ep 465: What To Do If Your Marketing Isn’t Working

I was inspired to record this episode when I received a message in my DMs from someone who was feeling frustrated with her marketing. She felt she had failed and didn’t know what she was doing wrong. I empathized and reassured her that she hadn’t failed, she just needed to take a step back and understand her customer journey better. The advice I gave her was to find out where people were dropping off, look at her messaging, and to talk to her audience to understand what they wanted. I encouraged her to not make decisions from a place of feeling like she had failed and to take accountability to improve her offer and messaging.

Never settle for less than your best in marketing. In this week’s episode, I discuss the importance of understanding your customers’ journey, identifying gaps, and how to refine your messaging to connect with them. 

Tune in to learn how to: 

– Uncover where your customers are dropping off 

– Accept (and even embrace) that failure is part of the process 

– Refine your messaging to connect with your audience

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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Emily Hirsh:

Visibility and brand awareness builds an audience. But then you have to send that audience somewhere on an intentional journey. And then you have to see, okay, during that journey, where are people dropping off? And then you have to fix that hole.

You are listening to the Not for Lazy Marketers Podcast, episode 465.

Hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. I am coming at you from Montana. I’m here for a few days. I was so excited. I’m visiting my friend George, and we’re doing a little bit of work and a full day of snowboarding and I’m so happy. And so I was inspired to do this episode by a message I got in my dm’s last week. That really, I sat with it for a little bit and wanted to respond cuz I could tell this person was very upset. And wanted some really good feedback and support because she was very frustrated with her marketing and didn’t have the money to invest in my support, but was reaching out, responding. And so what she messaged me was Emily, like, I follow you and I’ve done what you said. And I ran visibility ads and I ran a month of lead gen ads and I just haven’t gotten any sales.

And now I have to go get a job because I need to make money and I failed. And I don’t know what I did wrong. And it was that last part that really got me the, I failed. And I don’t know what I did wrong because I could tell this person was blaming herself personally. And looking at it like what she offers isn’t good enough. She isn’t good enough. And you know, she was very frustrated that she has to go back and get a job to bring in revenue because her marketing didn’t work. And so I really empathized with her frustration. And I think, you know, I’ve witnessed in different ways a lot of people feel that way where they feel like they are failing, like them personally, they are failing. It’s a reflection of their self-worth of what they bring to their audience.

 And it really impacts people and their overall you know, confidence in their business and being able to serve their audience. And so I replied to her and I said, first of all, you didn’t fail and there you didn’t do anything wrong. Like as it’s as hard as it, it’s very hard to see this, but this is actually part of the process. But you didn’t have a long, you don’t have an long enough runway to let this be a part of the process and not bring in money. And so you have to go get a job and that’s okay you, that doesn’t mean quit your business. That means keep working in your business, get the job, bring in the money, relieve yourself from that pressure if that’s what you have to do of having to make your business, make a certain amount of money to support your family and go get the job and then, you know, come back and, and work on your business or work on your business while you have the job.

So I said, first of all, you didn’t do anything wrong. Like you didn’t fail. This is not a failure, this is a lesson. Okay? So that’s the first thing. And I said second, there’s nothing wrong with having to go get a job. Like most people may not be able to go for a long runway without bringing money in in their business and they have to figure out another way. For some people, that’s an investment. For some people that is a job and you’re able to, you know, take that money and build your business, which usually takes time to start producing. Especially when you’re selling a digital product or a physical product and you’re not selling to service. Sometimes services can be faster at making money, but you often have those like you are doing the work, right? And so you don’t, you have the margin of like you are doing it.

That’s how I started my business and why I didn’t need an investment is because I was doing the client work. A hundred percent of it. I had no expenses and I just had to go network and find clients. So that’s the second thing. And I told her like, there’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t let that be the reason that you quit your business. The third thing is diving into the reason why your marketing isn’t working. So understanding that it’s not like, oh, I tried these things and it didn’t work and so you know, what am I supposed to do? And I, and what I told her is, my best advice for you is to first understand what is that customer experience that you’re taking someone on? Where is the starting point? What are they seeing first? And then where are they going next? And I, this is me without, I didn’t know anything about her funnel.

 I briefly looked at her Instagram, I didn’t know anything about her funnel, so I didn’t know the customer journey. And I said, what you have to do is figure out where people are dropping off? And I said, and I also bet you it is a messaging problem and it is a messaging opportunity. So I said, first of all, you can’t say, oh I put out visibility ads for a certain amount of months and then people didn’t come. That’s not the purpose of visibility. Ads visibility and brand awareness builds an audience. But then you have to send that audience somewhere on an intentional journey. And then you have to see, okay, during that journey where are people dropping off? And then you have to fix that hole. So it’s not like, oh, I did this. I put out visibility ads, I put out lead generation ads and then they just didn’t work.

And so everything doesn’t work. And I say this all the time and I think it’s really hard in the moment for people to grasp it. So I’m saying it again here because this is something I’ve talked about multiple times. But I think when you’re in it and you feel like nothing’s working, it’s hard to pinpoint what it is you need to change. And it just feels like the entire business isn’t working. And I’ve been there myself in many different ways where you’re just like, maybe I shouldn’t even do this. Like maybe I should quit. We all get there. Don’t make decisions from that place in. When you’re in that mindset where everything is failing, you suck and you’re telling yourself those stories, don’t make any decisions from there. Get out of that first, get some space and reflection and then you can make decisions. So that first thing is I told her, okay, so you need to figure out based on my customer journey, and do you even have an intentional customer journey?

Cause I don’t know if she does. I think that she maybe was really focused on content and a little bit of lead generation and she didn’t get sales. Where are people dropping off? She didn’t come back and say, well, anytime I talk about my offer or anytime I try to sell, like people just don’t buy. And I said, okay, well then you need to ask them why you need to connect with them. You need to understand what the perceived value of your offer, what do they want and what are you saying and how do you dig into that? And I said, your audience and if you are generating leads is going to have more information than I ever could. And so figure out why they’re not buying. And so likely, like if your marketing isn’t working, first of all, don’t make decisions from the place of everything isn’t working.

I totally suck, my business sucks and I failed. Get out of that head space because it’s not true. That’s a story you’re telling yourself and you don’t have to believe that you can actually pivot it and say, well this is actually part of the process and I’m telling you, after working with hundreds of businesses and growing my own business, this is part of the process. Refinement is part of the process. And so if you don’t have a long runway for that refinement and it takes longer for others than it does for some, you might have to find other forms of income in investment. And that is also okay. That is also normal in business. Some reason in the online business that becomes not normal. But if you go start any business, like any business on you know, tech and Silicon Valley or whatever, they’re all getting investments.

Nobody’s starting their business without a massive investment. We don’t do that in the online space, which is cool, but you might have to find other ways. Or maybe you do have to get a small investment, maybe you do have to get a loan. Those things are okay, you’re not failing if that happens. So that’s number one, get out of that mindset. Don’t make decisions from that mindset cuz you might make irrational decisions. Number two is figuring out if you feel like everything is not working, sit down and figure out what is actually working. Is your content resonating? Are you putting content out there? Are you getting new people into your world every day? Or are you not? Are you talking to the same people? Are you getting leads and they’re not buying? Are you not even getting leads when you do get the leads? Where do they all drop off?

A lot of times it’s gonna lead back to your messaging. So first, figure out where people are dropping off and then look at that spot as it relates to your messaging and figure out how do I improve my messaging? And when I say messaging, it’s how you talk about what you want someone to do. So that could be watching a video on your Instagram, consuming your content. That is messaging, that could be an opt-in page to sign up for your lead magnet or your webinar. That could be emails going to your offer, that could be your sales page to your offer. It’s anywhere you’re telling someone to go take an action and then they’re not taking the action. And either they don’t understand the value of what you’re offering and what you’re telling them to do or they don’t want it and it’s not connecting.

And that doesn’t mean the offer itself is not good. It means that potentially how you are positioning it, how you’re talking about the offer isn’t clear and it isn’t aligned with what people want, but the actual offer is what they need. And this happens all the time, but the way people talk about it is sometimes not around what somebody wants. And so then they struggle. And this is very hard. Like messaging takes constant refinement and improvement and adjustments and connection. And so that’s the next thing to do is figure out where people are dropping off and then get an outside perspective or put yourself in the shoes of that person and ask, if I didn’t even know about my business and I didn’t know who I was and I just came across it and I came across this post, or I came across this webinar or this lead magnet or this email, how would I feel reading this?

Would I take the action? What is missing? How do I improve this? How do I go deeper on the pain points and the emotion and the connection? And likely that’s gonna give you some answers. And here’s the thing you guys, like, sometimes people are in a situation where they, you know, are completely feeling like they’re failing and it’s in a scary situation financially, other times it’s just not working super well. And so this exact piece of refinement and the way you look at marketing like this, it never goes away. Like I myself still do this. If we don’t get as many applications as I want in a period of time, I take a step back and I look at all the places people are getting asked to apply and sign up to work with us. And I look at how we can improvement, where are we missing?

Where are we not clear on the benefits? Where are we not clear on the pain points we’re solving? How do we improve it? And so even when things are working, it can usually improve. Or sometimes you have a dip and if you ignore that and it starts to not work, but you ignore it, then eventually you will get to the place where it feels like nothing is working, but constant refinement is normal and something not working is not a reflection of how good of a business owner you are or how capable your potential success is. And once you start digging into this, like once she starts, you know, talking to her audience and figuring out where people are dropping off, she might find that she has to make really big changes. Maybe her offer is wrong. Maybe what she is selling is not exactly what people want.

Maybe she needs to make some changes to it, I don’t know. And I told her, you know, your audience is going to have better information than I could ever give you. So going and spending the time to talk to them and figuring this out, and she said something else where she said, well, every time I put out every time I put out stuff, my audience doesn’t reply or you know, doesn’t take action on it. And so they’re just super unengaged. And I feel like sometimes people do go the route of, of blaming their audience and being like, oh, my audience, like they just don’t like this, or they just don’t consume this, or they just don’t open this or they just don’t do this. And when you actually take a step back, and I don’t say this to be rude, but it’s on you.

Like if I was to sit there and be like, oh my God, nobody listens to my podcast, okay, and then my podcast isn’t good enough, like the content isn’t good enough to listen to. Or if I was like, nobody is watching my webinar or nobody is signing up for my free lead magnet that I put all this work into and it’s so good, right? Do you see that’s not a serving thought because that’s just being like, well, I’m not taking accountability. Instead, without making it a negative thing about your self-worth and your value, just say, well, I have to do better. I have to provide better value, I have to create better messaging. I have to connect with my audience better. I have to know what they need and be able to deliver that. I have to step it up. And if I do that and I take that accountability, not in a way of like, I suck.

I need to do better, but I get to do better. I get to serve my audience better, I get to improve this, you will improve it. So I was inspired by that message because I think a lot of you get into that place. And I think as much as I say it is normal, it is normal. It is normal for things to not work and for you to have to refine things. And I promise you it’s normal for everybody at every size of their business. You just don’t see it on the outside. It is normal. And so as much as I say that, I think people still in the moment get very caught up in that and they have these thoughts of quitting and walking away from their business or things not working. So I wanted to share that with you guys. Thank you so much for tuning in and I will talk to you on Thursday.

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.