In today’s climate, you may find yourself asking if ads are truly essential. Do you really need them to grow your business, or can they be cut in an attempt to help your bottom line? 

I often tell business owners that everything in business results in a delayed reaction. Rash cuts to your ads now will result in huge impacts to your business down the line. 

Tune in to this episode where I shed light on what should be non-negotiable in your marketing during a recession, and how you can continue to see the growth of your business in a buyer-hesitant market.  

DM me on Instagram, @emilyhirsh, if this episode has resonated with you! 

Key Points

​​00:58 The Rollercoaster of Entrepreneurship 

2:46 Podcasts Coming Soon on Hard Lessons Learned

3:14 Ebbs and Flows of Business 

4:27 Are Ad’s Essential in Today’s Climate?

5:17 My Short Answer: Ad’s Aren’t Essential

5:24 Growing Your Business is Essential 

5:40 Organic Growth is Hard

6:05 What Happens to Businesses When They Panic Cut Essentials

6:50 Everything in Business is a Delayed Reaction

7:29 More Touch Points in a Buyer Hesitant Marker

8:39 Have a Consistent Way to Show Your Business to New Eyes 

9:08 How Can I Get More Strategic and Intentional? 

9:17 Do More With Less

10:04 How Do We Make Ads Work For Us In This Climate?

10:35 Increasing Pricing? 

11:18 Give More Value

11:50 Marketing Isn’t Black or White

12:20 Cash Infusions

13:03 Ads Should be Non-Negotiable 

13:40 Leveraging Existing Leads

14:33 Marketing Isn’t Linear 

15:15 What Truly Is Essential

15:50 What Is Your Plan? 

16:46 Should You Diversify Your Platform? 

17:40 The Foundation 

18:15 What’s the Outcome?

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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Emily Hirsh:

Ads are not actually essential in today’s climate. However, growing your business is. Getting new people to see your brand, getting new leads on your email list, growing your audience, getting your business and your offer and your customer journey in front of new people is 100% essential. 

You are listening to the Not for Lazy Marketers podcast, episode number 429.

Emily Hirsh:

Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. I hope you guys are having a great summer, great start to August. I guess we’re like a couple days in right? I feel a little bit, you know that graphic of entrepreneurship where it’s like, this is entrepreneurship and it’s up at the top of the roller coaster and then down at the bottom? That has been my last 60 to 90 days. Is it just me? I don’t know, Because I will have a week where I’m like, yes, we figured it out. Everything’s going awesome! And then the next week, there’s five problems. This is on fire. I’m overwhelmed. And then I got really sick over the weekend. Thankfully I fought it really quickly. But I was like super sick for a day. I use this device called a whoop band and it tracks your recovery every day in your sleep and in your heart rate and everything.

Emily Hirsh:

And usually my recovery is like 60%, 70%, 80% like high, right? 60% not good. You want to be like 80 to 90. I had a 1% recovery. I was like, is this even possible? Am I dead? So, I have been getting over that and my voice was like almost gone, which impacted obviously content creation and podcast recording. I don’t know, it’s been a wild summer. The summer always seems to get crazy for me between personal stuff, my kids and life and travel and just trying to do all the things and business. And I’m really excited about where we are right now. We launched our Elite package and we’ve sold more than 10. Our goal was 10. We opened up 10 initial spots and I had to create space for more because we started to get a waiting list of people.

Emily Hirsh:

And I’ve been the one onboarding those clients and doing the initial strategy calls because it’s a new offer in the agency and just wanted it to be really perfect. I have coming soon some really hard lessons I learned in growing my team and my business and how I had to go back kind of into the foundations of it in the last couple of months. And I’ve been still kind of processing and learning from it so that I can bring learning lessons out of it and not just be like, this is what happened and not have any follow up. So I will be talking about that, but I’ve been back in the weeds a lot more than normal. And it’s not where I want to stay. It’s not sustainable for me to stay there, but I think that there is kind of like ebb and flow cycles that happen in your business that require you to come back in the weeds sometimes.

Emily Hirsh:

I actually am enjoying it from the sense of like the spark of why I started my company has been reignited in doing client strategy. I used to do this when I started my business and when I started my agency and it was one of the last things that I outsourced was actually having a strategist onboard a client and do the strategy. And so I’m enjoying being back in it. I also have greatly improved every element of our delivery because now I’m involved and I’m like, oh, our client trackers, we need to change this or we need to do this. So, it’s been really awesome. I’ve done 12 strategy calls and onboarded 12 clients in the last five weeks, which is crazy. And that’s why I’m at this point where I feel like I have, I only can do, like, what is the most essential for me to do because I’m underwater a little bit.

Emily Hirsh:

And also on that, I kind of have realized I do that to myself and I go in this cycle. That’s another story. What I want to talk about is answering the question, “Are ads essential in today’s climate?” By today’s climate, I mean the recession and you know, we’re clearly in a very buyer hesitant world right now. And so business owners have to fight that. And so, is running ads and spending money on your marketing in that way…is it essential or should you stop it? And you might be thinking, well, Emily, obviously you’re going to be biased to this because you’re a marketing agency, but I’m not, you know, I am, I am okay. I am biased. But for a reason! I wouldn’t be in business if I thought everybody should shut off ads, including myself, I probably would stop my business or I would do something different as it relates to marketing.

Emily Hirsh:

So, I want to talk about this because I think this is extremely important. And I also have gotten this question a few times. So my short answer to this question is ads are not actually essential in today’s climate. However, growing your business is. Getting new people to see your brand, getting new leads on your email list, growing your audience, getting your business and your offer and your customer journey in front of new people is 100% essential. And it’s extremely hard if not impossible to do that effectively and a hundred percent organically. And so, with that said, if you’re not going to run ads in your business, if you’re choosing for ads to not be essential, then my question is, what else are you going to do? Because growing your business is essential. And here is something that I’ve seen happen to a lot of businesses.

Emily Hirsh:

They start to panic about income, revenue, and profits starting today. You know, starting like right now this month, they’re experiencing some issues and they’re like, oh my gosh! They choose to cut back on an expense, such as ads, an expense that leads to growth. That could be ads, that could be affiliate partnerships, that could be investment into organic marketing. It could be, you know, a coach, whatever it’s associated with growth in their business, that they decide to cut that back. It maybe doesn’t impact them right away. But then 30, 60, 90 days down the road, their business is coming to a halt. They don’t have new leads to sell to. They don’t have a new audience to sell to. Things are really slowing down and they don’t know why. And that’s because, I did a podcast on this, everything is a delayed reaction in business.

Emily Hirsh:

There’s a delayed response from what you’re doing today and how that impacts your business. So if you stop today, generating new leads, generating new eyes on your brand, you’re going to pay for it in the months to come. Not necessarily tomorrow. You might not notice a huge difference tomorrow. And I’ve even experienced this when I’ve looked back and been like, wow, you know, that month we added only a couple hundred leads to our list. Whereas that month we added thousands and now those people are buying. And so we know in a more buyer hesitant market that we’re in right now, it’s likely going to take more touch points with your brand for somebody to convert. Therefore the people who join your list and come into contact with your brand today are likely going to convert in the months down the line. So therefore if you stop your marketing today, if you cut your ads today, the question you have to answer is how are you going to get enough new people and new leads into your business?

Emily Hirsh:

And can you actually do that without ads? For most of you, unless you have the time to be a full-time content creator and go all in on organic, which is very difficult to get to work. I mean, you have to be posting multiple times a day, and even then you don’t have control over the targeting that your organic is shown to. So I know a lot of people have gotten like a viral reel and it was terrible because the quality traffic was so poor that now they have this really poor quality audience. So you don’t have as much control. You can’t control the targeting. You can’t control the customer journey necessarily. And so the question is, what are you going to do? Stopping ads could potentially stop your business growth. So for that reason, I would say what’s essential in today’s climate is that every single day, you have a consistent way to show your business, your offer your customer journey, to new eyes and get new leads.

Emily Hirsh:

However, to do that for most of you, it’s going to be through paid ads. Okay? So instead of going to the place of saying, I’m going to completely stop my ads because I’m panicking, because I can’t spend money, I’m afraid. Instead of going there, I want you guys to pause and think about how can I get more strategic and intentional. This is my motto right now for myself and for my team and for our clients. We need to do more with less. So we might need a little bit less ad spend to do what we’re doing. We might have to be a little bit more careful with our spend to keep it profitable, but we can’t cut it completely. We need to get more out of what we’re doing. We need to get more sales out of the leads we’re bringing in. We need to get more leads out of the traffic we’re generating.

Emily Hirsh:

We need to get more average cart, higher average cart value, more money out of each customer. We need to leverage our customers, leverage our leads. We need to do more with less, but we can’t stop ads because that would mean stopping finding new people to put our business in front of. So the question isn’t like a yes or no, black and white, let me stop ads or not stop ads. It’s a strategic, how do we make ads work for us? How do we make them still work for us in this climate? And some tactical ways that that could look is maybe you need to add in some more email nurturing to your leads. We just talked about this for a client. Adding in an automated flash sale, 30 days after a lead joins their list so that it automatically pushes out the offer again to people who didn’t buy.

Emily Hirsh:

It gets some sales. We’ve already paid for those leads. It’s automated, it’s successful. Okay. That’s the first thing. The second thing could be, how do we increase our average cart value? Can we sell an upsell? Should we increase our prices a little bit? I don’t like just automatically going to increase pricing. I see businesses do this. I think it’s an immature move to be like, oh my gosh, I need more money. I’m gonna raise my price. I know a lot of people say charge your worth. You need to charge more, raise your price. But also, you guys, I’ve I have made this mistake and I’ve seen people make this mistake where you raise your price so much that you outprice yourself and you can’t go back from that very easily. And you also have to have the premium delivery to do that.

Emily Hirsh:

Not to say you can’t, but in this climate, there’s less people who can pay for the premium. And there’s more people you can support at that mid level. So don’t just automatically be like, okay, the solution is to having more money and profit is raised by price. I think the solution is give more value, make your offer even better for the price than it is. So you sell more of it to the leads in the audience that you’re already generating and then ask yourself, how could I serve those people more? Here’s my offer that they’re buying. What else do they need? Is there an upsell that they need? Is there some other way I can support them? Or is there an offer that I should launch to create more of my ideal customer for that offer? There are so many options. It’s endless in how you can get creative to still be successful.

Emily Hirsh:

And this is something that drives me crazy as people oftentimes see marketing or business as black and white of like, well, either it works or it doesn’t work and it’s like, no, it will work. You just might have to get creative of how you’re going to get to the end result. And as long as you’re willing to do that, you’re going to get there. So getting more strategic, getting more intentional, and getting more out of what you’re doing. Getting more out of the back end is the key to successful marketing. One thing that we’re seeing a lot of right now with our client strategies that we’re integrating in all of our clients and even my own business is this combination between an evergreen automated funnel and about every three months doing some sort of cash infusion. And what’s cool is we started this process a couple months ago and now we have dozens of clients who are profiting and seeing success from this strategy where essentially it means you keep up the consistency.

Emily Hirsh:

You keep generating leads. You keep bringing people into your world. You keep running ads, basically because very few of you are going to be able to achieve the growth and the reach and reaching new people that you need and want from organic, right? And so what are your options? You need to run ads. Ads are an investment in your business. They should be non-negotiable. It should be strategic, but it should be non-negotiable if you want to grow your business, unless you don’t. And so you keep doing that. Then every three months you create a strategic promotion or way to capitalize on all the growth you’ve experienced. That’s the whole idea behind a cash infusion is you spend two months, you spend money on ads, you generate new leads to your list. You maybe get some sales, maybe you’re at two extra return on ads spend, which is good, but you want it better.

Emily Hirsh:

You need it better to be profitable as a business. Now you do a promotion. You send out emails to those people. Maybe you run some light retargeted ads. You leverage your existing asset, your existing audience, your existing leads that you’ve been building and you get a cash infusion in your business. And I’ve explained this many times to these Elite clients I’m bringing in where I show them the projections and I’m like, look, you’re going to spend a thousand dollars. If we get a 2% sales conversion, you’re, you’re maybe going to get a couple of sales from this and you’re close to breaking even if not a little bit profitable. Now that might not look good. But also I want you to see you’ve added 400 leads to your list. And out of that, two have bought. So you have now have 398 leads who have not purchased from you and you can go and leverage them in the future.

Emily Hirsh:

You can do a flash sale, you can do a flash promotion. And now let’s say you do that out of 398 people, you get five more sales, that’s pure profit. You’ve already paid for those leads. You’ve done the nurturing. Now you have a cash infusion in your business. And so marketing right now is not linear. It’s not like one strategy, evergreen strategy run everything through that scale it, and that’s going to make me all my money. It requires strategic thinking and it’s very custom to every business. And I’m like feeling this a lot because I’ve done all these custom strategies for the Elite clients. There is not one that is the same. There are foundational principles that I teach such as what I just explained of having an automated strategy mixed in with a cash infusion strategy. However, there are factors that are unique to your business and there’s not one strategy that’s the same.

Emily Hirsh:

And so that is what your business needs to be successful. Therefore, my answer to, “Are ads essential in today’s climate?” No, they’re not, but business growth is and reaching new people is. I promise you this. If you stop your business growth, if you stop reaching new audience, new leads, if you stop reaching new people, you will be paying for it in the next couple of months and you’ll be coming back going, dang it. That was not a great decision. We should not have stopped our ads. We should have figured out how to make it work. And so if you are thinking, if you’re thinking one of two things. If you’re either thinking I should stop my ads and I should slow down my marketing, I want you to ask yourself, well, what are you going to do to maintain your growth?

Emily Hirsh:

Like, do you have a solid plan or are you just doing that out of fear? Number two, if you’re hesitant to start ads because you haven’t, I have 12 businesses and a lot of them haven’t run a lot of ads. They’ve maybe run visibility ads, light ads, couple hundred and budget. And they are choosing to step into an investment of a couple thousand dollars a month in ad spend and leverage that for business growth because they know that they’ve been stagnant for months at a time without that. So, if you’re like, I’m not sure if I want to run ads again, what else are you going to do? What is your business growth goals? So if I sat there and said, hey, in the next 30 days, how many new leads do you want to add to your list? How many new sales, okay, how are you going to get there?

Emily Hirsh:

What is your answer? Do you have one? Do you have a plan? Because without ads, without paid traffic, how are you going to find new people? It’s very difficult. The last thing I’ll say is there is an opportunity in some cases to diversify your platform. But I also see people use this as an excuse. Like I still think at the root of it, no matter what platform you go to, if you don’t have your foundational marketing strategy, your funnel, your customer journey working, and you don’t have it created where it’s working long term, like you have those initial sales coming in and then you have a strategy to continue to leverage those sales as the months go on and you do this kind of quarterly cash infusion…if you don’t have that, it doesn’t matter what platform you go to. 

Emily Hirsh:

With that said, with our highest level profit clients, we are starting to roll out TikTok ads, YouTube ads, and Google ads, because I do think testing out when you have that bigger budget, it makes a big difference in if you can get a cost per lead a lot less. That’s obviously going to make a big difference when you’re spending tens of thousands of dollars. If you’re spending a couple thousand dollars a month, you’ve got to get the foundation working first and one platform working. And I believe for most of you, Facebook and Instagram is the place to do that. And then once you get that foundation working, you can test out other platforms when you have base data to go off of. And that’s kind of like a long term plan. A lot of people try to choose this kind of like easy way out, where they make it black and white.

Emily Hirsh:

I either turn off my ads or I don’t turn off my ads. I stop promoting the funnel or I don’t stop promoting the funnel. I move platforms or I don’t move platforms. It’s like, you have to figure out what is that end result. What’s the outcome you’re trying to achieve? How many sales, how many leads and then how you get there is where you get creative and that’s how you create that success. So there’s my answer today for you guys for are ads essential in today’s climate. Let me know what you think. Send me a message on Instagram and I’ll talk to you on Thursday.

Emily Hirsh:

Thanks for listening to the Not for Lazy Marketers podcast. If you love this episode and want deeper support with your marketing head over to helpmystrategy.com to see how Hirsh Marketing can help take your marketing to the next level, no matter where you’re at today. We help our clients scale faster than ever, find hidden leaks in their funnel experiment with new creative marketing strategies, and help their business explode and be more profitable than they ever dreamed possible. Head over to helpmystrategy.com and see if you qualify for a free strategy audit with Team Hirsh.

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