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[Real World Analysis] How a Business with 12 Million Followers Went Bankrupt

[Real World Analysis] How a Business with 12 Million Followers Went Bankrupt

Before I get to the story about the business with 12 Million followers, I want to start by discussing a Facebook ad about the “truth around building an audience” that drives me bonkers every time I see it, so I decided to share my analysis around why I think it’s extremely misleading (and could even be dangerous to your financial and business health).

In a nutshell, the ad makes the claim that if you have a business, building an audience is a waste of time. You should immediately stop all of that blogging and podcasting and shooting videos nonsense, and instead, just follow this particular guru’s simple formula to immediately fill your business with high-paying clients. No audience required.

Simple as that. No mess, no fuss.

Now, a few disclaimers before I get into my analysis. First off, while yes, I’ve obviously read the ad, I have not actually watched this person’s webinar, so I don’t know what his simple formula actually is. If I were to guess, I would assume he teaches how to use some form of paid ads (most likely Facebook ads) to attract prospects into a funnel that ends in a sales call.

If that’s what he’s teaching, it’s perfectly legitimate, and I’m sure it does work.

I’m also a big believer that businesses should be profitable and make money for their owner. If his system works as advertised, the fact that he’s selling it isn’t the problem.

It drives me bonkers because it’s incomplete. And because the claim the ad makes is incomplete, it has the potential to hurt entrepreneurs.

Here’s the truth:

In order to have a successful, profitable business, you need both long-term and short-term marketing strategies.

Long-term marketing strategies are for audience and platform building. That includes those pesky tactics such as blogging and list building.

Short-term strategies are to generate cash now. So, any type of sale emails or, in the case of this Facebook ad, a paid advertising strategy designed to generate prospects so you can close them on a sales call.

Focusing mostly on long-term strategies (especially before you’ve built up a big platform) could lead to big time cash flow challenges.

Focusing on short-term strategies could lead to a massive feast/famine financial cycle. Plus, if your short-term marketing strategy stops working for some reason, you could lose your entire business.

The Internet is littered with stories about entrepreneurs who built their platform around (or had most of their income coming from) one source, and when that source dried up, their business tanked—sometimes as fast as overnight.

This is especially true if your short-term marketing strategy is linked to something you don’t control. For instance, let’s look at this strategy of using Facebook ads to close high-ticket clients.

* What if Facebook suddenly jacks up the rate of those ads overnight. How will you then get a high enough return on your investment, to make this particular strategy worth it? (Yes, I’ve seen this happen.)

* What if Facebook bans you from advertising? (Yes, I’ve seen this happen.)

* What if something happens to Facebook? (As I write this, Mark Zuckenburg is testifying in front of Congress about Facebook’s privacy policy. What if Congress decides to regulate? What if Facebook becomes less popular?)

Now, maybe none of these “what ifs” actually happen, but the point here is that you don’t know.

Things change at lightning speed in the age of the Internet, which means if you aren’t spending time building your presence on a platform you control (such as a blog or website) in addition to building your audience and growing your subscriber list, the more vulnerable you are.

It doesn’t matter if you have thousands of followers on your Facebook page or YouTube channel. You have no way of contacting them if Facebook or YouTube changes the rules.

Which means, if the rules DO get changed, you’ve just lost your audience.

For example, there was once a little publishing company that built up a Facebook following of 12 MILLION followers. They posted daily videos that were liked and shared and followed.

Then one day, Facebook changed their algorithms to show more posts from personal contacts than businesses, and they lost over 75% of their organic traffic.

Just. Like. That.

That little publishing company didn’t recover. It went out of business.

The worst part of this story is it didn’t have to happen. This company had a ton of content. Why wasn’t it posted on YouTube? (At least then there would have been a second platform to turn to.) Why wasn’t it posted on a company blog?

In this case, the work was already done. It wouldn’t have taken much effort at all to put a little love into building up a couple of other platforms. It wouldn’t have taken much to invite their Facebook fans to opt in to an email list.

But, it wasn’t a priority for them to build a platform outside of Facebook. Likely, the owners never even considered that Facebook would change the rules overnight. Maybe they even thought it was a waste of time and energy to do anything else, when they were getting so much traction and momentum from Facebook.

Anyway, let’s get back to you.

As a busy entrepreneur (who maybe doesn’t even like marketing all that much), you may be reading this right now while experiencing sinking feeling in your stomach.

Where will you find the time and energy to create both long-term AND short-term marketing strategies?

Well, here’s my answer—you get help.

I’m a big believer in focusing your time, energy, and love on what you most enjoy. Find the marketing tactic you love and do that. (My “Love-Based Online Marketing” book includes a “Love Your Marketing Assessment” that can help.)

You also may need to put some time into the cash flow part of your business as well, to make sure it’s running smoothly.

Then, hire a team member (or members) to help with the long-term marketing strategies.

You don’t have to do it fast, or dedicate a lot of time to it. If all you can handle right now is a weekly article, then do a weekly article (or a weekly podcast or video).

Commit to what you can. And budget what you can to get help.

And, take a deep breath. You’re in this for the long haul, right? So, know the long-term marketing strategy may take a little longer to see results, but at the end of the day, you WILL have a stronger, more stable and more profitable business because of it.

And, if you’d like to dig more deeply into online marketing, including putting together an online marketing plan, my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book may be perfect for you.

3 Keys to Harnessing the Power of Word of Mouth Advertising (And 1 Bonus Tip to Help Skyrocket Your Results!)

3 Keys to Harnessing the Power of Word of Mouth Advertising (And 1 Bonus Tip to Help Skyrocket Your Results!)

Raise your hand if you think word of mouth advertising (aka word of mouth marketing) is what you should be striving for as an entrepreneur/business owner.

It certainly feels like the most perfect form of marketing, doesn’t it? Your ideal clients, customers, and buyers just flow to you, without your having to make any effort at all, because your current happy clients are busy sending you referrals.

Alas, it’s not as simple as all of that (check out my 3 Myths about Word of Mouth Marketing That May Be Hurting Your Biz). BUT, it IS more under your control than you might imagine.

Below are three keys to harnessing the power of word of mouth advertising (and a bonus tip!)

1. Get crystal clear on your ideal client. Okay, so this one doesn’t seem terribly helpful at first glance. How is getting clear on your ideal client going to help other ideal clients start flocking to you?

Well, here’s a little secret about ideal clients—these are the clients who LOVE you and LOVE working with you (just like you LOVE working with them). Because they love you so much, they’re happy to sing your praises to the world. These are the clients who will happily share you with all their friends and associates.

These ideal, perfect clients are at the heart of your word of mouth advertising plan.

Now, contrast that with clients who aren’t ideal. These are the clients you struggle to work with, who you dread getting on the phone with. They also typically take 80% of your time (versus the ideal clients who take 20%).

Trust me when I say the feeling is mutual. They know you’re not ideal for them, either. They’re not feeling the love.

So, they are most definitely not going to tell the world about you. (And, if they did tell someone, it likely would not be a glowing review, but something far more tepid.)

(If you want to learn more about finding/getting super clear on your ideal client, here’s a post you can check out. You can also grab a copy of my Love-Based Copywriting Method book for even more on ideal clients.)

Bonus Tip: If you REALLY want to supercharge your word of mouth advertising plan, look for ideal clients who are also influencers.

Influencers are folks who already have a big following, and who will be happy to tell that following all about you. If that happens, you can get a big business boost that may last months or even years.

2. Become a master at your expertise. Again, this may sound like less-than-helpful advice, but think about it.

For people to rave about their experience with you, they need to actually have an experience worth raving about. Right?

So, the more you’ve mastered your expertise, the more likely it is you’ll be able to provide that amazing experience.

Your reputation matters. Nurture it. Focus on it. If people hear good things about you, they’ll be far more likely to invest in you.

3. Ask for referrals. Despite what you might believe, word of mouth advertising is not passive. It’s very much something you can control.

Actively pursue it. The best way to do that? You create a plan-of-action around asking for referrals.

Maybe you have a policy in place where you immediately reply back to a glowing client email, thanking him or her and asking his permission to use the email as a testimonial. This is a great time to also ask for referrals. Maybe you send an email to your client list asking if they know anyone who would be a good fit for your services, and if so, to please provide those people with your contact info. Or maybe you take it one step further and create a contest around it—give a prize, like an Amazon gift card or free coaching, to whoever sends you the most referrals.

It’s also a great idea to reward all referrals. Give a gift card, or a referral check. And let people know you value and appreciate them for helping you reach more people.

Lastly, keep in mind that as powerful as word of mouth advertising is, it’s just one piece of an overall marketing plan. If  you’d like help putting together a specific online marketing plan that’s unique to you and your business, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book.

[Video] Flip It! Where is the Magic Website Traffic Bullet?

[Video] Flip It! Where is the Magic Website Traffic Bullet?

How many of you are secretly looking for the website traffic button?

I mean, all you have to do is take a quick view of your Facebook feed to see tons of ads from gurus promising to teach you where that that magic website traffic bullet is.

It’s Facebook ads!

No, it’s Instagram!

Pinterest is the missing secret.

Maybe you should post videos or do a podcast.

No, go back to good old fashioned SEO.

Ahhhh! Overwhelm alert!

So, chances are you’re either running around like a nut trying to do EVERY website traffic strategy under the sun or you do nothing because you have no idea where to turn or which one would be the best one.

You probably already know what I’m going to say, which is there is no secret magic website traffic bullet. Not even if you buy it.

So, what’s the answer? Just give up? Resign yourself to not getting enough traffic to your site or blog?

Not at all. In fact, I’m going to share two very powerful strategies for creating your own magic traffic bullet.

  • Whatever strategy or strategies you pick to attract visitors to your website or blog, decide right now you’re in it for the long term. In other words, this isn’t a “do it for a month and expect you’re going to get thousands of visitors and be set for life. That’s just not the case. It can take weeks or even months before you build enough momentum to start getting some traction, and once you’re got it started, you’re going to have to maintain it. So, having a plan in place to make sure you are consistently using that strategy is key.
  • Whatever strategy you do, always put out your very best work. This also includes if you post regular blog posts or videos or a podcast. If you’re writing blogs, then don’t just race through it and slap something up. Take the time to do the best job you can on everything you create. While this isn’t necessarily the fastest way to attract visitors to your site, I guarantee this is the key to standing out. If you put out really good content, your people WILL find you.

I share more in the video — check it out:

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

[Video] Flip It! Are You Using the Wrong Marketing Strategy?

[Video] Flip It! Are You Using the Wrong Marketing Strategy?

If you’re not seeing the success you want to be seeing in your business, it’s very possible it’s because you’re using the wrong marketing strategy .

Let me explain: There are two types of marketing strategies — long-term and short-term.

Long-term strategies are designed to build your business over the long term. The benefit of using them is you can be reaping the benefits of what you built for a long time — months or even years — even if you stop using it. Examples of long-term strategies including blogging, SEO, podcasts, other types of content marketing and even list-building.

Another way of looking at a long-term marketing strategy is any strategy that focuses on building a community. You aren’t making an immediate sale, instead you’re focusing on building a solid, loyal community that will buy from you over and over again.

Hence the weakness of long-term strategies — there’s no focus on cash flow.

That’s why you need short-term strategies. Those are designed to make a sale right now. Product launches are short-term. So is any sort of sale.

All healthy businesses need both long-term and short-term strategies. The problem happens when you are either focusing exclusively on one marketing strategy or you’re focusing on the wrong strategy for your goals and where you’re at in your business right now.

For instance, if you’re focusing solely on long-term strategies when you really need cash now, you can be creating a lot of financial stress. However, over-focusing on short-term strategies can trade short-term profits for long-term disaster.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Watch and decide for yourself:

 

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

[Video] Flip It! What Do I Do if I Hate Marketing?

[Video] Flip It! What Do I Do if I Hate Marketing?

Do you hate marketing?

If you do, you’re not alone.

“Marketing” is one of those words that can strike so many feelings into the heart of any entrepreneur … and love is typically NOT one of them!

Which words or phrases come to mind for you when you think about marketing?

  • Marketing scares me.
  • It makes me feel inauthentic.
  • I don’t even know where to start.
  • I know what to do but not how or when or how often.
  • Do I have to?
  • I hate it!

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: marketing is the lifeblood of any business. When you market effectively, you bring in a constant flow of new prospects, and therefore, a steady cash flow.

But …

• You started your business because you have a specific product or service to offer, NOT because you wanted to become an expert marketer.

• You know how to deliver your product or service, but you don’t know how to market.

• You’re a business person and (unless your business is marketing), your business isn’t marketing.

Let me ask you a question: Are you being totally honest with yourself when it comes to your feelings about marketing?

Do you really hate marketing?

Or are you feeling something else?

What if I told you that I could almost guarantee that you could find a type of marketing you enjoy, one you’re good at, and you could use it to grow your business effectively?

You can!

But first, you’ll need to shift your perspective around marketing.

In this episode of Flip It! I talk about how to determine whether you really hate marketing, and what to do about it so that you can take advantage of this powerful, necessary tool for growing your business.

Watch now:

 

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

[Video] The Story Behind the Story: “Love-Based Online Marketing” book

[Video] The Story Behind the Story: “Love-Based Online Marketing” book

I realized I needed to write “Love-Based Online Marketing” when I was promoting the first book in my “Love-Based Business” series.

You see, if you truly want to have a love-based business (which is a business built on a foundation of love-based emotions rather than fear-based emotions — you can learn more about the philosophy here) every part of your business needs to love-based. That includes your copy, your selling process AND your marketing strategies.

But, how do you craft a marketing campaign using love versus fear? Especially when so many marketing “gurus” seem so slimy and inauthentic?

That’s why I decided the third book int the series needed to teach “Love-Based Online Marketing.”

But I’m getting ahead of myself, watch for yourself:

Along with helping you create a love-based online marketing plan, I also include a “Love Your Marketing” assessment, to help you figure out the best marketing tactics for you.

And, because I know so many people struggle with unconscious blocks around marketing, you’ll also discover exercises and strategies for getting rid of any mindset issues you have around marketing.

“Love-Based Online Marketing” is available on all the major online retailers — you can grab your copy here.