1. What inspired you to create your Simple Marketing System?
Well, my background is sales and marketing. I started off in real estate and then moved to selling consulting services to the financial industry. I've always been sort of a business growth addict, and I consume anything I can get my hands on related to business growth. Sales, marketing, copywriting, anything that can help me more effectively convince someone to buy.
While I learned something useful from every book I read, every course I took, or every cd I listened to, there was no real system or framework behind it all I could use to put it all together. I took a little bit from one expert and a little bit from another and applied it to the businesses I was involved in.
Then, after a lot of frustration, I realized, in order for a business to be successful, it needs two types of systems. And, if you can build these systems, you can grow any business predictably. First, there needs to be systems to find, engage, and convert prospects to paying clients, customers, or patients. Then, there needs to be systems to increase the value of current and past clients.
Most businesses only concentrate on finding new clients, and they practice what I call "random acts of marketing." They do everything tactically, with no clear strategy around growing their business.
That's why I created Business Marketing Solutions and the Simple Marketing System. I wanted to give business owners a way to strategically grow their businesses by creating a steady, predictable flow of new business, and a way to maximize the business they already have.
2. Why is lead generation so difficult for many people?
Most business owners and unfortunately most people who hold themselves out as marketing or advertising professionals do not know or do not understand the purpose of marketing. They practice random acts of marketing, and they are always looking for the "next big thing" or some magic bullet that will solve all of their business woes rather than thinking and acting strategically. Because they don't know how to effectively generate leads, they constantly worry where their next client will come from. They stay up at night and wonder how they will keep the lights on or make payroll. This is no way to run a business, and it affects their whole life.
As I said before, businesses need systems to find and convert new prospects into high value clients. There are three steps to creating effective lead generation. Unfortunately, most businesses skip the first step.
To create marketing or lead generation programs that work, you need to deeply understand who your ideal prospect is. Not just their demographics, but also their psychographics. You need to know their interests, behaviors, beliefs, values, fears, goals, etc. so you can reach them effectively. You need to understand what problem they have or what goal they are trying to achieve and how your product or service fits in. What problem does it solve? What transformation does it deliver that your ideal prospect cares about?
As behavioral expert Wyatt Woodsmall said, "If you can describe someone's problem better than they can describe it themselves, they will naturally assume you have the solution." As a marketer or business owner, you have to have a deep understanding of who your ideal prospects are. Most marketers make lots of costly assumptions and never take the time to develop this understanding of their target market. Because they skip this step, it becomes very hard for them to create effective offers and compelling messages that capture their markets attention and generate quality leads for their business.
This is why we created our "on-demand lead generation" services. We use cutting edge technology to generate high quality, highly qualified leads for our clients, and it all starts with getting deep inside the heads of our ideal prospects.
3. Can you give us an example of a marketing-related activity that a lot of businesses are making a lot harder for themselves than it should be?
Most businesses make marketing and business growth overall a lot more complicated than it has to be. It is not easy, but it is not rocket science either. As we discussed a little while ago, most businesses are tactical, not strategic. They are constantly worried about generating revenue to meet their immediate needs, like payroll. It's like their business is living paycheck-to-paycheck. What they need to do is strategically engineer a plan to get their business where they want it to be.
Part of this is to develop systems to generate clients and systems to increase the values of the ones they already have. Rather than running an ad in a local newspaper, doing some radio or TV, trying google AdWords, or whatever other media they can find, businesses need to assess where they are today, optimize their current marketing assets and then, look to strategically implement new marketing channels. Before the business starts introducing new means of attracting customers, they need to first make sure they are fully leveraging everything they are doing today. This is a core philosophy within The Simple Marketing System.
They also need to realize that the only purpose of marketing is to generate profits for their business. It is not to be cute, creative, or funny. Most of what passes for marketing today is pathetic. Results matter, period. If a business runs a campaign and it sells, that is good. If it doesn't, it's not, and it needs to be stopped or changed until it starts generating positive ROI. Unfortunately, most businesses are sold immeasurable marketing. If you can't track the success or failure of a campaign, don't run it.
I recently had a client tell me she was told it could take up to a year for an ad she is running in a local paper to generate a return. The media salesman told her she first needs to build brand recognition. Brand recognition has its place, but it doesn't trump ROI. BS like this gets me so mad. Too many businesses are led down this path.
4. What do you most enjoy about working in the marketing field?
I love interacting with entrepreneurs and figuring out how to take their business to the next level. Whether it's turning around a struggling business, helping a startup get into profitability, or taking a six or seven figure business to the next level, I love working with and having the opportunity to help entrepreneurs.
5. For a small business owner who is feeling stuck when it comes to growing their business, what's your best advice for starting to get un-stuck and learning how to find new clients/customers?
Focus on marketing. It is the most powerful leverage point within your business. It's critical that you learn how to generate clients, customers, or patients on-demand, and you have to know how to get the most value from the ones you already have.
I offer free 30 minute Business Opportunity Strategy sessions to business owners to help you get started. You can apply on my website, www.SimpleMarketingSystem.com.