Help! I am Addicted to Marketing Tools.
This was a plea for help straight into my inbox this morning. A client who has a thriving coaching business had worked with me last year on some strategic planning. She was very clear on who she helped and what she did for her clients and, together, we worked on a marketing strategy which led a month by month plan.
On target but not happy
She was on target but she had started to seek out marketing tools to speed up the process and found that the new tools she was buying were taking up more and more of her time. Her outgoings on tools had risen by 50% and, compared with her previous outsourced marketing, she was now doing it all herself with these tools and spending more time and more money than she had previously.
DIY more expensive? How does that work?
‘How does it work, Sue?’ she asked, ‘How come doing it yourself costs more and I am knackered all the time?’. It doesn’t have to be that way and you certainly don’t need to be paying for lots of tools to do marketing. Those of us spending an hour or so each day every day often find we get the same results as those of us dedicating full days to the same task. It’s all about focus. What had happened was that this client, in buying tools to save time, had become addicted to the tools and had lost sight of the process needed. So we stripped it all back to the basics.
Start with the end in mind
If you want to regularly communicate with your coaching clients you have a couple of things to sort out first; lists segmented to communicate relevant messages normally means, initially, three lists: historic clients, current clients and lapsed clients (stopped coaching work, on a break, off plan). Then you need an email service; Mailchimp, Aweber and Mailing Manager all work well and are all low in cost. You do not need Infusionsoft to send regular emails, so just keep it simple and it gets done. Add in a layer of complexity of use (like Infusionsoft) for simple routine emails and you get stuck. Use the tools for your stripped-back purpose and, if you don’t need all or most of their features, terminate that contract. Get your processes in place and select the simplest system to fit them that you can. Don’t get seduced by the nice to have shiny stuff or the features not needed by your process.
Stick with the plan; regular relevant content and list-building doesn’t need loads of complex data-mining software or expensive monthly contracts just to be told how big brands are selling peas via Twitter. Software for scheduling can cost up to £185 or so per month, but why not use the very stable and easy to use Hootsuite or Sendible? Get the tool to fit your business and the job you want it to do, work out your best 1 or 2 social media channels and work those babies harder than a Victorian chimney sweep.
My lovely client was spending loads on all sorts of software in this category, doing keyword and trending analysis; she was so busy analysing that often the actual advertising work was being placed on a back burner. Hours were used in working out what potential coaching clients were reading and searching for, when an email to her historic and current clients with a survey in it would have been better for her, more accurate and focused on what she needed to do next and use up much less of her time.
Summer clean up
So, after going through the list of contracts with her and working out which could be ditched and when (contract terms review time) we sorted out a clean plan for the rest of the year with a saving of over £3500 across the next 5 months. We worked on a marketing activity plan around content and scheduled newsletters with some back-copies of newsletter content being put into eBooks and set up some landing pages for the eBooks to feed traffic to. Time spent per week previously being driven by tools’ requirements = 12 hours now reduced to less than 1 hour per day. Happier business owner and more directed marketing to those clients who are likely to buy from her again and who now have more reason to get in touch.
So many times we get sidetracked by shiny and don’t realise how far we are along the wrong path. What’s driving you down a blind alley this month? Do tell, either on here or on social media. Don’t get me started on membership site plug-ins and themes, if ever there was a way to burn hours for me that was it. More on this later this month when I share with you why I chose an eLearning theme rather than a membership site.
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