Category Archives for "Offline Marketing"

$300 Flip Flops & The Philosophy of Money

Okay, I’m going a bit philosophical on y’all this month.

That wasn’t the original plan. I’d been planning to share some important insights into AdWords. But that’ll have to wait cuz I got something more important to discuss instead.

And it’s something that applies to all businesses… not just those who use AdWords.

Actually, this gets down to the absolute fundamentals of what you’re trying to accomplish in marketing.  (We’ll get to that in a bit, but need to set it up first.)

So what’s so important?


Yep. Good ‘ol cash. Moolah. Greenbacks. Benjamins. Smackers. Coin. Dinero.

This article was sparked by a Mastermind Group I’m in. Recently, we had a few speakers come in to talk about money, the psychology of money and building wealth.

One of the speakers posed the following question (that he says is important for ALL of us to answer):

“What is your philosophy of money?”

The question kinda surprised me because, quite frankly, until he asked that question I never thought I had a philosophy of money!

But we all do. Most of us just haven’t stopped to think about it.

How bout you? When was the last time you stopped to think about your philosophy of money?

What is it that you believe about money?

Money Is Not The Root of All Evil

For example, there’s a common saying “Money is the root of all evil”.

Do you agree with that statement?

I don’t.

I believe money is just money. It can’t do anything on its own.

If you take a twenty outta your wallet, put it on the table and tell it “go do something evil”, nothing’s gonna happen.

Because in and of itself, money is neither good nor evil. It just is.

It’s what people DO with it that makes money good or evil.

So, following that logic, you could make the case that it’s actually people that are the source of all evil. Though, along with that, you’d also have to say that people are the source of all good.

Whoa… going a bit deeper here than expected. My brain’s starting to hurt.

So before we jump off the philosophical deep end, let’s reel things back in a bit and get to the main point I want to make here and how this all applies to your business…

See, in thinking about my philosophy of money, one of my beliefs is that, in general, people aren’t too good at determining the value of money on our own.

Is $5 Really Worth $5?

Yes a $5 bill is worth $5 and a $100 bill is worth $100. That’s not what I’m talking about here, though.

To understand what I’m talking about, we need to get clear on the difference between COST and VALUE. And to do that, I’m gonna turn to the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, who once described it this way:

“Cost is what you pay, value is what you get.”

So, what we’re talking about here is how do you determine what the VALUE of that $5 or $100 is to you?

Or, more importantly for business owners, what’s the VALUE of $5 or $100 to your prospects?

As business owners, that’s a critical question to answer. Because the only way you’re gonna get their dough is if they believe the value of what they’re getting from you is equal to or greater than what they’re giving you.

And here’s the key to this… most of the value does not lie in the features of the product/service you provide. It’s in the ultimate benefit that your prospects believe they will GET from your product/service.

$300 Flip Flops

Here’s an example of what I mean:

Let’s talk flip flops for a minute.

You can get flip flops on or at Target for less than $20. If you want a pair of leather flip flops at one of those places, you can find them for $50 or so.

Want a pair of Prada flip flops at Saks? That’ll set you back about $290. (Want the leather flip flops with a rubber sole from Gucci? That’ll be $350 please.)

Now, we’re talkin’ flip flops here. There’s not much material that goes into making them. Basically about 10 inches of rubber and some thin straps.

Is the cost of materials and labor that go into the Gucci and Prada flip flops $300 more than the ones you’ll find at Target?

Not likely.

But people will shell out $300 for the luxury brand…

Because in their minds the higher cost, in and of itself, makes them value the flip flops more.

Because in their minds, the Prada flip flops are a status symbol.

Because in their minds, buying Prada flip flops buys them membership into an exclusive club they want to be a part of.

In other words, the value of the Prada flip flops isn’t in the flip flops themselves, it’s in how the flip flops make them FEEL. It’s what wearing Prada flip flops represents to them. It’s how wearing those flip flops helps them play out the story about themselves they picture in their minds.

This example is about luxury brands, but the concept applies to pretty much anything you sell. You have to understand the true motivations behind WHY your prospects want what you offer. You have to understand what they value and how they value it. You have to understand the story they believe about themselves and help them write the ending they wish to achieve/avoid.

The Most Important Job of Your Marketing

The key to what I said before about people not being too good about determining the value of money are the words “on our own”.

See, most of the value we place on things is shaped by EXTERNAL factors. We’re not good at doing it in a vacuum.

It’s shaped by our friends and the people we surround ourselves with. It’s shaped by media and the culture we live in. It’s shaped by the brands and marketing messages we’re exposed to (by the way, we direct marketers can be a bit dismissive of branding, but a powerful brand does wonders for establishing the value of its offerings).

It’s that last one that you have control over. YOU have the power to help your clients determine the true value of what you’re offering them.

Arguably the most important job of your marketing is to build that value up so your prospects believe they’d be foolish to pass on your offer. AND bonus points if you convince them it’s worth paying you a premium over what your competitors charge.

That’s not easy to do.

It takes a lot of research. It takes a lot of testing. It takes a lot of work.

But doing it will be the most valuable thing you can do for your business.

Well, at least that’s my philosophy.

Is This Syndrome Sinking Your Sales?

There was just no convincing him otherwise.

Chris was a prospect who called looking for help exclusively for SEO and Local Search. After listening to his situation and assessing his goals, I brought up AdWords because I thought it’d help him achieve those goals much faster.

But, the instant I mentioned AdWords, Chris balked at the idea.

The reason?

He’d tried it. Didn’t work. End of story.

Recently I sat down with another prospect who was telling me about her recent attempt at direct mail. Juila sent out about 15,000 pieces in a few different waves and got 1 new client from it.

(In fact, 10 times MORE people contacted Julia demanding to be taken off her list after receiving her mailing!)

From Julia’s perspective, she’s done with direct mail.

She’d tried it. Didn’t work. End of story.

This month, we’re going to dig into these stories a bit more closely. And what you’ll see is that both these business owners suffer from the same syndrome that severely cripples the sales potential at many businesses.

It’s a pretty common syndrome too and one that, after reading this article, hopefully you won’t suffer from any longer.

The Syndrome

Chris, who runs a local service business, became a client. We’re doing the SEO and Local Search optimization he initially contacted me about.

Since he runs a locally focused business, we started optimizing his site so he could rank better for a lot of search terms that contained the names of local cities/zip codes his company services.

The issue with SEO and Local Search in a situation like this is it can take a LONG time to get results in all the cities. And, of course, the most important cities are often the most competitive and the hardest battles to fight.

That’s a main reason why I suggested AdWords in the first place. With AdWords, we could make sure he shows up on Page 1 when someone searches for him in each and every city that’s important to his business.

But Chris was sour on AdWords. He’d run a campaign in the past (set up by someone at Google) and it was a money pit that generated huge credit card payments but few, if any, leads.

I didn’t force the issue, but as we got deeper into the SEO project and the relationship grew, I brought up AdWords again. He was still quite skeptical, but I asked if I could at least have access to his old AdWords campaign and poke around a bit.

Well, it didn’t take but 30 seconds after going into his campaign to see WHY it didn’t work.

  • Instead of targeting just the area Chris’ business serves, the geotargeting was set for the entire state his business was in (and it’s a big state!).
  • The keywords were all Broad Match keywords (a number of which were WAY too generic to be in his campaign).
  • And all the ad copy was pointing to the home page of the website instead of the subpages that were most relevant to the keywords in each ad group.

It’s no wonder the campaign was a money pit!

But Chris didn’t know this. He just knew that he’d tried AdWords, it didn’t work, and he wasn’t interested in trying it again.

He was suffering from “I-Tried-Before-And-It-Doesn’t-Work Syndrome”.

It’s the same Syndrome the other prospect I mentioned, Julia, suffers from.

After sending out 15K pieces of direct mail and getting one sale, Julia decided that direct mail doesn’t work.

She had a copy of her direct mail piece with her during our meeting and at least one of the big reasons her mailings didn’t succeed was immediately obvious.

In scanning the copy, I could see it was chock full of the words “I”, “Me” and “My”. Essentially, the whole piece was about the company and its owner. It had very little to do with the thing prospects care about most… themselves!

(Whether with Direct Mail, AdWords, your website, Email or whatever marketing channel you use, if you’re not focusing on the prospect and showing them how you can solve a problem they have or a desire they wish to fulfill, then your chances of success are miniscule!)

A Good Idea Poorly Executed…

There’s a reason a lot of companies still use AdWords and Direct Mail… they’re effective, viable marketing channels that can and do generate leads and sales successfully for a lot of businesses.

This is not to say they work all the time. This is not to say they’ll work in every industry.

But this is to say that before you turn your back on a marketing channel, you need to make sure you gave it a fair shake.

If you have a low level employee at Google who’s never run a business before build an AdWords campaign for you, the chances of it succeeding are much lower than if you paid a seasoned AdWords pro that takes the time to understand your business, your customers and your sales funnel.

If you write your own direct mail piece but don’t understand the fundamentals of direct response copy, the chances of succeeding are slim compared to hiring an experienced direct response copywriter who understands how to get people to respond to a well crafted offer.

(And, perhaps even more important, finding an expert list broker who will get you a high quality list so you know your message gets in front in the right target audience.)

Don’t turn your back on AdWords, Direct Mail, email or other forms of marketing because of I-Tried-It-Before-And-It-Doesn’t-Work Syndrome.

Get a second opinion. Have an AdWords expert look over your old AdWords campaign. Have an experienced marketer/copywriter/list broker review your previous direct mail efforts.

There’s lotsa money to be made with AdWords, direct mail, email, etc. It’d be a shame for you to miss out on it because your previous efforts were doomed to fail from the start.

Turning 40 and Swimming With Sharks (Literally!)

sharkLast Friday I turned 40.

To celebrate, I jumped into a 6 million gallon aquarium teeming with 600 pound turtles, huge stingrays, and SHARKS…a few topping out around 10 feet long (and I’ve got a video at the end of this post to prove it!).

No, this wasn’t because of a mid-life crisis.

No, despite my family and I having spent the previous week staying with my mother-in-law, this wasn’t because I’d rather jump into a shark tank than spend another minute with her.

And, no, I’m not some crazy risk taking daredevil.

This was just something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I love sharks. Always have.

In fact I’ve been in the ocean before, both while scuba diving and snorkeling, and had the good fortune to see sharks up close in their natural environment.

Swimming with sharks doesn’t scare me because I know the risks involved and understand the chances of being attacked are VERY low.

But most people don’t get this.

When I mention how I spent my birthday, most people think I’m joking. They think it’s mid-life crisis time. Or they think I’m just plain crazy.

They think these things because most people suck at accurately assessing risk.

The reality is that the 90 minute drive from my mother-in-law’s to Epcot Center, where I did the dive, was MUCH riskier than being in that tank.

And listen…I did this dive at Epcot Center. Disney World for crying out loud!

So first of all, you know Disney sharks are REALLY well fed.

Second, the instant one of those sharks shows ANY sign of aggression, Mickey would fire its ass faster than you can say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”.

Yet, still, the thought of swimming with sharks scares the bejesus out of most people.

They have images from the movie “Jaws” firmly implanted in their heads. They think of sensationalized media reports about the handful of shark attacks that do take place each year.

They think about rows of razor sharp teeth and blood in the water.

And when they think these things, emotions take over. That makes sizing up the TRUE risks of a situation hard to do…whether in our personal lives or our business lives.

I often see businesses in peril because the business owners FAIL to see the true risks of the situation they’re in.

Here are 4 big risks I commonly see in business:

1. Not diversifying your sources of leads/revenue

I know of businesses a Google algorithm change away from going under.

I know of businesses that get 95{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of their leads from AdWords.

I worked for a business that got 80{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of its revenue from just one client.

Yet the owners of businesses in these types of situations often feel quite secure because money’s flowing into the bank. They just don’t understand the huge risk they’re taking…or would rather ignore it.

Diversifying your lead/revenue sources reduces your risk. It puts you in a position where if one source shuts down, gets too expensive, or stops working for whatever reason, it’s not the end of the world.

When the money’s flowing in, that’s great. But if it’s flowing in from just one source, don’t get lazy. That’s EXACTLY the time to find other sources of leads/revenue. Because when the spigot all the money’s flowing out of gets shut off, it’s too late.

That’s what happened to a company I worked for years ago. Things were going great until our main client unexpectedly switched to another vendor. I was unemployed 3 weeks later.

Don’t put your business in a risky situation like that…Diversify!

2. Relying on free traffic

One of my mentors once said:

“If your business relies on free traffic, you don’t have a real business.”

That may sound harsh, but there’s a lot of truth there.

A lot of people flock to the “free” sources of traffic like organic search traffic, social media, etc. And they may find some success.

But it’s a risky position to be in.


First, you’re at the mercy of Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. They can change their algorithm. They can (and do) make you pay for full access your Fans. They can do whatever the heck they like without asking if it’ll affect your business or not.

Their platform. Their rules.

Second, it’s not a viable long term strategy. Sure, the early days of SEO were awesome. You could exact match domain and keyword stuff your way to the top of Page 1.

But then word got out, algorithms changed, the competition got fierce and the Google Gravy Train left the station. High rankings ain’t free anymore!

And sure, you could reach thousands of “fans” through social media, post some content, sprinkle in some offers and life was good. But then everyone jumped on the social media bandwagon. People are now following 100s or 1000s of people, companies and groups on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

GOOD LUCK getting noticed in the stream of crap cluttering up most people’s social media accounts these days!

(And have you noticed how many social media sites are addressing this? They now let you pay for that “privilege” of standing out from the crowd these days and reaching more of your followers!)

Lastly, free traffic makes you lazy. There’s something about having to pay for traffic from AdWords, direct mail, etc. that makes business owners sit up and take notice. They think more seriously about their sales funnel. They look at ways to bump conversion rates. They pay close attention to ROI.

Because they’re carefully counting the dollars in and dollars out, they’ve got their sales and marketing act together in a way business owners relying on free traffic don’t.

There’s something very freeing about knowing you can turn to AdWords, direct mail, even TV/print/radio ads, put a dollar in and get a dollar or more out.  It puts your business on much more solid (ie. less risky) footing.

Free may work for a while, but it’s not a viable long term strategy.

3. Not outsourcing/hiring

I see many business owners take the attitude “why pay someone else for things I can do myself?”

Well, sorry to break it to ya, but you’re just not good at EVERYTHING you need to do to run a company. Why spend time doing things you hate doing and/or aren’t that good at?

I don’t like spending my time reconciling bank statements and figuring out the inner workings of QuickBooks. I hate it. I’m not good at it. So I hired a bookkeeper.

Smart decision. It’s freed me up to do the things that I enjoy more and are income producing activities instead of time and money drains.

And that’s just one example.

Outsourcing other tasks so I can spend time on the things like high level strategy, writing, etc. that I excel at is one of the keys to the growth of my business over the last few years.

If you’re wasting time on tasks you don’t like and probably suck at, you’re leaving money on the table.

4. Not being a part of a Mastermind Group

Yes, this a very real risk to your business.

If you’re part of a high level Mastermind group, you know what I’m talking about.

If not, join (or start) one and find out what you’re missing.

The risk of not being in one is you get stale. You get stuck in the same patterns you’ve always been stuck in and don’t get the new ideas, the support and the guidance from successful peers that you need to break out and take your business to the next level.

The other risk is, without a Mastermind group, you don’t get the BIG kick in the ass many of us need to get over ourselves and start making significant improvements to ourselves and our businesses.

I wouldn’t be caught without one…the risk is too great.

Planning for 50!

I knew the risks I was getting into when I plunged into that shark tank and I’m here to tell the tale.

When you understand the real risks involved in anything you’re doing, you make smarter decisions. And those smarter decisions lead you to exciting experiences…whether swimming up close and personal with incredible animals or growing your business and enjoying all the success that brings to your life.

(Click the video to watch part of my dive)

I had so much fun on this dive, I’m already thinking about my 50th…diving off the coast of Mexico with Great White Sharks. (In a cage of course, because I’m not one to take big risks;)

Who’s with me?!

What other risks do you see business owners regularly ignoring? Please share them in the comment section below…



Bad Advice From a Mentor?

A few months ago I was talking with a new business owner and he shared a piece of advice with me that he got from one of his mentors.

The advice was this:

“Don’t start selling until you have something to sell.”

The mentor’s thinking was that you shouldn’t start marketing and selling your product or service until you establish a business and are ready for prime time.

Sounds reasonable, right?

Well, I actually think that’s backwards thinking.

There’s a lot of risk involved with starting a business.

It takes a lot of time and (often) money. And let’s not ignore the huge emotional tool starting a business can take on you, your relationships, your ego, etc. – especially if it fails.

Doesn’t it make sense to test the waters first to see if the demand is there for your product or service BEFORE you jump into the deep end of the pool only to find out you can’t swim?

It’s actually pretty easy to test out a new business idea.

One way is to test it out online.

Let’s say you’ve come up with an idea for a revolutionary new widget. Instead of putting in the time and money to develop a prototype, figuring out manufacturing and distribution, etc., what if Step 1 was to set up a website?

On the website you can:

  • Put a questionnaire to gain better insights into the market and prospect’s potential interest in a widget like yours
  • Offer a whitepaper or report highly related to your widget and see how many people download it (and what kind of feedback you get to it)
  • Even better, have a description of the widget and a Buy Now button on the site and see if people actually click it. If they do, you can send them to a page with a simple “Coming Soon” message on it. You can also let them enter their email address and offer a coupon that they can use if and when your widget is actually available for sale.

Once you have the website set up, simply send some AdWords traffic to the site and see if people respond.

The cost of the AdWords campaign would pale in comparison to the costs of finding out months down the road that the demand is not there for your widget.

(By the way, if you already have a business with a website, this is an ideal way to test our ideas for a new offering. Simply add a button to your website mentioning this new product/service and see how many people click on it.

Get a lot of clicks? Put the resources into making the project a reality.

Don’t get a lot of clicks? Table the idea.)

Don’t want to set up a website? Then interview people who would be your key prospects about the need for, and their interest in, a widget like yours.

This has two benefits.

First, you’ll get feedback that can help you make an even better widget right out of the gate.

Second, the people who’ve given you advice are now warm leads you can go back to if you decide to go forward with your widget.

There are a lot of great ideas out there. And a lot of people who have taken those great ideas to market and failed.

A big reason why is that most people think like the mentor I mentioned at the beginning of this article.

But if you take the opposite approach and try selling and marketing your product before you spend a lot of time and money in development, setting up a business, etc., you can save yourself from a lot of potential heartache.

For a great read on how to reduce your risks of failure, I’d recommend reading Benji Rabhan’s book “Failure is Obsolete”.  He shares his principle of “Test Before You Test” that he’s used to virtually eliminate the chance of failure both in the business world and in his personal life. It’s a very worthwhile read.

So what do you think? Which approach would you recommend taking and why?

Reeling ‘Em In Aboard The “Poverty Sucks”

I’d never experienced anything like it before or since…

It was between my Junior and Senior years at the University of Miami. I stayed at school for part of the summer to do an internship in marine biology at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences on Key Biscayne. (I know…sounds like a tough gig!)

When I wasn’t “working” I spent a lot of time with my buddy Eric who also stayed in Miami over the summer. Eric lived in a house near campus with a few roommates including Cory, a marine science grad student.

Like most marine scientists, Cory was a friendly, laid back kinda guy who liked to drink beer. Unlike most marine scientists, Cory happened to come from an extremely wealthy family.

How wealthy?

Well, one Sunday we went to his dad’s house to watch the World Cup finals.

The house was on one of the exclusive gated islands off of Miami Beach…his dad’s friends arrived by boat at the dock behind the house (near the pool with the water level Tiki bar)…and we watched the game in the huge living room off of the huge kitchen on a 100 inch projector TV.

It was only when we were leaving that I realized we’d been confined to the “guest” house and never set foot inside the main residence.

Yeah, that wealthy.

A few weekends later, Cory invited us to Islamorada in the Florida Keys to do some Dolphin fishing on his dad’s boat. (The Mahi Mahi fish kind of Dolphin, NOT the mammal!)

So on a steamy summer Friday night we drove down to the Keys in a convertible with the top down and music blasting. We made a quick pit stop at Publix in Key Largo to pick up some beer and food (in that order) and spent the night aboard the boat…

…a 53 footer christened the “Poverty Sucks”.

The next morning the crew came, rustled us all out of bed and we headed out to do some fishing.

It was a stunning morning in the Keys. There was a light chop as we motored out to sea and we soon found what we were looking for. It was that clear line in the water that separates the greenish-brown coastal waters from the deep blue waters of the Gulf Stream. This is where the Dolphin patrol.

The hooks went in the water and we spent the next few hours trolling around without a lot of action. We knew the fish were there because we had some nibbles and caught a random fish here and there but, overall, we didn’t have much luck.

Then off in the distance the captain spotted what he’d been looking for… a flock of Frigate birds flying around in an excited state, dive bombing into an ocean bubbling with activity.

We made a B-line to where the Frigates were, dropped our lines in the water and our luck instantly changed.

The next 90 minutes or so was a blur. We had 5 lines going at a time and we were hauling up Dolphin left and right.

Below the water the fish were whipped up into a feeding frenzy and were striking at anything and everything.

Up on the boat we were racing around trying to keep the fishing lines from getting tangled, fighting with and trying to land multiple fish at a time, and then getting the lines back the water as quickly as we could.

By the time the frenzy was over, we all collapsed on deck exhausted from battling the fish and the hot Florida sun, hands blistered, and shirts splattered with blood (fish, not human).

By the time all was said and done we’d landed 23 Dolphin.

Now admittedly, as marine biologists in training, we felt a bit guilty for taking so many of these beautiful fish from the ocean. We were all more catch and release kinda guys.

But the fish didn’t go to waste.

Back on shore, the crew expertly filleted the Dolphin and most were sold to local restaurants. The rest went home with us and, tired and happy, we capped off the day with the most amazing fish dinner any of us ever had.

So what does this have to do with marketing your business?

Well, on a high level you really have two ways to approach marketing.

The one that most businesses take resembles the first few hours we were out fishing aboard the Poverty Sucks.

You go to an area where you think some of your customers are, throw your hook in the water and hope for the best.

The thinking is along the lines of “I know some of the people watching this TV station, reading this magazine/newspaper, or hanging out on Facebook are my prospects. So I’m going to advertise and get a presence there and try to land some of them.”

And, sure, you may land a few customers here and there…just enough for you to get talked into renewing when the sales rep comes calling..but it’s a slow, inefficient way to market.

The second approach is like the second, more productive part of our fishing expedition. It’s the highly targeted approach.

When the captain spotted the Frigates, he knew that not only were the Dolphin close by, but they were whipped up into a feeding frenzy.

Once we positioned ourselves in the right spot and put our lines in the water, 80{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of the work was done. At that point, our main concern was just being able to handle all the fish that were practically throwing themselves into our boat.

This is the direct response approach to marketing.

It’s when you know where your prospects are hanging out in high concentrations and are actively looking for what you’ve got to offer.

Sometimes they’ll already be whipped up into a feeding frenzy and primed to bite. Other times you have to chum the water a bit to whip them up to the point where they’re ready to bite.

Either way, you know they’re there and have an itch they need to scratch. Your job at that point is to just dangle a big back scratcher in front of their faces.

This is when you really start reeling ‘em in hand over fist.

Big brands with millions of dollars to spend on marketing may be able to get away with the first approach.

You don’t.

You should be smarter than they are. You should be more targeted. You should focus on the low hanging fruit.

You can’t afford to blow your money on the expensive, inefficient approach to marketing because, from what I hear, Poverty Sucks. 😉

Here’s to you catching a lot more fishes in 2013!

The Big Problem With Networking

I used to love going to networking events. In fact, when I first started running my own business, I networked like a maniac.

Though, even at the time, when I’d walk into these events, I always had the same thought…

“This would be SO much easier if the people who were interested in my service would just raise their hands. Or maybe have a little arrow floating above their heads saying “Talk to me! I need your help!”.

Because the problem with networking is the randomness of it all.

Before an event I never knew if any legitimate prospects would be there or if anyone I’d meet could/would introduce me to legitimate prospects. And, if those people were there, would I actually meet those people or end up trapped in a conversation with another pre-paid legal or network marketing representative?

I don’t regret going to the events. I made some great business contacts (some of whom have become great friends) because of networking.

And through those contacts, I did get some business and was able to SLOWLY build my business.

But considering all the hands I shook, all the business cards exchanged, and all the resulting coffees, lunches, phone calls, etc., the conversion rate was quite low.

In many respects networking is a “throw the spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks” approach to marketing.

I’m not knocking it and saying it’s a waste of time. As I said before, I originally built my business through networking.

But I realize now that it should have not been my main focus.

If I had really wanted to grow my business more quickly, I should have used a much more focused strategy aimed at getting me in front of prospects who had a bleeding neck.

The ones who were experiencing a painful problem at that instant and were actively looking for a solution that I could provide.

Those are the people I really want to get in front of. And when you’re in front of those people, the conversion rates are A LOT higher.

If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t avoid networking events. There’s something to be said for getting out of the office and meeting people face to face.

But it wouldn’t be the main focus of my marketing efforts…as I see it being for many small business owners.

What really drove this home for me was the big realization that people who are interested in my service actually are raising their hands.

They’re just doing it virtually by typing keywords into a search engine that describe the need, desire, or problem they need to solve that is, at that moment, the #1 thing on their minds.

What do you think? Is networking random or do you have a system for reliably generating sales from it? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.