Time for a hard truth my friends.

While it’s true that in this era of digital marketing having amazing messaging and creating content that will attract your ideal customer is critical…

It doesn’t matter if you’re creating hundreds of Reels, have a stellar strategy, write the most perfect emails, or anything else if you don’t first have an incredible marketing foundation.

Nothing else will work, no matter how great it is, until you’ve nailed down your foundation.

Unfortunately, this is the most overlooked component of marketing.

So today I want to dive deep into this and share an exclusive sneak peek into a training I recently held in a friend’s group.

Tune in to this episode where I Team Hirsh’s proven process for locking down your marketing foundation, including how to:

  • Know your ideal customer better than anyone else
  • Create an angle and offer positioning specifically for that customer
  • Set your sales goals and define your metrics for success 

Did today’s episode expose any gaps in your own marketing foundation? DM me on Instagram (@emilyhirsh) and give me all the details!

WANT TO WORK WITH TEAM HIRSH?

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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Emily Hirsh:

Hello everybody, and welcome back to the podcast. I hope you guys are having an amazing week. I have spent the whole weekend putting my house back together. I’m so excited to tell you. I am actually recording my podcast in my brand new office with my beautiful floor to ceiling bookshelf that was a Pinterest inspiration board to start with and has come to life. So I’m super excited about that. I have a treat for you guys today. Last week, I recorded a private training for a friend of mine and for their group, and I’m going to pull just a little clip from that training. I can’t give you guys the whole training because it was behind a paywall for her whole program, but I want to give you the clip that really highlights your marketing foundation. It’s been a while since I really went deep into the importance of that.

On this note, we’ve been talking a lot about how content is so important and having amazing messaging and creating content that you’re going to attract your ideal customer is so critical. So here’s the thing, though. You can record a hundred Reels, you can write the best emails, you can have the most amazing strategy, you can go check all these things off the boxes. But if you don’t have an incredible marketing foundation, if you don’t have your messaging and your solid foundation in place,  ultimately that’s what it comes down to, nothing else you do will work. So I want to go deep into this with you guys all about the first step of The Not For Lazy Marketers Process, and that is strategize. This is the most overlooked step, the one where you’re going to lose the most money and time, because you’re going to have to come back and redo things that you should have done from the beginning. So this is what I want to share with you guys. Enjoy!

Number one is strategize. This is one of the most important steps. It’s at the foundation of the process, and as we all know, we can not build anything on a shaky foundation. So what we’re going to do is create that solid foundation. We’re probably going to spend the most time on this step and then move on to the others. So step number one is strategize. It is super important to know your numbers before you ever run ads. We won’t let you drop a dime on ads until we step back and we make sure your goals are in alignment with your targeting your story in your offer. So let’s dive into this foundation. 

This is the step where we set that foundation because you can’t create profitable ads and successful ads on a broken foundation. This is also really important to know. Facebook ads or any form of that, organic marketing or paid ads in any way cannot save you from a broken foundation. I see a lot of people who come at Facebook ads with like, “this hasn’t worked, this hasn’t worked, this hasn’t worked, so I need to master Facebook ads to create success.” That is not the reality of Facebook ads. Facebook ads in any strategy, or any platform, or anything that you do in your marketing is going to amplify what you already have. It’s going to amplify what is working or not working. So we need to start with a solid foundation so we can amplify that solid foundation. 

So there’s three main components to your marketing foundation. Number one is knowing your ideal customer better than anyone else in your industry. You’ll notice how this foundation isn’t starting with ads. It’s starting with what comes before the ads, what’s going to drive the ads and what’s going to create that success with your ads. In the first step, before you can do anything, you have to know your customer. You have to know that ideal customer and you have to know them better than they know themselves, better than any competitor knows them. If you can do that, you will absolutely create success in your marketing. 

Number two is create an angle and offer positioning specifically for that customer that makes your business stand out from all the rest. Over the last year, this has gotten even more important because the space is more crowded, ad cost is increased, and so you have to stand out with everything you do more than you used to. Then number three is setting sales goals and defining your numbers for success before you ever spend money on paid ads. So many people will go about their ads by saying, “oh, I’ll just spend $10 a day and see what happens ,or $20 a day and see what happens.”

What I’m going to teach you guys and share with you today is that before you spend a penny on your ads, or maybe you’ve spent money, we’re going to backtrack before you spend more money, is we need to know what is success? We need to know how much are we spending and what are we expecting to get out of that? How many leads, how much traffic, how many sales, so that when you go to spend money on ads, you can be confident with what you’re doing and you can be confident in increasing your budget, changing your budget, and knowing where to go look, depending on what’s working and what’s not working. This will bring that confidence and really help that overwhelm. 

So to build this foundation, we can answer three questions. The first question is who exactly are you targeting in all of your marketing? I don’t just mean their age and their gender, and they live here and these are the demographic things. That’s great to know and that’s helpful, but that’s the surface. We need to dig way deeper and get really clear on what are their fears? What are their hopes? What are their desires? What’s their biggest frustration? What obstacles are they facing? Not just, “oh, they want to save time.” If every single human on the earth wants to do what you’re saying, it’s not good enough. It’s not deep enough. If it’s like, “oh, they’re afraid of not being successful,” so is everybody else, right? You’re not going to stand now with that knowledge. You need to dig deeper. Keep asking yourself why, why, why, until you get to the root, three layers down and ultimately you know your customer better than they know themselves.

Most business owners, most entrepreneurs think they have this defined. They’re like, “oh yeah, I know my ideal customer. No problem.” Every time I take them through this process, every time I start questioning them, they realize quickly they’re barely scratching the surface. So you might be in this boat. Then what happens though is they’re barely scratching the surface, they go launch a marketing campaign, it totally doesn’t work because it’s like everything else out there. It’s not speaking to their customer’s pains and desires and frustrations. Then it completely flops because they just don’t know their customer enough to create a marketing message that stands out from the noise. That’s what we have to do. 

That starts with first understanding your ideal customer, then we can go to question number two, and that is what is the unique problem that you solve for your ideal customer? Now you know your ideal customer, and now you have to be clear on what is the problem that your business, your offer, your brand, solves for that ideal customer? Then you can say, “okay, I’m clear on this problem.” Also, really highlighting that word unique. You’re not just going to be like, “oh, I help people make money or I help people grow their business,” or, “I help people save time,” or. “get healthy” That’s not unique, right? So do you and a thousand plus other businesses out there. what makes you different? What makes you stand out? What makes you not a commodity where people are just going to compare pricing out there, but makes it like, “oh, I have to work with that company because they do it better than anyone else, because here’s why.” 

Then you can say does all of my content, my strategies, my messaging, everything I create clearly relate to that problem? So if you were to look at your brand and pretend like you’ve never seen it before, and you just came across your social media, or you came across your podcast, or your video, ask yourself, “if I just watched this video, would I be clear on the problem my brand solves? If I watched it for the first time, I had no idea who my brand was, am I clear on that? Usually it’s indirectly. Obviously you’re not going to get on every video and be like, “hey, I solved this problem,” but in the content that you’re creating, you’re building yourself as an expert. And if that content is disconnected from the problem that you solve, then people won’t be building that trust with you. Why we do anything in marketing is to build that connection and trust to ultimately move them to the sale.

So once you’re clear on that problem, you can then look at everything you’re doing and asking, does this build my credibility around solving that problem? For example, I solve the problem of helping you with your marketing. Well, if I went on my podcast and talked about all the time here’s how you do time management, or here’s how I manage my life as a mom, you would be pretty confused. You’d be like, “okay that’s great, but are you good at marketing?” Right? It’s okay to do it a little bit, but you have to be clear and confident, and just unapologetic about the problem you solve with all of your content. 

Then the third question is what metrics do you need to hit in order to achieve the first, most critical milestone in your marketing, which is breaking even? Most of the time when people hear this, they’re like, “I don’t want to break even, I want to be profitable.” I get it, but before you can be profitable, you have to break even. You’re not able to have a profitable marketing strategy until you’re breaking even, and it’s harder to get to the place of breaking even than it is to profitability. Once you’re breaking even, profitability is the easier next step. The reason is that breaking even means you’re getting sales, right? You’re making your first sales, you know your ideal customer, you’re clear on your offer, you’ve proven your offer, and you’re making those sales. That is a lot harder than moving to profitability, because once you’re breaking even and you’re making those sales, then it becomes a matter of tweaking and it becomes a matter of optimizing. But before that, it’s all about the foundation. 

I just had this conversation with a client of ours who was trying to really hone in her offer. We had been running ads and helping her and it wasn’t landing. We’re getting the leads, we’re not getting the sales. We’ll talk about this more, but that is part of marketing is going through that process where you actually are not getting sales and you come back and fix things. She was so focused on, “what bonus should I add in?” Or, “how do I add this level of urgency to my offer?” I said,” yeah that is going to help, but that is icing on the cake. Your problem is still foundational and you haven’t nailed the clear problem you solve that makes you different from the other companies out there. So we have to solve that first, before we go look at all those other details and the bonuses, the urgency, all those things, those will help, but those are optimizations Those take you from breaking even to profitable, not from nothing to breaking even.” 

First we have to identify how do we break even? Step one in doing this is committing to a marketing budget that you can spend as an investment in the growth of your company. I believe that marketing is an investment. I believe every single month you should put money back into growing your business in the form of marketing in some way, right? If you were to go and ask an investor to invest in your business, which a lot of us in the online industry, we don’t do that very much. But if you were to go ask an investor and you said, “hey, I need this money for my business, but I have no budget plan for marketing,” they won’t even consider you. Investors won’t even consider you if you don’t have a big budget for marketing.

So that means we should treat our business like that. Of course, even if you don’t have an investor, you still have to figure out how am I putting money back into my business for it to grow. If I were to sit down with you right now and say, “hey, how much could you spend next month and not make it back yet, but this is in the investment, in the long-term of your company. How much could you spend?” You probably just got a number in your head. Whatever that number is, that’s your baseline marketing budget that you’re willing to be like, “I could spend that. I don’t have to make it back within 30 days and I could still put food on the table, take care of my team,” whatever it is. Whatever that number is, that can be your marketing budget and you can lower it if you need to if you’re like, “wait, actually I couldn’t do that.” Whatever that minimum amount is, that’s your marketing budget. 

Step two, we then say with that budget, how many sales do you need to make in order to break even with that budget? So let’s say you chose $500 and your product is a thousand dollars. You would need five sales. You take that total spend that you chose from step one divided by the cost of your product, or average cart value if you have multiple products. That gives you like at the minimum, I would be winning if I got five sales, because then I spent 500, I made 500. I’m at no loss. I’m not at a gain yet, but I’m at no loss. So that’s step two, having those two numbers, okay. 

Then step three, you assign core metrics and goals to achieve your breakeven goal. So play with a few different scenarios. I’m going to show you what this could look like. For example, this is a lead generation funnel with a 1% conversion, so I chose the monthly ad budget of $2,000. I said, I’m going to put 80% of this budget to it because I’m going to spend some other money on visibility in different ads, which we’re going to talk about in a second. But $2,000, my product cost is $997. So here are my different scenarios. I have $5 cost per lead, $6, $7, $8, $9, $10. Like here’s different scenarios based on this cost per lead. If I get a 1% sales conversion across the board, here’s where I’ll land. So I can pay up to $10 cost per lead, and as long as I convert 1% of all my leads I’ll break even. But if I can get it lower, I’ll start to move into the profitability.

So you can play with this and be like, “okay, where will I land?” This is what we do for all of our clients and I teach my students. Now going into ads, I’m like, okay, if I get in the range of five to $10 cost per lead to my webinar and I convert 1% of all of those leads here is the scenarios I’ll land. Then I can go start ads and I can be like, “all right, I’m paying $7 cost per lead, but I’m at a 0.5% sales conversion, and so here’s what I need to adjust,” but you’re not going into it completely blinded. Let’s look at a different example. Okay? So we’ve got the same cost per lead, but we changed the sales conversion to 2%. Now you see, “okay, I’m profitable all the way up to $10 cost per lead and I’m still making some money back. Not a lot, but some money back. I can pay that, and if I just increase my sales conversion by 1%, that’s what it does to my numbers.”

I also want to just show you guys a product funnel, cause that’s a little bit different. The first step if you’re going straight from ad to a product is what’s the cost to get a view right on your sales page? And then what is your sales conversion of all of those views? So we have different scenarios of how much it’s costing me to get a landing page view onto my sales page, and then let’s say a hundred people come to my sales page and 10 buy so I have a 10% sales conversion. You guys can copy these numbers so you can adjust them. You are guessing a little bit in the beginning. Now you see the different scenarios. So I can pay up to a $3.50 landing page conversion and convert 10% of all those views and be at about the breakeven point. That was with a monthly ad budget of a thousand dollars with my product price of $37. 

Before you spend any money on your ads, you have to define goals and metrics. Start with defining that first critical milestone of breaking even. That means saying, “okay, if I’m willing to spend a thousand dollars and my product price costs a thousand dollars, I have to sell one.” Or, “if my product price costs $500, I have to sell two,” and just knowing what is that minimum amount that you’ll be winning if you hit that number. What this means is you’ll never be spending money, just boosting posts to see what happens. You’ll be very intentional with your strategy and budget out the gate. Yes, you might have to adjust it. You might be like, “oh, I thought I was going to get a $5 cost per lead and I’m paying $7.” That’s okay if you have to adjust it. At least you’re going into it with that confidence and you’re not just like, “oh, I’ll just spend $20 a day and see what happens.” That is bad. That is what a lot of people do and it’s okay if you’ve done that, but I want to empower you to not do that. 

So I have an example here. This is our client Radon. He initially launched ads with the cost per lead of over $25. Here’s what most people would do when this happens is they have that $25 cost per lead. It goes on for a week and they’re like, “oh my gosh, my ads are not working. Shut this off. This is terrible. Facebook ads don’t work for me. I need a new funnel. I need a new offer. Shut it all off.” Right? Who has done that? Well, our team went back with this expensive costs and we strategized on unique messaging angles. We relaunched ad copy and creative. We went back to who is his ideal customer? What is the problem he solves? What is unique about this offer that we are going to, which was a webinar. Let’s come up with some new angles. Let’s come up with a new targeting. Let’s relaunch. Then over the span of four weeks, we were able to take his cost per lead from $25 to $8 and bring in applications for his service, because he sells a service. So imagine if we were like, “oh, we can’t do this,” after a couple of weeks. Even one to two weeks, we’re like, “this is too high of a cost per lead. We have to go back and not do this.” Most people don’t wait and optimize long enough to get to the other side. 

One thing I want you guys to take away from this training is that marketing is about that refinement. That is true marketing. Marketing is not, “launch my campaign and it works out the gate.” That doesn’t actually exist. You might think you see that. On the other side, what’s happening on the backend is constant refinement, constant optimization. We solved his problem and got his cost per lead cut by a third, by focusing on this foundation. All of it came by strengthening the foundation of his messaging, of knowing his numbers, of knowing the offer that he has, what’s different about that. The marketing foundation can solve most of the problems later on through the pillars. So that is the first pillar.

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