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Is One Of These Five Issues Holding Back Your Business?

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Holding Your Business BackHave you ever wondered what separates a business struggling to bring in new clients from one that has to beat off new leads with a stick?

Maybe you’re one of those businesses that is currently struggling. If so, then you’ve come to the right place.

A short while ago I held a webinar for accountants discussing a marketing system that they could use to pull in more (and better) leads and clients to their businesses.

Shortly after, an attendee of the webinar reached out to me. Not to work with me, though.

His name is Matt Roberge.

Matt runs a bookkeeping company in Salt Lake City. And while other bookkeeping and accounting services scrape by, struggling to attract new clientele…Matt doesn’t have that problem.

He wanted to jump on the phone just for a quick 15-minute introduction and conversation because he was so in-tune with everything I was saying on the webinar.

I was happy to get on the phone because to me someone reaching out because they were so on board with my content is a huge compliment.

The 15-minute phone call turned into a 45 minute conversation about marketing and the problems facing the vast majority of the accounting industry.

The industry is somewhat strange because a lot of these issues are extremely pronounced. But the truth of the matter is that these are problems that face businesses in any industry.

These are issues that hold businesses back from reaching their true potential. And the first part of a solution to any problem is admitting that you have one in the first place.

So take a step back and think about whether your business if faced with one of the following…

Expecting Instant Results

This is a big one. People love their instant gratification. And it’s only exacerbated by modern technology that allows us to get instant gratification in most aspects of life.

However, successful marketing takes time. There are no magic bullets. Just because you decide to pursue a “proven marketing method” does not mean it will work over night.

In fact, it doesn’t even mean that it will work the first time.

But that shouldn’t deter you from trying it, testing it, learning from it, and eventually succeeding.

Fear of the New

A lot of businesses are set in their ways. This is especially true for older companies.

Just because your company has been doing something the same way for 50 years doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t evolve with the times.

The “this is the way we’ve always done it” explanation used to drive me crazy when I was in the corporate world. And you should never use it as an excuse.

Borders Books ignored the emergence of new reading trends. Barnes and Noble embraced it.

Borders is no longer around.

Fear of Failure

This one is pretty self-explanatory.

Yes, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get results if you try something new. But it’s guaranteed that you won’t get any better results if you don’t try something new.

The “My Business is Different” Mindset

It’s not.

While we all like to think that our businesses are special – that we’re special – nothing is really all that different across industries.

Sure, there are nuances. Maybe there is certain terminology you have adjust for in the B2B space, for example. But that doesn’t mean that you can just ignore good, solid marketing practices.

People are people. Marketing is marketing.

Looking at Marketing as an Expense

No matter what your income statement says, marketing is not an expense. It’s your business.

No marketing = no clients = no business.

Accountants aren’t in the business of accounting. They are in the business of marketing their accounting services.

And McDonald’s isn’t in the business of making burgers.

If you don’t have a big marketing budget in terms of money, then opt for cheaper marketing methods. Of course, these will require an investment of time.

And if you don’t think you have any time in your schedule for marketing, you’ll soon discover that the lack of customers really opens up your schedule.

How to Change Course

The good news is that it’s never to late to turn things around and start building marketing systems that will help you grow your business.

Evaluate what you are currently doing. Do you have any systems in place? Do you have a strategy? Or do you face one of the problems listed above?

And when you’re ready to take your marketing seriously, check out the [CSH] Premium Newsletter. It’s good stuff :) .

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6 Responses to Is One Of These Five Issues Holding Back Your Business?

  1. Matt Roberge says:

    Eugene,

    Thanks a lot for the mention. Additionally you article is spot on. I couldn’t agree more with all of your points. We touched on a lot of these in our conversation and we are definitely on the same page. I will add one to the conversation; do accountants possibly just hate marketing? I wrote a blog around this question inspired from our conversation and you can read it by clicking on my name.
    So what do you think do accountants just hate marketing because it is to creative? There more than one correct answer to marketing your accounting firm and that is enough to drive any accountant crazy. Maybe if accountants were shown a marketing plan in a spreadsheet with numbers and percentages it would make more sense than a flow chart or sales funnel.
    Great read!

  2. Rick Roberge says:

    Eugene, I spent 20 years as a bill collector and I used to share this story. Guy went to work for a contractor. Worked his way up from helper, apprentice, to right hand man. One day, the boss says, “I need you to go do this one day, one man job. Here’s an invoice. When you’re done, give it to the homeowner and they’ll write you a check. He does and the homeowner writes the check for $1,000, no questions asked. As the right hand man is driving home, he thinks, “I used $200 worth of materials and earned $300 myself. Where’d the other $500 go?” He decides that he doesn’t need his boss and goes into business for himself. Six months later, the bill collector gets the call. The right hand man, now solo can’t market or sell, so he gets customers by cutting prices. He can’t afford a bookkeeper. So, he doesn’t know anything about revenue, cost of goods, profit, taxes. And now he’s losing his reputation because he’s showing up late, not answering his phone (might be a bill collector.), etc. Whatever a business founder decide to get paid to do, he has to realize that a business is not just the doing, but it’s the marketing, selling, billing, servicing, and cultivating of lifelong evangelists.

    …and you’re right about Matt!

  3. Dale Berkebile says:

    Eugene, This is a really solid article. I’m excited to see Matt Roberge get noticed, he’s a great guy and really knows his stuff as well as being highly committed to inbound marketing.

    You make some really valid points here. Like…

    1. Expecting Instant Results. I had a conversation with a client just today talking about realistic expectations for their marketing. It’s easy to get excited, but more important to be focused and strategic and the wins will come. If you jump the gun however it is easy to loose focus, drop your eye from the prize and really miss the mark.

    2. Fear of Failure. Man this is a great one. I often tell people failure is the stepping stone to success. If you know it is part of the gameplan clients tend to understand when things go wrong. Using those failures to fuel wins is when things really start to happen. It is important to learn from your mistakes and add some testing to see what might work best next time. As long as things are improving how can you be upset with small “failures”?

    Anyhow, I thought this was a good article an thought I would promote you and Matt in my “News” area in the “about us” section of our site. Keep the great marketing content flowing, you’re doing a great job!

  4. Ralph M. Rivera says:

    Holy cow. Great stuff.

    I had a client about two years ago that managed to follow most if not all of the above.

    We would run a social media campaign and the next day, he would test to see how many orders he got. The next day.

    He also didn’t want to allot budget to engagement. He believed that social media was for broadcasting specials and that replying to or engaging people wasn’t necessary.

    Scary stuff.

  5. Jeevan Jacob John says:

    Hey Eugene,

    Love the last three points.

    No, our business isn’t special, and the same applies for top businesses in each industry. They don’t have magic dust that will attract customers magically. They get customers because they worked hard; They invested in producing valuable content/goods and marketing it properly.

    Excellent point on looking at marketing as an expense. Like you said, no marketing means no customers. So, we have to do proper marketing (I suppose it is a good thing. Not having enough customers forces business owners to rethink their strategy; to categorize marketing as an important part of their business).

    And it is never too late to turn around. I quit blogging an year back to various reasons. I could have went on, but ultimately I decided to shut my blog down.

    But, here I am, commenting and planning to launch my new blog soon. It is never too late to try again :D

    Thanks for the tips, Eugene :)

  6. Suraj Kumar says:

    Hey Eugene
    I read your post…..I get that “Fear of Failure” is one of the great lacking point in moving the person to the success.
    The rest f the points you have written are also going to the spot. But Fear of failure stops a man even just starting going to his dreams. One who has to achieve his dreams, has to overcome this problem/Fear……. Thanks for sharing :) .
    Keep it up.

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