When my business started to come crashing down around me last April, I questioned everything I was doing, and everything I knew. 

It felt like I had to work ten times harder just to get the same results… And the same results weren’t enough to support the business I built for growth. 

Even though so many of us in the industry were majorly struggling, I knew it was more than a platform problem. And I knew something BIG needed to change. 

In Episode #2, I’ll dive into… 

  • Why the platform isn’t the problem, and what to troubleshoot instead
  • When and how to use Facebook Ads to make a profit, and the kind of ads budget you actually need to move the needle
  • How to question your business like a multimillion dollar CEO so you know exactly how to up-level your offers
  • Where to look to find out exactly what your audience needs, so you can create offers that are irresistible

I’m showing you the exact process I used to pinpoint our real problem, and how I found the surefire solution that led to me tearing down everything I worked so hard to create… to create something even more powerful. Get ready to think like a pro, so you can get pro results!

WANT TO WORK WITH TEAM HIRSH?

Honestly, we’re more than a marketing team — we’re a tactical partner who will care about your business growth just as much as YOU (maybe even more)! We’re here to play the long game and help you create a powerful impact! APPLY NOW!

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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Emily Hirsh:

Hello, everybody. Welcome back on a Friday. This is not the usual day that we’re putting out podcast episodes, but if you’re like, “why is this here?” I will refresh for you. 

I’m doing a series right now called “The Great Reset”, the great Hirsh marketing reset. I’m sharing with you the struggles from last year. But now, I shared that yesterday the story of all of last year. If you haven’t listened to that, go catch up with that episode. But now I’m sharing with you moving forward, what happened next, the actions we took, the things I realized, the changes that we made, and what this great reset is… which some of it has already been announced because it kind of started in October of last year. This is going to lead into an official big announcement too, that kind of finalizes it. 

So yesterday I talked all about how 2021 was the hardest year in business for me to date. I’ve been in business for seven years, four and a half years of growing a team. But seven years total of having my company and I kind of gave that backstory and all of that details. I have a vulnerability hangover from doing that. Literally, I recorded that episode and I’m not sure I want to release it, but I’m just going to close my eyes and pretend like it’s not happening. I hope you got enough value out of it that it was worth it for you for me to do that. 

So today I’m diving into how I was faced with the reality that what I built needed to change and picking up from where we left off.

Yesterday in the series… I do want to mention that on January 20th, so next Thursday or this next coming Thursday, I’m going to be doing a live training that will sum up and, and finish this series. I’m talking about is the marketing makeover. I’m sharing more of the market strategy, tactic side of essentially how we had to adjust and shift our process, our framework in the backend of our business, to be able to help clients through this and ourselves through this and this framework promises that no matter where you are today, you will 2X your business if you implement it. I’m teaching that in a live on January 20th that you have to go sign up for. You need to register. You need to save your spot. We do have limited spots. You can go to Hirsh marketing.com/2X to get your spot saved. 

Right when you sign up, you’ll be registered. We’re going to send you this really awesome marketing playbook to go with it. In that training, I’m talking about things like how we had to shift our process. The two marketing truths that are gonna double your revenue, critical components to guarantee your marketing, and the four milestones that I’ve never shared before. Again, these are the tactics in marketing that we shifted and changed over this last year. So you’ll want to be on that training. Make sure you save your spot. hirshmarketing.com/2X. 

Okay. Let’s dive into today’s content. So I was faced with that reality… So again, if you want to go back and listen to yesterday’s episode, I walked through the entire year and what that experience was like and how kind of the first half of the year was okay.

And then the middle of the year is when things got really hard. So about August, I realized we can’t just make small changes. We have to make a big pivot and that’s because pretty much April and May were okay, but June, July, and August sucked. And so in August, I was like, what the hell we have to make a bigger change…  this isn’t working, what we’re doing. And I think I said this in multiple like messages and conversations with my team… isn’t the definition of insanity, trying to do the same thing over and over again, and hoping that it gets better? We can stop doing that. So I re-realized I’ve got to make a big change. I didn’t know what that change was going to be yet. I just knew something big has to change. So I started looking at everything 

I was looking at… Was it our marketing? Were we trying to do too much? Were we not focused? Did we need to simplify? Was it our offers, our free offers? Were they not good enough? Did they not stand out enough? Did they not have enough value? Was it our paid offers? Was that not good enough? Was that not enticing enough? Did I suck? Of course that went through my head. Can I just not grow my business past this point? Like, what is the problem? 

And I want to… I didn’t share this in yesterday’s, but I want to share a little bit of where the root of the problem of the numbers was coming from. And it was coming from our sales. We weren’t getting the volume of sales that I wanted to get to be able to grow the business.

It was like keeping us the same. We were just getting enough sales every month for our done with you program because that’s different. It’s a one sign-up fee and then they go into a membership. But for our agency, you have to constantly sign more clients than you’re losing. And even if we weren’t losing a lot of clients that’s– so we lost three, which is not a lot in one month– but if we only sign three or four clients, we’re not growing. We need to sign 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 to really be growing. And so the issue was the volume on our sales. We were not getting enough and marketing because marketing leads to the application. So that means it’s the offer that’s coming from your free offer and then your paid offer. 

So I was looking at everything, like: were we trying to do too much? Were we not focused? Was I spreading our resources too thin? So nothing was doing well, all the things that I teach you guys when something isn’t working. I knew it was obviously the industry. I knew that a lot of people were struggling and I did find comfort in knowing I wasn’t alone because I have a lot of friends who are in this industry who have really big names, who have really big companies, more successful than mine who have Intel who were sharing with me. They just had a worse launch than the previous year, or they know this person who did the same thing, and ad costs have gone up. Sales have gone down. Ultimately I felt like we had to work 10 times harder to get the same exact result. That’s how I felt most of that time. So I knew it was the industry, but I also knew saying, well it’s, the industry was an excuse because I also knew that there was still plenty of businesses, our ideal customers, who needed marketing support.

So why were they not coming in droves to sign up to work with us like they used to, right? What was the hesitation? I knew that just saying, well, the industry went through a big change so that means our business isn’t going to grow was BS. Right? I could, I could have sat in that place, but I was like, no, I know that’s not true. I know there’s plenty of businesses that need help and we can help them. I considered: was it the platform? Do I need to say screw Facebook, and that they are the problem? I think a lot of people thought that and a lot of people tried to blame Facebook. So I did consider, should we move off Facebook? I did consider, should we go to Google ads? Should we go to YouTube, TikTok, you name it… maybe we should completely pivot and go and do that.

That is a big deal. I have an entire company that’s built off of marketing, but specifically Facebook and Instagram ads so that would’ve been a huge move… but we did test it. We tested it on my account in many different cases, tested Google ads, tested YouTube ads. We tried a few different ones. I also talked to people who were making that decision. They were saying, well, maybe Facebook is too expensive. We’re going to go to this other platform and it wasn’t working. I knew in my gut when that was happening, that it wasn’t the platforms. I knew that that was just an excuse because here’s the reality here is the reality. People can complain all day long about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook and all the bad things he’s done and how terrible of a platform, and how annoying they are, and how expensive it is…

But your audience every morning wakes up and opens that Facebook app and opens that Instagram app and is addicted to it– like everybody in your audience is there more than any other app. And the way that advertising is set up on these apps is that it doesn’t feel like advertising, like Google ads, like YouTube ads. This is a different experience. And so as long as people complain about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook and how terrible it is. But as long as they still wake up every morning and click that app and go log in and use it for hours a day, it is still the most effective place to advertise. When that changes, then maybe you need to get off the platform. But Facebook has such a monopoly that when that changes, they’ve got the other app that you’re gonna be using.

So as long as people are still using it, as long as your audience is still using Facebook and Instagram in the way it’s being used today, it is still the best place to advertise your business. I’m not saying that it’s a bad idea to not try to diversify, but you’ve gotta really have the budget and the team to support diversifying. A lot of people need to find one platform that’s going to work for them first before they can go diversify. So it was easier to say, well, it’s Facebook. We’ve got to get off Facebook. Let’s ditch Facebook. That was not the reality. And again, I obviously am smart and considered, should we do that as a team? Is that going to solve the problem and test it out? Google ads, YouTube ads, they just didn’t do what Facebook and Instagram ads do… not to say that they don’t work and that eventually, you could have a goal.

I have that goal of diversifying in my own business. Maybe eventually we will add that service to our agency. I think I would probably start with Google and YouTube ads as the next thing., I think TikTok ads, people are, are trying to say are all the rage, but they don’t work. They are just for e-commerce… think about the experience. Think about the experience for the person on there for YouTube. It’s so different than Facebook. You’re not just seeing this post as you scroll the feed and see your family and friends and people, you follow. You’re getting this like popup while you’re watching a video that you might click and go do something. It’s a different experience. TikTok too. You’re watching these funny, silly videos and you’re getting this ad. You’re not going to go sign up for a webinar as you’re scrolling TikTok.

Maybe you’re going to buy a product. I think product ads could work anyways. That’s like a whole other side note, but I did consider it, let that be known, and also tested it. And then also talked to people who were actually actively running ads on those platforms. And I ultimately knew that as long as all of your audience and my audience are still on Facebook and Instagram, we still need to be able to advertise there. I also knew that paid ads and advertising your business were a necessity to be successful. You can’t just be like, well, screw paid ads. I’m gonna go to organic marketing. That’s not going to work. You’re not going to get traction. So then your business is going to be at a standstill. That’s not the solution. So what to do, I was left with this…

 Okay. I know that the industry is going through a change. I know that the platform is going through a really big shift, a really big change, but I don’t think it’s the answer to abandon the platform. And I don’t think it’s the answer to abandon the industry because businesses still need help and we can help them. I also knew that it had gotten a lot more saturated in the industry, but so what? It always was saturated… that can’t be the problem. And that’s also just an excuse. It’s always going to be saturated. An industry that’s not saturated and filled with competitors is a dead industry. Like seriously, what industry doesn’t have competitors in it? Very few. And so you just have to be the best. So that’s also just an excuse. So here’s where I landed after a lot of reflection. 

If you follow me, you know, during this time in August, I was in Colorado and I would go on these long hikes in the woods and up to a mountain by myself would just think about all this. I would just think about, like, I know I’m going to find the answer. And it was another interesting thing through this is I did share in yesterday’s podcast how difficult it was– and don’t get me wrong. It was extremely difficult and challenging and frustrating and alone feeling. But also I knew that I was going to get out of it. I knew in my gut that what I was going through at that time, there was a reason behind it. And the reason was I was going to be better for it if I could just get through. And I knew, and I would say to my team and people really close working with me knowing like the situation, I would say, we’re going to be better for this. We’re going to look back on this in a year from now,  six months from now, and we’re going to say, “oh, remember when we had to go through this, and then that’s what came out of it.” 

So I knew that, and I knew I was being pushed to be better. And it won’t be the last time that happens. So I would do a lot of thinking and I’m like, I know it’s going to come to me. Ultimately one thing I came to was if I’m struggling like this in our marketing…. And I knew that the other backend of businesses were struggling because of cost, because of lower sales, because if you name it right… they’re struggling. Then there has to be a solution. We have to figure out that solution, that’s my job. And if I can figure out that solution, I can figure out how to adjust the framework, what needs to pivot and change, I’ll be able to solve all these people’s problems, all these businesses problems. I  actually sent that message to somebody. I said, “how many people are struggling? Our job is to figure out how to get out of it because if we’re struggling, we’re not the only ones.” And we also know from the back end of other businesses that they’re struggling. Right. And I also knew and kept thinking about how in the past I would market my business and I didn’t have a marketing team. I didn’t have a copywriter. I didn’t have all these things. I was working 10 times harder in my marketing to get the same results, if not less than before. And so I had to sit with it and ask myself the question: if I’m working 10 times harder in my marketing, meaning I’m having to put out more content, I’m having to produce higher quality webinars, more are frequent webinars, I’m having to make funnel adjustments faster, come up with new webinar titles faster, improve my social media up-level my ad creative. If I’m having to do all of that, was I providing 10 times the solutions for clients? No, not at that time. 

And that was the answer. And I was like, it’s our offer? It’s our paid offer because what I had to come face to face with is what we created was created 5, 6, 7 years ago. It’s evolved a little bit over that time for sure from when I first started out, but it was created to create marketing success in that era, in that time. So was it enough to continue to create that success? And that was it. That was the ultimate. I’m going to go into more of that. But what I realized was we need to add more value. 

When I started my company seven years ago, it was enough to just have a Facebook ad and have copy and creative related to the Facebook ads but that wasn’t enough anymore. Now we needed to make sure that we as serving our clients, we’re doing the funnel, work, the emails, organic marketing strategies, we were giving them content ideas of what to record and telling them exactly what to record, auditing webinars, all of those things weren’t included in our package before October. I realized that if we don’t do those things and we only do a piece to this puzzle… and I didn’t realize this overnight, we’re going to talk about that. We ended up interviewing a lot of people and really going deep and looking at who was the most successful and what do they need. I’m going to talk about it throughout this series. But over time that’s like ultimately what I was faced with was what I originally built, had to pivot and adjust.

And I want you to really think about this because here’s the reality: I want you to look at any successful business that’s been around for decades or a decade or a long time. They all have to make big pivots. Look at a product like Apple… look at anything in the tech industry… look at Amazon. You know, if they were still doing what they did when they first launched their business they would not be here. They would not be successful. And they will continue to make changes at a rapid pace to keep up with what their clients and customers need to stay successful. I noticed something last year, and that was so many people actually did a podcast on this. So many people were like, well, this worked for me a year ago, so it should work. It’s my ads, it’s my marketing team. My offer is going to work because it worked a year ago… They had to get slapped in the face. And some haven’t fully realized this, myself included, that was not the case. Who cares if it worked a year ago? 

I had conversations like this, where I was like, it doesn’t make any sense like this. We didn’t change anything. The exact thing just converted six months ago, just converted last year. Amazing. We were getting these sales and we didn’t change anything. We didn’t do anything worse. Why is it not working? Because we didn’t pivot and adapt fast enough for our audience. We didn’t meet the needs of our audience to the level that we needed to until October of this year when we started making changes. And so if you’ve sat back and said, well, my launch last year worked so it has to be my ads or it has to be my agency, or it has to be my marketing manager, It has to be my copywriter. No, it’s your business. It’s your offer. You need to make adjustments. And if you’re not making pivots, if you’re exactly the same as you were a year, two, three years ago, that is a problem. 

And that is what I had. That was my problem. So when I started my company, it was enough to do what we’re doing right now, but we needed to do more. Now, what I built had to evolve had to massively evolve. I also realized through this, that if you just look at the numbers… and I did a podcast episode on this a while back too… if you look at the numbers of running ads, three years ago, four years ago, people could look at ads and say, that’s going to solve my traffic problem and therefore solve my business problem.

And I can have all these other things broken. I can have a crappy funnel, not a great offer, not a lot of content. I cannot create videos and they could still somewhat create success because ads were less expensive. Because it was easier to create that success. So those people, the ones who were looking for the quick fix, who didn’t want to do a lot of work, who wanted Facebook ads or any form of marketing or paid marketing to save them were in for a real hard time. The level of maturity that is required from a business owner has increased to be able to afford any form of market. I talked about this, businesses being de-platformed. The reality is these fake side-hobby, I don’t wanna work, but I wanna grow this business, sales funnels are the answer and put the Facebook ads to my funnel and it’ll just work while I sit there never works… never works.

I’m going to talk about this more too. I was in that industry and have been in the past– in that industry of people who come from the ClickFunnels world or the digital marketing world, where they want easy, where they don’t want to do any work, but they want these huge results. They want to spend $2,000 and make $25,000 in the first month or they’re mad. And I’m not saying that we were working with those clients, but we were attracting them and I couldn’t let us sign them on because they wouldn’t be able to afford the minimum cost of ads. It doesn’t make sense to hire two things. It doesn’t make sense to hire an agency and then spend a thousand dollars on ad spend because how is that agency gonna get you results? Unless they charge only a thousand dollars… You can’t turn a thousand dollars into $8,000, you could, but not your first month running ads, no way.

So the level of maturity that business owners have to be at in order to be successful is increased with paid ads. The second thing is what we started to run into was a lot of people who definitely couldn’t make it make sense… where they were at… to work on the done for you side, but they did not want to do it themselves. They were like, well, I made these sales so need to hire a full agency. And it’s like, well, you can’t afford it yet. You’re not ready. That is what inspired this new program we’re launching because it’s going to solve that issue of that in-between for somebody who isn’t ready. No matter if an agency tells you you are or you’re not… I mean, if you can’t spend $4,000 at least a month in ads, you’re not ready for a big agency. You don’t need any good agency that charges a decent amount.

You can’t turn a thousand dollars into $8,000. That’s the reality. And so, they didn’t want a course. They didn’t want a program. They didn’t want training. That’s what inspired what I’ll be announcing later our new program. But I was running into this where it was like, I don’t want to do any work, I want done for you, but I’m not mature enough. My business isn’t evolved enough to make sense for an agency. Your offer isn’t even ready. You haven’t proven it yet. So that changed this last year… where in the past you maybe could spend a thousand dollars and make $4-5,000 because ad spend was so inexpensive and getting the leads were so much lower. So now if you just do the math of  trying to get 2X return on ad spend, if you’re paying an agency $4-5,000 and you’re spending $4-5,000, you’re going to break-even of what you’re paying ad spend and with the agency unless you can spend more.

So I knew those two things. One, if we were having to work 10 times harder, we need to adjust our so service to serve people 10 times more, to be able to get those results. And the level of maturity, there was a whole handful of businesses that needed to be de-platformed. They were being de-platformed. And I was very deep in that industry of those who were the clients coming to want to work with us that we couldn’t sign if they couldn’t afford the ad spend that we required. So also our ideal customer needed to shift, and this was something that needed to shift two years ago and I ignored it…. and I knew it, but I ignored it. And so that was also a mistake I learned. 

So at this point, in July, August, the only thing I knew what to do because I had looked at everything was interviews. We need to talk to our audience. We need to talk to our customers. We need to ask them what they’re struggling with. We need to talk to people who have signed up for our program and understand what was missing for them. If they didn’t get the success that they wanted and what we could do more of, we needed to talk to our clients. We needed feedback. And the only people who had the answer was our audience. So we need to find out how they were struggling and how we could change our offer to guarantee that we could support them. And so that’s what we did. 

The next thing that we did is we started doing interviews. We did over 50 interviews. So if you are in this place, following along with the story and you’re like, oh, this is what I need to do, then interviews are the best thing that I can say to you. If you’re banging your head against the wall and you’re like, I don’t know why my sales aren’t going up. My leads are up. My applications are up, whatever it is and my sales are not going up or my marketing is just not working and I’ve tried everything. It might be your offer. The only people who are going to tell you that is your audience. 

The next thing that we did was interviews. And so I’m going to continue this on in the next episode that comes out Monday, which is going to be all the clarity that we got in those interviews for the big shift that happened at the end of September, early October. And since then, our business revenue has been going up. So that was when we solved one of the big problems in our business and in my business and we shifted our offer. This is what led to that big shift. We actually called it the shift. I don’t know if you guys were a part of it, but when changed our offer, but I’m going to share the why.  I’m going to share the interviews, the clarity that we got, how we did that in the next episode of this series.

So thanks so much for listening today. I hope you are enjoying this series. If you are enjoying it, can I ask you to please share it with your friends on your social media, a business colleague, or friend that you feel like would enjoy this? The more people that can listen to this series and understand both what I went through last year, but then also more importantly, how I solved it will  benefit from that. So if you will share this with your friends, I’ll appreciate it. 

Remember I’m doing a live training on Thursday, the marketing makeover, and this is going to teach the marketing tactics, how we actually changed our process and the core components of our program to align with this current era in this industry. And so you’re going to want to be registered for that. You can register@hersheymarketing.com/2x and register, because that one you do have to sign up for. The rest of this podcast series will go all the way Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, next week will put out a new episode, a part of this series to tell the entire story and lead into the biggest announcement of all which happens on Thursday.

So I will talk to you guys next week. Thanks so much.

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