I started this series because I want to give you my best marketing practices so you can thrive in all the vital areas of running a growing business…. And today I’ll show you how I plan, test, refine, and leverage the three marketing pillars to maximize every piece of our marketing.
When you think of marketing, does your brain become a tangled web of Paid ads, Organic outreach, Podcasting, Emails, Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube, TikTok, Linkedin, Lions, and Tigers, and Bears…. Oh my, the list is almost endless.
It can feel massively overwhelming to figure out where to focus your energy.
So if you feel like you don’t know where to start? Don’t worry. I got you…
In this episode, I show you how you can identify which of these 3 pillars you need to put the most time and resources into so you can improve your marketing as a whole.
- How I personally choose what we should put our focus
- How to optimize our marketing strategy for the absolute most leads and sales.
- Different audiences and networks that you can utilize and leverage for relationship building.
- The #1 thing you need to increase the success of your launches
- And how to fill the gaps in your marketing to make sure all of your bases are covered
Plus, I’ll show you how we leverage all of these different audiences and networks for relationship building and also use them to drive traffic to our webinars, sales pages, and offers.
Ready for super-focused, effective marketing?
If this episode helped you identify and close a gap in your marketing, I’d love to hear your story! Reach out to me on Instagram (@emilyhirsh) and tell me all about it!
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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. And to episode two of our optimized business series today, I’m diving into marketing. So just a quick recap, this is a regular tuned podcast day, but this week I’m just releasing a daily podcast all about having the most optimized business. So when I asked you guys what you wanted more of, a lot of you like my CEO perspective, high level strategy, the mistakes I’ve made, the things that I’ve learned building my company, but I also have a pretty great perspective behind the scenes of a lot of businesses and what they’re doing wrong, what they’re doing, right? We’re all making mistakes and learning from it. And so that’s what this series is all about yesterday. I talked about high level business strategy as a whole setting goals, making sure you’re meeting those strategies, having accountability around that. And then today I’m gonna talk about marketing and there’ll be three more series episodes to go with that.
All right here on the podcast. So we’re gonna dive into specifically marketing strategy. Obviously on this podcast, I talk a ton about marketing, but what I wanted to do in this episode is really share with you, like, especially how I personally look at marketing strategy and really choosing what we should be focusing on and choosing how to optimize our marketing strategy for the most leads and for the most sales. So the first piece, when, when just like at a high level, looking at your marketing strategy, generally, there’s three main places that you can get leads in sales, and that you can get traction. You can get traction from organic meaning, social media, meaning podcast and content organic efforts. You can get traction and generate leads, generate sales from paid efforts, paid ads, you know, paid different paid platforms, Facebook, Instagram, but also Google YouTube and all those places.
And then the third is networking using other people’s audiences, affiliate slash referrals. So there’s really three main levers if you will, that you can pull. And so the first thing is with your marketing is kind of understanding where do you wanna put your effort in the most? And in an ideal world, you have all three of these generating traffic and lean needs and sales for you. You have organic efforts happening. You have social media, you have a sub form of content video podcast that generates traffic for you. You have paid supporting that. And then you get referrals. You, you have, you know, different audiences and networks that you can utilize and leverage for relationship building. And that’s all driving traffic. And I think a lot of us are good at one of these things. And then we ignore the other two. Like I can tell you for me, I’m best at the paid I’m okay at organic.
And I’m not great at the referrals because not the referrals, but really like, I’m not social. So I don’t network. I don’t network very much. And so I’m not as good at asking people and like networking and getting people to talk about me and getting in front of other people’s audiences. I have to make a real effort to do that. So that’s just me. Some people that I know are amazing at the networking and the referrals. I, I have a friend and it’s like, she could spend all day doing that and it’s helped her grow her business a ton because she has all these relationships and she’s able to get on podcasts and, and just, you know, people are talking about her. It’s because she’s amazing at networking, but she struggles on the paid side of things and focusing on that. And so each one of these, I kind of pillars take different resources and skills.
So if we look at organic, organic is about pumping out valuable content. It’s a time, you know, you, you have to invest a lot of time with organic. You have to show up on social media. You have to be consistent every day or multiple times a day. You have to create content, which takes a lot of time. You have to commit to some probably main form of content like a podcast or a video or a blog. It takes time. So we know that organic marketing oftentimes equals time, but from a, an investment financial standpoint, it’s free. So, you know, you’re trading your time for that, for that free traffic, but it’s not gonna cost you money. And that’s why a lot of businesses in the very beginning, they need to leverage and count on organic traffic. And so, you know, if you’re looking at this and, and what I want you to do, as I’m talking about this to weigh kind of where are you the weakest, and where’s the biggest opportunity for you.
And then if you, you look at paid, paid is going to amplify what you have. So paid oftentimes is going to amplify some of the organic work that you’re doing. It’s gonna amplify the funnel that you already have. It’s going to amplify the foundation that you’ve built, the strategy that you have. And I hopefully you to bring a lot more eyes, bring a lot more attention to what you already have. So that’s paid. And what we have to weigh with paid is what’s our budget. You know, when, when you first start running paid ads and you start leveraging paid marketing, it’s not gonna pay off right away. That’s the fact of it, but it’s a necessary step in order to start to get traction and get cold traffic, who has no idea who your brand is and is new eyes and new leads to get them coming through your funnel, coming through your strategy, making contact with your brand, seeing who you are.
So paid is essential, but it takes a budget. And most of the time business owners don’t have an unlimited budget. So they have to create traction and create audiences and create success from other ways in their marketing. And then if we look at affiliate and referrals and networking, that is also a time, you know, investment, big time investment, honestly, communicating with people and building relationships. It is, I don’t know, maybe it’s me, but it’s not easy. It is definitely not my personal natural skillset. I don’t enjoy doing it. I struggle with it. It just feels very unnatural to me. I’d rather just like work in my office by myself, everybody leave me alone and I can create good content and I can do paid ads all day, but it’s also a, a time thing. And, you know, networking takes time of not, you can’t just reach out to people and be, Hey, do this thing for me.
You have to build genuine relationships and you have to provide value to them and their audience. And you have to build that foundation before you can ever ask for something. So it also is a form of organic marketing, but I think that you can get traction faster with this, because if you’re able to success fully, get your content or get your funnel or get your offer in front of somebody, else’s big, huge audience. It’s definitely going to be a, a speedier path to success than just, you know, posting on social media or your, your own personal, organic marketing. So for a lot of people, when they’re just starting out, it’s a, a great way to try to network and go to events. And, you know, when I started my business, I signed all my clients this way. I was in Facebook groups. So despite not being good at it, I did do this.
I was in Facebook groups. I would have conversations with people. I would support people. I was also in several masterminds in business groups. That’s how I really started to get my name out there. So I didn’t enjoy doing it, but I did do it. Especially in the beginning of my business, because it was the fastest way to get success. So tho out of those three things, one thing you can sit and ask yourself right now is what is going to move the needle the most? Where should I put the most of my time resources, you know, a project that I wanna work on, investment financial into one of those three things and what should I, you know, do the Bo stuff. So that’s the first piece and you may look at this and go, well, I wanna do all those things and you can do all those things, but you have to figure out what do you have time to do?
You know, can you effectively create networking and referral relationships? Can you also go all in on paid ads and max, you know, maximizing that and doing a good job with that and keep up with your organic marketing in an ideal world, you are doing all of these things, right? And you have, and you have things that are working to, to move these things forward and you have actions and projects and initiatives. That’s sort, I was looking for initiatives to be working in all these areas, but you also have to weigh where you’re at today. Do you have a team? Is it just you, do you have a small budget and what you can do? And then carrying on with that, the first step seriously to a successful marketing strategy is we have to audit and assess what you’re doing right now. And so many people don’t do this.
They are like, well, my marketing’s not working or I wanna generate more leads or I wanna generate more sales. I don’t know how, or I don’t know why it’s not working. And they don’t. I think it’s, it’s not that they don’t want to it’s that they don’t know how to take a step back and say, you know, here’s where I’m at. And so you have to pause and I actually did a podcast. If you wanna listen to it a couple weeks ago about the two X formula that walks through in detail, how to audit and assess your current strategy and then take action on it. And so I would essentially be recommending that you do that process because we have to decide where is the first hole in your marketing strategy? Because for example, if you don’t have a good understanding of your ideal customer, if you don’t know how to emotionally speak to and connect with your ideal customer, then nothing you do with your marketing is gonna work.
And so if you jump ahead and you don’t have that and you don’t have a very good, you know, representation of your offer, you don’t know how to sell your offer because you don’t know how to talk about your offer. If you don’t have these foundational things and then you jump ahead and go create a webinar or launch paid ads, I can guarantee you it’s not gonna work. So you need to step back and assess where is the first place that you have a hole in your marketing and how are you going to, to fix that? What’s the action that you can take to fix that. So for ex example, if it is that you don’t have, you know, very good messaging, if you don’t know how to speak to your ideal customer, you don’t know how to represent your paid offer. You don’t know how to sell it.
And you, you know, you’re not doing that well, well, that’s the first thing you need to fix. That’s the action you need to take if you’re doing that well, and you’re not generating lead leads, you have no leads coming into your business. Well, you’re never gonna get sales if you don’t have leads. So then we need to solve the problem of getting leads. Okay? So auditing what you have and analyzing what you have is the first step, really with anything in business to figure out what to do next. Okay. And the other piece is looking at your, your marketing and, and knowing that in an ideal, like best case business, best case scenario, you have traffic coming in from social media, organic from your content. You’ve got ads running. They’re generating leads in sales. Every day, you’re getting referrals. You have networking opportunities. You’re speaking at events, you’re on guest podcasts, all that’s happening.
That’s your ultimate goal. And we all know that. And then we have to figure out what’s what are we gonna work on next week? And this month that’s going to make the biggest impact. And one of the first ways that you can figure out to once you start getting leads and sales, where you should put more of your effort and, and way too many people don’t do, this is understanding where are your leads in sales coming from? Because especially as you start to do a lot of things and you’re like, well, I’m posting on social media. I’m going on podcasts. I’m doing all these things. I don’t know, what’s working. It’s hard to do more of what’s working or take away. What’s not working if you don’t know. And so an exercise that we do with all our clients that I encourage our members of market, like a proto that I do myself, and some of it is a manual process, but that exercise is understanding and actually doing research, by pulling up contact records or pulling up people who actually buy your offer and figuring out the answer to the question.
When did they first join your list and how, what did they sign up for? When was it? And then what’s the last thing they did before they bought or before they applied to where work with you and how long did they sit on your list between signing up for your list? The first time they came on and buying that information is so key. So every single month we look at all of our applications that we got all of our sales and we run, we create this report and it, it does have to be partly E manual. I’m building a software, that’s gonna do this automatically, but it’s taking a little longer. But anyways, because this data is like gold. So we sit down and we look at every single application. If you don’t have an application, you’d look at every sale. This would obviously be relevant once you start getting sales, but you would be looking at that and you would get those three things.
What’s first thing they did to join your list. What was the date when they first joined your list? And then the last thing is, what’s the last thing they did before they applied or before they buy bought from you. And then you can figure out the time, like, did they sit on your list for three months, for six months? How long this allows you to understand one what’s working because you can hopefully see, wow, like 80% of my sales are coming from over here. Or you’re also able to say, well, the average amount of time that somebody sits on my email list before buying is three months, that gives you Intel and data to make decisions. Now on your paid marketing on, you know, how many leads you need to get on your list to meet your future sales goals. It’s a really simple thing and simple data that you can pull.
It just usually takes some form of like manual research. At least right now, there is not a software that can do that. Mine will it’s coming, but it it’s coming because it’s such valuable data that I can tell you. Most businesses do not know the answer to if you are generating sales. And I were to ask you, how long does your average sales sit on your list before they buy? Could you answer that? Or if I was to ask you last month, where did your sales exactly come from? Could you answer that most people can’t because it’s really hard to get the information without manually looking at it and you can manually do it. You can get a VA or you yourself, and you just go to the contact record of the person and you look at all the things they did. And you look at like, when do they join your email list last?
And how long have they been there? And what are those tags that they have? Okay. So understanding where your leads and sales are coming from can go a really long way in making decisions. Because now we could see, wow, we’re doing all these 10 things, but these two things, you know, my webinar or my organic social media is driving the majority of my sales. Now I know I’m gonna get this question. So becauseI said that organic social media social on our application, we ask also, where did you hear about us? And we have an option that people can put an Instagram or Facebook post. And the reason that we do that is because you can’t track someone who went social media post to buy from you. That’s very difficult to do. So if you have an application or if you have a, a product it might be worth just asking like where’s the last place that you interacted with us.
You gotta be specific and then give them a bunch of options because that allows you to have some form of, you know, if somebody puts like a Facebook or Instagram post, we kind of know that that’s we, we note that that’s where they came from. Even though their tag isn’t necessarily going to match that. And they may not even be in our database yet, because they just came from a Facebook post. So just a side note there that you could pair your manual tracking and research with your, your customers with also just asking, I mean you can do this even on an order form. Where’s the last place you interacted with our business. And we do this on our application because it gives you extra data and sometimes people don’t put the right thing. So that’s why I would also check it and make sure you can see in the backend like that it matches what they’re saying.
Okay. The next piece with your overall marketing strategy that I wanna talk about is the three pillars of marketing and understanding these three pillars also allows you to know like where should you put your resources? Where should you put your effort? Where should you put your energy? So the three pillars of marketing are content lead gen and nurture. And what I want and suggest that all of you guys do is you rate on a scale of one to five. How are all those things doing? So let’s break just a little bit, your content right on a one to five. Like are you putting out consistent content? Is that generating traffic generating an audience, generating leads, generating sales. Are you being consistent? Is it really valuable? Do you think it stands out? Rate that on a one to five then look at lead gen, do you have a lead generation strategy?
Do you get new leads every week? Every month, every day. Do you consistently add leads to your list? Quality leads, who, who eventually buy from you one to five? Where do you fall there? And then nurture and nurture. I qualify as nurturing the leads before they buy. So after someone comes on your list or comes into your world, are they seeing regular social media posts? Are they getting regular emails from you? Are they getting regular asks to go back to your offer and actually buy what you sell? Do people know what you sell? Do they have opportunities to buy what you sell? Are you nurturing those leads to become sales? Rate that from one to five. Now from within that you can create one to three actions at every place to improve those. So for example, let’s say you rated your content like a two, like I’m not doing and great with content.
I barely post. Now the actions I could do are launch a podcast or launch a regular video series or post on social media three times a week with a valuable piece of content or show up five days a week on Instagram stories. You can come up with really specific actions. Let’s say that you rated your lead generally poorly it. And you’re like, I have no lead gen. Well, the first step would be coming up with your lead gen and figuring out what is that lead gen gonna be. Then maybe it’s running paid ads to it, or it’s increasing the amount of leads coming through. You see the point and then nurture. It’s like maybe you need to be sending regular emails to your list. Maybe you need to have flash sales. Maybe you need to have specific, you know, land promotions or times where you’re reoffering and reselling your offer.
So going through rate them and then for each one, create one to three actions that you could implement. You don’t, that doesn’t mean you’re committing to it, but that you could implement. And now you can decide which one is going to make the biggest difference for nurture. For example, if you rated your leads one or two and you rated nurture one or two we’ll first go address the lead gen because you don’t have anything to nurture if you don’t have leads coming in. And so that could be the first thing you do content it’s like, you don’t have to start at content, really content and lead gen should be happening together. But it’s a good idea to, to have some form of content and regular audience building happening to support your Legion. And so out of this, you should have, you know, your rating on all three of those actions that can back up, how are you gonna improve that rating?
And then you can decide what is the next exact thing that I should do to improve my marketing. So I’m gonna also share with you guys like this goes right into the planning piece, because what I wanna do is share with you guys how I plan my own marketing.And I think that a lot of people, this is something with planning that I think people, I assume like this is so basic and that people don’t get value out of this, but then every time I share it, people do get value out of this. So in the middle of the month, I have time where I plan out my next month. So I start with planning out how many leads we’re gonna add to our list for us, how many applications we need and then our sales goal. You won’t have applications if that’s not your funnel, but I plan the big numbers.
So I plan leads and sales and then in the middle for us, we have applications and I have that number for, for that next month. And it’s usually backed up. If you listen to this previous episode, I have quarterly and annual goals, but I know for the next month where I wanna be. And then I take that and I plan out the following. I plan out our entire social media plan and sprinkle in different promotions. Different times we’re talking about client wins, personal things. I wanna share. I plan it all out. I plan out our emails. So I have the entire calendar of that. Month’s emails planned out. And then typically I plan out a specific, you know, event or thing we’re gonna do like a live webinar. Last last month was our market like a pro launch. And in the month before, that was our playbook that we released.
So usually there’s like an event or a promotion or a, a mini launch or something that we’re doing. And all of that is meant to reach the goal that I set for marketing that month. So to reach the goal of the, that many leads, that many sales and so by doing in the middle of the month for the next month, that gives me two weeks to finish all the planning to, for me, I have to task like copywriters and I have to have people help me complete all of the projects and build the funnels and whatnot, but it, it always makes it so we hit our goals because the mistake that people make and the thing with marketing is that it takes time. Like if you’re not hitting your leads in sales and you’re like, oh, we have to do a live webinar or we need to do something about it.
We need to, we need to do something. Then you’ve gotta build the funnel. You’ve gotta, you know, do all the work with it. Then you’ve gotta launch the ads to it, which those have to run for at least a week before that thing. And then it’s already like the months almost over work. Right? And so by planning ahead of time, and also by having some sort of like promotion or event or theme or something that I can plan around that drives my social media, my emails, the, this podcast, it drives all of those other pieces. And so I think that people get overwhelmed with like, not getting ahead, they’re in a very reactive place with their marketing, knowing that they need to be doing more, but then struggling to get ahead, struggling to plan from, from that, uh, proactive place. And this will help you do that.
And so then once you plan it out, once you go in the middle of the month and you’re like, okay, next month, like this is gonna be a, our theme or this is gonna be the event that we do, then you can plan out, okay, do I need to build the funnel? Like, do I need to, you know, implement this? Do I need to hire a team to do this? What’s my social media. And it just all comes together because it’s all planned around that theme, which is backed also by your goals. And so once you plan it out, then you can weigh the resources. Like, can you execute this or do you need to bring in a marketing agency or do you need to get a copywriter or do you get a VA? Like, what do you need to actually execute these plans and get support with that?
Because really, generally with marketing the CEO, can’t do it all, like cannot write all their copy, create all the social media. Obviously some depending where you’re at, you might have to do some of it, but you can weigh, okay, here’s the resources I have. Is it enough to execute these plans or do I need more help? And you’re trying to stay in that proactive place with marketing and marketing moves so fast that if you don’t, it’s really hard. Like if you’re making decisions because you’re already behind or because you’re already not seeing results or you know, you’re not generating leads and you’re not generating sales. And so now you’re making decisions off of that and you’re kind of like stressed about it. It’s hard to get out of that. So by doing this and following this process where you’re planning your marketing strategy and it’s based off of your goals, you’re gonna find that you’ll be in a much more proactive place.
The other few things I wanna say about marketing and share are just like transparently behind the scenes because I was having a conversation with someone the other day who was like, I don’t think people realize much. We, you know, my company test new things and try new things and just like do a bunch of stuff. And some stuff works and some stuff doesn’t. And so the amount that I am constantly like testing and trying new things, whether that’s a funnel, whether that’s a lead gen offer, whether that is, you know, a form of content on social media is a lot like you don’t, you guys don’t always see it on the outside, but behind the scenes. And I’ll give you some real examples. Like we recently in December and November of last year, we tried five different lead knit funnels. We tried five different offers that were like these mini funnels.
We called them mini funnels because they were just lead gen leading to our application. And we rapidly tested all five of these because I was trying to see which offer did the best. And we ended up with two that are still ready. So three of them, we, and they didn’t really work. They were too expensive. The offer just didn’t hit. Now you didn’t see like, oh wow. She just put five things out in a month. You guys are seeing like what’s still running right. A while like last year, a long time ago, like you guys might have remembered, I don’t think I’ve ever shared this. You guys might have remembered. I don’t think I’ve shared the failure part of it. The like membership site that I, we tried to create the free one called the PDQ. It didn’t, that did not work. It was too much work for what we were getting out of it.
And actually what we found with it was there was a lot of like, you guys die hards in there who I love, but people who were coming for all the, like we were giving away amazing content, which is good, but it was almost like so much. And so overwhelming that it was solving their problem. They didn’t need our offer anymore. And so, and it was, it was just too much like putting a wall behind everything we did was our idea was like, if you’re inside of there, then all the trainings I do and all of the like monthly resources in our Hersh marketing report, it’s gonna be behind this like wall and it’s free. But if you’re in there, you get it. If you’re not, you don’t, it just didn’t work. It did not generate the applications that we wanted. And so we pivoted it.
We don’t do it anymore. I didn’t announce and say like the PDQ is gone. This is your announcement. But what I’m trying to show you guys is we try a lot of stuff and eight outta 10 things don’t work. And we’re constantly trying new things to see which things do stick now, depending where you’re at in your business. Like I have a marketing team supporting me. I also move insanely like fast people call people, call me like a robot because I can get so much done and I, I move really fast. So I have that going for me. But depending on where you’re at, you may not be able to test that level of things. But I think it’s important to recognize that it’s not about just putting out one funnel and then hoping that that one works or when it doesn’t, it takes you three months to get a new one out like today, the, the need to pump out and try new ideas and just try them.
Like they don’t even have to be perfect. You can refine them as you go and make them better. And if they don’t work, just move on to the next thing. We are constantly doing that. I mean this podcast series is a result of last month. We did a podcast series and it did way better than I thought it was gonna do it, like double our downloads. And it got us all this traction. And so now I’m doing another one because you guys loved it and you loved the content. And it’s like, but I didn’t plan that until I was able to pull and see, wow, this really got traction and this is doing well. And so I wanna do more of what’s doing well and I wanna do less of what’s not doing well. And I think that understanding on the, on the, behind the scenes, because I also see a lot of other or successful businesses, the amount they are trying that is not working, you are not seen.
And so don’t feel like if I do one or two or three things and they don’t take off and they don’t get momentum that my entire business or my entire marketing is not working, that’s actually more the norm. And your ability to move on to the next thing, figure out like, why do you think it didn’t work? You know, why wasn’t it getting traction? Usually it’s around the messaging or the experience that you created. And then what’s the next step. And the faster you can do that. And like speed is extremely important here because the faster you can move on and refine and pivot and then move to the next thing, the faster you’re gonna get closer and closer to results.
I hope you guys got a lot out of this marketing. I swear I could probably talk for two hours about our marketing strategy obviously, but those are all my best practices. That’s the planning piece, the way I look at it, the ability to test and refine and then really taking into consideration those three marketing pillars and which one you should put the most actions into or time and resources and to, to improve your marketing as a whole and keep you super focused and effective tomorrow’s episode is gonna be all about operations and delivery, which sounds really boring. But you guys love it. When I talk about this, because my whole behind the scenes of my business is like process delivery. How do we, you know, retain clients, maintain a 90% 95% retention rate. I’m giving you all my secrets tomorrow on that. So I’ll talk to you guys then.