You know I like to keep it real on The Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast my friends.

Today is no different, so here goes:

If you’re treating your marketing as a last-ditch effort to “save” your business, it’s already a goner.

Any marketing strategy, whether it’s paid or organic, will only amplify what you already have. Which is great if you have a solid foundation, not so great if you don’t.

I believe that you should treat your marketing as an investment in your business growth.

If you’re not dedicating time, resources, and money to your marketing, your business growth is going to go backward, not forwards.

So in today’s episode, I’m challenging you to reflect on whether or not you’re currently treating your marketing as an investment, and sharing why it’s critical for the long-term growth and success of your business that you do.

No more excuses.

After you listen to this episode, I’d love to hear from you on Instagram. Message me @emilyhirsh and tell me if you’re currently treating your marketing as an investment, and if not, what’s one action you could take today to step up to that?

P.S. If you want to get in on The Shift: A Hirsh Marketing Partner Info Session, click here to join me live on Zoom on September 23rd at 1:00pm EDT, or to access the replay after the event!

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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Emily Hirsh:

Hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. I hope you guys are having an amazing week. Can you believe we are almost going into quarter four of this year? I literally cannot believe it. I feel like I say this a lot on the podcast, but is it just me or is this year flying by so quickly? I can’t believe it. We’re going to be in 2022 before we know it, just crazy. I have spent this whole week as of recording this podcast having the best week ever in San Diego and with my sales director, Aandra, who I adore as a friend and is also such an intelligent person and human being. We’ve been working a lot on the new and improved Ignite offer that’s coming soon. We started with first upleveling our offer for our clients, our done for you clients, which I’m actually announcing today.

If you’re not going to The Shift info session that I’m holding today at 1:00 PM Eastern time today, that event is happening. But if you’re listening to this podcast after Thursday, then you might have missed it, but if you go to hirshmarketing.com/theshift, you can watch the recording, or you can come live today. All you have to do is go there and you’ll get the calendar event sent right to your Google calendar and the link. After interviewing our audience, we’ve gone through a lot of brainstorming of making the best offer possible because I just want to serve everybody in the best way possible to be able to get everybody the results that they deserve and want to have the best impact that they can have. 

Anyways, I’ve been having a great week doing that and brainstorming, and I’m very excited. It’s also been fun to be here in San Diego. So this is what I’m up to, but today I am wanting to talk to you guys about something that maybe is going to be some real talk for you guys. That is, do you treat your marketing like an investment? I want you to just hear me out on this one and really observe yourself after and just see if you’re doing this or not. 

I believe, and I’ve always talked about the fact that I think marketing should be an investment in your business and that every single month you should have money you’re putting back into your business through marketing. Now I’m not saying that has to be Facebook and Instagram ads. You could be doing YouTube ads. You could be investing in some sort of organic marketing strategy that you need built out for your business. Something to know that the output is going to get you an audience, grow you an audience, grow your email list, which then leads to your sales.

I was having this really interesting conversation, actually, it was on a podcast with Susan Sly a couple of weeks ago, and she is amazing in the tech space. She’s worked within that industry of getting investors in companies and going and pitching investors. I’ve never really experienced that before, because I’ve never done that with my companies. So I’m always intrigued by it, and one thing that she said stuck with me was that when you go to pitch, and think shark tank, right? You have to have a plan and you tell them what you’re planning to do with the money that you’re going to get from their investment. And she said, if you go and pitch an investor and you don’t have a significant amount of the investment you’re going to get set aside already in your plan for marketing, they won’t even consider you. 

I was like, that is so good because it just illustrates the fact that an investor’s not even going to invest in a company that doesn’t have a marketing plan in place, that’s not willing to take that investment and put it into marketing, because they know as investors that the company’s not going to do well if they don’t have a marketing plan and if they don’t have funds set aside for marketing.  So we can take that as bootstrap entrepreneurs who are not getting investment and treat our business like that, and look at our business and say, “hey, if we maybe have this much money every month to invest back in it, we’re going to put this percentage to a VA or our delivery, and we’re going to put this percentage to growing my business through some marketing tactic.” 

Now, of course, I believe that Facebook and Instagram ads are one of the best ways to grow your business. But you know what? That doesn’t mean you have to do that. I’m not telling you you have to do Facebook and Instagram ads, even though that is what I believe can move the needle the most for most businesses. I’m just saying you have to have something in place every single month to put money back in your business. 

So, number one, my question is are you treating your marketing like an investment, or are you treating it as a last ditch effort to come and fix what’s not working? I want you to really sit with that, maybe for the next day and figure out where are you falling here? Because one thing I see that I think people don’t even realize they’re doing is they will be like, “well, I tried all these things. I posted on social media. I built a funnel I put it out there one time. I maybe ran ads a little bit, but not really. It was a long time ago. So I need to run Facebook ads now, and I need these Facebook ads to come and save me from something that’s not already working.” That is not what Facebook ads are for. That’s not what any marketing strategy is for. Any marketing strategy is going to amplify something you have and that’s a good thing, but you can’t get to it that late. If you’re coming to Facebook ads and saying, “I’ve got to put money here and I’ve got to make it back right away to stay in business,” that’s not good.

You need to invest in your marketing before that happens so that you’re growing an audience, and you’re growing those leads, and you’re moving in the right direction, and you’re going through that process of testing and refining. Then doing that again before you get to the place where you’re like, “I just need to make this work next week or I’m going to quit.” Now, if you’re in that place, it’s still not too late. I’m just saying you need to adjust your expectations, that you’re not going to come in and in the first 30 days, somehow Facebook ads, or YouTube ads, or whatever you choose, is going to save everything for you. You need to come at it as this is an investment in the long game and the long-term of my company, and you should be putting money there every single month.

So number one, it’s deciding how much do you have if I was to sit down and ask you, what do you put back into your business every month? How much is that total and how much does that leave for your marketing? What percentage of your total investment every month are you willing to put back into your marketing? What would that number be? Do you have that number? Number two, are you even doing that? Making sure you do that, and then making sure you have the right expectations and mindset going into it. 

One thing that drives me so crazy about the online industry is for some reason, so many people treat their business like it’s not a business and they treat it like, “I just want to work five hours a week and try to build a business, but I don’t actually want to do very much work to do it and I’m not really willing to put my money into marketing.” And it’s like, you’re never going to be successful. That’s the reality. This is a business. Business is hard. You have to work hard for it. And it’s so worth it if you can do that, but you need to get up and have that grit and invest in your business, like a true business owner, like a true CEO. 

I think looking at companies that do go get investors, because that is how a lot of companies start, is such a great example because they have to do that. They don’t have a choice. Imagine if you went to an investor and you were like, “I would like this much money to start my company. I don’t know where I’m going to put the money. I don’t have a marketing strategy. I’m not really going to invest in marketing. I have five hours a week to work on my business and I’m not really willing to do very much work. So if you ask me to do something as my investor, I’m probably not going to do it,” you would never get the money, right? It’s ridiculous. It’s like, you’re laughing at it, but yet some people treat their business like that and then they’re frustrated that they’re not successful. So that’s a side rant, but I just want to call that out because if you’re maybe accidentally doing that or somebody giving you the impression that that is how online business works, it’s not. So we need to treat our business and treat our marketing like a true investment in our future.

The second piece of this is, if that’s true, that means if cost goes up in your marketing, that doesn’t mean you’re like, “I’m just going to stop investing in it.” I want you to think, if the cost of materials goes up, construction companies don’t just quit until it goes back down. If the cost of gas goes up, as it does, you don’t just go, “okay, I’m going to stop putting gas in my car.” Instead the construction companies figure out. Do we need to raise our prices? Do we need to change our time that it takes to deliver because the materials have gone up and so there’s less than supply and so we have to go to a different vendor? Do we need to switch vendors? Do we need to figure out how to get a discount? They start brainstorming and problem-solving. If the cost of gas goes up, you figure out how to still buy gas and then you say, do I need to figure out how to make X amount more dollars every month? I’ll go drive for Lyft, I don’t know, or I will cut this expense out in exchange for still needing gas marketing.

Investing back in your business is like an essential, like gas for your car, or food for your pantry. Now, of course, don’t spend money on marketing if you can’t feed your family. That’s not what I’m saying, but I’m saying if you want to grow your business, putting money into marketing is an essential, not an extra. So you have to treat it like that. That means too, if the cost goes up, and this is what I talked about this week in San Diego in my speech at T&C is if the cost of marketing goes up, you have to make that work for your business still. That could mean a few things. That could mean maybe you have to shift your strategy so that you can get your cost per lead down by using an opt-in instead of a webinar. Maybe you have to increase your prices a little bit. Maybe you have to execute another strategy that’s going to increase your sales conversion. 

Here’s the thing. What all of you guys need to do is think like a marketer, think like a strategic business owner. Everything is not necessarily always black and white. Most things are not. So it’s not like Facebook ad costs go up, I turn my ads off. Or Facebook ad costs go up, I flipped to a new platform. No. It’s Facebook ad costs go up, how do I still invest in marketing? What do I need to change on my end, on my strategy, on my structure, on my pricing, on my offer for this to still work? Instead of being like, “oh, it’s black and white. If this happens, I’m just going to stop this,” it doesn’t work that way. It’s like, how do we problem-solve and still create that success?

I want you guys to sit with are you actually treating your marketing, and your business growth, and the activities that lead to that as a non-negotiable, or is it getting pushed to the back burner? You know what? This can also show up as time and resources. Are you not putting any time into growing your business, into activities that are going to grow your business? Are you so bogged down by the actual delivery and the day-to-day of your business that you have nothing to put into the growth? Because I think you’re either growing or you’re going backwards. There is no such thing as plateau, because we all need to generate new audiences, new leads, and new sales, every single business. Name one that doesn’t, right?

So if you’re not putting resources, time and money into that growth into marketing, you are going backwards. Now today you’ve been going backwards, so we’ve got to change that and we need to start treating our marketing like an investment that’s non-negotiable, and figure out what that means and how to make it work for your business with where you’re at today. Which might be different than what my strategy looks like, or somebody else’s strategy looks like. But there is no excuse to not be treating it like an investment, to not have a non-negotiable that you put money and you put time back into your business growth every single month, no questions asked. 

It is an above the line expense is what I’ve said before. It is not like an extra thing. Is there something else that you can cut out in exchange for putting back into your business growth? Because that is the most important part of your business. Then you’ve got to deliver, so of course you have to put resources into your delivery. That’s a whole other story about people put too much resources into that, and then they leave nothing over for delivery. It obviously has to be a balance, but you’ve got to treat your marketing like an investment. 

So that’s what I have to say today, guys. I would love to hear from you on Instagram. You can come message me @emilyhirsh and tell me, are you treating your business as an investment? Or what is one action you can take this week, tomorrow, today to start doing that, to step up into that? You know I like to keep it real. So if I have made you go like, “oh crap, I’m totally doing that,” I’m sorry, but not really because it’s going to help you in the long term. Thanks so much for listening today guys, and I’ll talk to you next time.

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