a tour of the platform to see how it’d be.

In the first 30-minutes of posting a video, I ranked on the first page.

Not bad, right?

The views are still coming in and with it, more traffic to my channel and website.

So should I run ads on Facebook? Advertising my services? Start cutting the footage into multiple Instagram posts? No (and sorry, Gary Vaynerchuk).

Instead, I’m going to go hard on YouTube and YouTube alone.


Starting Instead of Planning

A lot of people get hung up on planning. It becomes a roadblock for progress and nothing drives me more foolish than living in slow-motion.

YES, planning is important, but so is publishing. We only have so long to live and I’d rather be on the side of publish-and-improve, rather than plan-and-never-start.

And YES, the comments weren’t all good! John James wrote a long piece of valuable feedback calling out the horrible level of video production I included in my video — thank you John.

It’s never going to be perfect, but it’s a lot better to start and improve. Plus, people will be able to cycle back through your content and see the transformation you’ve embarked on.

I now have a video set in development with proper acoustics, a freshly painted wall, and brand new studio lights. Oh, and it will be filmed in 4k.

This is the game, people. Start and aim for better. Again, and again, and again.

Violence. Speed. Momentum (shout out to Dr. Disrespect and the Champions Club).


My Advice to YOU

Spare me the fluffy customer journey for a minute and ask yourself this hard question: what ACTUALLY matters to your audience and WHERE are they spending their time online?

DO NOT do the age-old classic marketing act of posting a single photo and taking it on tour across Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc. That’s BORING.

Digitally, where do you spend 1+ hours a day? Is it on TikTok? Snapchat? Whatever the channel, LEAN into it.

That single channel could be your next gold mine of opportunity.

Press pause on everything else you have on the go, and zero-in on ONE channel. Make your content or promotion absolutely amazing (don’t settle for anything less). Publish it and then start making the next one. Make it better.

I’m an incredibly dissatisfied individual when it comes to marketing. The issue is not that I’m negative. The issue is that I see a WORLD of high standards and the possibility for everyday people to make INCREDIBLE strides. It pisses me off when people settle for a mediocre delivery.

Take aim and hit hard. Think outside the box.