2:34 How Emily handles wanting to share something that she might be judged for
4:10 How to get out of a creative block
6:30 What 2 of Emily’s friends are doing in the face of the recession
10:59 Why it’s rare to see big influencers having a bad time during the recession
13:23 Where social media platforms like Facebook with their paid ads and how to pivot to stay in the game
16:45 Why this recession is going to be different from all others
17:18 What you need to do to be successful in this recession
17:50 The current pressures Emily faces in her business
23:00 How Emily walks the fine line between delegation and being in the weeds of the business
25:23 What to do if times get tough in your business
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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
So much has changed and we can’t keep operating the way we have been for the last four or five years. When you have time periods in your business, where you’re working your ass off and it’s not working and you’re not seeing success and you’re waking up every day with the burden on top of you, whether you have team members or not, but the burden to keep the business going, it is exhausting.
You are listening to the, not for lazy marketers podcast, episode number 405.
Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the podcast and happy week for those of you guys in the U.S. I hope you had an amazing Memorial Day weekend, extra day off. I enjoyed it a lot with my kids. I’m figuring out, I should say I’m not figuring this out, because I’ve figured it out every year, but the key to happiness in the summer in Austin is to get up early and get outside and get my kids outside, at a park on a bike ride, whatever, from 8:00 to 10:00 AM. And then we all feel like we got exercise. We got out of the house, we did something before it got extremely hot. We’re having a really hot summer. I mean, summer just started. I don’t even know if it’s officially the first day of summer yet in the seasons, but for the last month it’s been like in the high 90s, we have temperatures coming like 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can’t go outside when it’s that hot. And it drives me crazy because I just love to be outside. I love to hike. And, and so I just really struggle with it, but the key is get outside early and just stay outside until it’s hot and then you have to be inside. So we did that all weekend and I took my kids for a super long bike ride. And I ended up carrying the two year old, like a mile and a half, but it was super fun.
So today’s episode, I am coming to you with what I’m calling kind of like state of the union, state of the union, Hirsh marketing state of the union of marketing in general, and just kind of bringing some of my thoughts that have been percolating for the last several weeks. And sometimes when I need to process something or I want to share something that maybe feels vulnerable or it feels like I might get judged for it I push myself to share it on here, because I think one of the best ways to be transparent and be open with my audience is to just come on here and be like, here’s where I’m at and here’s what’s going on. And here’s the truth.
So I want to talk about that. And I’m recording this episode last minute, to be honest, because for one of the first times in my business career, I have felt a massive creative block. And I’ve had a really hard time coming up with content in like the last two weeks. Like I’ve felt like not just content, but also strategies and just next steps and brainstorming and what I should do. And that doesn’t happen to me very often. And so since that’s been happening, I’m like, what is going on? And trying to kind of tune into that because I couldn’t figure it out.
And if you ever experience this, like over the years of me doing podcasts and content videos and all those things, I’ve really learned that it is an art. It is my art, right? Podcasting and creating content and writing for me. And just kind of having this platform where you guys get to connect with me is my form of art. I used to say, I suck at art, but this is my form of art that I feel like I’m relatively good at. And when you get a block it’s so hard because you get in this cycle where you’re blocked from ideas and inspiration, and then you’re pushing yourself. And I have my team going like, okay, did you come up with an idea yet? Like, do you have this yet? And I’m like, no, I don’t. And so that’s making it worse.
And so whenever that happens, and this is the first time that it’s been like a couple weeks, that I was feeling in that place. And the best thing you can do is get space. It, it feels counterintuitive, but it’s to completely just set everything down, unplug for me, get outside, get on a walk, get on a hike, move my body, be with my kids, like completely change my mental state and where I am putting my attention.
And then usually ideas will start coming. You have to take the pressure off. And so what I want to talk about is the state of the union HIrsh marketing state of the union marketing. And I think kind of the root of why I was feeling this way and address it because I just don’t see a lot of people talking about this. And the reality is where everything is at right now in digital marketing, in business, in the world, in, in every business, almost every business right now that I’ve talked to, we can’t keep operating like we were before. Things are changing. We are basically in a recession like it’s already started. It’s probably going to be two, three years before we come out of it. We have had massive changes in the world in the last two, however many years, two years since COVID started and everything that’s happened, we’ve had massive changes in the world. People have changed their behavior. You have the great resignation. All these people are quitting their jobs. Like there has been an insane amount of change. Marketing has changed. Cost has changed. iOS has changed things. So much has changed and we can’t keep operating the way we have been for the last four or five years. And this, you know, I’ve been talking about this for all year. I’ve been talking about the new era of marketing and the era of the creator and how you have to provide that valuable content.
And so much of what’s coming up is in my core values as a company and has been before these changes kind of slapped a lot of businesses in the face this year. But I think that I started feeling like this because I started to doubt if success was going to be possible for a lot of people in the coming years, to be honest with you, because here’s why. I have two good friends who are successful, brilliant entrepreneurs that I look up to had bigger companies than me, just incredible people. And they’re shutting their
business down because they’re tired of the last year to two years of struggling, of not profiting of working really hard with not a lot to show for it. And that is the formula to burnout. And so in the last couple of weeks, I’ve had two friends going through this where they’re fine.
And you know, they’re in a place where I think they feel relieved and they actually can do this because they have the ability to not have to have the income. But for me, one of them is a mentor of mine and somebody I really look up to and I’m like, oh shit. If you’re shutting your business down, what does that mean for me? And am I going to be okay? Are my clients going to be okay? Is everybody going to be okay? What’s going to happen? And I have, you know, shared on here. I’ve never, I’ve never actually had a business through a recession or just through a really difficult economic time. And so this will be my first time. And I’ve been asking a lot of questions the last year, just to learn from people who have, and the thing that I’m also learning is that every recession or every downturn of the economy is different.
It impacts different industries differently. And it has, you know, an impact in a different way, but everybody really is impacted in some way. And so I feel like I was in this funk for the last couple of weeks because I was just feeling really kind of nervous. And we create those thoughts, right? Those thoughts aren’t true. And I I’ve recognized that because my business is fine right now, but I was also acknowledging that I was feeling a little bit of the burnout, you know, to be completely transparent and honest with you guys, I have to personally and my team and my company work so much harder to
achieve the success that I want today compared to 3, 4, 5 years ago. It feels like we have to work 10 times harder to achieve the same amount of success that I was achieving like three, four or five years ago.
I mean, it’s just not, things are not as easy as plentiful, you know, costs are up. And also, convincing buyers to become buyers is taking a longer time in the customer journey. You just have to work harder. You have to be more consistent. You have to have everything dialed in and it can honestly be exhausting. And then when you have time periods, maybe it’s a month, maybe it’s a quarter. Maybe it’s a year for me. It was a big chunk of last year. When you have time periods in your business where you’re working your ass off and it’s not working and you’re not seeing success. And you’re waking up every day with the burden on top of you, whether you have team members or not, but the burden to keep the business going, it is exhausting. And so I have these two friends who are essentially dissolving their business because they’re tired, they’re exhausted, they’re done.
They are not creative anymore. And they want to take a break, really step away from things and figure out what’s next for them. And almost every single business owner that I talk to, like every one that I have a private conversation with and talk to them about how things are going, things are not as good as they used to be, nobody’s having massive, huge launches anymore.
Everybody’s feeling what I’m saying, working way harder to keep things afloat, to keep things going, not to say there’s not growth. There’s absolutely growth. It’s just so much harder to achieve and it can be exhausting. So first of all, I felt like I wanted to come on here. And if you’re feeling that way, if you’re feeling the exhaustion, if you’re feeling the burnout, if you are feeling nervous and scared about the future and how hard things feel, and like you’re trucking through mud, you’re not alone and you might not see it on people who you follow highlight reel.
And there are a lot of people who are incredible business owners who are experiencing this, but because they have such a great net worth and they have investments in other places, it doesn’t matter as much for them because you know, like my two friends, they don’t have to work. They’re working because they love it. They’re working because they love the game of business, but they can just, as easily say, “I’m stepping down from my business and taking a break and dissolving it because I don’t have to work”. And
so a lot of times I know I’m not in that place fully yet. I have other investments and I have other things going for me, but I can’t do that. I have to continue to make money, to support my family. And sometimes you see people, especially the very big influencers who have been doing this for 10 plus years in the online space and you’re not seeing their struggle because the struggle doesn’t matter as much to them.
Of course it matters, but they’re okay. And they’re not talking about it because they’re not as negatively impacted. Of course it’s stressful. Of course it’s frustrating. But specifically one that I was talking to, who’s been in business for 10+ years online, like been a part of 2008, and the online bubble and, when the Google slap came, like been through it all. He’s ready for this and he’s just prepared for like, oh, we’re not going to really pay ourselves this year, but he’s fine, and he can do that. Right. And not everybody obviously has that ability, like a lot of online businesses and a lot of solo entrepreneurs or small businesses, myself included. It’s like, we have maybe a little runway, but we can’t just say, okay, that I need a break.
Right? And, and I think I was feeling maybe slight jealousy sometimes for these friends where it’s like, man, I wish I could just take like three months off and be fine. And everything would be okay. And I was also just feeling the exhaustion. And so I want you to also understand that, like the majority of businesses and business owners, they aren’t in a place where they can just stop for 3months. You don’t have any choice but to create success and to continue on and to
continue pushing. And I’m in that boat too. And so between these friends, between my own feelings of just like, oh, why does this feel so much harder than it used to? And I’m just tired. And multiple conversations, at least 10 that I’ve had with business owners in the last probably six to eight weeks of everybody who’s got some sort of exhaustion, struggle, burnout, frustration.
Most are saying things like, yeah, it was booming in 2019-20. And then since then it’s been on the decline and it’s been harder to be profitable. It’s been harder to stay in the game. And so I felt like I wanted to say that I wanted to say, number one, we’re in a place where if you are not making massive pivots and adjustments, and you’re not on top of your game, you’re going to be really impacted because this is just starting. I think it really started last year. I think last year, about halfway through last year, you had the iOS updates that really impacted most paid media and the cost of it.
And so what’s happening is Facebook. And these paid media platforms are pushing out the small businesses. Like they’re pushing out the businesses who only have a small amount of ad spend.
Now, when you hear that, don’t go like, oh shit, that’s me. I only have a couple thousand dollars a month, or I only have a thousand dollars a month. There is still a way to be successful, but you can’t keep doing what you’ve been doing for the last five years or three years or two years, even. So I decided, so what I did, you guys, I want to talk about this because if you’re feeling this, what you need to do is you need to take two days off. You need to take at least two full days and it could be a weekend. If you have to work, you need to take those days. You need to not go on social media. You need to not go on your phone. You need to give yourself time to just think, journal, process and refined some inspiration. And so that was me.
I was not, to be completely honest, not feeling inspired. And it was like, I was forcing it where every day I’m like, okay, is it coming? Like, where’s my ideas? Where’s my inspiration because I love the hard, the true success comes from when things are hard and you want to quit and you push through. And I almost thrive in that environment. So for me to be saying this, you guys, I want you to understand, it’s a lot to get me here because I thrive in the hard and I have an insane ability to turn off and just
compartmentalize emotions and fear and thoughts and just push through. I mean, I’ve done it for the last seven years and to an extent where I need to back off, but for me to get here, it’s a lot. So for most of you, if you’re feeling this and you don’t have that level of tolerance,I see you and I, and I understand that. So the best thing is to take that few days off. And so it was yesterday, I was on a walk, no phone. And I was just thinking, and then all of a sudden, this just like inspiration started coming to me and this, and kind of like, not like messages, but just the direction of where I needed to go and where, where I was going to be able to make an impact. And what was coming to me was there are so many businesses right now, struggling and feeling everything I’ve been talking about, who don’t know the path forward, who don’t know the plan, who don’t know what they need to change, who don’t know how they can be successful or what they need to do. And I know for a fact, because I’m seeing this in my own company with our clients, with my own business, you know, what we’re doing and changing to create that success.
So it was really weird, but I had this inspiration of like, no, your mission right now, your mission and Hirsh Marketing’s mission is to get as many companies through the next couple of years, through the hard, through the challenging times, with the strategies that work, cutting out the noise and bringing that success and the kind of direction and what started coming to me was like, stop focusing on what so and so is saying, or what this person’s doing or the struggle they’re having, or what if this, or what if this, and start focusing instead on just serving. On the impact I can make on the support I can provide on giving back to the community on helping businesses through this because so many people need it. And so that’s what for me, like lit things back up. And so with that, I decided I’m going to do a podcast series, and this is kind of like the introduction to it, but it’s going to officially come out tomorrow where I’m going to talk about the 4 rules of marketing your business through this recession through this time.
Now, before people start hating and going, like you have never been through a recession. I know, I will admit that I don’t have experience going through a recession. So if you want to go listen to someone who does go and do that, however, I think every recession is different and digital marketing is so much different than it was before. And there are things impacting digital marketing specifically and marketing your business online that I have a front row seat to, that I know what works and what doesn’t. And that I test out daily in my own company and our clients and across the board with tens of thousands of dollars of ad spend. And so I know those rules and what you need to follow and be aware of moving through the next year to two years, hopefully not three. And so I’m going to do a series on that, the four rules of marketing this year in 2022 and through the recession.
And I’m going to just give back all the value I can, the things I’m focusing on and how we’re going to continue to turn it around. Honestly, for me, it started last summer and I had then my best months in business, December, January, and we’ve been pretty stable since then, but I don’t feel like we made it again. I want you guys to know that, like I still feel a tremendous amount of pressure to produce leads, to produce sales, to produce results in my own company and the amount of, of resources I’ve had to invest in our agency and our delivery for clients and Market Like a Pro Members, because the
marketing strategy and messaging and all the components have to be so dialed in is tremendous. It’s a lot. So that’s the biggest thing. So tomorrow will be the first rule and we’re going to do it daily until I roll out all four of them.
And I also just wanted to come on here and really just share how I was feeling with you guys, because so many of you guys have been, you know, part of my world for so long. And I think that that a lot of you don’t realize how much this is happening, and if you’re feeling it, just take a breath with me, take a breath and, and take a break, take a couple days, remember what truly is important, but also, you know, I used to get frustrated when people would say that, because they’d say, you know, be present with your kids and remember what’s truly important. And it’s like, yeah, I want to do that. But I also have this brick of pressure on me to turn something around in my business, whatever it was like, whenever it is, you know, sometimes it’s to make up for something that happened or it’s to make up for low sales or it’s to change a marketing strategy that’s not working it’s something every month and sometimes it’s heavier than others. And I can tell you, it’s very difficult to be present in the areas of your life that should come before your business when all you’re thinking about is trying to create success in your business and feeling like you’re failing.
And everybody goes through that and just know that’s normal, that doesn’t equal failing. That pushes you through the next level and where the rubber meets the road is right now, your ability to not stop when it feels like you should and to push through and to figure out that success, because that’s what you have to do to get to that next level. And so, you know, with business, I’ve learned nothing’s, nothing’s guaranteed. Like it’s the most uncertain thing that you can sign up to do. It’s the best. I love the game, but sometimes I hate it.
And sometimes I hate the pressure and I think a lot of people are feeling that right now, the last thing I wanted to share is kind of more like something that I felt like would be helpful potentially for a lot of you guys, because I think it is a big indication of the industry. So I’ve talked about this a little bit on the podcast about how templated marketing and transactional marketing and “just do a webinar just like this and follow this template or follow this structure” it’s just not working anymore. And how you really have to focus on the connection and the value that you bring and customizing your marketing for your, for your audience, for yourself, for your offer that you sell. So one thing I am doing and that I, you know, hit me when I was in this kind of break was I’m getting back involved more in client strategies in Market Like a Pro strategies in my own marketing, because I feel like there is so much work that needs to be done with redefining what marketing strategy looks like right now.
So I decided, it came to me on the same walk, I’m going to start going to our client strategy calls and, and shadowing some of them I’m going to be re-updating all of our resources based on this to test. Like we’re going to test so much, so many things because you’ve got to change the way you’re doing strategy today. And I was talking to a friend about this who has a lot of business experience and kind of about this thing that can happen when you grow your business, you start to lose track of the
beginning days that got you to the success you created. So for me, when I started my business, I was doing everything. I was doing the client strategy. I was doing the ads management. I was doing the billing, the sales, like all of it. Okay. And of course the natural progression from there is to grow your business, grow your team.
And then you get out of the day to day. And because of all the changes in the last year that have happened online, I have been basically resetting our entire foundation because we’ve had to change our offers, which means I’ve had to get back involved like in the weeds more than I would like to be, but it’s absolutely necessary. And I also think that people don’t talk about that because you have to have this balance of yes, delegation is great. Growing a team is great. Having processes, great. But if you become so disconnected from it that you don’t know what’s happening and you haven’t gone and audited it, or re-looked at it in a long time, I can promise you there’s some big gaps. And over the last six months, that’s what I was finding. And so I’m back heavily involved and resetting things.
I’m finding myself in some cases going, yeah, that’s how we used to do it. I don’t know why we stopped doing it. And now we’re going to go back to doing it, how we used to do it. And so it’s really important that as you grow your business and you go through either, you know, maybe it’s a challenging time. Maybe it’s a huge season of growth. This happens also when you have a huge season of growth, because things break, you go through, you know, big changes. You change your offer, you add different elements or,
you hire a lot of team members, whatever it is when there’s big changes. Let me tell you from experience it is so easy for a disconnection to happen that you’re not even aware of. And it’s absolutely so dangerous for that to happen. So you have to balance making sure that your values and promises to your customers are being fulfilled.
And sometimes that requires getting back into the weeds. So that’s what I’ve also been doing. And actually, let me also tell you it’s reinspired me because it’s made me remember that this is what I love doing. It’s taking a business’s strategy, looking at it for 10 minutes and just knowing, oh, they have to do this. And then this and this and this. And I have to realize my business was built off me. Right? It was built off the way I think the way I have processes, the way I look at marketing strategy and I have to make sure that’s being represented, but getting back into the weeds has brought back inspiration that I was, that was missing. And I was not fully feeling because I was so disconnected. And so also I’m sharing that with you guys because I think there’s a lot of people out there who really try to showcase and make it very desirable to be fully removed from your business.
But also there’s a balance with that because then you start to forget why you even started and what the inspiration was, what the impact was that you’re having. And so I feel like it was necessary for me to come back in the way I have to rebuild our foundation in the current state of digital marketing. So if you’re an agency client, you might see me on some of your calls and Market Like a Pro I will be shadowing and just more involved in strategy because it’s also going to provide, you know, if I have to change the way strategy is being done in this current state, because we do, I have to be on the front lines to do that. I can’t just do that. You know, from up here, I need to be on the front lines. So, all right.
That is the state of the union of Hirsh Marketing and digital marketing. If this resonated with you guys, if you’re feeling some of the things I talked about here, I do want you to know you’re not alone. And I thought it would be helpful to share how many discussions I’ve had around this. How I myself have been feeling this and how we’ve got to step up. We’ve got to hang on. We’ve got an impact to make us focus on that impact. Focus on the why behind why you started your business in the first place. That is what has been extremely helpful for me is going back to that. Why did I start this? What is it that I love doing? And how do I increase that and increase my impact more because that’s what pushes you through the times that feel like burnout and hard and starting tomorrow, we’ll have the four rules of marketing in 2022 in this era. I’m excited. I think you guys are going to get a lot out of them. If you feel like sharing this, I would love for you to share this with your audience or send this link to somebody who you think would benefit from this. Send me a message, share it on Instagram. And I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow.
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